BOSTON--With a day game Sunday and a scheduled off day on Monday, Red Sox manager John Farrell felt this would be a good time to sit designated hitter David Ortiz, who has some general soreness, and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who had caught the first five games of the homestand.
“It’s a planned down day,” Farrell said.
Ortiz has started in 29 straight games going back to May 30. Farrell said he and Ortiz had decided earlier in the week to have him rest Sunday, even though Ortiz has hit .358 with 3 home runs in his career against Sunday’s Toronto starter, Mark Buehrle.
“The way’s he feeling and the need of the off day overrides that,” Farrell said.
Meanwhile, Saltalamacchia is getting a rest after catching 12 of the team’s last 14 games, a pace that may be catching up with him at the plate. He has gone 5 for 19 on the homestand with 10 strikeouts. This will be Lavarnway’s third start since his callup June 18. His last start came last Sunday against Detroit, when he singled and walked and drove in a run.
Also, Brandon Snyder will be making his first start for the Red Sox at third base on Sunday afternoon. Snyder, called up last Tuesday, saw his only action Friday, after shortstop Stephen Drew strained his hamstring, and went 0 for 2 while playing third.
“Just looking at the type of pitcher we’re going up against today, maybe some of the swings that we currently have on our roster,” Farrell said. “It might be a better fit and that’s what Brandon is today.”
--Updates on several injured players:
Drew is still considered day to day.
Clay Buchholz threw lightly on Saturday and is feeling no ill effects from the bursitis in his right shoulder.
“[He’s feeling] fine,” Farrell said. “It was just to initiate his throwing program. [Sunday] he’ll go through a 75-foot distance and begin a little bit more structured program going forward.”
Jon Lester, who came out of his last start Thursday when he jammed his hip, threw a bullpen on Sunday and is in line to start Wednesday against the San Diego Padres.
Kyle Brasseur is a contributor to ESPNBoston.com