Red Sox pregame notes: Red Sox prepared for quick turnaround between Sunday night and Monday morning
|04.20.14 at 5:51 pm ET|
Win or lose Sunday night, it is unlikely that the Red Sox get a good night’s sleep.
With Sunday’s game starting at 7 p.m. and Marathon Monday’s beginning at 11:05 a.m., there will not be much of a turnaround between games. Farrell insisted that the team will not be looking ahead to Monday heading into Sunday night’s game, but he did not hide that the schedule is an inconvenience to the team.
“Marathon Monday is the traditional start time, but this is the first time coming off a night game. We are thankful for ESPN on most occasions, but we have to deal with the schedule given to us.”
The game before the 11 a.m. start is typically a day game in which the Red Sox have done well in recent years, as they have won eight out of their last nine pre-Marathon Monday contests. Boston has not lost the game before Marathon Monday since 2010, when it fell 7-1 to the Rays.
This year’s short break between games represents a new challenge though, and it is one that comes at a bad time early in the season. After all, the Red Sox have struggled out of the gate and are currently last in the AL East. The minimal rest comes right before nine games in 10 days against more division opponents, including the Yankees starting Tuesday.
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
– Shane Victorino (hamstring) will be making at two more rehab appearances with Pawtucket before the team reassesses his status on Tuesday. During those two games, Farrell said the team is looking for him to get four at-bats Monday and play nine innings on Tuesday. Victorino went 0-for-3 Saturday in his first rehab game.
As for the corresponding roster move when he returns, that remains a discussion in the works.
“[Conversations about a roster move] have been ongoing,” Farrell said. “They are not going to initiate once he is getting ready to come back. We have looked at every available combination of outfielders.”
– Will Middlebrooks (calf) will be joining Victorino in Pawtucket Monday as he works toward his return from the DL. His tentative schedule is to be playing Monday, Wednesday and Thursday before the team re-evaluates his status.
– One of Mike Napoli‘s biggest focuses during the spring was to adjust his plate approach with two strikes, therefore reducing his strikeout totals. Napoli struck out 187 times in 578 plate appearances last season, so he increased his focus on making contact with the ball with two strikes this season.
The approach seems to have had some positive effects for him, as he is batting .262/.367/.357 this season with two strikes, compared to a .193/.288/.334 line in the same situation last season.
“When he has been up there, there has been a number of times where we have seen him cut down his swing and stay in the middle of the field a little bit more,’ Farrell said. ‘Maybe he sacrifices a little bit of power for contact and I think he is carrying out what he set out to do.”
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