Sean O'Sullivan

Red Sox notes: RHP Sean O'Sullivan to start Sunday; Blake Swihart (ankle) 'improving'

Ryan Hannable
July 01, 2016 - 1:05 pm

With Eduardo Rodriguez being sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket, the Red Sox needed a fifth starter for Sunday's game. Many thought that starter would be Aaron Wilkerson, but instead it will be right-hander Sean O'Sullivan making his third start of the season for the big league club. Manager John Farrell said that was the recommendation of the Triple-A staff. O'Sullivan pitched May 7 in relief, then started on May 10 and May 15, including earning the win May 10 against the Athletics. Overall, he's 1-0 with a 7.94 ERA this season. With Triple-A he was named to the Triple-A All-Star Game where he's 6-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 11 starts. He leads the PawSox in victories and his ERA is eighth-best in the International League. Wilkerson on the other hand, is 6-2 with a 2.00 ERA in 16 starts between Portland and Pawtucket. "He's pitching his way into consideration, there's no question," Farrell said. "Statistically he's doing a very solid job there." Farrell also provided a number of injury updates on his players battling ailments. -- Brock Holt (concussion) will be checked daily as he returns Friday after missing a month with a concussion. The plan for him as of now is to play Friday night and Sunday, both against righties. Farrell said as long as Marco Hernandez is on the roster, Holt will play primarily in left field. -- Blake Swihart (sprained ankle) is "improving," according to Farrell. He's begun walking on a treadmill, but there hasn't been any jogging or running yet. There still is no timetable for him to begin baseball activities. -- Ryan Hanigan (neck strain) will play nine innings with Pawtucket Saturday and Sunday and the team will decide the next step on Monday. If everything goes well, it would seem he would be ready to be activated. -- Joe Kelly (groin) threw a 20-pitch bullpen on Wednesday and will likely throw another one Saturday. Farrell said he would need at least two more bullpen sessions before the team would have him pitch in a game.