Patrick McDermott/USA Today Sports

Red Sox notes: Knee brace an adjustment for Pablo Sandoval

Rob Bradford
June 17, 2017 - 7:33 pm

HOUSTON -- Another right-handed starter and still Pablo Sandoval starts on the bench.

With righty David Paulino on the mound for the Astros Saturday, Josh Rutledge got the nod to man third base for the Red Sox. The reason? For one, as John Farrell explained prior to the game, is simply mobility.

"Yeah, there's greater range, and as I mentioned prior to [Friday], this is a team that puts a lot of number of balls in play," the Red Sox manager said. "As it played out [Friday night], four or five of what you envision taking place, the balls that are chopped, there's the potential for infield base hits, and we feel like the increased range is needed against this club particularly, particularly on this surface."

Farrell revealed that part of the issue when it comes to Sandoval's mobility involves getting used to the knee brace that the third baseman has had to use since returning from the 10-day disabled list.

"I can’t say it’s been bothersome," said Farrell when asked about Sandoval's knee. "I do know this, I think any time – and we saw it with Jackie Bradley as well – any time a player is wearing a brace, there’s going to be some restriction. Whether it’s marked differences, but there’s going to be some. I mean, that’s what the brace does, it restricts you. So, to say that it’s cut down on his range or cut down on his overall mobility, that’s probably debatable. But still, I think there’s been some restriction.

"There’s typically been a six- to eight-week timeframe. That’s what it was with [Jackie Bradley] where he was out roughly 10 days, had to wear it another four weeks I believe before he was free to remove it. Some of those are going to be case-by-case depending on the severity of the injury initially, but that’s the general time frame that we’re looking at."

Coming into Saturday, left-handed hitters were managing a .407 batting average against Paulino, with righties coming in at .258.

- With Red Sox bullpen having finally gotten caught up in terms of rest, the team is ready to call up another infielder. One of the chief candidates, Deven Marrero, can't be called up until Saturday unless it is due to a player going on the disabled list. Other options on the 40-man roster are corner infielders Steve Selsky and Sam Travis.

- Farrell noted that the trapezius issue that is sidelining Hanley Ramirez has nothing to do with his injured shoulder. He was expected to be available if needed Saturday night.

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