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Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Red Sox will carry 11 pitchers in ALDS

By Tony Lee

BOSTON -- Red Sox manager John Farrell said Wednesday afternoon that he intends to carry 11 pitchers in the forthcoming American League Division Series.

The announcement allows the 25-man roster to take shape, although nothing was officially announced ahead of a full-squad scrimmage scheduled for 3 p.m. ET. It would appear that left-hander Matt Thornton, who was seen throwing in the bullpen about noon Wednesday, has earned a spot.

Farrell and the front office analyzed the benefits of both options.

“You start to get multiple moves down the line and you begin to weigh what’s important, and to me, protecting the downside of something unforeseen happening on the mound, pitching-wise, I don’t want to disrupt that,” Farrell said.

Thornton’s likely addition to the pitching mix leaves one outfield spot up for grabs between Quintin Berry and Jackie Bradley Jr., but Farrell gave every indication that Berry is the keeper.

“I wouldn’t say exclusively as a pinch runner, but that was why [Berry] was brought here and that’s still first and foremost the attribute that we’ll look to use,” Farrell said.

Berry would join Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes, Daniel Nava and Mike Carp among the outfielders. Carp and Nava can also play first base, and Xander Bogaerts likely provides insurance on the left side of the infield.

Farrell said that the versatility of Nava, Carp and Bogaerts “clearly” was a factor in including Thornton and feeling secure with his positional player depth. Bradley will probably be part of a group of players headed to Florida on Thursday for continued work in instructional league games. If the Sox survive and advance, those players will be ready for any possible roster fluctuations ahead of the American League Championship Series.

The Red Sox were set to play a six-inning, full-squad scrimmage Wednesday afternoon. Clay Buchholz and Jake Peavy will be the starters. Catchers Jarrod Saltalamacchia and David Ross will serve as designated hitters to protect them from any dangerous action behind the plate.

Buchholz and Peavy likely line up to start Games 3 and 4 of the ALDS. Jon Lester and John Lackey are scheduled for the first two games, although Farrell said he will not make that official until after the scrimmage Wednesday.