BOSTON -- Having used four different outfield combinations in the past four games, Tuesday will be more of the same for the Red Sox.
This time around, Brock Holt will make his first start in left since June 16, Jackie Bradley Jr. will return to center after having Monday night’s game off and Mookie Betts will make his first Fenway start in right.
Call it business as usual for manager John Farrell.
“We’re finding ways to get guys on the field fairly regularly and look for matchups where they may be best suited,” Farrell said. “That’s not just today, but I think we’ll see that tomorrow with [Chicago Cubs left-hander Travis Wood] on the mound against us as well.”
With the recent struggles of Xander Bogaerts (6 for his last 69) and Stephen Drew (3 for his last 39) at the plate, Farrell essentially has five positions in flux. As a result, he said that the lineup could soon find Holt making his season debut at shortstop as the manager will continue to shuffle around his players until one or more of them (besides Holt) gets on a roll.
“Because of the way [Holt] has performed offensively, we’ve found ways to keep him on the field on the defensive side of things,” Farrell said.
Soon another bat off the bench could be making its way back to the team as Mike Carp will start at first base Tuesday night with Triple-A Pawtucket. Carp, rehabbing from a broken foot, is expected to get three at-bats while playing five to seven innings at the position.
Meanwhile, Will Middlebrooks (finger) will restart his rehab assignment at designated hitter for Pawtucket Tuesday night. Middlebrooks last played June 22 before being shut down with swelling in his right index finger.
“He’s getting past some of that swelling,” Farrell said. “He’s taking some ground balls at third base so the throwing is starting to come along, but not to where he’s completely limit free.”
With rehabbing outfielder Shane Victorino (back) looking unlikely to resume his rehab this week, Farrell said the team still plans to take a look at Middlebrooks in left field while he’s in Pawtucket.
Additionally, Garin Cecchini has made several starts in left field for Pawtucket over the past week. Not to mention veteran outfielder Andres Torres is starting to hit his stride with Pawtucket as well, homering and driving in four runs out of the leadoff spot Monday night.
Needless to say, starting spots in the Red Sox lineup are currently ripe for the taking if you can hit.
“Produce with the bat,” Farrell said, “and we’ll find a way to get you on the field defensively.”
Here’s the Red Sox lineup as the team looks to bounce back from being shut out by the Cubs Monday night.
1. Brock Holt, LF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Mike Napoli, 1B
5. A.J. Pierzynski, C
6. Xander Bogaerts, 3B
7. Stephen Drew, SS
8. Mookie Betts, RF
9. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF