UPDATE, 10:30 P.M.: Clay Buchholz will indeed return to the Red Sox rotation on Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox, manager John Farrell announced. Roenis Elias was optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket after the 8-4 loss to the Mariners on Friday night (see video above).
BOSTON - Roenis Elias is getting his first start of the season Friday night, but it appears his stay in the rotation will be temporary.
Elias was promoted from Pawtucket because he had pitched well in his last five outings at Triple A, and because, as a lefthander, he matched up well with the lefty-concentrated Mariners lineup.
But with the Chicago White Sox due in next week, it seems more and more likely that Clay Buchholz will return to the rotation in this same turn Wednesday night.
Asked if the fifth spot in the rotation was fluid, Farrell said: "It could very well be. As we made the decision to go with Roenis tonight, it had much to do with matchups. That will factor in as we go forward, but certainly, performance is going to be the overriding (factor).''
Farrell went on to say that Buchholz's three scoreless innings in relief Thursday was "very encouraging from Clay - not just the bottom line numbers, but the stuff. That was probably the best fastball he's had all year. (He had) a very good changeup. He was impressive (Thursday) night.
"So, we'll certainly take that into account. We had an opportunity to stretch him out a little bit to three innings, so he's not too far removed from a lengthy outing. You'd feel comfortable, after last night's outing, could you envision him going into the rotation if that situation presents? Yeah, he's physically ready for that.''
Sean McAdam can be followed on Twitter: @Sean_McAdam
New Red Sox manager Alex Cora has announced that, as expected, left-hander Chris Sale will be the Opening Day starter when the Red Sox begin their season nine days from now against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. David Price will pitch the second game and Rick Porcello the third.
Cora told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. that Eduardo Rodriguez would be in the fourth starter's spot if he's ready as he continues to recover from off-season knee surgery and left-hander Brian Johnson is preparing to be the fifth starter for now.
In Price's second Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, he pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out four in the Red Sox' 12-6 victory over the Pirates. Third baseman Rafael Devers, hitting .349 this spring, hit his third home run of the spring. Andrew Benintendi (.405) had a double and two RBI and first baseman Sam Travis drove in three.
Sale had a much rougher outing Monday, giving up four runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Phillies.
Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge are about to go global.
Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy on Monday confirmed the Sox are interested to play the Yankees in London during next year's regular season. Bloomberg reported the clubs are nearing an agreement to play two games there in June 2019. Discussions are indeed taking place, but a deal is not done.
MORE - Sox signal they'll keep Swihart, may trade Marrero or Holt
“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make," Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.
Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics.
MLB has not played any games in Europe before. The Red Sox have made trips before, including to Japan before the 2008 season.