John Farrell

Red Sox pregame notes: John Farrell wants to get back to 5-man rotation; Batting order shuffle

Ryan Hannable
June 04, 2015 - 10:11 am

Currently the Red Sox are going with six starting pitchers, but following this weekend's series with the Athletics, it would appear it will be going back to the standard five. "Our plan is not to [stick with six guys]," manager John Farrell said. "We'll get through this weekend where we need all six starters, but coming out of the off day (Monday), it's our intent to get back to five starters. We have the remainder of this next series to work through that." The manager announced Eduardo Rodriguez will slide in between Clay Buchholz and Rick Porcello in the rotation, so the lefty will start Tuesday in Baltimore. It would appear the last spot in the rotation will come down to Joe Kelly (Saturday's starter) and Steven Wright (Thursday's starter). Both have bullpen experience, so it would seem whoever doesn't stay in the rotation will be sent to the bullpen. Kelly is 1-4 with a 5.83 ERA in 10 starts this year and hasn't won since his first start of the season in New York. Wright is 2-2 with a 3.90 ERA in five appearances (three starts) this year. As a starter he's gone at least five innings and allowed three runs or less in all three of his starts. -- The Red Sox shook up their lineup again Thursday with Hanley Ramirez moved up to the No. 2 hole, Mookie Betts hitting seventh and Xander Bogaerts hitting fifth. Farrell explained the decision that went into both, first Ramirez hitting second. "A guy that has swung the bat well against left-handed pitching," he said. "I don't want to say this is a left-handed hitting lineup. But, to get our veterans in the top portion of the order, to give them the most number of at-bats, looking to get a little bit of a spark and continue to find combinations that could potentially jump start." As for Betts, Farrell indicated the move down in the order is only temporary. "In Mookie's case he's gotten pitched to over the last three weeks where there seems to be a clear cut approach or pattern that pitchers are using against him," Farrell said. "Moving him down to the No. 7 hole is just to give him a little bit of a breather. We fully see him as a top of the order type of guy. Confident he will get to that. This is a little bit of a breather right now." -- Outfielder Alejandro De Aza joined the team Thursday, taking the place of Carlos Peguero. Farrell said he will be able to give Betts and Rusney Castillo days off, just after he gets back to game shape. "Well he's got versatility to play all three [outfield positions]," Farrell said. "For the most part with three right-handed hitting outfielders we have a chance to get him in the mix. He will come off the bench initially. We've got to get him back to game speed. It's been seven or eight days since he's last seen live pitching. But, a guy with a pretty clear track record and one that would give us that versatility."