Red Sox use schedule to offer extra rest to Price

Porcello and Rodriguez expected to start games in London

June 23rd, 2019

BOSTON -- With David Price showing signs of midseason fatigue of late, Red Sox manager Alex Cora is using the breaks in the schedule to get his veteran lefty extra rest.

Price pitched well in his last start on Tuesday, holding the Twins to a run over five innings. Nonetheless, Cora pulled him after those five innings -- a sure sign that something is nagging the veteran of late. In the start prior to that, Price lasted just 1 1/3 innings, giving up six runs.

The Red Sox had an off-day last Thursday, and Cora utilized it by not slotting Price back into the rotation until Tuesday’s game against the White Sox. Price will have six days of rest for that start.

And with two days off prior to the trip to London next weekend, Price will again get six days of rest prior to his start in Toronto on July 2. Price has been Boston’s most consistent starting pitcher this season, going 4-2 with a 3.39 ERA in 13 starts.

“He had plenty of rest for this one, and he’ll have plenty of rest for the next one,” said Cora. “We’re not going to use him out of the bullpen in London. Just in case [you were wondering].”

The two-day break before London will also give Cora a chance to rest ace Chris Sale, who pitches Wednesday afternoon against the White Sox and probably not again until the following Wednesday in Toronto.

Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez are expected to start the two games in London against the Yankees -- on Saturday and Sunday.

Injury/rehab updates
• First baseman Mitch Moreland (right quad strain) has progressed to some baseball activities, but doesn’t appear all that close to a return to action.

“Mitch, he’s moving OK, took grounders, not swinging yet, so that’s where he’s standing right now,” said Cora.

Steve Pearce, the right-handed part of Boston’s platoon at first base, could return at some point in the coming week. Pearce, who is coming off a low back strain, started again at Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday.

• Starter Nathan Eovaldi continues to go on a conservative program after a bout with right biceps tendinitis prolonged his return from elbow surgery. Eovaldi again played catch on Sunday.

“I think he is feeling better but nothing as far as bullpens or stuff like that,” Cora said.

• Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who on May 27 announced he was taking a break from baseball to evaluate whether his left knee will allow him to play again, is still in a holding pattern. But he hasn’t lost his sense of humor. When Cora erupted at the umpires in the late stages of a 17-inning loss at Minnesota on Tuesday, Pedroia teased him via text.

“He texted me after the extra-inning game in Minnesota just to make fun of me,” Cora said. "He was like, ‘What did you have, two red bulls and a coffee?’ I was like, ‘No, it just happens.’ But he’s doing OK. He’s doing well. I’ll have to give him a call before we go to London.”

• Third baseman Rafael Devers, who didn't start any of the three games against the Blue Jays with a right hamstring injury, is expected back in the lineup for Monday night's game against the White Sox.