The Red Sox Monday made the first of what will be a series of roster moves when they activated outfielder/first baseman Mike Carp off the disabled list and optioned utility infielder Jonathan Herrera to Triple A Pawtucket.
Another move will be needed Wednesday when the Red Sox bring up a pitcher — all signs point to it being righthander Rubby De La Rosa — to start against the White Sox.
Right fielder Shane Victorino also is moving closer to rejoining the team. He is scheduled to start his latest minor league injury rehabilitation assignment Wednesday with Single A Lowell and could return after the All-Star break.
Carp went on the disabled list June 2 with a broken bone in his right foot. He played seven games with Pawtucket before being activated.
“I feel fine now and I’m ready to go,” said Carp, who did not appear in Monday’s 4-0 loss to Chicago. “The rehab went a little longer than I expected and I hoped to be back sooner than I was. But I’m here now.”
Carp was an important player off the bench last season, driving in 43 runs and hitting nine home runs in 243 plate appearances.
He has been less effective in more sporadic playing time this season, hitting .214 with six RBIs over 82 plate appearances.
“I feel like I can help the offense and that’s what we need,” Carp said. “Hopefully I’ll get a steady flow of at-bats. That’s all I really want.”
It doesn’t sound like Carp will get what he wants, however.
“He’ll come back to the role that he has had previous, that’s a lefthander off the bench in those pinch-hit spots,” manager John Farrell said.
Given what would be a limited role in a roster overloaded with outfielders and first basemen, Carp profiles as a trade candidate.
Herrera was hitting .233 with a .596 OPS over 42 games, 24 of them starts in the infield. He had started only one of the last 12 games.
“He’s a quality person, a quality player. Stayed prepared and contributed when asked in the role he was in,” Farrell said. “He occupies a role that’s difficult, to sit for seven or eight days and come in and play.
“We clearly view him as a major league player and I would suspect he’ll be back with us at some point this season.”
Farrell said Brock Holt would be the team’s utility infielder. Holt has extensive experience at shortstop in the minors but never has played the position in a major league game.
Herrera earned the utility job out of spring training largely because the Red Sox trusted him more at shortstop than they did Holt.
Staying close by
Victorino has been on the disabled list since May 24 with a right hamstring strain that morphed into a lower back problem.
He started a rehab assignment June 14 but lasted only four games (over 10 days) before being shut down again.
Victorino since has received an injection in his back and worked regularly with Dr. Dan Dyrek, the team’s physical therapist. He is starting his latest comeback with Lowell so he can continue working with Dyrek.
The Spinners start a homestand Wednesday that will include a game at Fenway Park Saturday. Victorino, Farrell said, eventually would join Pawtucket.
Victorino took batting practice on the field at Fenway Monday.
The absence of Victorino has been significant. He has played only 21 games this year after he played a major role offensively and won a Gold Glove in right field last season.
Betts to be busy
Mookie Betts was out of the lineup for the second consecutive game, unusual considering the 21-year-old prospect was called up to spark a weak offense. Counting Saturday’s doubleheader, it was the third time in four games he was not in the lineup.
With lefthanded starters lined for the White Sox on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Farrell said Betts would be “on the field regularly” this week.
Betts is 4 for 19 in five games since being called up June 28.
“The biggest thing is he’s managed his at-bats effectively,” Farrell said. “He’s kind of controlled the count, he hasn’t expanded [the strike zone] or chased pitches. He’s shown some presence or some relaxation in the batter’s box.”
Betts has started three times in center field. With Jackie Bradley Jr. heating up at the plate, working Betts into lineup could be more challenging.
Betts also has not looked comfortable in the outfield, something Farrell acknowledged. That was somewhat expected given Betts was a second baseman until playing his first professional game in the outfield on May 18.
All of Betts’s pregame work has been in the outfield and he is not being considered for any infield work, according to Farrell.
Once Victorino returns, if not sooner, Betts could be headed back to Pawtucket.
Xander Bogaerts was 2 for 5 Sunday, snapping a streak of 27 consecutive at-bats without a hit. Farrell said the Red Sox have not and would not lose faith in the 21-year-old. He went 0 for 3 Monday, dropping his average to .239.
“The one message we’ve been very strong and clear on with Xander is that we’re committed to him,” Farrell said.
Farrell feels Bogaerts has looked better at the plate in recent days.
“The one thing that we have to do is be consistent with him,” Farrell said. “If he feels and senses the positive view of him . . . this is a long-term player for us. We’re not going to abandon someone because there’s some growing pains along the way.”
Will Middlebrooks started at third base for Pawtucket at Columbus on Monday, going 1 for 3 with an RBI single in five innings. It was only his second game in the field in a span of four days because of swelling in his fractured right index finger . . . Double A Portland had five players selected to the Eastern League All-Star team: infielder Sean Coyle, infielder DerrikGibson, lefthander Brian Johnson, lefthander Henry Owens, and catcher Blake Swihart. The game will be July 16 in Altoona, Pa. Coyle and Owens also were picked for the All-Star Futures Game in Minneapolis July 13. While much attention has been on Owens, and deservedly so given his 12-3 record and 2.21 earned run average, Johnson is 7-1 with a 1.73 ERA in 11 starts for Portland since his promotion from Single A Salem on May 2 . . . Through Sunday, the Sox were caught stealing 19 times, the same number as all of last season . . . The White Sox were without first base coach Daryl Boston, who was attending to a family matter. Bullpen catcher Mark Salas replaced him . . . The Red Sox announced the signing of righthander Kevin Steen, their ninth-round pick in the June draft. They now have deals with the first 21 players they selected and 30 of 41 overall. Steen turned down a scholarship to Tennessee to sign . . . The first pitch was delayed by 39 minutes because of a passing storm and the tornado warning in Boston.Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.