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Notes: Sunday starter still undecided

7/11/2013

Some pregame notes to pass along from Red Sox manager John Farrell's brief meeting with reporters today:

* Farrell said the club hasn’t decided who will take the mound Sunday in the final game before the All-Star break, though Pawtucket’s Drake Britton, Steven Wright and Brandon Workman appear to be among the most likely candidates. Making his major-league debut Wednesday, Workman struggled in the eighth inning but responded to pitch a scoreless ninth. His final line: 2 innings, 3 runs, on 4 hits and 4 strikeouts.

“I think after these next couple days we’ll have a better read on who (will start),” Farrell said.

* Farrell said shortstop Stephen Drew began increasing the intensity in his rehabilitation program as he works his way back from a hamstring injury that landed him on the 15-day DL. The club is discussing whether to send Drew on a minor league rehab stint when the Sox travel to Oakland for a three-game set.

* In other injury news, starting pitcher Clay Buchholz is close to returning from the sore neck muscle that sidelined him June 8. The club plans to have him throw a bullpen on Friday before sending him on a rehab assignment that will include at least two starts, Farrell said. In 12 starts before suffering the setback, Buchholz went 9-0 with a Pedro-like 1.71 ERA.

“Our tentative plan is to have him make a start on Sunday, but tomorrow’s bullpen will give us an accurate read,” Farrell said.

* The manager also touched on why Jon Lester has been unable to recapture the form that made him an All-Star in 2010 and 2011. Hint: His cutter isn’t what it used to be.

“He just hasn’t realized that pitch to finishing in the spot that he’s been accustomed to,” Farrell said. “It’s a pitch that’s been somewhat his trademark and yet right now it’s the one that is kind of giving him some issues.”