FORT MYERS, Fla. — With the possible exception of Grady Sizemore, the Red Sox have eight players in the lineup Monday who will be starters this season. They also have their ace, Jon Lester, on the mound.
“We’re starting to get what shapes up to be our regular roster back on the field,” manager John Farrell said.
Farrell also said that the rotation is now lined up the way he wants it for the season. That’s Lester followed by John Lackey, Felix Doubront, Jake Peavy, and Clay Buchholz.
“All things playing out, health and otherwise, that’s kind of the way things are rolling,” Farrell said.
The plan for now is for Buchholz to be the No. 5 starter and probably stay back and pitch in a minor league game after the team breaks camp.
“As far as the way we’ve mapped out the pitching, for those guys that we have targeted, we wanted to ramp them up a little bit more slow,” Farrell said. “I shouldn’t say slow in the sense of less pitches thrown, it’s just the overall intensity they’re getting exposed to.
“I think this is coming together as we’ve scripted.”
Other pitchers still working
Chris Capuano, Allen Webster, and Brandon Workman will continue to be stretched out as starters even though they’re out of the rotation as starters at this point. Minor league games start Wednesday and that’s the avenue the Red Sox will use.
To a lesser extent, Drake Britton will get extra innings, too.
Farrell said “it’s to be determined” which one of those pitchers would enter the rotation if a need arises.
Drake Britton impressesFarrell has been impressed with Britton.
“Every time he’s walked to the mound, he’s thrown three pitches for strikes with really good stuff,” the manager said. “I don’t think he liked being left off the playoff roster last year and he carries that air about him in a good way and he’s used that as motivation. He’s come into camp in great shape.
“When you consider a lefthander with that kind of velocity and that assortment of pitches, he’s making the most of every opportunity and making an impact on decisions that are still yet to be made.”
Translation: Britton is very much in play for a bullpen spot.
Doubont will pitch in a minor league game at Fenway South Wednesday at 1 p.m. The Red Sox’ three Single A teams are playing teams from the Minnesota organization. Lefthander Andrew Miller also could get into one of those games for an inning . . . Lefthander Craig Breslow will throw off the mound Tuesday for the first time. It’s a “strong possibility” he’ll be on the Opening Day roster, according to Farrell. The Red Sox and Breslow insist there is no injury. But the delay suggests that at the very least, there is preventative maintenance involved with his shoulder.