HOUSTON — Jake Peavy has been watching video of the Houston Astros for the last few days, just like he normally would to prepare for a start. That Saturday could be his final game with the Red Sox is something he’s trying not to think about.
General manager Ben Cherington met with Peavy on Tuesday to tell him being traded was a distinct possibility. That talk has quieted down since, but a move could happen at any point.
Sox manager John Farrell said Friday that no contingency plan was in place for a starter to replace Peavy.
“I’m all in on trying to find a way to beat the Houston Astros. What’s going to happen down the road doesn’t really bother me and I don’t think on it too much,” Peavy said.
Peavy was traded from the Padres to the White Sox at the trade deadline in 2009. He then went from the White Sox to the Red Sox at the deadline last year. Farrell isn’t worried about how the 33-year-old righthander will react to the uncertainty.
“Any veteran guy, they’re well aware and have seen it many times over,” he said. “He having gone through it personally, I don’t see it distracting the way he’ll go about his game.”
Peavy’s more immediate problem is winning a game. The Red Sox have not won a game he has started since May 29. His one victory was April 25.
“We show up to win and I haven’t done a whole lot of that individually,” Peavy said.
Peavy (1-7) has a 4.64 earned run average but has pitched better in his last two games, allowing three earned runs on 11 hits over 12 innings with four walks and 10 strikeouts. One more solid start could give the Red Sox the needed leverage to make a deal.
Peavy is realistic, but still hopes not to be dealt.
“I don’t think any player is thinking our team can’t contend. Where we’re at, we need a crazy little hot run to get back in it,” he said. “Obviously being moved is something I don’t want to think about. But it’s certainly a possibility, and that’s the reality of the situation.
“If it happens, it’ll certainly be a sad day and I’ll pick up and move on as I always have. I’ll be an adult and move on with it.”
The good news for Peavy is that presumably he would be going to a contender.
“You’d be going to a team that has a need for you and wants you and would be in a position to make a run like we did last year,” he said. “That would be a positive, but I hope that does not happen.”
Jackie Bradley Jr. was out on the field at Minute Maid Park early in the day to get a look at the hill in center field.
Yes, the hill. There’s a small hill in straightaway center that is 90 feet wide and goes up at a 30-degree incline. One of the flagpoles is inside the fence on the hill, 436 feet away.
“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Bradley said. “I hope nobody hits it that far. I’d rather just play regular center field.”
Bradley said Douglas Freeman High in Henrico, Va., had a flagpole that was in play.
“I never had to play one off a flagpole before,” he said. “That would be interesting.”
Shane Victorino started in right field for Single A Lowell. He was 0 for 2 with a walk and played seven innings in right field. He will move to Double A Portland on Saturday to continue his injury rehabilitation assignment. Farrell said Victorino could play Sunday depending on how he responds. Victorino is 0 for 17 in seven minor league games since he went on the disabled list in May . . . Will Middlebrooks started at third base for Triple A Pawtucket, the eighth game of his rehab assignment, and was 1 for 5. He played nine innings in the field.
The Red Sox had a little fun five hours before the game as several of their coaches and staff members took batting practice on the field.
Bench coach Torey Lovullo, who hit 15 home runs in his major league career, stuck one in the seats in right field. Strength coach Pat Sandora, as you might expect, showed good power. Farrell took a few swings, too.
“I was a pitcher,” Farrell said when asked to assess his performance at the plate.
Massage therapist Russell Nua proved to be a contact hitter. Video coordinator Billy Broadbent knocked a few into the outfield and assistant hitting coach Tim Hyers had a home run pulled back by Xander Bogaerts.
The Red Sox signed veteran outfielder Andres Torres to a minor league contract on June 11. Through Thursday, the 36-year-old was hitting .341 with a 1.006 OPS in 11 games for Pawtucket. But with the team now in a rebuilding mode, Torres isn’t likely to be added to the major league roster any time soon. “There are some things that are out of his control right now. If it’s meant to be, those have a way of working out,” Farrell said. “Not trying to eliminate him from the discussion [but] our focus has been on the guys who have come here and what is our plan with them first.” Torres has an out in his contract later this month . . . With Don Orsillo on his first in-season vacation in 14 seasons and Jerry Remy also off, NESN has Jon Rish and Steve Lyons on the series. Jamie Erdahl is the field reporter with Gary Striewski away . . . Rookie center fielder George Springer was scratched from the Houston lineup after batting practice because of discomfort in his right knee. The former University of Connecticut standout has 19 home runs and 50 RBIs in 74 games.