HOUSTON -- Coming off a schedule of 26 games in 27 days, the Red Sox will give knuckleballer Steven Wright a spot start for Tuesday's opener of a three-game series against the Tigers at Fenway Park.Everyone else in the rotation will be backed up one day. When you combine the
HOUSTON -- Coming off a schedule of 26 games in 27 days, the Red Sox will give knuckleballer Steven Wright a spot start for Tuesday's opener of a three-game series against the Tigers at Fenway Park.
Everyone else in the rotation will be backed up one day. When you combine the insertion of Wright with the team off-day on Monday, that means each of the five regulars in the rotation will have six days of rest before their next start.
"I do feel this is a time of year that, if I'm feeling it, I know they're feeling it," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. "With the travelling, all those day games last week, I don't know what time we're going to get in [Monday] to Boston, so I think it makes sense to give him that start. I think it's good for him and also I think pushing everybody back is going to be beneficial for us in the long run."
Wright was an All-Star starting pitcher just two seasons ago and has pitched well (2.25 ERA) in six relief appearances since he was activated from the disabled list.
"It's not a bullpen day," said Cora. "Steven is a starter. We know that. I think we're good enough with [Bobby] Poyner and BJ [Brian Johnson] and Hector [Velazquez], if something happens, you know, we get innings from those guys and we're going to be fine."
The presence of Wright gives Cora the luxury of expanding the rotation at various points this season when the schedule is particularly taxing or if one starter in particular needs extra rest.
Cora hopes Wright can pitch five innings on Tuesday.
Pedroia to see doctor on Tuesday
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was put back on the DL on Saturday due to inflammation in his surgically repaired left knee, will fly to New York on Tuesday and visit with Dr. Riley Williams, who performed his surgery last October.
Pedroia is surprised that the momentum of his comeback was derailed after just three games following his activation, but he's hopeful it was just a minor setback and part of the process of coming back from such a significant procedure.
"I think just the frustrating part was the whole time I never had an issue in one spot in my knee, and I didn't until the day after I had an off-day [on Thursday], and I was just warming up, things like that," said Pedroia. "So, it kind of hit us all at once. So, it feels a little bit better today. We're going to go on Tuesday to see the doctor and just make sure that it's nothing big."
Though it's easy to second guess after the fact that Pedroia might have been activated too soon, he stands by the process he took before returning.
"We didn't do anything wrong," Pedroia said. "That was why I was cleared for everything, and not one time had I felt anything in the major part of the surgery that I had. All the feeling was where I had the microfracture when I had any kind of discomfort, which was normal. Even when I was in Florida doing stuff or the games I played in Pawtucket, even the first two months of my rehab, I never felt anything in that area. So, to feel it now is a little weird, but I'll see the doc and see what he has to say. It could be just normal or scar tissue or something, but that's it."
Slumping Devers gets a down day
Third baseman Rafael Devers played in 57 games and had 222 at-bats after his callup last season, slashing .284/.338/.482 with 10 homers and 30 RBIs. In nearly identical playing time (57 games, 217 at-bats) so far this season, he is slashing .226/.280/.401 with nine homers and 28 RBIs.
Devers has been in a serious decline since May 5, hitting .160 with three homers and five RBIs in 94 at-bats. Cora gave him the night off on Sunday and played Eduardo Nunez at third.
"He's been expanding a lot," said Cora. "Just staying away from him today. Show up early, work with [hitting coaches] Timmy [Hyers] and Andy [Barkett], try to get him back into a rhythm. Seems like right now, he's late on fastballs and early on offspeed pitches. We need this guy to perform offensively. I think having a day off today, like I said before, is going to be good."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.