The Red Sox can't keep their closers healthy. But they seem to have caught a break with Will Middlebrooks and David Ross
Both players are in the lineup tonight after missing Wednesday's game with injuries sustained when they collided Tuesday night while chasing a foul ball.
Middlebrooks bruised the right side of his rib cage and Ross bruised his left quadriceps. But they recovered quickly.
"I still feel like I got hit by a truck," Middlebrooks said. "It was the wall that got me the best. I'm good enough to play. I wanted to play [Wednesday.]"
Teammate Shane Victorino stood among the reporters at Will's locker and asked a question.
"Do you think if you were a good athlete that you would have made the play without your catcher having to go over there?" he said.
"I did make the play," Middlebrooks said. "That was his fault."
How you feeling otherwise?" Victorino said.
"Good. Who cut your hair?" said Middlebrooks, taking note of Victorino's mohawk.
Middlebrooks said he was hit harder Tuesday than he ever was playing high school football in Texas.
"I was so fast then," he said.
• Jose De La Torre was surprised that he got called up. The 27-year-old has spent parts of seven seasons in the majors without getting called up.
"I wasn't expecting it," he said. "I'm just really excited being here and happy that I got the opportunity."
De La Torre put himself on the radar with a good performance in the World Baseball Classic for Puerto Rico. He pitched well in six games, striking out 12 and walking one over 5.2 innings.
"I think I opened some eyes," De La Torre said. "I think it helped me pitching on a bigger stage and doing what I did. I think it helped me a lot."
Facing major league hitters — particularly those from the Dominican Republic and United States — was a confidence booster.
De La Torre is a fastball/slider pitcher with good strikeout numbers (17 in 17.1 IP for Pawtucket) and occasional control issues. He has improved his fastball command this season, throwing a two-seamer to both sides of the plate.
"Very good breaking ball that he's showed since spring training," said manager John Farrell. "He's got the ability to get an above-average fastball at times. We'll pick our spots for him. We needed the arm, obviously, in the bullpen."
De La Torre is a smallish (5 feet 10 inches, 185 pounds) righthander with power stuff that belies his size.
"There are certain pitchers you watch and you say, 'OK, that's good stuff,' but inside the game, the performance really stands out," said Farrell, "and that's been the case with De La Torre throughout his career."
• LHP Franklin Morales will continue his rehab assignment Monday with Triple A Pawtucket. He is scheduled for three innings. Morales went two scoreless innings for Double A Portland Wednesday and showed good velocity. He is being prepared as a starter.
Farrell said Morales would need at least two more rehab appearances before being ready. That would get him to five innings.
• RHP Andrew Bailey is eligible to be activated off the disabled list Tuesday. But Farrell didn't seem to think that was likely. Bailey was expected to start a throwing program today. Once he gets back on the mound, he should progress quickly.
• Kyle Kaminska, a 24-year-old righthander, retired after pitching for Single A Salem on Tuesday. Kaminska was 0-3 with a 7.19 earned run average for Double A Portland and Salem this season.
But he pitched well in the Arizona Fall League last year and was considered at least a mid-level prospect. The Sox obtained Kaminska from the Pirates in December as the player to be named later for righthander Zach Stewart.