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Red Sox make three roster moves

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Allen Webster pitches in the second inning of an exhibition baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte, Fla., Sunday, March 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

AP

Starting pitcher Allen Webster was optioned to Triple A Pawtucket.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox optioned catcher Christian Vazquez and righthander Allen Webster to Triple A Pawtucket and reassigned shortstop Deven Marrero to minor league camp.

The Sox now have 43 players in major league camp. That includes injured pitchers Steven Wright and John Ely.

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“These three guys in particular are, I think, very, very exceptionally talented guys and are not that far away from the big leagues,” manager John Farrell said.

Webster was not impressive statistically in four starts (12 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 7 BB, 8 K), especially when compared to last season (11 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 14 K). But Farrell felt he was better this season.

“We’re seeing a guy that’s maturing on the mound. The use of his two-seamer particularly and the number of strikes in the bottom of the strike zone,” Farrell said. “It’s been very encouraging.”

Farrell said there wouldn’t be a hesitation to call up Vazquez if the Red Sox needed a catcher. Marrero, he said, is a well above-average defender and is developing a more consistent approach at the plate.

Also:

• Third baseman Will Middlebrooks (hyperextended right middle finger) is out of the lineup today. He will take batting practice and take part in fielding drills. The injury most affects his throwing.

Middlebrooks was injured on Thursday when he stole a base against the Twins. He slid feet-first but jammed his finger.

• Grady Sizemore is in the lineup today. The plan is for him to play in a minor league game Wednesday and then against the Yankees on Thursday.

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