Red Sox manager John Farrell said on WEEI’s Salk & Holley show that the Sox would be inclined to carry 11 pitchers on their postseason roster in a best-of-five American League Division Series. He would not say whether Ryan Dempster and Felix Doubront might be considerations for the bullpen in the postseason, but he did offer some insight into the likely shape of his roster to kick off the postseason.
“Everything points to us going with 11 pitchers,” said Farrell. “So we just by virtue of the schedule are going to drop down to four starters. That’s going to cause some decisions. … We’ll get to that point in due time.”
He added that he would like to see any starters who will be moved to the bullpen for the postseason work in relief prior to the conclusion of the regular season.
“That would be ideal,” said Farrell. “If it’s one of the starters that we have going to the bullpen, I think it’s in that pitcher’s best interests to also get a couple of appearances out of the bullpen to reacclimate or acclimate to that role. We’ve got some time here in the last 10 days.”
Farrell also touched on a number of additional points. Among them:
– He suggested that he did not anticipate a significant celebration for the clinching of a postseason berth. If the team does lock up the American League East, however, that would be another matter.
“Our stated goal in spring training was to win the division,” said Farrell. “Just getting in, there will be an acknowledgement and maybe something we’ll share as a group, but I would not want that to be the pinnacle, by any means.”
– Farrell did not subscribe to the notion that seeing the epic streaks of Koji Uehara — his 37 straight batters retired and 30 1/3 scoreless innings — come to an end prior to the playoffs might be a good thing.
“No. I will argue that to the Nth degree, because if he doesn’t put a guy on last night, maybe we win that game,” said Farrell. “We’re fortunate that [GM Ben Cherington] signed him in the offseason. What he meant to this team in the second half, you can argue that it’s maybe the most important role on this team.”
– Farrell said that Shane Victorino‘s route to the triple by Danny Valencia off of Uehara, which ended the closer’s streak of perfection, wasn’t perfect. However, he also added that he has full confidence in Victorino as a center fielder at times when Jacoby Ellsbury is not available. At the same time, the manager suggested that the team’s most impactful outfield combination features Ellsbury in center and Victorino in right.
“Shane has been a very good center fielder for a number of years,” said Farrell. “[But] when we have Jacoby in center and Shane in right, you can make the argument that that’s the best defensive outfield in the game.”
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