MINNEAPOLIS — Jacoby Ellsbury has played every inning of every game this season. But he was given today off day to rest. Shane Victorino is starting in center field.
“Just wanted to make sure in this stretch of 20 games [in 20 days] that we get everybody involved and give every one of our normal regular guys a day off,” Farrell said.
Ellsbury is hitting .246 with a .309 on-base percentage from the leadoff spot.
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia is the only player on the roster to have started every game. Does Farrell have the temerity to sit him down?
“That’s a good question,” he said. “Pedey will fight that one tooth and nail. He’s the last man standing right now and that’s probably just the way he likes it. If it comes to it, he and I will sit and talk. As well as he’s playing, as good as he feels, as headstrong as he can be, all that’s taken into account.”
Pedroia has never played all 162 games. The closest he came was 159 games in 2011.
“I don’t really think about that stuff,” he said. “I go day-to-day. Whatever John wants is fine.”
• Stephen Drew has missed the last two games with a back injury, he result of an awkward slide into second base on Friday night. But he hopes to play on Monday. “Obviously day-to-day. But we don’t think this should be a prolonged situation,” Farrell said.
• Backup catcher David Ross, who is on the concussion disabled list, told Farrell that his symptoms are subsiding. Ross is scheduled for an examination on Monday and hopes to start working out after that.
“There’s improvement to the point where he was making requests [on Saturday] if he could throw. But we’re still holding back any kind of physical activity,” Farrell said. “Everything projects that after the re-exam on Monday he’ll start to go through some exertion testing.
“He was in much better spirits. In his own words he felt like he was turning the corner.”
• Andrew Bailey is set to come off the disabled list on Monday after pitching an inning for Triple A Pawtucket on Saturday night. The righthander has been out since April 29 with a biceps strain.
Farrell will use Bailey as a closer but does not plan to use him on consecutive days right away. Still, his addition will give the Red Sox more options for the late innings.
“To slide guys back a little earlier, it gives us that flexibility with Junichi [Tazawa] a little bit more than holding him back to close out games,” Farrell said. “I think just getting guys back one slot earlier in the game certainly makes us stronger.”
Rookie Jose De La Torre would likely be optioned to Triple A Pawtucket. He has appeared in two games since being called up.
• David Ortiz hit two home runs on Saturday, the 38th time he has done that for the Sox. It broke a tie with Ted Williams and gave Ortiz the team record for games with multiple home runs. Since 2003, only Albert Pujols (44) has had more in the majors. Ortiz has never hit three homers in a game. Williams did that three times. Ortiz is 49th in career home runs with 408, having passed Duke Snider on Saturday.