Farrell not ready to unveil plan for Nunez

Red Sox manager to chat with newly acquired infielder first; will Devers return to Triple-A?

July 26th, 2017

SEATTLE -- The morning after the Red Sox acquired from the Giants, manager John Farrell was still formulating a precise plan for how he will be used. But the bottom line is that the right-handed hitter will be a frequent presence in the starting lineup.

"Oh, he's going to get a high number of at-bats -- that's why we acquired him. This is someone who's swinging the bat very well right now," said Farrell. "He'll mix in on the left side [of the infield]. Certainly the defensive versatility opens up a number of places that we can go with for him, but I think before stating the actual uses, I think it's important for us to meet face to face."

The Red Sox will get that opportunity to meet with Nunez either during Thursday's off-day or on Friday, prior to the opener of a homestand against the Royals.

"We've had a couple of personal experiences with him in the past on a team that went to Japan, so we're adding a quality guy," said Farrell. "A high-energy player that can run the bases well. He's got really good line-drive power, so his .300-plus batting average to mix into this lineup is a good addition."

Two days prior to acquiring Nunez, the Red Sox called up top prospect with the idea that he would start at third base against right-handed pitching.

Devers made his second Major League start on Wednesday afternoon against the Mariners, but there's a chance he could be optioned back to the Minor Leagues to make room for Nunez on the roster.

"We haven't had to make a move yet, so we have nothing to announce right now," said Farrell.

There are two other options that would allow the Red Sox to keep Devers on the roster for the homestand and beyond.

The first would be to option infielder to Triple-A Pawtucket. Marrero has done a stellar job defensively at third base, but he doesn't offer much in the way of offense.

The second scenario would be to put slumping shortstop on the disabled list so he can get more rest and treatment for a right hand injury that has lingered since before the All-Star break.

"I can't predict what's going to happen as far as health of an individual player, but he's been banged up a little bit with the hit by pitch, but he's also been down 11 days this month, so we're trying to get him over that," said Farrell. "And then when you watch him in his early work, watch the BP he takes, it's hard to suggest any ailment is affecting his swing, because he's driving the baseball out of the ballpark with routine ability. And yet there are some timing things we're trying to work out through right now with Xander."

Another interesting development to watch with Nunez will be where he hits in the lineup. has batted leadoff since the first week in May, but the addition of Nunez could allow Farrell to bat his best all-around player in the middle of the order again.

"That's something we'll talk with him about a little bit more directly," said Farrell. "I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but where we can get that bat in the lineup on a given day, that versatility certainly comes into play."

Worth noting

• After starting 98 straight games for the Red Sox dating back to last season, Betts finally got a rest on Wednesday.

"He's been a highly dependable and durable player, a very good player for us," said Farrell. "Felt like with the off-day tomorrow, this is a chance for him to maybe recharge a little bit more before we start up a 10-day homestand. He's played every inning over this post-All-Star-break stretch, and that's been taxing. He and Jackie [Bradley Jr.] are probably the only two who have been on the field every inning. You don't take for granted their durability, but you certainly appreciate it. And this is a day well-deserved for him."

• Prior to the game, the Red Sox activated righty reliever (right elbow strain) and placed righty reliever on the 10-day DL with a left intercostal strain.