Since the day the Red Sox obtained Rubby De La Rosa from the Dodgers in 2012, there has been debate within the organization about how best to use the hard-throwing righthander.
The Dodgers developed De La Rosa as a starter but some evaluators believe he profiles more as a late-inning reliever. The Red Sox seemed split, using De La Rosa as a starter for Triple A Pawtucket last season but exclusively out of the bullpen in 11 appearances in the majors.
The decision was made in spring training to give De La Rosa another chance to start and he made it work. The 25-year-old will be added to the roster on Saturday to start against the Rays.
It will be his first start in the majors since July 31, 2011, with the Dodgers. De La Rosa is 3-5 with a 3.88 earned run average in 10 major league starts.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said De La Rosa’s ability to command his breaking ball kept him starting. That pitch along with his fastball and slider was enough of a mix.
“More than anything, it’s the definition of three pitches. So when you grade him out, he profiles as a starter,” Farrell said. “Long term, he’ll answer that question with his performance.”
De La Rosa was 2-3 with a 3.04 ERA in 10 starts for Pawtucket this season. He gave up two earned runs over 11 innings in his last two starts and struck out 13 with three walks.
The Red Sox also considered Anthony Ranaudo and Allen Webster but elected to go with De La Rosa after talking to the Pawtucket staff.
De La Rosa, 25, had a 5.56 ERA in 11 relief appearances for the Red Sox last season.
Pedroia banged up
Dustin Pedroia left Friday’s 3-2, 10-inning victory against the Rays after batting in the ninth inning because of a bruised right hand.
Pedroia was injured when he landed on his hand while diving to catch a ball thrown by catcher A.J. Pierzynski on a stolen base in the second inning. X-rays were negative and he will have more tests on Saturday.
Ryan Lavarnway, whose career has taken a statistical downturn in recent seasons, is now facing another obstacle. The 26-year-old catcher/first baseman has a fractured hamate bone in his left wrist that will require surgery.
Lavarnway was injured taking a swing in the second inning of Thursday’s game against the Atlanta Braves. He left the game in the fifth inning before his next at-bat and had tests done Friday.
Lavarnway will need surgery and is expected to miss at least six weeks.
Farrell said surgery has not yet been scheduled. Lavarnway was called up from Pawtucket Monday and appeared in four games.
Lavarnway was one of the organization’s top prospects in 2011 after hitting .290 with 32 home runs and 93 RBIs over 116 minor league games. He was promoted to the majors twice that season and homered twice in 17 games.
But Lavarnway has not hit for power since and been passed on the depth chart at catcher. The Sox had him start playing first base in spring training.
Drew on the way
Stephen Drew accompanied Pawtucket to its weekend series at Norfolk.
He is scheduled to play full games at shortstop on Saturday and Sunday. Farrell made it clear that Drew would then join the Red Sox in Cleveland on Monday and be added to the roster.
Drew was signed to a $10.2 million deal earlier this month and was optioned to the minors to get some at-bats.
He is 4 of 15 in five games with one walk and seven strikeouts. Drew has two doubles and two RBIs.
The Red Sox and Rays have been engaging in musical one-upmanship over the last few seasons and it continued on Friday with the Sox taking their best shots.
As the Tampa Bay infielders took ground balls before the game, the public address system at Fenway Park played a selection of children’s songs including the theme from “Barney” and “She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain.” There was even a snippet of “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.”
This silliness stems from the Rays refusing to play music when the Red Sox take batting practice at Tropicana Field. Earlier this month, when Tampa Bay swept a three-game series from the Sox, the Rays played “Sweet Caroline” after the final game. They also played “Revolution No. 9” by the Beatles when the Red Sox lost their ninth straight game the day before.
The Red Sox went for funny instead of crass and some of the Rays were laughing on the field.
“I wasn’t out there. At least they were playing something. Normally, they go crickets on us a lot,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “Then they bring out the organ music to really entertain us at some point. If they actually did play the Barney music that’s kind of an upgrade for them, actually.”
The Sox play at the Trop again in August. That should give the Rays plenty of time to come up with something.
NESN analyst Jerry Remy was back in the booth after missing four games. His absence was related to his son, Jared, pleading guilty to murder on Tuesday in Middlesex Superior Court. Jared Remy, 35, killed his girlfriend, Jennifer Martel, last August . . . The Rays will start Erik Bedard on Sunday in the series finale and not Alex Cobb. Bedard is 2-3 with a 4.10 ERA. He allowed one run over five innings against the Sox at Fenway on April 29. Cobb, who returned from the disabled list on May 22, is being given an extra day of rest . . . The Red Sox bullpen threw 4⅔ scoreless innings and has not allowed a run over 17⅓ innings in the team’s five-game win streak . . . Xander Bogaerts (3 for 5) is 9 of 15 in the last three games and 23 of 53 (.434) in the last 12 with nine extra-base hits and eight RBIs.