Heading into Saturday, Red Sox starters have the best ERA in baseball at 0.86 and they're close to getting the rotation they envisioned at the start of spring training back intact.
Left-hander Drew Pomeranz, whose spring was derailed by a strained flexor tendon, will make a rehab start at Triple-A Pawtucket Sunday, manager Alex Cora said before the Red Sox' 10-3 victory over the Rays on Saturday at Fenway Park. Another rehabbing left-hander, Eduardo Rodgriuez, will make his first start of the season Sunday against the Rays. Rodriguez is coming off offseason knee surgery.
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The Sox had figured on a rotation of Chris Sale, David Price, Porcello, Pomeranz and eventually Rodriguez. Cora said if Pomeranz's Pawtucket start goes well, he could re-enter the rotation next week. After an off-day Monday, the Sox host the Yankees (Tuesday-Thursday) and Orioles (Friday-Patriots' Day, April 16).
"He’s a lot more confident right now than when I met him and talked to him in Miami in late November, early December," Cora told reporters, including WEEI's Rob Bradford, of Rodriguez. "At that point honestly, I was like, this is going to take a while. In January he did everything, showed up to Fort Myers early. He worked hard. I’ve been mentioning that trio of Chris, David and Rick. They’ve been pushing him hard. We wanted him to be part of what we’re doing. All the credit goes to him. He worked hard. Pedro Martinez, too. Being around him the first part of spring training, helped him out a lot and we’re looking forward to him pitching [Sunday]."
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With fill-in starters lefty Brian Johnson and righty Hector Velazquez likely headed to the bullpen or Pawtucket (Johnson is out of minor-league options), the Red Sox will have some roster decisions to make when Pomeranz is activated. After the game Saturday, right-handed reliever Marcus Walden was sent to Pawtucket to make room for Rodriguez.