Greetings from Fenway Park. Dress warmly if you are headed this way. It’s 37 degrees and breezy … on April 13.
As for the Red Sox:
• Felix Doubront threw a two-inning simulated game on the field at 9:35 a.m. Friday’s rainout led to his turn through the rotation getting skipped and the lefty will start on 10 days’ rest in Cleveland on Tuesday.
“It was good, I was able to throw some pitches and see some hitters,” Doubront said. “I should be fine.”
Said manager John Farrell: “It served the purpose that we were intending. That’s to get him some work, to keep him as sharp as we can.”
• David Ortiz will DH for Pawtucket today in the first game of a doubleheader that starts at 12:05 p.m. “Hopefully get three to four at-bats,” Farrell said
• Daniel Nava is 1 for 15 with seven strikeouts against David Price in his career. But he is in the lineup and Jackie Bradley Jr. is on the bench for the second time in four games.
Farrell said he took the history into account. But he also looked at how Nava is swinging the bat this season. He is 2 for 2 with a home run and two walks against lefthanders this season.
“We’ve talked about how confident Daniel is right now,” Farrell said. “At some point in this game I think that the ability to break up those righthanders (in the Sox lineup) is going to be needed without too much pinch hitting or emptying the bench to strictly match up. That’s where Daniel is in the middle of this.
“I realize he’s 1 for 15 coming into today against Price. But I think overall he’s put up very good at-bats consistently as anyone in our lineup on either side of the plate. … Whether it’s riding the hot hand or just playing on the momentum that he’s started or generated himself with his own performance, we’ll ride it as long as we’re capable of.”
• Meanwhile, Farrell is trying to balance what is best for the team and the best for the development of Bradley. When Bradley made the team, Farrell said it was with the intention of his playing every day.
Now, with Bradley slumping after a productive spring training, that has changed.
“It is a balance,” Farrell said. “I think going up against a guy like Price or (Baltimore lefty Wei-Yin) Chen with some of the recent development with Jackie over the past three of days, (we’re) still wanting to put the most competitive lineup we can on the field. We’re not here to say that there are roster changes that are going to take place just because Jackie is not playing for the second time in four days. That’s not what we’re here about. We’ll continue to find the right combinations and that would include Jackie in different scenarios as well.”
The Sox face two righthanders on Sunday and Monday. Bradley is expected to start those games.
• Lefthander Franklin Morales, who is on the disabled list recovering from a back injury, threw two innings in an extended spring training game in Fort Myers on Friday. “No issues, showed good arm strength,” Farrell said. “Back is of no complaint or issue with him.”
Morales is scheduled for three innings and 50 pitches on Wednesday. That would set him up to start a rehab assignment on April 22 with Double A Portland. He would progress from there to a start with Triple A Pawtucket on April 27.
The Red Sox are building Morales up as a starter in case a need arises. The goal is to get him to 85-90 pitches over five or six innings. If at that point, no starter is needed he would transition back to the bullpen.
“If he does come back in the bullpen, ideally we start him out with some clean innings before just running him into situations where there’s men on base,” Farrell said. “We’ll see how that unfolds.”
• Lefthander Craig Breslow, on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, will throw a simulated game in Florida today. He is scheduled for an extended spring game on Tuesday.
• Righthander John Lackey (strained bicep) could start playing catch again in a day or two. “There’s decreasing symptoms,” Farrell said. “The tightness that he’s felt in the bicep is gradually going away. I don’t know that we have a template that we’re going to exactly follow on this one. But certainly how he feels is the most important guide in all this.”