Red Sox pregame notes: Tommy Layne added for Game 2; Shane Victorino, Will Middlebrooks and Mike Carp see progress in rehab
|07.05.14 at 12:13 pm ET|
With the Red Sox set to take part in their second doubleheader of the season, the team added reinforcements before their day-long tilt against the Orioles.
Red Sox manager John Farrell announced that PawSox reliever Tommy Layne will be added to the roster as the team’s 26th player for Game 2 of the doubleheader (per MLB rules on day-night doubleheaders), giving Boston some needed depth in the bullpen.
Layne will be available to pitch in the second game of Saturday’s set at Fenway Park.
Layne, who signed a minor-league deal with Boston on November 15, 2013, has been one of the most reliable arms out of the bullpen for Pawtucket this season, posting a 5-1 record with a 1.51 ERA in 30 appearances.
The 29-year-old southpaw has been dominant this season against left-handed hitters, holding them to a minuscule .138 average, with 23 strikeouts in 17 innings.
Despite his stellar numbers against lefty batters, Farrell said that Layne has been more than just a left-handed specialist this season.
“He’s continued what he did in spring training, and that has been [being] very successful against left handers, he’s had decent ability to get good right-handed hitters out, so he’s not solely a situational type of lefty reliever,” Farrell said. “But the performance has been very consistent.”
Other Red Sox notes:
— Shane Victorino‘s long and frustrating road back to the majors continues. The 33-year-old outfielder -who has only played in 21 of the team’s 85 games this season - took part in a few agility exercises Friday morning as he looks to come back from a hamstring and back injury that has held him out of the lineup since May 24.
“[He’s] good, or I should say improving,” Farrell said. “The running, the agility work, the number of swings in BP, that all continues to increase. If we’re looking at getting out to get some live action, [it] would be hopefully sometime in the middle of the White Sox series.”
— Will Middlebrooks has taken the next step in his road to recovery down in Triple-A Pawtucket.
Middlebrooks - who did not play in a game with the PawSox from June 22 to July 1 due to swelling in the injured right index finger that originally put the third baseman on the DL May 17 – has finally returned to his normal spot at third base Friday after serving as Pawtucket’s DH for most of his stint.
Farrell said that Middlebrooks, who’s hit .243 with a triple, home run and one RBI with the PawSox, was previously not able to properly throw from third base due to the swelling in his finger. While Middlebrooks has finally returned to the hot corner, Farrell acknowledged that it is just a small step in his recovery.
“I think, finally, the swelling has been resolved to a point where it’s not affecting his throwing,” Farrell said. “That was more of a caution than anything, if that was going to alter any arm slot or any changes to his throwing stroke. … We were just trying to be careful of that.”
Farrell added: “He’s yet to go a full nine innings at third base, so those are markers that we’re still trying to get to.”
— Another member of Boston’s walking wounded – first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp – also continues to progress from a foot fracture that has sidelined him since June 3.
Carp has played in five games for Pawtucket, collecting just one hit in 13 at-bats (.077 average) while striking out five times.
Despite his less-than-stellar stat line with the PawSox, Farrell said that Carp should see increased playing time down in Triple-A going forward.
“We want to get him regular at-bats through the weekend,” Farrell said. “He’s playing left field today, hopefully getting a full nine innings in left field. As we talked on Thursday, the off day, we felt like everyday at-bats through the weekend was a good point and time to reassess and see where we go from there.”
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