John Farrell

Red Sox notes: No rotation shake-up yet; Jackie Bradley to enter right field mix

Rob Bradford
May 10, 2015 - 11:09 am

TORONTO -- The arrival of a new pitching coach didn't mean there was a new starting rotation ... yet. Prior to his team's series finale against the Blue Jays Sunday, John Farrell said that the Red Sox didn't have any immediate plans to shake-up the starting rotation, although he wouldn't rule it out in the near future. "Not at the present moment," said Farrell regarding any changes to the starting rotation. "Now, that'€™s always up for review and we'€™ll see how we continue to progress through the rotation another turn or two." One potential candidate for a move to the bullpen could be Joe Kelly, who carries a 6.35 ERA in six starts after allowing six runs on four hits and seven walks in his 5 2/3-inning stint Saturday. "For the time being," said Farrell when asked if Kelly would remain in the starting rotation. "Partly because of a chance for [new pitching coach] Carl [Willis] to get involved with him and yet we don'€™t deny the stuff that'€™s there. Despite the high number of walks, uncharacteristic number of walks yesterday, there'€™s no denying his stuff. It'€™s a matter of how we can make him most effective." Kelly does have history in the bullpen, spending 30 games as a reliever during his time with St. Louis. In that role he posted a 3.25 ERA, striking out 49 and walking 14. "We'€™re well aware of his track record or experience with pitching in both roles, but we'€™re not making a change to the rotation as of today," Farrell said. - With the promotion of Jackie Bradley, talked turned to what role he might play. Bradley, who was hitting .343 with an .857 OPS with Triple-A Pawtucket, started in right field Sunday. It's a spot he might find himself in more times than not with the Red Sox easing Shane Victorino back into action. "When Vic gets back to us Vic is going to get the left-handed starters if not more," said Farrell of Victorino, who was scheduled to fly with the team to Oakland Sunday night. "But Jackie'€™s arrival here gives us a premium defender. Certainly like him against a lot of right-handed pitching so we'€™ll find the right matchups. I'€™m not going to say it'€™s a strict platoon situation by any means but I think it'€™s important for us to find when we'€™ve got a situation or matchup we'€™ve got to take advantage of." When asked before the game what he was succeeding at on a more regular basis than a year ago, Bradley said, "Making contact." With the PawSox, he struck out just 15 times in 105 plate appearances. With the Red Sox last season, the outfielder fanned 121 times in 415 trips to the plate. - A day after joining David Ortiz in leading a players-only, post-game meeting, Dustin Pedroia sent another message Sunday morning. The second baseman was in full uniform nearly three hours before first pitch. "I you never know, they might start the game early," he quipped.