Rusney Castillo

Red Sox pregame notes: Pablo Sandoval (knee) day-to-day; 'Conversation has started' with Rusney Castillo

Ryan Hannable
May 20, 2015 - 1:20 pm

Following taking a fastball off the knee Tuesday night and leaving the game, Pablo Sandoval is out of the Red Sox lineup Wednesday as he's day-to-day with a bone bruise. "He's day-to-day," manager John Farrell said. "He's sore. He's obviously not in the lineup today. Probably keep him off his feet and continue to get treatment during the game, but like I said, day-to-day at this point." "He took it on the outside of the left knee," he added. "It was not on the knee cap, which is a fortunate thing. Not a whole lot of swelling, but obviously a bone bruise." The third baseman took a 97 mph fastball off the knee in the seventh inning in Tuesday's game, and was immediately removed. He was seen walking with a slight limp at the park Wednesday. Farrell didn't indicate any timetable on his return, besides by saying he's day-to-day. After missing a few days with Triple-A Pawtucket due to paternity leave, Rusney Castillo is expected back in the lineup Thursday, and could be with the Red Sox very soon. On Tuesday Farrell indicated a move could be made soon, and he reiterated that Wednesday, saying the "conversation has started." "I think you can make a guy fit if a guy is forcing his way on the team the way he's performing," said Farrell. "Rusney has swung the bat of late very well. We know he has been away for a couple of days, there's nothing imminent, but at the same time that conversation has started." Farrell was asked about the right field position, which is currently hitting .141/.245/.222 as a team, all three the worst in the American League. Like he said with Allen Craig before he was optioned back to Triple-A, Farrell said the team is trying to get Daniel Nava going. "Well, as good as Daniel has been in that type of role, in '13 it was a pretty strict platoon, he was very productive. We're trying to get him going," said Farrell. "Trying to get him some consistent at-bats. On the other hand, Vic has made sizable strikes on the West Coast, against left-handers. It's not out of the realm of possibility that he wouldn't be on the field against right-handed pitchers, but we're working through that right now." Victorino is 6-for-17 with a home run and an on-base percentage of .450 in six games since coming back from his hamstring injury. If Castillo were to be called up, the options to be sent down would be Jackie Bradley, who has been used mostly as a defensive replacement, or Nava. It should be noted that Nava does not have any options remaining so he would need to clear waivers and every team in the league would have a chance to claim him. Castillo could play right field, or also give Mookie Betts a day or two off in center field, as Betts is currently hitting .227 with an on-base percentage of .291 out of the lead-off spot. OTHER RED SOX NOTES -- New pitching coach Carl Willis has been with the team since May 9. The team, specifically the starting rotation, has made great strides since he's arrived. Red Sox starters have posted a 2.05 ERA in their last six games. Even further, they have thrown at least five innings and allowed two earned runs or fewer in those games, the longest such streak since late August of 2013. Farrell said while it isn't all because of Willis, he's making an impact. "It's a talented group and what we had evaluated, envisioned, and hopefully planned for was the way they are throwing the baseball right now," said Farrell. "I think it also has to include that Carl has had an impact -- to what extent, that part is debatable, but he's made an immediate impact in my mind. It is an approach that is individual, but it is an approach that takes the individual strengths of the pitcher and formulates his game plan accordingly. "In the moment when you're in those innings where there's men on base, to keep it simple and focus on the individual strengths, that is where our guys have been much better with runners in scoring position."