Red Sox pregame notes: Red Sox, John Farrell 'not going to turn away from Stephen Drew'

August 27, 2013 - 4:33 pm
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Inevitably, this is what the Red Sox will face going forward. Whenever the opposing team features a left-handed starter, John Farrell must face inquiries about his choice of a starting shortstop if he elects to insert the left-handed Stephen Drew into the lineup over right-handed Xander Bogaerts. Such was the case on Tuesday, when Farrell had Drew starting despite the fact that Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen has pronounced right/left splits this year, holding lefties to a .191/.245/.330 line entering the night while righties enjoy a comparably robust .262 average, .309 OBP and .405 slugging mark against. So . . . why Drew? "I'€™m not going to turn away from Stephen Drew. He'€™s been a very good player for us," said Farrell. "After he came back from the DL to now, he'€™s been one of our most consistent hitters. He'€™s been a very good shortstop defensively for us. And I  just don'€™t want to let the splits of a given starter determine and cause us to turn away from a guy who has been very good for us." Earlier in the season, the Red Sox made little secret of their willingness to use Drew in something of a platoon when Jose Iglesias was on the roster. But as Farrell suggested, Drew has been locked in since coming off the DL in late-July -- just before the Sox traded Iglesias. Indeed, in 32 games since he returned from the DL for a hamstring injury, the shortstop is hitting .276/.353/.466, including .307/.374/.525 with five homers in his most recent 27 games entering Tuesday. That stretch included what Farrell suggests have been quality at-bats against left-handed pitchers, most notably one on the recent six-game stretch in California. "He'€™s not pulling off pitches as much. The one that stands out to me is [Mike] Kickham out in San Francisco," said Farrell. "Side-arm lefty, he hits a homer off him and he'€™s just not pulling off pitches on the outside of the plate, whether it'€™s a lefty who has a little bit more of an angle versus one who is a little bit more over the top. To sit here and say he'€™s earned the right to be able to start against lefties would be short-sighting an awful lot that he'€™s done over a short period of time."  For his part, Bogaerts was hardly distressed about how the Sox employ him. "These guys played 120 games without me," said Bogaerts. "I'€™m just here to contribute and do the best I can to win some games while I'€™m in there." OTHER RED SOX NOTES -- The Red Sox acquired a burner on Tuesday, swapping one player who had been removed recently from the 40-man roster for another when they traded right-hander Clayton Mortensen for outfielder Quintin Berry. Berry was 21-for-21 in stolen base attempts in the big leagues for the Tigers last year and 28-for-32 in the minors in the systems of the Tigers and Royals this season. The Sox saw him as a roster addition in the spirit of Dave Roberts or Joey Gathright. "We felt like we needed to have more of a pinch-runner at our disposal at some point in September and potentially beyond," said Farrell. "That's not to say he wouldn't get on the field in other ways but more of a pure base stealer is the one area we felt we could upgrade." -- Ryan Dempster's five-game suspension for hitting Alex Rodriguez is now over.

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