BOSTON -- With Clay Buchholz unavailable out of the bullpen the next few days so he can prepare for Saturday's spot start, the Red Sox recalled lefty Roenis Elias from Triple-A Pawtucket and optioned outfielder Bryce Brentz to Pawtucket.At least in the short term, the move creates even more at-bats
BOSTON -- With Clay Buchholz unavailable out of the bullpen the next few days so he can prepare for Saturday's spot start, the Red Sox recalled lefty Roenis Elias from Triple-A Pawtucket and optioned outfielder Bryce Brentz to Pawtucket.
At least in the short term, the move creates even more at-bats for Andrew Benintendi, who had been starting against only right-handers.
But with Brentz back to Triple-A and Chris Young in the early stages of a Minor League rehab assignment, Red Sox manager John Farrell doesn't have a right-handed hitter as a platoon option in the outfield.
"The minimum number of at-bats he's had so far [against lefties], he's certainly handled it well," said Farrell of Benintendi. "He's been productive. I will say there might be an alignment to possibly give Jackie [Bradley Jr.] a breather at some point as well where we'd slot him into center field, but that would probably be more when we get a full complement to our roster."
Elias, 28, went 8-4 with a 3.72 ERA in 17 appearances (15 starts) for Pawtucket this season, though since May 18, he has gone 8-1 with a 3.05 ERA and .223 opponents' batting average.
The Red Sox acquired the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Cuban native last December from the Mariners. In two games (one start) earlier this season, Elias gave up 10 runs in 5 2/3 innings (15.88 ERA). In two seasons with Seattle, he went 15-20 with a 3.97 ERA in 51 games (49 starts).
Buchholz is starting on Saturday because Steven Wright tweaked his right shoulder pinch-running last week in Los Angeles.
Farrell defended the decision to call on Wright in an unfamiliar role.
"Given where our bench was, yeah, if that situation arises again, I would run a pitcher," Farrell said. "I'm not going to use four guys in one slot, particularly the way that matchup unfolded, with Brentz pulling the right-handed reliever out of the bullpen and then pinch-hitting Brentz for David [Ortiz] in that spot."
Brentz, 27, hit .279 with three doubles and a home run in 25 games for the Red Sox after being recalled on June 24. Between Double-A Portland (12 games) and Pawtucket (38 games) this season, he hit .261 with 16 doubles, four homers and 20 RBIs.
The club also activated right-hander Sean O'Sullivan from the 15-day disabled list (knee) and outrighted him to Pawtucket.
O'Sullivan, 28, was placed on the disabled list on July 10 with left knee patellar tendinitis. In two stints with the Red Sox this season, he went 2-0 with a 6.75 ERA. O'Sullivan pitched for the Angels, Royals, Padres and Phillies before signing with Boston as a free agent prior to this season.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.