Andrew Benintendi getting close to return
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OAKLAND, Calif. — Andrew Benintendi grabbed his glove and went out to the field to play catch with teammate Aaron Hill on Sunday morning.
There was some significance to that otherwise routine part of the day for a baseball player. It was the first time Benintendi had done that since spraining his left knee Aug. 24. The 22-year-old also took some non-contact practice swings before the Red Sox played the Oakland Athletics.
"All good," he said. "Felt fine."
Benintendi was fitted for a custom-made brace that should arrive by Tuesday. That will allow him to increase the intensity of his workouts.
"He is gradually introducing new exercises and [getting] a little bit more diverse with the workouts and the rehab," manager John Farrell said. "All in all, he's making steady progress."
Once Benintendi is cleared to start playing, the Red Sox will want him to face live pitching before they activate him from the disabled list.
One possibility would be to take batting practice against a teammate, something possible now that rosters have expanded and the Sox are carrying extra relievers.
The other idea would be to send Benintendi to Florida for some at-bats in the Instructional League.
Benintendi hit .324 with an .850 OPS in his first 21 games before he was injured running the bases.
Farrell said that David Ortiz would not play first base during the three-game series against the San Diego Padres that starts on Monday afternoon.
"No intentions of him getting on the field defensively," the manager said.
Ortiz has played in the field once this season, Aug. 6 at Los Angeles against the Dodgers. He left the game after batting in the sixth inning with what was described as "general stiffness."
Ortiz has been dealing with sore Achilles' tendons all season along with assorted other lower-body strains and pains.
Here comes Koji
A day after he threw 26 pitches of live batting practice, Koji Uehara reported no physical issues. He will be activated off the disabled list Monday.
Uehara has not pitched since July 19 when he partially tore a pectoral muscle on his right side.
Ideally, Farrell said, the Sox would not use Uehara until Tuesday.
"This has the chance and the potential to be a valuable and important addition to the bullpen late in games," Farrell said.
Uehara has a 4.50 earned run average but had converted four save chances in a row before he was injured. He also is averaging a career-best 12.8 strikeouts per nine innings.
Steven Wright accompanied the Red Sox to San Diego. He hopes to get his sore right shoulder checked out Tuesday by Dr. Neal S. ElAttrache at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles.
Because of the holiday weekend, the Sox were still trying to set up the appointment.
As expected, Clay Buchholz will take Wright's spot in the rotation and face the Padres on Tuesday.
That’s all, folks
The Red Sox will add righthanded relievers Heath Hembree and Noe Ramirez to the roster on Monday along with catcher Christian Vazquez.
The only healthy players on the 40-man roster not added to the major league roster this month were outfielder Bryce Brentz and lefthanders Roenis Elias, Williams Jerez, Brian Johnson, and Henry Owens.
Farrell said the Sox have discussed the idea of one of the starters staying active in Instructional League should the need arise.
With Wright out and the injury histories of Buchholz and Eduardo Rodriguez, the Red Sox could well need a starter before the season ends.
Farrell said the team discussed the idea of bringing up outfielder Rusney Castillo but decided against it.
Castillo was taken off the 40-man roster in June, so bringing him back would have required dropping a player. Then there's the fact that Castillo hasn't been very good since he was signed to a seven-year, $72.5 million deal in 2014.
The 29-year-old has hit .266 with a .672 OPS for Triple A Pawtucket with two home runs in 387 at-bats this season. Castillo is a solid defensive outfielder but the Sox have no outfielders they would take out for defensive purposes.
Dustin Pedroia (2 for 4) has hit safely in 11 straight games at 25 of 46 (.643). He is up to .326 on the year . . . Sunday's loss snapped the Sox' nine-game win streak against the Athletics . . . Sox starters have a 3.11 ERA since Aug. 1 . . . The Red Sox took a flyer on University of Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel in 2013, drafting him in the 29th round in case he decided to give baseball a shot. That probably won't be happening any time soon. The Cincinnati Bengals claimed Driskel off waivers Sunday after he was cut by the 49ers . . . Righthander William Cuevas, who was designated for assignment Friday, cleared waivers and was sent outright to Pawtucket.