BOSTON -- With six games to go before the Red Sox can put a largely disappointing 2014 season behind them, manager John Farrell remains hopeful that the team will see the return of two key players before things come to a close.
Brock Holt participated in a full pregame regimen on Tuesday, including batting practice for the first time since he last played Sept. 5. Meanwhile, Mike Napoli will miss his fifth consecutive game as he continues to manage back, toe and finger injuries that have plagued him at several points during the year.
Holt is unlikely to play in the team’s three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays but could return against the New York Yankees this weekend. As for Napoli, Farrell said he’s hopeful his first baseman will get back on the field at some point this week.
“We’re just trying to get [Napoli] through the remainder of the season,” Farrell said.
Farrell also offered an update on Dustin Pedroia, who is out for the season having undergone successful wrist surgery on Sept. 11. Pedroia continues to respond positively since the operation and still is expected to make a full recovery.
Pedroia was expected to rejoin the team Tuesday.
“Pedey has quickly gotten full range of motion with the thumb,” Farrell said. “He’s still in the early stages of recovery and rehab. Everything that he’s experienced following the surgery has been positive.”
• Farrell announced how the team’s rotation will round out for the rest of the season.
With Clay Buchholz, Anthony Ranaudo and Allen Webster expected to take the mound against Tampa Bay, Steven Wright will make his first start with the club this season Friday against the Yankees. Joe Kelly will pitch Saturday and Buchholz will pitch the season finale on Sunday.
• Xander Bogaerts, who has been dealing with a stiff neck, and Will Middlebrooks (right hand sprain) were late scratches from the original Sox lineup. Both are day to day. Jemile Weeks and Garin Cecchini will take their places Tuesday against the Rays.
Here's the updated lineup:
1. Mookie Betts, 2B
2. Jemile Weeks, SS
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Yoenis Cespedes, LF
5. Daniel Nava, 1B
6. Rusney Castillo, CF
7. Garin Cecchini, 3B
8. Christian Vazquez, C
9. Jackie Bradley Jr., RF
SP -- Clay Buchholz, RHP