CLEVELAND -- In preparation for the playoffs, the Red Sox will have lefty Eduardo Rodriguez work as a reliever for Monday's game at Fenway Park against the Orioles.Rodriguez, who has been used exclusively as a starter this season, will piggyback Nathan Eovaldi.• Dress for success: Get AL East champs gearWhile
CLEVELAND -- In preparation for the playoffs, the Red Sox will have lefty Eduardo Rodriguez work as a reliever for Monday's game at Fenway Park against the Orioles.
Rodriguez, who has been used exclusively as a starter this season, will piggyback Nathan Eovaldi.
• Dress for success: Get AL East champs gear
While Chris Sale, David Price and Rick Porcello are set as starters in the American League Division Series, the selection of Rodriguez or Eovaldi is likely contingent on whether the Red Sox face the Athletics or Yankees.
The odd man out will work as a reliever.
"Just for them, kind of like, to get used to it, too," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. "We don't know who we're going to play, so we'll make decisions later on. But Nate came out of the bullpen already. We know he can do it. I know Eduardo did it last year in the Division Series for whatever it was, two hitters or three, but it will be good for him to go out there and come in and compete from there."
Eovaldi was tremendous against the Yankees the last two times he's faced them, firing 14 shutout innings. In six career starts against Oakland, Eovaldi is 1-2 with a 4.11 ERA.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez has a strong track record against the Athletics, going 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA in four starts. Against the Yankees, Rodriguez is 4-3 with a 3.66 ERA in 12 starts.
J.D. gets a break
Slugger J.D. Martinez, who was one of the only regulars to play on Friday, the day after the Sox clinched the AL East, got a rest on Sunday night.
Cora said Martinez will play all three home games against the Orioles, Monday through Wednesday, and the club has an off-day on Thursday.
In the final week of the regular season, Cora will rest his regulars at times. He would like Xander Bogaerts -- who had 95 RBIs entering Sunday's game -- to reach 100. The other milestone Cora is eyeing is 30-30 for Mookie Betts, who needs two more steals.
'I Don't Know' is on third
Cora is keeping his options open at third base entering the playoffs. Rafael Devers and Eduardo Nunez have both spent stints as the starter this season, and Brock Holt has produced when given the chance.
Nunez seemed to be the starter until experiencing leg woes in the last week. Devers has responded to the increased playing time, homering in the first two games in Cleveland.
"We will have to wait and see who we play," said Cora. "Obviously with Oakland, it's kind of like a bullpen game with them the whole time. And obviously with the Yankees, you have [lefties J.A.] Happ and you have CC [Sabathia]. We'll see. I'm happy that Raffy's swinging the bat well, and it's not the results. It's the approach.
"We've just got to see when Eduardo comes back, he's healthy and he's able to run around. That's going to be important for us, but I'm not looking way ahead, because I know they're playing well, but at the same time, we don't know who we're going to play."
Defensively, Nunez is more sure-handed than Devers, who leads MLB with 23 errors, but Devers has more range.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.