BALTIMORE — With the Red Sox bullpen gradually thinning out, relievers Alex Wilson and Franklin Morales are set to begin rehab assignments in Triple A Pawtucket next week.
Wilson, who went on the disabled list July 9 with a right thumb sprain, will begin his assignment on Monday and will likely pitch one inning. Morales will pitch an inning on Tuesday.
“Franklin’s situation is going to be different from Alex’s, just for the simple fact of the amount of time missed,” said Sox manager John Farrell.
Morales has spent two different stints on the DL. He missed the first 52 games of the season because of a low back strain, and he’s sat the past 26 games with a left pectoral strain.
Farrell said it was difficult to gauge how many innings of rehab Morales might need.
“It’s hard to say right now,” Farrell said. “We’ll see how he comes out of the first one. From a physical standpoint we’re just going to evaluate where stuff is.”
A few more notes:
• Clay Buchholz threw about 40 pitches from varying distances around 100 feet earlier today.
“Probably consistent with what he went through two days ago,” Farrell said. “Continued progression in terms of intensity and volume.”
Farrell said that he hoped to see increased intensity with each throwing session.
“I think until he feels like he’s cut the ball loose from those distances without any restrictions or holding anything back that’s the main goal of that phase,” Farrell said. “At that point that’s when we’d look to get on the mound.
• Five days after wathcing him treat the strike zone like a dart board, the Sox will get another dose of Rays starter David Price on Monday.
“I think the thing that stands out is you’ve got familiarity,” Farrell said. “He executed tremendously a couple nights ago. We know that he’s a damn good pitcher and we’re looking forward to the challenge on Monday.”
• The Orioles have won 14 of the last 19 and 24 of the last 34 against the Sox, and Farrell is more than aware of the Os recent dominance in the series.
“This is a team that I think over the last couple of years had its way with us,” Farrell said of the Orioles, who currently lead the season series 5-2. “We need to play better and find ways to win games more regularly that we have. This is a team that plays a very sound style of game. They’re built around power offensively. Very good defensive team. Their bullpen is outstanding and with the addition of [Francisco] Rodriguez, strengthens it even further. So tonight’s an important game.”