DENVER Jacoby Ellsbury is going through batting practice at Coors Field Tuesday afternoon and is tentatively scheduled to play Wednesday. Red Sox manager John Farrell said the plan is for Ellsbury to start and play at least part of the game.
"We'll get through today's workout and if he checks out OK, we're hopeful that he can be in the lineup," Farrell said.
None of the tiebreakers against Oakland would go their way, so if the Red Sox are to be the top seed in the American League, they have to hold their one-game lead over the Athletics. That explains why they're using their best five starters down the stretch. Farrell wants home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
"By the way we play at home and the way our guys embrace our environment, it would be a very good thing," he said.
Farrell said he will not name a postseason rotation until the regular season is over.
The Red Sox will have four days off before their first division series game on Oct. 4. As you might expect, there will be workouts and an intrasquad game. The schedule is for the players to take Monday off, then work out the next three days. The intrasquad game would be Wednesday.
"With the number of pitchers we have to get to the mound, yeah," Farrell said when asked if a game of some sort was needed.
The Sox have enough players on their roster to field two teams, more or less.
There are a few spots open on the postseason roster. One factor, for instance, is how Ellsbury looks. That will affect the status of Jackie Bradley Jr. The opponent also could figure into it.
Farrell spoke about Matt Thornton being set back by going on the disabled list with an oblique injury. Sounded like he would not be on the roster.
Felix Doubront will be available out of the bullpen Friday and Farrell said they'd like to see him pitch. But they also want to keep their regular relievers sharp. Farrell said it's a priority to get Ryan Dempster more relief appearances.
Mike Napoli is out of the lineup for the third consecutive game. His plantar fasciitis was bothering him over the weekend. He is tentatively scheduled to be in the lineup Wednesday,
"It's one of those things where it makes sense to get a few days," Napoli said. "I could be playing, but the time off will help me."
Dustin Pedroia played an intense game of Connect Four against Brock Holt before batting practice. Ellsbury, Napoli, and John McDonald were among the sideline analysts offering advice.
Larry Lucchino will be inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame Nov. 2, along with Eddie Olczyk, Johnny Antonelli, Hank Lauricella, Steve Palermo, and the late Cus DAmato.