BALTIMORE — David Ortiz doesn’t sound as if he’s returning to his DH duties any time soon, which likely means extended playing time for Ryan Lavarnway in the majors.
Lavarnway is the Red Sox’ third catcher and he’s also getting some time at DH, but he’s hitting just .100 (2 for 20). The Sox want to get him more playing time, but the only solution appears to be dealing either Kelly Shoppach or Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
The Sox placed Shoppach on trade waivers Friday and he cleared Monday. Saltalamacchia has not been placed on trade waivers but it’s unlikely he would clear.
The Red Sox appear committed to Lavarnway, but when Ortiz returns the 25-year-old catcher would be the likely choice to return to Triple A Pawtucket. Pedro Ciriaco has assumed the utility role and the recently reacquired Scott Podsednik is Boston’s fourth outfielder.
The Red Sox entertained offers for both Shoppach and Saltalamacchia at the non-waiver trade deadline but stood pat.
International League managers recently voted Lavarnway as the league’s top defensive catcher.
As for Ortiz, he likely will test his ailing heel this week in Baltimore but there is no timetable for his return.
Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and Orioles rookie third baseman Manny Machado were named American League co-Players of the Week.
Gonzalez hit .393 (11 for 28) with seven doubles, two home runs, 14 RBIs, and six runs in seven games to win his second weekly honor this season.
Josh Beckett (5-9, 4.97 ERA) pitches the series opener Tuesday against Baltimore and will try to rebound from a disastrous outing vs. Texas Aug. 8. Beckett gave up eight runs in five innings in a 10-9 loss and attributed the poor outing to having seven days off between starts.
Beckett pitched well in a 2-1 loss to the Orioles at Fenway June 6, giving up two runs on five hits over eight innings.
Bailey set for debut
Andrew Bailey is ready for his Red Sox debut.
The righthander, out all season recovering from thumb surgery, will be activated off the disabled list Tuesday, according to team sources.
Bailey retired all four batters he faced for Pawtucket Sunday in Buffalo. He has pitched 6⅓ innings in six appearances during his rehab assignment, giving up one run on six hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts.
A two-time All-Star, Bailey was acquired from Oakland in December. He has been a closer in his career but is expected to start out in a setup role upon his return.
Alfredo Aceves has filled in as closer this season, picking up 23 saves in 29 chances.
No word on whether Carl Crawford had, or will have, a cortisone shot to relieve soreness in his surgically repaired left wrist. If the wrist continues to bother Crawford he could have the shot Tuesday. Crawford is batting .313 this month and had his third three-RBI game on Sunday . . . Bobby Valentine and his coaching staff had dinner at a Baltimore restaurant Sunday night. The communication between Valentine and his coaches has improved dramatically since the start of the season.