The Red Sox have placed reliever Vicente Padilla on the 15-day disabled list with bicep soreness. In the corresponding move, Clayton Mortensen was recalled from Triple A Pawtucket before Wednesday’s afternoon rubber match against Texas.
Padilla has pitched in 41 games this season, his most since he made 51 appearances in 2000, but has allowed seven earned runs on six hits in his past three innings, including a blown save in New York and a loss at home Friday against Minnesota.
Manager Bobby Valentine said Padilla could have pitched as soon as this Friday, but the Sox weren’t “willing to take the chance of going short for the next couple of days.” So far this season, Boston has placed 24 players on the DL.
“It’s not fair to the guys out there, and he could put us in a real bind,” Valentine said. “He’s getting the 15, so I hope it does him really good.”
Albeit with a small sample size, Mortensen has been stellar in appearances with the Sox this season. He has a 1.17 ERA in 23.0 innings with 17 strikeouts, and most recently picked up his first win of 2012 with 2.2 scoreless innings on July 31 against Detroit.
“Well, let’s not jinx him,” Valentine said. “He’s risen to the occasion, and he’s throwing as well in Triple A, so it’s not like he’s getting lucky. He’s a pretty good pitcher. Throws different pitches, and he says he’s ready to go.”
Franklin Morales, who Valentine said Tuesday would pitch in Aaron Cook’s stead this weekend at Cleveland, will not be available out of the bullpen Wednesday.
“We discussed it, and in all fairness to everyone involved, he’s not going to be out there,” Valentine said. “He’s there in emergency today.”
With Craig Breslow unavailable Wednesday and Junichi Tazawa having pitched consecutive games, that left Valentine’s bullpen with Alfredo Aceves, Mark Melancon, Andrew Miller, and Mortensen. The importance of keeping things strong in the pen isn’t lost on him.
“Value-wise, if it’s a fantasy-league team that you have, a starting pitcher is much more valuable,” Valentine said. “Pennants are won by bullpens.”