Red Sox pregame notes: Some hints regarding the Red Sox rotation; Will Middlebrooks expected back Wednesday

September 17, 2013 - 4:02 pm
John Farrell isn't about to declare a Game 1 starter for the American League Division Series. The Red Sox, as he's pointed out repeatedly, have yet to clinch anything, with a magic number of two for a postseason berth and a magic number of four in the AL East looming. That said, the Sox have lined up their rotation for most of the duration of the regular season, which offers at least some idea about what might happen going forward into October. Here's a look at the games with announced starters: Tuesday, Sept. 17 vs. Orioles: Ryan Dempster Wednesday, Sept. 18 vs. Orioles: Jake Peavy Thursday, Sept. 19 vs. Orioles: John Lackey Friday, Sept. 20 vs. Blue Jays: Jon Lester Saturday, Sept. 21 vs. Blue Jays: Felix Doubront Sunday, Sept. 22 vs. Blue Jays: Clay Buchholz The Red Sox haven't announced their rotation for either the two-game series in Colorado; meanwhile, while Farrell has said that Buchholz, Lester and Lackey will start in some order against the Orioles in the final weekend of the season in Baltimore, the manager said that the precise order had yet to be determined. Still, it would appear clear that -- unless the Sox elect to give a start to a callup such as Steven Wright -- the team will have Dempster and Peavy start in Colorado, with Doubront (who wouldn't be asked to pitch in Colorado on three days' rest) likely to appear out of the bullpen in Baltimore. If Dempster got the start in Colorado on Tuesday (which would be six days' rest), he would be available, potentially, to pitch out of the bullpen with at least four days of rest in the regular season finale on Sunday. OTHER RED SOX NOTES -- Will Middlebrooks is improved in his recovery from the flu, but the Red Sox elected to give him an extra day off. He's expected to return to the lineup on Wednesday. -- Since the trade for John McDonald on Aug. 31, the Red Sox have not had either Middlebrooks or Xander Bogaerts getting any work at second base. Middlebrooks is expected to get some further work at the position, however, to give the Sox depth in case McDonald does not end up on the postseason roster. "Depending on how that playoff roster looks, that option is still definitely open," Farrell said of having Middlebrooks get work at second. Bogaerts is not a consideration at the position, however, as the team wants him to continue to focus on working at third and short with infield coach Brian Butterfield. -- The Red Sox called up right-handers Steven Wright and Brayan Villarreal as well as infielder Brock Holt on Tuesday, with 36 players now on the team's major league roster.