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Red Sox notes: Alex Cora shuts down talk of playoffs; Pedro Martinez summoned

Rob Bradford
August 28, 2018 - 7:11 pm

The question was in regards to possibly using starting pitchers in the bullpen to get ready for the postseason.

Alex Cora's answer touched on something completely different.

With the Red Sox carrying a 6 1/2-game lead over the Yankees heading into Tuesday night, with six more games against New York to go, Cora continues to deflect any and all talk of the postseason. This time the tone appeared even more defined with the Sox having lost six of their last eight prior to the two-game series against the Marlins.

"I’m not looking way out there," Cora said. "Like I said, when September comes, mid-September first comes and we know where we’re at and what we have to do, then we go from there and if we have the luxury of setting up stuff for October, then we’ll do it. But right now, we’re not playing good baseball. The team that is right behind us is playing good baseball. We have to keep playing good. Like I told you guys, there was a point in the season when we were 17-2, and then you look up and we were tied with those guys. Whoever is thinking way ahead, hey man, that’s great, but I’m thinking about start playing good baseball today and we go from there."

- The Red Sox are close to getting reinforcements.

Chris Sale (shoulder inflammation) played catch Monday and Tuesday. Cora said there is no timetable for the ace, but definitively said the lefty will pitch be counted on to pitch in September.

Eduardo Rodriguez (ankle) is slated to get the start against the White Sox in Chicago Saturday after making his second rehab start in Portland Monday night.

Christian Vazquez (pinky finger) caught for the second time in as many nights, serving as Steven Wright's backstop for the knuckleballer's start for Triple-A Pawtucket Tuesday night. Vazquez will be in the PawSox' lineup Wednesday as the designated hitter with the plan for him to join the Red Sox in Chicago.

There is no definitive playing time plan when Vazquez returns, although it appears Blake Swihart may have moved up the depth chart.

"Honestly, I’m very comfortable with the way Sandy (Leon) is playing and the way Blake is playing," Cora said. "It’s always tough to play three catchers in a weekly basis at the big league level, but at the same time, we know the impact he can have. We’ll play it day-by-day, honestly, when he comes back. I’ll sit down with the three of them. They understand that it’s a little bit different than it was early in the season, because Blake not only is swinging the bat well but he’s playing good defense. So when the time comes, we’ll sit down, we’ll talk to them, and we go from there."

- Pedro Martinez could be found overseeing Nathan Eovaldi's bullpen session prior to Tuesday night's game.

"Actually, he called me a few days ago and he said he noticed something with Nate and he wants to help out," said Cora. "He did it in spring training with all the guys. I haven’t seen him in a while. I’ve seen him a lot of TV. But he hasn’t been here since Alumni Weekend or that game Julio Lugo hit a home run off of him. The fact that he’s paying attention to what is going on, it means a lot. He’s not the only guy who played for us who is paying attention. You get a text or a call from David (Ortiz). You get a call from Mikey (Lowell). They know what’s going on, how special this group is and whatever they can do from afar to help this team out or to show up here and help out is great. Wake (Tim Wakefield) does the same thing with Steven (Wright) and I appreciate that."