ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Red Sox have some roster decisions to make after tonight’s 14-inning game.
Here are the issues:
• Their bullpen is wrecked. Andrew Bailey has thrown 56 pitches in the last two days and Koji Uehara 47. They need Tuesday off at least, probably Wednesday, too.
• Andrew Miller and Craig Breslow have worked three days in a row.
• Franklin Morales, the scheduled starter for Wednesday, pitched two innings and threw 35 pitches tonight.
So five of the seven relievers really could use a day off or two.
“We’ve got to get some arms in here,” John Farrell said.
The issue is roster management. Clayton Mortensen has not had a particularly good season (5.34 ERA, 1.58 WHIP), but the Sox value his versatility. He does not have any minor league options left.
The only relievers who do are Bailey, Junichi Tazawa and Uehara. But when a player is optioned, they have to stay in the minor leagues for 10 days unless they are replacing somebody on the disabled list. The Sox would not want to lose any of those pitchers for 10 days.
Clay Buchholz could go on the disabled list given that his next start is being pushed back. But is it worth losing one or two starts from your best starter for the sake of a bullpen arm?
Jose Iglesias has options. The Sox could drop him down and add a bullpen arm for a few days. With a spot open on the 40-man roster, the Sox could call up Brock Holt once they need another bench player.
As to who the replacement arms could be, there are assorted choices: Alfredo Aceves, Alex Wilson, Jose De La Torre, Steven Wright, Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa are on the 40-man roster and pitching in Pawtucket.
Jon Lester is starting Tuesday. Maybe the Sox can get seven innings out of him and piece together two innings from Breslow, Miller, Tazawa and Mortensen.