After the Red Sox claimed infielder Luis Jimenez off waivers on Sunday, it’s likely the former Milwaukee Brewer gets added to the 25-man roster on Monday.
With Jimenez being added, the team would be able to get back to the standard 13 position players, with the corresponding move likely a pitcher.
“Right-handed utility guy that we like the defense particularly at third if that comes into play,” manager John Farrell said. “He’s also played some second, he’s played some first. Feel like he can play shortstop in a short look. it gives us some more flexibility with Brock [Holt] and Daniel Nava and hopefully the chance to get back to 13 position players.”
Jimenez appeared in 15 games for Milwaukee this season, going 1-for-15 with a run scored and a walk. Both of his starts came at third base (seven total games) and he also appeared defensively at second base once. He’s coming off a career year at Class AAA Salt Lake in 2014, hitting .286 with 21 home runs and 76 runs batted in.
Farrell added Pawtucket utility infielder Jeff Bianchi is coming off an injury, so the need for another utility infielder in the system was there.
With Jimenez added, Farrell noted one of the benefits is it gives Holt more opportunity in the outfield, not having to worry about backing up any of the infield positions.
“It gives us that flexibility, yes,” he said. “I can’t say that that’s the definite approach going forward, but at least it provides the opportunity or the option available.”
Shane Victorino (hamstring) is eligible to come off the disabled list Friday in Toronto, but that won’t happen. The team was never really considering that an option with the new turf and the reported affects of playing there.
He will likely rehab next weekend in Portland — Friday and Saturday for sure, with the possibility of Sunday as well.
“With the schedule both Pawtucket and Portland on the road, we’re probably going to push Vic’s live game at-bats back a little bit later in the week, but it will also allow us to ramp up the intensity and the volume over the next couple of days here at Fenway,” Farrell said. “There’s been a lot of discussion, what would be best, getting three at-bats in the DH role or really ramp up the volume. And we’re going to keep him here. It still allows us to look at the second leg of the road trip as an activation.
“We didn’t really have any thoughts of activating Vic in Toronto because of the turf and the reports of what’s affecting players’ legs and low back with the new turf up there. So we didn’t want to risk that. So that kind of points more toward Oakland provided there are no setbacks.”
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
— With Sandy Leon and young prospect Blake Swihart as the only catchers on the roster, it appears the Red Sox don’t appear to have any plans to add to the group from outside the organization, at least now.
“I can’t speak to might be contemplated outside the organization, I honestly don’t know. But for the time being we’re going with a really good young, athletic catcher in Blake Swihart,” Farrell said. “There’s no determination on the split of workload between the two (Leon and Swihart). But Blake’s back in there tonight.”
As for how much playing time he will receive, it seems like he’ll be back behind the plate more often than not. With starting Sunday night, Swihart has now started in both games he’s been active for.
“We want to get Blake in the flow of things as quick as we can, and yet recognize to be a little bit sensitive to where they may be the need for a breather,” Farrell said. “No different than Mookie [Betts] in center field or any other young player that comes here. I will say this, as a rookie catcher who is also a switch-hitter, his plate is extremely full.”
— With Farrell being a former pitching coach, and the issues the Red Sox pitching has had this season — last in the majors with a starting pitching ERA of 5.52 — it’s been wondered how much work Farrell has done with them in addition to pitching coach Juan Nieves.
“I would say that interaction is regular,” said Farrell. “Juan and I work very close together. We have a different set of experiences so we share some thoughts and views on what you see in a given moment and then arrive at a game plan. Or at least if you need to adjust a game plan, that can take place.
“You make sure that you do have those opportunities. There’s another set of obligations I recognize with this position. But there’s probably been more opportunities of late where there’s been some one-on-one conversations. There’s been [conversations] with Juan in the bullpen during bullpens. That’s ongoing.”