With their bullpen in desperate need of a fresh arm after pitching 22⅔ innings over the previous five games, the Red Sox called up 24-year-old Rubby De La Rosa from Triple A Pawtucket.
De La Rosa was scheduled to start for the PawSox on Saturday. To make room, the Sox optioned Pedro Beato to Pawtucket.
“I felt like we needed just to cover ourselves if we needed a guy to go four, five innings,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “More out of something unforeseen than anything. And we’ve talked about getting him here and seeing him work out of the bullpen.”
De La Rosa was ready but not needed in the Red Sox’ 5-2 victory over the Diamondbacks on Saturday.
De La Rosa, as one of the pieces the Red Sox received in return for Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Adrian Gonzalez in the trade that defined a dismal 2012, came to the Sox with a high profile. But the Red Sox have been cautious with the righthander, who is two years removed from Tommy John surgery.
He was on a strict pitch count and innings limit early in the season, never throwing more than 57 pitches or three innings in his first five starts.
But since June, he’s thrown 48 innings, going 3-2 in 11 starts while putting up a 4.69 ERA and striking out 44.
“He’s been down there the entire year, as we know, and we felt like based on what he had done for the better part of the year, it was time to get him here and take a look at this role,” Farrell said
De La Rosa was called up briefly in mid-June, but never pitched. The last time he appeared in a major league game was Aug. 22, 2012, when he threw two-thirds of an inning for the Dodgers in an 8-4 loss.
Farrell said he understood if his time in the minors led to some level of discouragement on De La Rosa’s part, but explained that the plan since spring training was to give De La Rosa enough innings so the jump to starting next season wouldn’t be so big.
“It’s human nature,” Farrell said. “A guy that pitched in the big leagues, coming off the surgery, sees a number of guys that might have gone past him or get the call before he did. I wouldn’t say that it would be uncommon that someone might feel that way.
“This recall wasn’t about feelings, let’s make that first and foremost clear. This is a guy that’s got tremendous stuff that fills a need that we have right now.”
On way back
After resting Thursday, Clay Buchholz started the first day of three high-intensity throwing sessions Friday, taking long toss and throwing breaking balls on flat ground.
“Long toss he was able to get more of that crow hop involved,” Farrell said. “Felt good about the way the ball came out of his hand. Spun the breaking ball in his flat-ground work and will look to repeat that again tomorrow.”
David Ross caught the bullpen sessions and took batting practice Saturday. Farrell said he could begin a rehab assignment this week. Before he does, he would visit concussion specialist Dr. Michael Collins. Ross has been on the 60-day disabled list since June 18 and would be eligible to return on Aug. 17.
On the farm
The plan to have Franklin Morales throw on Saturday and Sunday in his rehab assignment with Pawtucket was scrapped in order to focus more on increasing his total number of pitches, Farrell said.
Morales threw 26 pitches and struck out three in 2⅓ innings of perfect relief Saturday night in Buffalo. After getting the first out in the ninth, Morales was replaced by Jose Contreras with the PawSox holding a 3-2 lead. Contreras struck out the first batter, then gave up a walk, an RBI double, a wild pitch, and a walkoff home run to Mike Nickeas for a 5-3 loss.
Morales, working his way back from a left pectoral strain that’s had him on the disabled list since June 25 (retroactive to June 23), had made two previous appearances in Pawtucket, each an inning, throwing a combined 28 pitches.
“We’re just trying to build up the number of pitches thrown in a given outing,” Farrell said. “We had talked about the fact that he had thrown, I think, 13 to 15 pitches each of the first two outings and felt like let’s go ahead and give him a more extended outing rather than go back to back initially.”
Alex Wilson, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list July 9 with a sprained right thumb, is scheduled to throw two innings for Pawtucket on Monday.
Hard-throwing righthander Anthony Ranaudo will make his debut with the PawSox on Sunday night. He earned a promotion from Double A Portland, where he went 8-4 with a 2.95 ERA in 19 starts with 106 strikeouts.
Two media members had to climb out of a stuck elevator at Fenway following the game. Steve Gilbert of mlb.com and Todd Walsh of Fox Sports Arizona were returning to the press box when the elevator got stuck for about 20 minutes between the ground floor and second floor. Neither person was injured.