OAKLAND, Calif. — Lefthander Drake Britton was called up from Triple A Pawtucket and outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was optioned. The Red Sox were carrying an extra position player.
Britton, 24, was 7-7 with a 3.77 earned run average as a starter in Double A Portland and Triple A Pawtucket. Britton pitched one game in Pawtucket before being promoted.
“We felt like we needed to add another arm for the bullpen,” manager John Farrell said.
Britton said it was “big surprise” when the Red Sox called him on Saturday.
“I didn’t know what to think at first,” he said. “My mind was going a million miles an hour. I was really excited.”
Britton was a 23rd round draft pick in 2007 out of Tomball, Texas, HS. He had Tommy John surgery after the 2008 season and appeared in only seven games in 2009. Britton was 1-13 with a 6.91 ERA for High A Salem in 2011. But the Sox stuck with him and now he’s getting a shot in the majors.
“It’s awesome. I had the biggest smile on my face. Nobody could knock it off,” he said.
Britton was arrested during spring training for driving under the influence, among other vehicular charges. The matter is still moving through the Florida court system.
Farrell indicated that Britton would be with the team beyond today.
“For now, yes. How long that is, barring any other changes internally or externally, he’ll be here for now.”
Britton can work as a long reliever.
• Just days off [day game after a night game] for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli.
The Napoli situation bears watching. The first baseman and the Red Sox have said there is no issue with his hips. But Napoli, John Farrell and head athletic trainer Rick Jameyson were on the field on Saturday for 10 minutes. Napoli then started doing to hip-related agility drills
Today will be the 10th time since June 10 that Napoli is not in the starting lineup. Three of those days were because he was ill. But Napoli has not been in the lineup for five of the last 25 games.
• The Red Sox did not yet announce their post-break rotation. That could come later today.
• Clay Buchholz threw in the bullpen with Farrell, Jameyson and pitching coach Juan Nieves all watching closely. The tentative plan was for him to repeat that process in NBew York on Tuesday before the All-Star Game.
• Stephen Drew could play a rehab game on Thursday and join the Red Sox as soon as Friday.