ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Red Sox manager John Farrell said Friday the Red Sox haven’t determined who will start against the Rays on Sunday in place of Felix Doubront, who went on the disabled list Wednesday.
But righthander Brandon Workman did not make his scheduled start for Pawtucket on Friday and appears to be the choice.
Workman has a 5.12 earned run average in seven starts for Pawtucket. But he was 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in three starts for the Red Sox last season and was one of their primary relievers in the postseason.
Workman started this season in the majors and pitched well in three relief appearances before being sent to Pawtucket to get stretched out as a starter.
Workman made a start against the Rays last July 22 and allowed two runs on seven hits over six innings. Counting the postseason, he faced the Rays three times last season and allowed four earned runs over 8⅔ innings.
Righthander Allen Webster, Pawtucket’s scheduled starter on Sunday, also is under consideration.
“Both guys have thrown the ball well to be put in the position of consideration,” Farrell said. “What we saw from Brandon last year, certainly there’s a level of comfort there with his ability to keep a major league game under control. Which at this point, with the starters, that’s what we need the most, is to keep a game under control, particularly in the early innings.”
Grady Sizemore batted leadoff against a righthander on Wednesday. But the slumping left fielder was dropped to eighth in the Sox’ 1-0 loss to the Rays Friday night and Brock Holt was on top of the order.
Xander Bogaerts batted second with Dustin Pedroia third, David Ortiz fourth, and Mike Napoli fifth. The Red Sox finished with just five hits.
Farrell regrets the frequent changes. But he hopes moving Bogaerts up will add length to the lineup. Bogaerts went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts on Friday.
“It does run counter to the intent to try to create a lot of continuity and that has been hard and frustrating to get to because of the some of the inconsistencies we’ve experienced,” the manager said.
Farrell indicated that Bogaerts would hit first against lefthander David Price on Saturday.
For Holt, it was the latest sign that the Red Sox may view him as more than a temporary fill-in. He went 1 for 4 Friday and is hitting .326 over 13 games.
Once Drew joins the team, Holt could present a better bench option than the seldom-used Jonathan Herrera.
“His defense on the left side of the infield has improved,” Farrell said. “He’s doing everything in his power to increase those chances and to his credit, he’s handled the bat well and played good defense at third base.”
With Drew being optioned, the Red Sox had a roster spot opened and recalled righthander Alex Wilson from Pawtucket. Wilson is likely to spend two days on the team before a starter is called up for Sunday.
Wilson was 1-0 with five saves and a 1.42 earned run average in 18 appearances for Pawtucket.
He pitched in 26 games for the Red Sox last season with a 4.88 ERA.
The Rays refuse to play music on the public address system at Tropicana Field when the Red Sox take batting practice, the continuation of a silly feud that started two years ago when the Red Sox serenaded the Rays with 1920s music at Fenway Park.
The Rays take their pettiness to the extreme, shutting off the music the second the Red Sox take the field and then starting it up again as soon as they’re finished.
Clay Buchholz, who has an eclectic taste in music, solved the problem on Friday by bringing a boom box out to the field and setting it up 10 feet from the batting cage while his teammates hit.
Ortiz snapped an 0-for-17 skid with an opposite-field single through a vacant left side of the infield in the first inning. But he was 1 for 3 with a walk and is 4 of 29 in the last eight games with no RBIs and no runs . . . The Sox didn’t lose a 1-0 game last season . . . John Lackey has allowed two or fewer runs in seven of his 10 starts.
Zimmer on mend
Former Red Sox manager Don Zimmer, now a special advisor to the Rays, is feeling better after a long hospital stay and was recently moved to a rehabilitation facility. The Rays hung a sign that said “Zim” on the press level behind the plate. Zimmer, 83, has been in professional baseball since 1949 . . . Doubront played catch before the game for the first time since going on the disabled list with a shoulder strain. “That won’t rapidly pick up. But the encouraging thing is there’s no restriction to the range of motion,” Farrell said. “He’s nowhere near game speed, obviously. That will be the tell-tale sign.” . . . Will Middlebrooks, on the disabled list with a fractured right index finger, did not travel with the team. Farrell said he stayed in Boston for X-rays . . . Pitching coach Juan Nieves was away from the team for a day to attend his daughter’s high school graduation in South Carolina.Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.