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Dombrowski: Callups helped Red Sox stand pat

President of baseball ops optimistic expanded rosters will help right scuffling pitching staff
Special to MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has been saying for a long time that he didn't expect to be part of any significant trades when the calendar got ready to turn from August to September.

True to his word, Boston remained silent on Friday despite some heavy moving on the part of the rival Yankees.

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CHICAGO -- Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has been saying for a long time that he didn't expect to be part of any significant trades when the calendar got ready to turn from August to September.

True to his word, Boston remained silent on Friday despite some heavy moving on the part of the rival Yankees.

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Despite a bullpen that has struggled at times, Dombrowski said Saturday that the Red Sox never came close to making any significant moves before Friday's deadline to acquire players who will be eligible for the postseason. While some players got through waivers, Dombrowski said, the Red Sox didn't significantly pursue anyone specific.

But September's expanded rosters will provide more arms for the Red Sox 's bullpen, which Dombrowski said has been struggling along with the starting rotation over the past 12 games or so. On Saturday, Boston called up left-handed relievers Bobby Poyner and Robby Scott and right-hander William Cuevas as well as infielder Tzu-Wei Lin and first baseman Sam Travis. Along with the callups, lefty Eduardo Rodriguez, catcher Christian Vazquez and knuckleballer Steven Wright were activated off the disabled list.

Video: TB@BOS: Poyner K's Kiermaier, earns first career win

"We need to straighten [our pitching] out a little bit, but I think that's doable," Dombrowski said before Saturday's game against the White Sox.

Dombrowski said with the return of Saturday's starter, Rodriguez, and with ace Chris Sale getting closer to returning from injury along with left-hander David Price, some of the Red Sox's pitching concerns should take care of themselves.

Dombrowski is encouraged that despite relievers Craig Kimbrel, Matt Barnes and Heath Hembree's recent scuffles, their velocity is still where it needs to be, limiting some potential concern.

Sale, Price updates
Sale threw between 15-20 pitches in a light bullpen session on Saturday as the left-hander draws closer to starting for the first time since Aug. 12 in his recovery from left shoulder inflammation.

Sale stepped onto the mound Saturday even after throwing for the past five days, a sign that manager Alex Cora said indicates that Sale "feels that good."

"I know we have to be careful, but at the same time, we have to trust the player," Cora said. "You understand that we have time and we have to take care of them, but he's been feeling great."

Video: MIA@BOS: Price hit on arm by sharp liner, later exits

Meanwhile, Price played catch on Saturday and could amp it up even more on Sunday after being hit by a line drive on his pitching wrist against the Marlins on Wednesday.

Cora said the goal would be for Price to return to the rotation next weekend or whenever he is ready.

"[Playing catch] was a good first step," Cora said. "He's confident he'll be OK to probably let it fly a little bit tomorrow and we'll go from there."

Catching committee
Cora said that it's fair to say that the Red Sox do not have a bona fide starting catcher and that he will continue to rotate Sandy Leon, Vazquez and Blake Swihart.

Vazquez started on Saturday, as he is a offensive good matchup against White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon. Swihart, whom Cora likes defensively, will likely start Sunday, but the manager said he will go day by day when it comes to who is behind the plate.

"I know it's hard to catch three guys in a week … but I'll figure it out."

Jeff Arnold is a contributor to MLB.com based in Chicago.

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