DENVER — The Red Sox obtained Quintin Berry from the Kansas City Royals Aug. 27 with the idea of making him a highly specialized player. His job would be to pinch run and steal a base.
Berry was added to the major league roster Sept. 1 and through Sunday appeared in seven games as pinch runner. But only once, on Sept. 5, did he steal a base.
"It's a little strange," Berry said Tuesday before the Red Sox were beaten, 8-3, by the Rockies. "But I don't want to be reckless and run for the sake of running. It has to be at the right time. I can only think of a few other times where it made sense to go.
"I want to earn the trust of the coaching staff and show them I know what I'm doing."
Berry is 22 for 22 in his career on steals and was 2 for 2 in the postseason for the Tigers in 2012. He is confident that when the time comes to steal, he'll get the base.
"It's not like hitting where you have to stay sharp," he said. "It's good to get out there and get a feel for it, but running is running. I know what I can do.
"That postseason experience last season is a big help to me. I won't be overwhelmed by anything."
Berry does hope he gets a few opportunities to steal a base before the season ends, though.
"If I get my chance, I'm definitely trying to steal to keep myself fresh," he said. "These are still big games for us, so I have to pick my spots. But any base I get will help me."
Berry is rooting for the Red Sox to face the Tigers at some point in the postseason. He was with the Phillies, Mets, and Reds before the Tigers signed him as minor league free agent before the 2011 season.
Berry played 94 games for the Tigers last season and appeared in 11 postseason games, starting six. But he did not make the team out of spring training, struggled in Triple A, and was designated for assignment in June. The Royals claimed Berry off waivers and that led to his trade to the Red Sox.
"It would be awesome to face the Tigers again. I hope I get that opportunity," Berry said. "I have nothing but love for that organization. It just would be fun to play them."
Ellsbury a go?
Jacoby Ellsbury took batting practice at Coors Field Tuesday afternoon and is "likely" scheduled to play Wednesday according to manager John Farrell.
The plan is for Ellsbury to start in center, lead off, and play at least part of the game. Ellsbury has missed 16 games recovering from a small fracture in the navicular bone of his right foot.
The Red Sox will have four days off before their first division series game Oct. 4. As one might expect, there will be workouts and an intrasquad game.
The schedule is for the players to take Monday off then work out the following three days.
The intrasquad game would be Wednesday.
"With the number of pitchers we have to get to the mound, yeah," Farrell said when asked if a game of some sort was needed.
The Sox are carrying 36 players, enough to roughly field two teams.
Napoli light on feet
Mike Napoli was out of the lineup for the third consecutive game. His plantar fasciitis was bothering him over the weekend and the decision was made to get him some rest. He is tentatively scheduled to be in the lineup Wednesday.
"It's one of those things where it makes sense to get a few days," Napoli said. "I could be playing, but the time off will help me."
Farrell said a few spots on the postseason roster remain up for grabs. One factor, for instance, will be how Ellsbury looks when he returns. That would affect the status of Jackie Bradley Jr. The opponent also could figure into it. Farrell spoke about lefthanded reliever Matt Thornton being set back by going on the disabled list with an oblique injury and not having pitched well since. That could clear the way for Franklin Morales . . . Felix Doubront will be available out of the bullpen Friday and Farrell said the Sox would like to see him pitch. But they also want to keep their regular relievers sharp. Farrell indicated that it's a bigger priority to get Ryan Dempster more relief appearances.
The Rockies will hold a pregame ceremony Wednesday to mark the final home game for first baseman Todd Helton, who announced his retirement after 17 seasons . . . Bradley Jr.'s steal of second base in the fifth inning gave the Red Sox 37 successful steals in a row. That's the longest streak since Toronto had 38 consecutive in 1993 . . . The Sox are 2-5 in regular-season games at Coors Field . . . Lefthanded reliever Craig Breslow is getting a rest. He hasn't appeared in a game since Sept. 18 . . . Red Sox pitchers are 0 for 23 this season . . . Red Sox president Larry Lucchino will be inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame Nov. 2. Other inductees include umpire Steve Palermo and pitcher Johnny Antonelli, who played for the Boston Braves from 1948-50 before becoming an All-Star with the Giants.