Mike Carp, who’s been on the disabled list since June 2 with a foot fracture, and Will Middlebrooks, who’s been on the DL since May 17 with a fractured finger, were both in the lineup for Pawtucket in its 5-3 loss Tuesday night to Durham at McCoy Stadium.
Carp hit in the No. 2 spot and played first base. He was 0 for 3.
Middlebrooks, who was right behind him in the order, was the designated hitter. He went 1 for 3 with a triple and a run.
“The original plan was for [Carp] to DH, but Middlebrooks is back in the lineup there today,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “[Middlebrooks is] getting past some of that swelling. He’s taking some ground balls at third base, so the throwing is starting to come along, but not to where he’s completely limit-free.”
The plan when Middlebrooks started his rehab assignment was to have him spend some time in left field to provide more options to keep his bat in the lineup, but because of setbacks with the finger he’s yet to test the waters.
“Because of the recurring swelling in the finger, we shut everything down,” Farrell said. “So we’re somewhat starting over in a sense. But at some point over the next 20 days we’d like to get some exposure there.
“But as we’ve seen with other guys, produce with the bat, we’ll find a way to get you on the field defensively.”
Shane Victorino, who had an epidural last week to treat a slipped disk in his back, increased his jogging, running, and agility work, Farrell said.
“I would hope that sometime next week we could begin another rehab assignment for him,” Farrell said. “But this has been a start-and-stop situation and we’re trying to do everything we can once we restart it, it continues on.”
The rosters for the All-Star Game will be announced Sunday and Farrell, who will lead the American League team, said his decision on the manager’s picks will come down to players who have had deserving seasons and those who will give his team a competitive advantage.
“The way I look at it is there’s seven selections to be made and until we have the fan vote and the player vote, then things will take shape certainly a lot more clearly,” Farrell said.
“But I think I begin to take an idea where some of the depth and the real true competition among guys having great years are going to emerge. So you kind of pay a little more close attention to those areas before these rosters or the lists are voted on.
“You’re going to look at those who are deserving based on the offensive year. You’ve got to put together a complete team.
“The outcome of the game has a very strong meaning to whatever takes place in October, but you also want to recognize where performances have been worthy of it and yet at the same time balance out every team’s got to be represented.”
Looking at his own roster, Farrell said David Ortiz, Jon Lester, Koji Uehara, Dustin Pedroia, and John Lackey are all worthy of nods.
“I think there’s some guys that clearly stand out,” Farrell said.
With seven bodies rotating through the outfield positions, Farrell said he will continue to find ways to make sure everyone sees the field regularly, even if it takes a bit of musical chairs on defense.
One option, he said, was to give Brock Holt spot starts at shortstop.
“We’ll find a way to rotate through there,” Farrell said. “We’re finding ways to get guys on the field fairly regularly and look for matchups where they may be best suited. That’s not just today, but I think we’ll see that tomorrow with [Travis] Wood on the mound against us as well.”
Right back in there
Mookie Betts moved back to right field after making his Fenway Park debut in center Monday night.
It didn’t take long for him to get tested in center. In the second inning Monday night, Nate Schierholtz shot a deep fly ball that struck low off the Hyundai sign on the Green Monster, and Betts was caught dealing with the awkward angles of the Wall and the center field fence for a double.
“He went back on it and I think just the unfamiliarity at Fenway,” Farrell said. “The ball that hits off the bottom of the wall is a ball that typically will be caught. I’m confident that it will be with further repetition on his part. But other than that, I don’t know that he was really challenged all that much.”
The Red Sox released reliever Chris Capuano after designating him for assignment last week and traded reliever Rich Hill to the Angels for cash. Capuano started the season with a 15-inning scoreless streak in his first 12 appearances but then struggled, giving up a run in four of his five outings in June and putting up a 22.50 ERA for the month. Hill, a Milton native who had been at Pawtucket after getting a spring training invite from the Sox, never made the Sox major league roster. He pitched in relief in both games of the Angels’ doubleheader sweep of the White Sox Tuesday night. He allowed a run in Game 1 in the ninth and did not record an out. He pitched to one batter in Game 2 and issued a walk.
The Sox announced they have signed 11 more players chosen in the June draft. They now have signed 29 of the 41 players they selected, including their first nine picks and 20 of their top 21. The signing deadline is July 18.