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Stephen Drew convinced he’ll start hitting

Stephen Drew went into Tuesday night’s game hitless in his last 20 at-bats.
Stephen Drew went into Tuesday night’s game hitless in his last 20 at-bats.File/Jim Davis/Globe Staff/Boston Globe

SEATTLE — The Red Sox rescued Stephen Drew from free agency in May with the intent of adding some much-needed offensive punch to the left side of the infield.

The opposite has happened. But Drew is convinced that will change.

Through Monday, Drew was 6 for 42 (.143) with the Red Sox with one RBI and one run scored in 12 games. He went into Tuesday night’s game against the Mariners hitless in his previous 20 at-bats. He was 0 for 3 in the Sox’ 8-2 loss.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts was shifted to third base June 2 to accommodate the addition of Drew to the roster. He hit .162 (12 of 74) in his first 19 games at third base with a .213 on-base percentage and six RBIs.


Bogaerts is in a 6-for-56 slump that led to manager John Farrell dropping him from second to the seventh in the lineup. He had not hit that low since May 21.

“He’s missing pitches,” Farrell said. “Can’t say he’s been out front, he’s just missing pitches in the strike zone.”

Red Sox third basemen and shortstops were hitting .258 before Drew was added to the roster. They have hit .199 since.

Drew was a career .264 hitter with a .764 OPS before this season and is confident he will return to that level. The long layoff has been difficult to overcome.

“It’s something that I had to go through. I’m not making excuses. I’m going to pick it up and get my timing. It’s just getting adjusted up here,” Drew said.

“I’m not going to panic. I know myself and I’ve been in this game too long. I knew the defense would be there. It’s more or less seeing the pitches that I need to see, then I think everything will take care of itself.”


Drew’s situation is unusual because he had no spring training then sat out for nearly two months before signing.

“It’s definitely something that you can’t really talk to anybody about. Nobody’s done it,” he said. “But at the end of the year, I’m going to be where I need to be. I’ve been in this game too long and trust myself too much. I know the talent is there.”

Pitchers return

Righthander Clay Buchholz will come off the disabled to start Wednesday night’s game against the Mariners. Righthander Brandon Workman was back on the active roster Tuesday after completing a six-game suspension for throwing behind the head of Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria May 30.

Workman (1-0 with a 2.88 ERA in eight games, five starts) threw a two-inning simulated game Tuesday afternoon and the Sox are planning to insert him back into the rotation, likely Friday in New York against the Yankees.

Felix Doubront is being bumped from the rotation and will pitch out of the bullpen, He pitched two scoreless innings Tuesday. Doubront pitched well out of the bullpen last postseason, allowing one run over four appearances and seven innings.

Farrell suggested Doubront could start a game in the Cubs series that starts at Fenway Park on Monday. But the Red Sox may be looking to trade the inconsistent lefthander.

Farrell would not say what the roster move would be to clear a space for Buchholz. With Doubront in the bullpen, even temporarily, lefthander Chris Capuano is a candidate to be traded or designated for assignment. The Sox would otherwise have four lefties.


“We’ve got some things we’re working through,” Farrell said.

Capuano did not allow a run over 15 innings in his first 12 appearances. He has allowed 16 earned runs over 16⅔ innings in the 16 appearances since.

The Red Sox also have righthander Rubby De La Rosa in limbo. The 25-year-old is 2-2, 2.51 in five starts.

“As strong as he’s been, as efficient as he’s been, he’s been outstanding and he’s done everything within his abilities to affect our planning,” Farrell said.

With the Red Sox struggling to remain viable, dropping a talented starter like De La Rosa off the roster would be difficult.

“This is still a bottom-line game and we’re conscious of that,” Farrell said. “You could say that the easy move would be, well, a guy has options and you save the depth and send a guy back to Triple A. But it just so happens that [De La Rosa] has performed as good as anyone on our staff and everyone sees that.”

Victorino plays again

Shane Victorino started in right for Pawtucket against Norfolk and was 0 for 4. He played six innings in the field. The Sox are hoping to activate him this weekend in New York.

Victorino has played only five games on a rehabilitation assignment that started June 14 and is 0 for 13. But the Sox need another position player to better balance their roster.

It’s uncertain whether Victorino will play for Pawtucket Wednesday. He told reporters in Pawtucket he believes he should be able to play in a nine-inning game before he is activated, something he has yet to do.


“We’re taking this day-by-day. One of the next two days he’ll be down,” Farrell said.

Victorino is on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain and encountered lower back issues last week.

They’re the future

Mookie Betts and Henry Owens were selected to play for the United States team in the All-Star Futures Game July 13 at Target Field.

Betts, a second baseman and outfielder, started the season with Double A Portland and played 54 games before a promotion to Triple A Pawtucket. Through Monday he was hitting .321 on the season with a .957 OPS.

Betts, 21, has 28 stolen bases in 33 attempts and 33 extra-base hits. Owens, also 21, is 9-3 with a 1.99 earned run average in 14 starts for Portland. The lefthander has struck out 89 in 86 innings and allowed only 54 hits.

Owens leads the Eastern League in ERA, strikeouts, complete games (3), shutouts (2), and opposing batting average (.178). He also established a franchise record with 27⅔ consecutive scoreless innings from May 19 to June 14.

A supplemental first-round draft pick in 2011, Owens is 32-14 with a 3.18 ERA in 63 games over three seasons.

The 5 p.m. game will be on MLB Network.

A dozen players — Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Evan Longoria among them — played in the Futures Game and were named to the All-Star team a year later.


In demand

Assistant general manager Mike Hazen, who has been with the Red Sox since 2006, is one of at least nine candidates the Padres plan to interview for their general manager vacancy according to Fox Sports.

Other candidates include Cubs assistant GM Jason McLeod, the former Red Sox amateur scouting director, and Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler, a University of Connecticut product.

Making progress

First baseman and outfielder Mike Carp, who is on the disabled list with a broken right foot, took some swings against Workman and could start a rehabilitation assignment over the weekend . . . Third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who is also rehabbing in Pawtucket, missed a second consecutive game with swelling in his fractured right index finger . . . The Red Sox have signed their first six picks in the amateur draft and 18 of the 40 overall. Seventh-round pick Reed Reilly, a righthander from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, is the highest unsigned player. One recent signee was righthander Kevin McAvoy, the fourth-round pick from Bryant . . . Buchholz, Jonny Gomes, and David Ross spent time at Fort Lewis, an Army and Air Force base about an hour south of Seattle, during the day. Gomes organized the trip and returned with an autographed photo of a dozen soldiers during their deployment in Afghanistan. The players hosted a group of Airborne Green Berets from the 1st Group Special Forces for the game.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.