The Red Sox are in no rush to activate Pablo Sandoval from the disabled list. What a surprise.
The third baseman was at Fenway Park on Sunday to meet with team officials and have his sprained right knee examined. But he did not accompany the team to Chicago.
Sandoval will instead continue his rehabilitation assignment with Triple A Pawtucket. The PawSox play at home on Monday afternoon then start a six-day road trip on Tuesday.
“Continue to get at-bats; continue to get innings under his belt,” manager John Farrell said. “He’s making progress. He’s in the midst of getting his timing going at the plate. For right now he’ll stay with Pawtucket.”
Sandoval sprained his knee on April 23 when he crouched down to field a line drive. He started his rehab assignment on May 19 and has played six games, going 3 for 21 with two walks and four strikeouts.
For position players, rehab assignments are capped at 20 days. So the Sox could wait until June 8 before activating Sandoval. Sandoval played nine innings on Friday and Saturday. Getting through back-to-back games is usually the last test for a position player, but the Sox aren’t quite satisfied.
“It’s getting back in shape. It’s getting the games played given the injury. That’s where we are,” Farrell said.
“We just want to see another time or two before a decision is made,” Farrell said. “We just want to be sure that when he comes back to us we’ve answered as many questions as possible.”
There are other factors involved. The Sox are scheduled to face lefthanded starters in three of the next four games. Sandoval is 3 for 16 against lefties this season and 70 of 354 (.198) the last three seasons.
Farrell also has been pleased with the defensive work of Deven Marrero at third base.
Sandoval played 17 games before his injury, hitting .213 with a .646 OPS. He has hit .238 with a .650 OPS in 146 games for the Sox since being signed to a five-year, $95 million contract before the 2015 season.
Sandoval has so far missed 187 games while on the disabled list. That does not include the 16 games he sat out in September of 2015 with pneumonia.
Ready to go
David Price is set to make his season debut Monday afternoon against the White Sox at what is now called Guaranteed Rate Field. The lefthander will be capped at 90 pitches.
“That’s reasonable,” Farrell said.
Price threw only 5⅔ innings over two starts with Pawtucket. But he went five innings in one of the simulated games.
“The stress of pitches inside the outing is going to have as much guidance as anything in terms of the ups and downs. That will all be factored in,” Farrell said.
Farrell said Price understands his limitations after spending just under two months on the disabled list recovering from an elbow strain.
“It’s just a matter of him going out and executing pitches, changing speeds and using your stuff accordingly,” the manager said.
Righthanded reliever Brandon Workman was optioned to Pawtucket after Sunday’s 5-0 loss against Seattle to open a roster spot for Price. Workman was called up May 21 and did not appear in a game.
The Sox added 35-year-old righthanded reliever Blaine Boyer to the roster. He had the right to opt out of his minor league contract on Thursday unless he was in the majors.
He entered the game in the ninth inning and retired both batters he faced.
Boyer appeared in 10 games for Pawtucket, allowing five runs on 12 hits and seven walks over 14⅓ innings. He had 12 strikeouts. Boyer appeared in 61 games for Milwaukee last season, posting a 3.95 ERA.
“I feel as good as I have in my whole career. At 35, not really sure why,” he said.
Boyer has 10 years of major league experience with seven teams and has been in professional baseball since 2000.
Boyer was released from spring training by the Atlanta Braves then signed with the Red Sox on April 3.
“This is an open-ended situation he comes into. Good on him for staying the course,” Farrell said.
The Red Sox optioned lefthander Brian Johnson back to Pawtucket after his shutout of the Mariners in Saturday. Unfair as that may seem, the Sox had little choice. With Price returning, the alternative would be keeping six starters.
Time to remember
As part of Memorial Day weekend, the Red Sox paid tribute to four women who lost husbands or sons in combat. The Gold Star mothers and wives were each escorted to the field by a player and presented with a bouquet of flowers.
The Sox also recognized 37 team employees who are veterans. VFW Post 2902 of West Roxbury presented the colors before Bandmaster Emeritus of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, Frank Zarba, performed the national anthem.
John F. Mahoney Jr., a 94-year Navy veteran of World War II from Stoughton threw out the first pitch. He fired a fastball that almost bounced past Christian Vazquez.
Sam Travis has started only one of the six games since he was called up from Triple A Pawtucket on Tuesday. But that will change soon. The White Sox are starting lefthanders David Holmberg and Jose Quintana in the first two games of the series that starts on Monday. The Orioles have lefthander Wade Miley lined up to start on Thursday. Travis pinch hit in the eighth inning on Sunday and popped up . . . To make room for Boyer on the 40-man roster, infielder Marco Hernandez was moved to the 60-day DL. He is out for the season following shoulder surgery . . . Maybelle Blair, Shirley Burkovich, and Mary Moore, who played in the famed All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, were at the game.