NEW YORK — Dustin Pedroia’s return to the Red Sox on Friday had him at second base right away, rather than designated hitter. But his struggling double play partner, Xander Bogaerts, was the first to ride the bench as the Red Sox enter into a period of rotation among infielders (and the DH as well).
Bogaerts is slashing .198/.274/.305 since the start of July, bothered by his right hand after he was hit by a pitch there. It’s likely that Bogaerts is off on Saturday as well, manager John Farrell said.
“He’s out of the lineup tonight, trying to regroup here a little bit, get some additional work done,” Farrell said. “We know he’s been I think banged up a little bit and nicked up with some things physically and it’s, I think the combination of all of it … [coming] to a head here a little bit.
“There are times you probably, you see him shake the hand after a swing in which he’ll miss. When he makes square contact he doesn’t feel [the right hand pain]. But yeah there are some things he dealt with: the groin a while ago. We’ve given him days down to overcome some of those ailments, but knowing that the struggles offensively … felt like it’s time to back off him here for a bit.”
Pedroia’s usage will be staggered out of concern for his left knee, and Farrell’s already discussed that with Pedroia, who’s particularly unlikely to take himself out of the lineup.
“We’ve had a couple of sit downs in an early afternoon work session, so it wasn’t in the game, heat of the moment,” Farrell said. “So we’ve got some parameters in place with this and you love the fact that he feels good physically. That’s he most important thing. Yeah, he feels like and wants to go every day, but I think we’ve got to be prudent and take a, I think a calculated approach particularly to the early days of him getting back on the field. Those discussions have been had.
“If you see him come off the field tonight, before the ninth inning, know that that’s part of the plan.”
The decision to bat Pedroia fifth wasn’t made out of the blue.
“Had a couple of conversations with a few guys around that part of the lineup,” Farrell said. “Felt like, where we were at the top of the order, guys that are in the flow of the game more readily because of the timing, not dealing with the number of days missed by Pedey, but still, wanted to get him in a position where we feel like there’ll be guys on base when he comes to the plate. He’s had such a good year in terms of driving people in.”
The 40-man roster appears to be the only thing keeping Bryce Brentz from a September call-up.
The 28-year-old outfielder has had a very good year at Triple-A Pawtucket. He entered Friday with a .273/.336/.531 line and 30 home runs. He’s been in the big leagues before but was taken off the 40-man roster, clearing waivers to go to the minor leagues earlier this year because he’s out of options.
But Brentz wasn’t part of the Red Sox’ first round of September call-ups Friday, which included Blake Swihart, Sam Travis, righty Austin Maddox and lefty Roenis Elias.
Farrell said the door hasn’t been closed on Brentz.
Price to try all his pitches
David Price threw 29 pitches off a mound on Friday in a session that Farrell spoke very highly of. He threw fastballs and changeups. The plan is to have him try all his pitches in his next session, which is expected Sunday or Monday.