Notes: Xander available to pinch-hit

August, 21, 2013
8/21/13
3:12
PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO -- A day after making his much-anticipated major league debut, top Red Sox prospect Xander Bogaerts was on the bench to begin Wednesday’s matinee against the Giants, as Stephen Drew started at shortstop and batted seventh.

Bogaerts went 0-for-3 on Tuesday, while manager John Farrell cited Drew’s good career numbers (11-for-33) against Giants left-handed starter Barry Zito.

Before the game, Farrell said he had no reservations about using Bogaerts as a pinch-hitter, specifically mentioning potential late-inning situations against a southpaw.

“If it’s Xander or a pitcher? I don’t give a damn if he’s got three at-bats in his big-league career,” Farrell said.

Wednesday’s lineup also featured David Ortiz batting cleanup and making his second start in three days at first base.
Even though Zito is a lefty, Farrell wanted to keep Ortiz’s bat in the lineup as opposed to right-hander Mike Napoli.

“David’s been our most productive hitter,” Farrell said. “Right-handed, left-handed -- to me, doesn’t matter.”

Napoli has been battling a nagging left foot injury recently and was used as a pinch-hitter on Tuesday without incident.

“Came out of last night feeling fine,” Farrell said of Napoli. “We felt like in this National League stretch it provides some time for him to get over this and give some rest period more than if we’re in the American League.”

* Suspended right-hander Ryan Dempster will be skipped in the rotation once he returns from his five-game ban, according to Farrell. The plan is to have Dempster make his next start on Aug. 30 at home against the White Sox, 12 days after he plunked Alex Rodriguez at Fenway.

Farrell pointed to Monday’s upcoming off-day as a contributing factor, while adding that Dempster is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Friday before going back to regular side sessions.

“Because of his status or experience, I don’t think the additional days at this point of the year will cause him to get out of a routine or affect the overall command,” Farrell said of the 16-year vet. “When we’ve seen added rest at this point of the year, he’s been more sharp.”

* Farrell said Clay Buchholz will make his rehab start on Sunday for short-season single-A affiliate Lowell, as he tries to return from shoulder inflammation. Earlier this week, Farrell said the organization plans on giving Buchholz three minor league starts before adding him to Boston’s rotation, putting him on track for a September return.

Even though triple-A Pawtucket will be home this weekend, Farrell said the Sox want to be gradual with Buchholz’s return.

“Just a progressive step,” Farrell said.

Buchholz threw about 45 pitches during a bullpen on Tuesday and didn’t report any setbacks on Wednesday. Farrell said Buchholz, who has a 9-0 record with a 1.72 ERA in 12 starts this year, will have a 45-50 pitch count on Sunday as well.

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