Thursday, June 13, 2013
Quick hits: Lester, not Buch, to start Sunday
By Gordon Edes
BALTIMORE -- Some quick hits from Oriole Park at Camden Yards, a.k.a. The House That Lucchino Built:
* Clay Buchholz has been officially ruled out of the Orioles' series. Jon Lester will pitch Sunday's series finale on regular rest, manager John Farrell said.
Buchholz remains a candidate to pitch one of the games in Tuesday's day-night doubleheader against the Rays in Fenway Park. The Sox will proceed with that plan if they determine Buchholz can throw a bullpen Sunday in advance of that start.
* As expected, Alfredo Aceves was optioned back to Pawtucket, with reliever Alex Wilson called up for the second time. Wilson made 16 appearances for the Sox on his first go-round, and interestingly his splits were much better against left-handed hitters (5-for-34, .147) than righties (14-for-35, .400).
Aceves remains a strong candidate to start for the Sox again Tuesday in the day-night doubleheader, though Farrell suggested strong consideration also will be given to rookie Rubby De La Rosa, the 24-year-old right-hander who came to the Sox in the Adrian Gonzalez deal. The Sox have been proceeding carefully with De La Rosa, who is now two years removed from Tommy John surgery, and he pitched as many as five innings in a start for the first time June 8.
In his last 10 appearances, De La Rosa is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA, with 35 strikeouts and 19 walks in 36 innings while holding opponents to a .172 batting average. De La Rosa was scheduled to start Thursday night for Pawtucket, but the game was rained out. Had he started tonight, it would have put him right on schedule to pitch Tuesday. But with Aceves having pitched so well in two previous emergency starts, holding the Phillies and Rays to a run apiece, he would appear to be the logical candidate to start.
* By now you've almost certainly heard that the Sox have promoted top prospect Xander Bogaerts to Pawtucket from Double-A Portland, where he was hitting .424 in 10 games in June. PawSox crack PR man Bill Wanless notes that Bogaerts is the youngest Sox prospect ever to play for Pawtucket, at 20 years, 8 months, and 12 days. Jeff Suppan was 20 years, 8 months, and 1 day old when he made his PawSox pitching debut on August 3, 1995. Bogaerts doesn't turn 21 until Oct. 1.
Bogaerts played exclusively at short and DH in Portland this spring, and was listed in Thursday's starting lineup at short before the game was postponed, but Farrell said he will be used at second, third and short in Pawtucket. His promotion at this stage of his career to Pawtucket sends a clear signal that Bogaerts could be in Fenway Park before the end of the summer.
* Jacoby Ellsbury is batting .440 (22-for-50) in his current 11-game hitting streak, the exact same numbers Jose Iglesias has posted during his current 14-game hitting streak. Ellsbury has had at least one hit and scored at least one run in 10 straight games. The last Sox player to do was Johnny Damon, who had an 11-game streak of a hit and run in 2004.
Ellsbury, who leads the AL with 29 stolen bases, has stolen 16 bags in the last 13 games, including at least one in each of the last five games. He has not been caught in his last 18 attempts.