Farrell defends sticking with Young in 9th

Red Sox manager says outfielder needs to get at-bats vs. right-handers

April 17th, 2016

BOSTON -- Brock Holt was available to pinch-hit Sunday with no outs in the ninth and the Red Sox trailing by two runs, but manager John Farrell chose to stick with Chris Young against right-handed Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna. Osuna had just allowed a two-run home run to Travis Shaw in the at-bat before Young.

Young went down looking for the third time in the game. Osuna retired the next two batters, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Ryan Hanigan, to secure a 5-3 victory for the Blue Jays.

Farrell said he did give some thought to using Holt, a left-handed hitter with a lifetime .271 average vs. righties. But the manager felt he needed to give more at-bats to Young -- who entered Sunday with a .224/.292/.410 career line against right-handers -- before Young faces a pair of lefties on Monday and Tuesday.

"First of all, Chris Young needs the at-bats," Farrell said. "We've got left-handers coming, but against a guy like [Toronto starter Aaron] Sanchez, who's got as good stuff if not better than Osuna, that's a spot where I'm going to continue to stay with [Young] in that moment."

Young is now 1-for-12 with seven strikeouts on the year, including 0-for-8 with six strikeouts against right-handers.

Farrell said he thought Young, who fouled off two pitches, took good swings off Osuna.

"I understand the question, and yet at the same time, I'm going to stick with the guy I started -- like I said before -- against a big-time arm in Sanchez," Farrell said. "I thought that the at-bat he took against Osuna, in Chris Young's case, he put good swings on the ball."

Asked again about the decision to keep Holt on the bench, Farrell reiterated that Young needed the reps. Prior to Sunday, the 32-year-old's last at-bat came Tuesday, and his only other start was April 10.

"He'll be in there the next two days, so to take a guy who hasn't played for a week and just assume he's going to give you production against left-handers, he's got to see right-handers to get the at-bats," Farrell said.

Farrell plans to pencil in Young on Monday against Toronto southpaw J.A. Happ and again on Tuesday against Rays left-hander Drew Smyly.