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Farrell: Not the time for a Red Sox shake-up

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  May 15, 2013 06:12 PM

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A few notes from under the white roof of the Trop:

• John Farrell said now is not the time for the Red Sox to shake up the lineup. He wants to stay consistent with his players and be mindful that the roster was 20-8 before the current malaise set in.

"We believe in our guys. We like this team," said the manager. "It's our job to help support them and get them back on track and the track they've been very successful on."

• Farrell said the latest Andrew Bailey would be activated off the disabled list is Monday. Bailey is scheduled for a simulated game Thursday afternoon.

The plan is for Bailey to throw a normal warmup and then throw 12-15 pitches on the mound against hitters. The righthander has not pitched in a game since April 28 because of a biceps strain.

Farrell said the Red Sox would decide Friday whether Bailey’s next step would be to pitch in a minor league game before being activated. It appears that will be the case.

• Remember Franklin Morales? The lefthander has been on the disabled list all season with a lower back strain that occurred in spring training and has since healed. But he remains on a rehabilitation assignment because the Red Sox want to prepare him as a starter.

Morales has pitched in three games and gone eight innings so far. His latest stint, on Monday for Triple A Pawtucket, lasted three innings.

Morales will start for Pawtucket again Saturday and is scheduled for four innings.

“If we don’t change course with his role, we’d like to get him to a minimum of five [innings] before we look to do something back here,” Farrell said.

At this point, Farrell said, Morales is healthy enough to pitch out of the bullpen. But the Red Sox want to build up their starter depth, and they see Morales as a good option for that given the nine games he started last season. If Doubront continues to struggle, Morales would be a candidate to replace him in the rotation.

Farrell said that if a need were to arise in the bullpen, activating Morales sooner would be a consideration.

“We’re staying the course as of right now on him starting,” Farrell said.

• The Sox has a large group on the field for optional early batting practice. Coaches Torey Lovullo and Brian Butterfield then worked with Will Middlebrooks and Mike Napoli on defense ... Jon Lester has 1,105 strikeouts. He needs four to pass Josh Beckett for fifth place in team history. Cy Young is fourth with 1,341 ... The Sox hit .310 with runners in scoring position in April. They're at .189 (20 for 106) in May. That's the lowest in the AL.

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