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Red Sox send four pitchers to minor league camp

03.21.13 at 3:17 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox made another round of cuts on Thursday afternoon, reassigning four pitchers (all non-roster invitees to big league camp) to minor league camp. The four pitchers who went to minor league camp were left-hander Chris Hernandez and right-handers Chris Carpenter, Terry Doyle and Oscar Villareal.

Hernandez, a 2010 seventh-round pick (and indeed the only member of the 2010 draft class represented in big league camp this year), will now get stretched out as a rotation depth option in Triple-A, where he finished the 2012 season. The left-hander, who lives with a mid-80s fastball, had a 3.97 ERA with six strikeouts and one walk in 11 1/3 Grapefruit League innings; he’d logged 8 1/3 scoreless innings in March, permitting just four hits and one walk.

Doyle, likewise, could be a rotation depth option, particularly at the start of the year while Rubby De La Rosa is stretched out in his gradual return from Tommy John. The 27-year-old Boston College alum had a 3.86 ERA, 12 strikeouts and three walks in 14 spring training innings.

Carpenter, the pitcher whom the Sox received from the Cubs as compensation for GM Theo Epstein, struck out eight and walked six in 8 1/3 spring innings. The Sox outrighted him off the 40-man roster during the offseason, and Carpenter cleared waivers, allowing him to stick in the organization to serve as a bullpen depth option — though one who lacks a clear path to the big leagues, given that the Sox have no fewer than 11 relief options on their 40-man roster (albeit two — Craig Breslow and Franklin Morales — who will open the year on the DL).

Villareal made four spring appearances, allowing five runs in five innings while striking out seven and walking three. His time in Sox camp was limited by his participation in the World Baseball Classic as a member of Team Mexico. The well-traveled 31-year-old has appeared in 258 career big league games, though none since 2008.

With the cuts, there are now 42 players remaining in big league camp.

The Red Sox are playing the Phillies in Fort Myers on Thursday night, with left-hander Cole Hamels on the mound for Philadelphia. The Sox lineup:

Ellsbury, CF
Victorino, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Napoli, 1B
Middlebrooks, 3B
Gomes, LF
Saltalamacchia, C
Nava, DH
Iglesias, SS

Lackey, RHP

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