SEATTLE The Red Sox continued to shuffle their pitching staff on Wednesday, sending right-handers Allen Webster and Alfredo Aceves to Triple-A Pawtucket and recalling right-handers Steven Wright and Pedro Beato.
Despite showing velocity in the mid-90s, Webster couldn’t make it out of the third inning in his start Tuesday. He gave up seven runs on six hits and walked two.
“As much as we felt like Allen was making progress over the past couple starts, that first inning has been a challenge for him,” Farrell said. “The consistency of his fastball usage to both sides of the plate and executing is a fundamental area that has to be improved upon. The stuff is there.”
In six starts with the Red Sox, Webster is 1-2 with a 9.57 ERA.
Wright made his major-league debut in relief of Aceves in a 13-0 loss to the Athletics in April, lasting 3 2/3 innings and giving up five runs on six hits and four walks in his only appearance this season.
The knuckleballer is 4-5 with a 3.81 ERA for Pawtucket, but has thrown 17 2/3 scoreless innings over his last three appearances, which included a nine-inning shutout on July 1 against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Farrell said Wright and Brandon Workman would be candidates to start Sunday in Boston’s final game before the All-Star break.
Some wondered if Aceves was injured when Farrell pulled him after just 2/3 of an inning in Tuesday’s 11-8 win. Aceves has battled some soreness in his left side, Farrell said, but he didn’t complain of any physical ailment before being sent down. Farrell said the decision to call up Wright and Beato came because the bullpen was overextended, pitching 6 2/3 innings Tuesday.
“This is a matter of getting two guys in here who we know are capable of going multiple innings right away,” he said of the latest roster moves.
* Jacoby Ellsbury will return to his customary leadoff role and play center field after missing the past two games with soreness in his left wrist. Ellsbury is riding a 17-game hitting streak, the longest current streak in the majors, to go along with 36 stolen bases, which leads MLB.
Farrell said the Oregon State product insisted he return to the lineup when the pair met one-on-one.
“He spoke his mind, but I felt like one additional day was going to help him get through this,” Farrell said.
* Farrell said a second doctor confirmed that reliever Andrew Miller will have to undergo what will likely be season-ending surgery on his left foot.
* Clay Buchholz is closer to a rehab stint, which will serve as his precursor to his rejoining the team. Earlier in the afternoon, Buchholz threw a 25-pitch bullpen that consisted primarily of fastballs and had what Farrell labeled an “aggressive” long-toss session.
“The ball got out of his hand very well,” Farrell said. “Today was a very good day for him.”
* Farrell was asked how his players are dealing with the numerous roster moves that have taken place during the past week. The Sox are 2-3 halfway through the 10-game West Coast swing that leads up to the break.
“This is a pretty strong core here,” he said. “The turnover has been more on the pitching side. In the clubhouse, we haven’t skipped a beat. There are some pretty strong personalities in there, and I don’t think a guy coming in is going to strong-arm his way into it. That’s a positive.”