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Pomeranz pushed back to work on mechanics

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

ST. PETERSBURG -- Red Sox left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who has had a tough start to the season, will be pushed back a couple of days in the rotation and will take his next turn on Saturday -- at which time he will have seven days of rest.

Monday's off-day allowed Red Sox manager Alex Cora the flexibility to give Pomeranz a couple of extra days to try to figure out what is ailing him.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Red Sox left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who has had a tough start to the season, will be pushed back a couple of days in the rotation and will take his next turn on Saturday -- at which time he will have seven days of rest.

Monday's off-day allowed Red Sox manager Alex Cora the flexibility to give Pomeranz a couple of extra days to try to figure out what is ailing him.

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Pomeranz used the time productively on Tuesday, throwing a simulated game at Tropicana Field. His main point of emphasis was trying to be less rotational in his delivery.

"When he told me I was getting pushed back, initially I figured maybe I'd throw a couple more bullpen [sessions] or something. I asked them if I could throw to hitters today," said Pomeranz. "It's a little more competitive when a guy gets in the box and makes it more game-like trying to make pitches especially when he's swinging, because it makes you a little more competitive."

After starting the season on the disabled list due to a flexor strain in his left forearm, Pomeranz is 1-2 with a 5.97 ERA through six starts. Though his fastball has lost a couple of miles per hour from last season, Pomeranz thinks that is mostly due to mechanical glitches.

"I was telling somebody this the other day," said Pomeranz. "I've gone through time periods like this in my career where I'm struggling and one little thing is off and just one major thing I need to fix, and then I'm right back on track. So that's what I've been looking to do and that's what I accomplished today.

"Health-wise, I feel great. Like I said, it's just about clicking out there and getting my rhythm and timing back, and repeating the right mechanics. I just have to keep myself from being rotational. Everybody struggles with things mechanics-wise, and that's usually the main one for me. When I fix that, it makes a huge difference."

With the adjustment to the rotation, Rick Porcello will pitch on regular rest (four days) for Thursday's finale against the Rays and Eduardo Rodriguez will open a homestand against the Braves on Friday.

"They were here yesterday watching video, working on a few adjustments," said Cora. "He felt great. Actually, [hitting coach] Tim Hyers, he came in and we talked about what he saw and he said that he liked what he saw, fastball-related. It seems like there was more life at the end and they made an adjustment with his stride and not being so rotational. We still have to wait until Saturday so he can go out and perform. He feels good about the work."

Pedroia scratched due to wet grounds

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia was supposed to play seven innings on Tuesday night at Triple-A Pawtucket in the continuation of his Minor League rehab assignment, but the Red Sox opted to scratch him from the lineup due to rainy conditions in Rhode Island. Pedroia was scheduled to play seven innings at second base on Tuesday and seven more on Wednesday, marking the first time he would have played consecutive games on defense during his rehab.

Pedroia would seem likely now to play on Wednesday and Thursday for the PawSox.

It remains to be seen if the Red Sox will activate him on Friday, or give him that day to rest instead. Cora has said he wants Pedroia to play back-to-back games in the field in the Minors before the team activates him.

Pedroia is coming back from major surgery on his left knee.

Decision looming on Velazquez

Right-hander Hector Velazquez, who went on the disabled list on May 14 due to a lower back strain, threw a scoreless inning for Pawtucket on Monday. He is eligible to be activated by the Red Sox on Thursday, and he joined the team for this series in St. Petersburg against the Rays.

"We're going to have him around, see how he reacts to [Monday's outing], and if everything goes well, we're going to have to make a decision," Cora said.

Instead of activating Velazquez, the Red Sox could also option him to Pawtucket.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Drew Pomeranz