NEW YORK — With 10 games left to play, the Red Sox are starting to line up their rotation for the postseason. But it’s a plan with some big gaps because of the schedule.
The Sox finish the season with three games at Fenway Park against the Yankees starting on Sept. 28. Then there would be four days off before the start of the Division Series on Oct. 5.
With the Yankees a possible opponent in the Division Series, the Sox will hold Chris Sale and David Price out of the rotation for the final series of the regular season.
Sale is scheduled to pitch at Cleveland on Friday night and then next Wednesday night against Baltimore.
That will leave Sale with eight days off before the playoffs. The plan is for him to throw a simulated game or a full-effort bullpen session on Sept. 30 or Oct. 1.
“That would line him up for the Division Series,” manager Alex Cora said before Wednesday night’s 10-1 loss at Yankee Stadium.
Price, who got shelled Wednesday night, is set to finish his regular season on Tuesday against Baltimore.
He also need some sort of simulated game or extended bullpen work before the playoffs.
Nathan Eovaldi will start on Monday, then work in relief behind Rick Porcello on Sept. 28. That is likely to prepare him for a relief role in the postseason.
The Sox also plan to carefully control the workload of closer Craig Kimbrel over the final 10 days of the season.
“There’s ‘X’ amount of innings that we’re going to use him the rest of the season,” Cora said.
The Sox also plan to have Kimbrel pitch in the eighth inning to get him used to the idea of working more than one inning.
Kimbrel has pitched more than one inning only five times this season, last on July 27.
“Obviously we don’t have control of the game,” Cora said. “Hopefully we have leads in the eighth inning and he can come in earlier.”
Cora planned to use Kimbrel for four-out saves from the start of the season. But he spent much of spring training working out in Boston after his daughter underwent heart surgery.
The decision was then made to use Kimbrel conventionally. Only three of his 41 saves have been four outs.
“I hate to say it’s a rehearsal,” Cora said. “But as far as routine and stuff like that . . . I’d like for him to go out there and use him in different spots.”
One who got away?
Ian Kinsler has given the Sox a significant defensive upgrade at second base, something that was needed. But one of the prospects the Sox gave up for Kinsler has become a lock-down reliever for the Los Angeles Angels.
Through Tuesday, 25-year-old Ty Buttrey had appeared in 14 games and allowed one run on 10 hits over 15⅓ innings with four walks and 19 strikeouts. He also had four saves.
Buttrey was a fourth-round draft pick of the Sox in 2012 and had a largely undistinguished minor league career before the trade.
Eduardo Rodriguez is scheduled to start the final game of the series for the Red Sox on Thursday. The lefthander is 4-3 with a 3.16 ERA in 11 career starts against the Yankees. He has a 3.00 ERA in seven starts at Yankee Stadium . . . The Indians plan to activate righthander Trevor Bauer from the disabled list to start against the Red Sox on Friday. He has been out since Aug. 11 with a stress fracture in his right leg. Bauer is 12-2 with a 2.22 earned run average. He has not faced the Sox since Aug. 24, 2017, and in his career is 2-2 with an 8.24 ERA in five appearances against the Sox . . . The Yankees activated their closer, Aroldis Chapman, from the disabled list before the game. He had not pitched since Aug. 21 because of left knee tendinitis . . . The Bovada on-line casino lists Mookie Betts as a 5-12 favorite to win the American League MVP, with J.D. Martinez and Mike Trout at 9-2. Sale is a 5-11 favorite for the Cy Young with Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell 7-1.