Red Sox pregame notes: Will Middlebrooks decision, David Ross to the 60-day DL, Shane Victorino (and the wall) survive, Allen Webster to stay in the big leagues and more
|06.25.13 at 6:05 pm ET|
The Red Sox remain enmeshed in a near-constant roster shuffle, with Tuesday bringing five player moves — and one non-move — as the team attempts to navigate its way through both injuries, underperformances and, to top it off, the potential for inclement weather on Tuesday night. By the time Tuesday’s game starts, the Sox will have made a total of 25 moves involving 16 players on their big league roster since June 8.
The details of Tuesday’s moves:
– Will Middlebrooks was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. More on that here.
“His skills haven’t gone backwards. He’s still a very talented player,” said manager John Farrell. “The consistent work will allow him to reproduce the swing he showed last year and showed through the course of spring training, recognizing that this year there were some struggles for him. But this isn’t uncommon for a young player, and to take a step back now for the bigger picture, he’s finding his way to becoming a major-league player. Part of that sometimes takes a step back, and this is exactly what’s taken place.”
– First baseman/third baseman Brandon Snyder was selected from Triple-A Pawtucket. Snyder was recalled instead of a utility infielder such as Brock Holt (who can play third, short and second) for two reasons: 1) Snyder is right-handed with pop, and the Sox wanted a right-handed bat for their bench rather than the left-handed Holt; 2) Snyder is familiar with the big league bench role, as opposed to Holt, whose only exposure to the big leagues came as an everyday second baseman with the Pirates last year.
– To make room for Snyder on the 40-man roster, David Ross (on the 7-day DL due to a concussion) was transferred to the 60-day DL. Given that Ross was sent home to Florida while dealing with his second concussion of the season, the idea that he was going to sidelined for a considerable duration became clear.
“He’s starting to begin some physical activity. And yet, the biggest thing we have to take into account is the second-time occurrence for him,” said Farrell. “The fact he’s on a 60-day DL, you start to map out all you need in terms of the number of days down, the build back from that, he’s understanding of why it’s a 60-day.”
Farrell did say that the team does not anticipate at this point that Ross will miss the rest of the year. He’s scheduled to meet with Dr. Mickey Collins at the University of Pittsburgh on July 9 for his next evaluation.
– Left-hander Franklin Morales is going on the DL to a sore left pectoral muscle.
“He’s got a strain to the left pec. Not the exact same spot that he dealt with in spring training, but not too far from it. Not a severe strain, but one nonetheless,” said Farrell. “It’s clear. The images show it. How long of a down time has yet to be determined at this point.”
– Right-hander Pedro Beato is being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday night. He’ll almost certainly be optioned back to Pawtucket after Tuesday’s game so that Clayton Mortensen (on the 15-day DL with what the team called a right groin strain) can be activated on his first day of eligibility to return.
– Clay Buchholz remains on the 15-day DL. He threw what Farrell called “aggressive long-toss” as far as 120 feet on Tuesday, with the team hoping that serves as a prelude to a light bullpen session off a mound on Wednesday. If that goes without a hitch, then Buchholz would have a normal bullpen session at full intensity on Friday and, in a best-case scenario, a rehab start next Sunday or Monday.
“As much as we’ve tried to project with his schedule, that would be ideal,” Farrell said of a rehab start early next week.
As to whether one rehab start will suffice before the Sox are ready to activate Buchholz, Farrell suggested that it was impossible to say.
“We would have to evaluate that and see where he’s at — physically and from an overall performance and stuff standpoint. Stamina as much as anything,” said Farrell.
– Allen Webster will remain in the big leagues and start Friday night’s game against the Blue Jays. There had been some thought to optioning him to Pawtucket and calling up either Alfredo Aceves or Rubby De La Rosa, but the team opted for continuity.
“This is a good matchup against Toronto. He’s faced them in spring training,” explained Farrell. “Don’t want to get into a constant up and down with a number of guys and try to create a little continuity. Part of Allen’s transition is to do just that, to stay with him for the time being, to allow him to go through the rotation a couple times, work with our staff here and just become a little more comfortable with the big league environment here with us.”
Given that Webster has gotten shelled in the first inning of each of his last two starts, Farrell said the team may consider having him alter his warm-up routine.
“One of the things we’ve done in the past with guys is to have them warm up, sit down and almost simulate the first inning,” said Farrell. “Maybe we’re rounding the edge off a little bit of potential anxiety or nerves that might be very normal for a young guy. That’s something that we’ve discussed and will continue to discuss in the event that we choose to do it [Friday].”
– Though Shane Victorino suffered another bout of back tightness when he ran into a wall while making a catch on Sunday in Detroit, he was fine after getting treated on Monday’s off-day and is in the lineup on Tuesday night.
“We’re treating the wall,” Farrell joked. “More upper back as opposed to lower back. After a full day of treatment in here yesterday,he felt like he could have played last night.”
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