MINNEAPOLIS -- Red Sox manager John Farrell said this was no sudden change to his rotation, having Jake Peavy swap spots with Felix Doubront, with Peavy going Tuesday night against the Minnesota Twins and Doubront Wednesday.
The decision, he said, was made at least a week ago, and he just neglected to update the team’s list of probable pitchers that is disseminated publicly.
The reason for the switch: Farrell wants the right-handed Peavy instead of the left-handed Doubrontto face the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
The Tigers have an impressive .312/.361/.462/.823 slash line vs. left-handed starters, which is why Farrell prefers Peavy to draw the start.
The Sox will miss Tigers ace Justin Verlander this week, but the projected weekend matchups are all good ones: Jon Lester vs. Max Scherzer Friday night, John Lackey vs. Rick Porcello Saturday, and Peavy vs. Anibal Sanchez on Sunday night.
Detroit’s starters entered play Tuesday with a 17-8 record and an American League-best 2.69 ERA. Only Atlanta (2.60) has a lower ERA in the majors.
A few other quick hits:
* With hometown reporters here already looking forward to the July 15 All-Star Game in Target Field, Farrell said he had asked Cleveland manager Terry Francona and Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire to join the AL coaching staff for the game. Francona is a longtime friend.
As for Gardenhire?
“Out of respect to him, the city, the organization, I think it’s a natural fit,’’ Farrell said.
This will be Farrell’s second All-Star Game. He went with the rest of Francona’s coaching staff in 2008, after the Sox won the 2007 World Series.
Bogaerts has a .163 batting average and .268 on-base percentage with men on base; he’s batting .311 with a .420 OBP with the bases empty.
“I think there have been times he’s put a little bit of added pressure on himself, especially when there are men on base,’’ Farrell said. “Maybe he’s not as patient and taking the same trusting approach he does when he’s at the plate with the bases empty. But we’re continuing to provide opportunities to learn and grow through them. That’s where we are with Xander.
“He and A.J. flip-flopped today, but overall he’s seeing pitches, putting in quality at-bats, taking walks when needed.’’
* Former Twin David Ortiz has batted .543 with 5 HRs and 15 RBIs to help the Sox win eight of their last nine games at Minnesota.
* Twins leadoff hitter Brian Dozier has nine home runs this season, more than any other player for either team. The rest of the Twins’ lineup Tuesday night has a combined six home runs.
* Milford High's Chris Colabello, who spent seven seasons in independent league ball (Nashua, Worcester) before reaching the big leagues this season, was not in the Minnesota lineup Tuesday night.
Colabello was batting .346 on April 23. He's down to .250 after batting .129 (8-for-62) since. Still, a great story of perseverance, in the Daniel Nava mold.
* Interesting observation from Farrell during his weekly appearance on MLB Network Radio on Sirius. He was discussing arm injuries with hosts Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette, and stressing the importance of teaching proper techniques to young pitchers. Kids throwing curveballs has long been a subject of debate; Farrell discussed his approach with his son Luke, who pitched for Northwestern University and is now in Class A ball for Kansas City.
“We started to mess around with a curveball when he was 10 years old,’’ Farrell said, “but it was more about just showing a grip and the type of rotation that you’re trying to create. And then we talked about using it a couple of times in an inning and that was it, just to get a feel for it.
“I don’t think you are ever too young to learn a curveball as long as you are learning it in a way that keeps your hand and your arm in a position that maybe reduces some of the stress. The slider is the one that is a more violent pitch that creates more torque on the elbow if it is not executed correctly, rather than more of an off-speed pitch and a curveball.”