Terry Francona said during his weekly conversation with WEEI's "Dale and Holley Show" that Mike Lowell, sidelined with a hip injury, will probably return to the Red Sox' lineup Friday, while shortstop Jed Lowrie, out since May after wrist surgery, will be activated no later than Saturday.
A few of the Red Sox manager's noteworthy comments:
On the status of Lowell and Lowrie:
"We certainly have some decisions to make. And Theo and I have talked a bunch about this, I don't think that's any secret. We're going to have a couple roster moves coming out of this break. One, to get Buchholz on, and then there could be two that day. We’re either going to activate Mikey Lowell on Friday or Saturday and also Lowrie most likely on Saturday . . . So we're looking at a couple of roster moves, and they're important ones. I think things worked out well. Not having Mike Lowell was tough for us. We moved [Kevin Youkilis] over to third, and I hope people understand how easy my job is because Youk can do that. [Mark] Kotsay has filled in great, [Aaron] Bates filled in, gave us a big day the other day. But having Youk and Lowell as our corner guys and having Kotsay fill in all over the place, that gives us our best team.”
On how Lowrie might be used upon returning from his injury:
“If he comes back Saturday, or close to Saturday, he's not going to be at 100-percent efficiency. He's not going to be ready to play every day. So it's actually going to be a pretty good situation. We can use our shortstops -- and again, I don't want to get too far ahead of myself here -- we can use who we have and also give Jed a day built in in between. That's probably going to be the best of both worlds.”
On pitchers Tim Wakefield and Josh Beckett not getting used in last night's All-Star Game:
"I don't doubt that Joe [Maddon] probably did a really good job of communicating with everybody. And it's especially hard in a National League city because you have the pitcher coming up. I bet you that game was going 100 miles an hour. And again, I thought he did a good job. As a fan of Wakefield or the Red Sox, you're always going to want to see everything cater to our guys, and I'm probably in that boat too. But I think as a representative of the American League, I thought they pulled it off really well."
On why Clay Buchholz will start Friday:
"Coming out of the break, we really wanted to line up our pitching. And when you have the fourth day out of the break . . . it really gives you a lot of rest. It can also lead to a tough day coming back. That's why we're working out tomorrow night. We can get a little heavy just because of the time off. And it's a tough assignment to draw. So what we're thinking is that Buchholz is going to be very excited, turn him loose, and maybe he absolutely deals, which would be great, and we also line up the rest of our pitching. And there's something to be said for keeping Buchholz engaged in what we're doing. This kid has gone down and done everything we've asked. I don't think 'throwing him a bone' is the right way to say it, but keeping him engaged in what we're doing and showing him we believe in what he's doing, I think there's something to be said for that."