Holt, in Friday’s lineup batting ninth and playing third, is making his second trip to Boston this season, after having been called up April 6 for one game. Holt did not appear during his first stint, but manager John Farrell hopes that this time around he can provide an offensive spark for the club.
“We felt like we needed to try to create a little bit of a jump-start to the offense,” Farrell said. “We’ve come through a stretch of seven left-handed starters against us over the past 10 and we’re kind of reversing that right now, going against primarily right-handers.”
Holt, a left-handed hitter, has been off to a hot start for Pawtucket, collecting a team-high 19 hits in his first 50 at-bats on his way to a .380 batting average. Thirteen of his hits have come against right-handers, making him a valuable piece for the team; the Red Sox are lined up to face three right-handed starters during their four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles.
“He’s clearly earned the promotion here,” Farrell said. “When he was sent out, even after one day of being here with the big league club, I think he was initially disappointed, but he’s channeled that the right way, gone down and played very well on the left side of the infield.”
Roberts collected two hits in his 19 at-bats with the team, striking out seven times. Farrell said the team would like for him to remain in the organization following being placed on waivers.
“He had about a nine-day layoff from the end of spring training until he joined us here,” Farrell said. “We feel like he needs at-bats to get things going.”
Holt’s second stint with the club may also be for a short period of time because third baseman Will Middlebrooks (calf) is on track to start his rehab assignment sometime in the middle of next week. After dealing with the flu earlier this week, Middlebrooks was in the clubhouse Friday and has improved, according to Farrell.
Meanwhile, outfielder Shane Victorino (hamstring) is also with the club and is participating in a full team workout Friday. Victorino is expected to begin his rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday.
Uehara update: After pitching Thursday night for the first time since April 9, closer Koji Uehara is available if needed Friday night. Uehara, who missed a week battling shoulder stiffness, threw a scoreless ninth inning Thursday to notch his third save of the season.
Sizemore in left: For the first time in his nine-year career, outfielder Grady Sizemore will play left field at Fenway Park on Friday night. Farrell said that despite Sizemore's unfamiliarity with the Green Monster, the decision was made based on Daniel Nava’s ability to play right field at Fenway.
After making his first seven starts in center field, Sizemore will be making his sixth straight appearance in left this season.