News: Ross, who's been hampered by a heel injury, was in the lineup Friday against Tampa Bay. He was hitless with an RBI in a 6-4 loss.
Impact: Ross said he's been dealing with the injury all year and will continue to manage it. He's loosely scheduled to play two out of every five games.
News: Pierzynski has agreed to sign with the Cardinals on Friday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold reports.
Impact: The veteran catcher is expected to join the Cardinals on Saturday in Chicago. It's a natural fit, as the Cardinals are a contending team that will be without Yadier Molina for the next 6-to-10 weeks. George Kottaras is reportedly leaving the team, either to join the Triple-A affiliate or possibly just to become a free agent once more. Tony Cruz and Pierzynski will share the catching duties in the short term. He had a .254/.286/.348 slash line in 72 games with the Red Sox before getting released, and it's probably best to take a wait and see approach in most formats.
Fri. July 25, 2014 | STATS
News: De La Rosa was terrible Thursday.
Impact: De La Rosa allowed seven runs, six earned, in a season-low four-plus innings, raising his ERA from 2.64 to 3.54. De La Rosa, who lost for the first time since June 11 at Baltimore, walked two and struck out one.
News: Drew is not in the lineup Friday, the Boston Globe's Pete Abraham reports.
Impact: Brock Holt will man shortstop, as Drew gets a day off against a lefty (David Price). He has had a nice week so far at the dish, hitting home runs in back-to-back games Monday and Tuesday.
News: Ortiz (back) is in the lineup batting third against David Price and the Rays on Friday, the Providence Journal's Brian MacPherson reports.
Impact: He had been dealing with back spasms, but they seem to have subsided to the point that he's able to make his typical 4-to-5 trips to the plate.
News: Workman allowed one run on five hits and one walk while striking out six Thursday night for Triple-A Pawtucket.
Impact: Workman has put together a couple of nice starts for the PawSox after getting hit regularly for a three-week stretch in the majors. He's allowed one run on eight hits and three walks while striking out 12 in those two starts, spanning 11 innings. With the trade deadline looming and Jake Peavy most certain to find a new home, Workman's next start could be in Boston.
News: Middlebrooks (finger) homered for a second straight game Thursday on his rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. He is 9-for-28 with three homers, four RBI and six runs scored since re-starting his rehab seven games ago.
Impact: This is the best stretch Middlebrooks has put up since his fractured finger landed him on the disabled list. While Xander Bogaerts struggles at the major league level, it appears Middlebrooks is making a case for reinstatement. The Red Sox will need to make some roster adjustments -- likely some trades -- in order to accommodate Middlebrooks.
Fri. July 25, 2014 | STATS
News: Ortiz is in the starting lineup, a day after leaving a game because of back spasms.
Impact: Ortiz was set to bat third Friday night at Tampa Bay. David Price is scheduled to start for the Rays. The last time Price faced Boston, he hit Ortiz with a fastball in late May and that led to a verbal skirmish between the stars. Ortiz exited Thursday's game at Toronto during an at-bat in the ninth inning after hurting his back on a swing.
News: Ortiz was removed from Thursday's game against the Blue Jays after suffering an apparent back injury during his ninth-inning at-bat, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports.
Impact: Ortiz appeared to sustain the injury on a checked swing, as he immediately reached for his lower back after the swing. The Red Sox should have a more information on his condition after the game, but it's tough to see Ortiz succumb to an injury of any severity while he's dialed in at the plate. Prior to Thursday's 0-for-3 showing, Ortiz had gone 5-for-14 with four homers and seven RBI in the first three games of the series.
News: De La Rosa (3-3) gave up seven runs (six earned) on nine hits and two walks in a loss to Toronto on Thursday afternoon.
Impact: A tough game for Rubby -- his shortest outing, fewest strikeouts (one) and most runs surrendered in the majors this year. He'll get a chance to redeem himself against these same Blue Jays at home on Tuesday.
News: Buchholz lost for the first time in three starts, allowing five runs, four earned, and six hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out one Wednesday.
Impact: Buchholz stayed in the game after Munenori Kawasaki's comebacker hit him on the right temple in the first inning. "It dazed me for sure," Buchholz said. "I feel fine." He faces the Jays again next week.
News: Nava rapped two hits Wednesday.
Impact: Nava is sizzling at .409 in his last 14 games.
News: Ortiz hit a three-run bomb Wednesday.
Impact: Ortiz has 24 homers and 72 RBIs.
News: Ortiz was diagnosed with mid-back spasms following his removal from Thursday's tilt with the Blue Jays, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports.
Impact: The Red Sox will treat Ortiz as day-to-day, with a reevaluation likely to come Friday morning. There's a good chance the team will take a cautious approach with Ortiz and have him sit out Friday's series opener even if he reports improvement, making him a risky play in leagues that allow for weekend lineup changes.
News: Ortiz went 1-for-4 Wednesday against the Blue Jays, hitting his 24th home run of the season.
Impact: He took R.A. Dickey deep for a three-run shot in the first inning to give the Red Sox a quick 3-0 lead. Ortiz has been a one-man wrecking crew against the Jays in this series, going 5-for-14 with four home runs, eight RBI and four runs scored. The 38-year-old veteran is now fourth in the American League in home runs (24) and fifth in RBI (72).
News: Buchholz (5-6) gave up five runs (four earned) on six hits, walking four and striking out just one over six innings in Wednesday's loss to the Blue Jays.
Impact: After being staked to a 3-0 lead right out of the gate, Buchholz gave the runs right back in a three-run first inning that saw him allow four hits (two doubles) and a walk. There was a scary moment in that opening frame, as Munenori Kawasaki hit a chopper that bounced off the turf and struck Buchholz in the side of the head. Trainers came out to check on the right-hander, but after a few warm-up pitches, he stayed in the game. Buchholz then threw four scoreless innings before Ryan Goins' RBI triple tied the game. A throwing error by Xander Bogaerts later in the inning allowed the go-ahead run to score. He'll look for a better result when he faces the Blue Jays again next week.
News: Pedroia is not in the lineup for Thursday's series finale versus the Blue Jays.
Impact: Struggling to a miserable .083/.154/.083 slash line over six games since the All-Star break, Pedroia will receive a routine day off before heading into the weekend. Brock Holt will get the start at second base.
News: Pedroia's single Wednesday night was his first hit in five games.
Impact: Since the All-Star break, Pedroia has two hits, two walks and one RBI in 26 plate appearances. Pedroia and the team continue to maintain that the second baseman is not injured and that his recent stretch is more a result of poor timing in his swing.
News: Ross, who is dealing with a sore heel, is expected to start Friday night, the Providence Journal reports.
Impact: Ross said he's been dealing with the same heel injury since spring training, however, it did get bad enough to have him pulled for a pinch runner in the ninth inning of Tuesday night's loss to the Jays.
News: Holt isn't in the lineup Wednesday in Toronto.
Impact: For the first time in 59 games (since May 22), someone other than Holt is leading off for the Red Sox: Shane Victorino. In any case, Holt is yielding center field to Jackie Bradley, while the usual suspects man their regular positions.
News: Holt is not in the starting lineup Wednesday for the first time since being recalled May 17, ending a streak of 59 straight games.
Impact: Holt has played an AL-high 533 innings since his streak began, appearing at all four infield positions and all three outfield spots. The only major leaguer to play every position except pitcher and catcher this season, he leads AL rookies with a .321 average and has three homers and 23 RBIs. Holt's break won't last long: manager John Farrell said the rookie will return to the lineup Thursday.
News: Peavy's winless stretch extended to 15 starts with Tuesday's 7-3 loss at Toronto as he gave up five runs and eight hits over 6 1-3 innings.
Impact: Peavy hasn't resembled his usual self much at all this season, going 0-9 with a 5.34 ERA during his 15-start winless streak.
News: Ortiz homered for the third time in two games in Tuesday's 7-3 loss at Toronto, and he also recorded his 20th double of the season.
Impact: Big Papi has driven in 17 runs over his last 15 contests, slugging .625 with runners in scoring position in that span.
News: Victorino was back in the lineup Tuesday and had three hits in a loss to Toronto. He had been given the night off Monday as part of plan to give him regular days off.
Impact: The Red Sox plan to use Victorino, who cam back from a lengthy hamstring injury over the weekend, about five times per week initially. He has a hit in each of the three games he's played since returning. His presence extends the batting order, a lineup that has struggled to produce runs this season.
News: Drew homered and knocked in two runs in Tuesday night's loss to Toronto. It was his second straight game with a homer.
Impact: Drew has started to heat up, something that began in Houston during the final series before the All-Star break and has carried forth. He's 8-for-21 with four extra-base hits, six RBI and seven runs scored in the past six games. The stretch has raised his average from .128 to .178. For those who have been frightened away by Drew's poor hitting since signing with Boston in June, he's been a better hitter in the second half of seasons throughout his career.
News: Bradley is out of the lineup Tuesday against the Blue Jays.
Impact: Bradley will yield center-field duties to Brock Holt on Tuesday, as the Sox face left-hander J.A. Happ. In 286 at-bats this season, Bradley is hitting .234 with 28 RBI and 18 doubles.
News: Ross, who pulled up lame while running to first base in the third inning Tuesday, believes he has plantar fasciitis in his right foot, WEEI's Rob Bradford reports.
Impact: He had a similar injury for the final two months of the 2007 season, and doesn't believe it will force him to miss any starts this time around. He stayed in the game Tuesday. Ross is the pseudo-backup to Christian Vasquez anyway, so he'll have a limited role.
News: Peavy dropped to a dismal 1-9 on Tuesday, giving up five earned runs on eight hits -- two of them homers -- across 6.1 innings against the Jays. He also walked three and fanned seven.
Impact: Poor Jake Peavy. This guy has just a single win in 20 (!) starts this season. It certainly hasn't helped that he's tied for second among AL pitchers for most homers allowed (20), or that his 43 walks in 117.2 innings have him on pace to surpass his career-high 82 set as a sophomore with the Padres in 2003. He'll take another shot at his first win since April 25 when he faces the Rays in his next start Sunday.
News: Lackey allowed one run and two hits over seven innings to win 14-1 at Toronto on Monday.
Impact: Lackey has posted a 2.08 ERA in winning back-to-back starts. He owns a solid 3.66 mark on the season.
News: Nava collected three more hits and scored twice in Monday's 14-1 win at Toronto.
Impact: Nava is 10 for 21 over the last five games.
News: Napoli went 3 for 5 with a homer and three runs scored in Monday's 14-1 win at Toronto.
Impact: Napoli is now 7 for 12 over the last three games. He could be in for a huge second half.
News: Drew went 2 for 4 with a homer and four RBIs in Monday's 14-1 win at Toronto.
Impact: While Drew is 7 for his last 17, he's still hitting just .175 since joining the Red Sox on June 2.
News: Ortiz hit two towering home runs in Monday's 14-1 win at Toronto.
Impact: They were the 452nd and 453rd of his career, moving Ortiz past Boston great Carl Yastrzemski into 36th place on the all-time list. It was the third multihomer game of the season for Ortiz and the 44th of his career.
Felix Doubront - #22 - Pitcher - 6'2" - 225lbs
News: Doubront pitched an inning of relief in Monday night's blowout win over Toronto. This was Doubront's first outing since July 7 and just the fourth time he's taken the mound in the past month.
Impact: Doubront was moved to the bullpen to make room in the starting rotation for Brandon Workman, and then later Rubby De La Rosa. He's one of three left-handers in the pen and is behind Andrew Miller and Craig Breslow in terms of trustworthiness. Boston starters have been working deep into games, leaving Doubront with little opportunity to pitch. Don't be surprised to see him traded before the trading deadline.
Garin Cecchini - #70 - Third Base - 6'3" - 218lbs
News: Cecchini (shoulder) returned to the lineup Saturday for Triple-A Pawtucket.
Impact: He missed several games after his involvement in a collision at home plate. Cecchini played Saturday, was given Sunday off and was back in the lineup Monday.
News: Victorino isn't in the lineup Monday in Toronto, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports.
Impact: Following Saturday's activation from the disabled list, Victorino's absence so soon after isn't a surprise with a four-game set on tap. Fortunately, he hits the pine with some confidence, after tallying three hits, including a double, and one run across seven at-bats this weekend. He'll hand over right field to Brock Holt, while Xander Boegarts handles the hot corner.
Ryan Lavarnway - #20 - Catcher - 6'4" - 240lbs
News: Lavarnway (wrist) had his rehab assignment moved to Double-A Portland, ESPN Boston reports. He played first base for Portland on Monday, going 0-for-4 with an RBI.
Impact: Lavarnway, who's been on the disabled list since May 30 with a fractured hamate bone in his left wrist, popped up over the weekend to begin his rehab with the Gulf Coast Red Sox.
News: Bradley had a nice day at the dish Monday, going 2-for-5 with a run, two RBI and a stolen base.
Impact: Bradley has turned things around in a big way this month. After hitting .207 through June, Bradley has hit .378 thus far this month. The outfielder has scored 42 runs and stolen seven bases this season for the Red Sox.
News: Drew had perhaps his best offensive game of the season Monday, going 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI.
Impact: Drew has struggled mightily this season after getting off to a late start, hitting a paltry .151 at the All-Star break. Things have been looking up for the shortstop lately however, as Drew has seven hits in his last five games. He had 11 hits in the 26 games he'd played this season before this stretch.
News: Ortiz led the offensive charge for the Red Sox on Monday, going 2-for-5 with a pair of two-run home runs a 14-1 win over the Blue Jays.
Impact: Ortiz went just 1-for-13 in the first series of the second half, but rediscovered his swing Monday in Toronto. Boston's DH now has 22 home runs and 68 RBI on the season.
News: Lackey cruised to a win Monday night, holding the Blue Jays to one run on two hits in seven innings.
Impact: Lackey only struck out three, but didn't walk a batter in the impressive outing. The veteran hurler hit a rough patch before the All-Star break, but his first start of the second half was encouraging. He'll face the Rays in Tampa this weekend.
Mon. July 21, 2014 | STATS
News: Nava went 2 for 3 with three RBIs in Sunday's 6-0 win over Kansas City.
Impact: Nava has hit safely in four straight, going 7 for 16.
Mon. July 21, 2014 | STATS
News: Lester threw eight innings of four-hit ball to beat Kansas City 6-0 on Sunday.
Impact: Lester, who fanned eight, is 4-0 with a 0.85 ERA in his last seven starts.
News: Ortiz was 0-for-5 in Sunday's win over Kansas City and finished the three-game series going 1-for-13 with just two hard-hit balls. His average dropped to .249.
Impact: Ortiz will tell you that he lost his timing after some inactivity over the All-Star break, but an argument can be made that his slump goes back much further. Dating back to May 16, Ortiz is hitting .210 with a .317 on-base percentage and .395 slugging mark.
News: Nava was moved up to second in the batting order and went 2-for-3 with a walk and three RBI in Sunday's win over Kansas City. Since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket, Nava is hitting .337 with a .421 on-base percentage.
Impact: Nava has worked his way into a lefty-righty split with Jonny Gomes in left field. As he's heated up, the Red Sox are less desperate to find outfield help. They've scrapped plans to have Will Middlebrooks take reps out there and Mookie Betts has been returned to the minors to work on his outfield defense.
News: Holt went 2-for-5, extending his hitting streak to six games, in Sunday's win over Kansas City. He started at third base and had another couple of good defensive plays as well.
Impact: Holt's played 51 straight games and is hitting .328/.365/.460 out of the leadoff spot. With 288 plate appearances this season, Holt has started to drop off a bit.
Sun. July 20, 2014 | STATS
News: De La Rosa allowed one run over seven innings to beat Kansas City 2-1 on Saturday.
Impact: De La Rosa is now 3-2 with a 2.64 ERA over seven starts. He'll get the Blue Jays in Toronto next.
News: Victorino went 2-for-4 with a run against the Royals on Sunday.
Impact: Victorino is 3-for-7 in his first two games back from an extended absence with a hamstring injury. However, manager John Farrell said Saturday that he won't be an everyday player right away, meaning he'll likely get at least one day off per week in the short term.
News: Lester struck out eight and picked up his 10th win of the season Sunday, pitching brilliantly through eight shutout innings and allowing just four hits and two walks to the Royals.
Impact: He has now given up one earned run over his last 31 innings and five earned runs over his last 52.2 innings. His ERA sits at a sterling 2.50, thanks in part to a career-low 5.5 percent walk rate. His 25.5 percent strikeout rate is the highest he has posted since 2010, and his career-best 2.61 FIP heading into play Sunday signifies that this could go down as the best season of his career.
News: Bogaerts is out of the lineup Sunday vs. the Royals, Maureen Mullen of the Boston Globe reports.
Impact: Brock Holt's emergence and ability to play multiple positions has made him a mainstay in the Boston lineup, so he'll spell Bogaerts at third base as manager John Farrell pieces together Sunday's starting nine. There's a chance Bogaerts could miss out on the occasional start or two per week while his batting line sits at a pedestrian .234/.310/.353 for the season, but Stephen Drew's similar struggles afford Bogaerts a decent amount of job security at either third base or shortstop most nights.
News: Napoli is out of the lineup Sunday vs. the Royals, Maureen Mullen of the Boston Globe reports.
Impact: With no word on any injury, it would seem Napoli's absence from Sunday's lineup is for maintenance purposes more than anything. Even if he fails to gain any at-bats Sunday, he'll have had a very productive series. He went 4-for-7 with a homer and two runs scored in the first two contests of the three-game tilt.
News: Workman did not allow a run while giving up three hits and walking two in five innings Saturday night for Triple-A Pawtucket.
Impact: It was a grind for Workman, who needed 99 pitches (59 strikes) to get through his five innings. He's now eligible to be recalled to Boston, though at the moment, there's no room in the starting rotation. Rubby De La Rosa pitched well Saturday and Jake Peavy is still on the roster.
News: Middlebrooks (finger) homered in a rehab start Saturday for Triple-A Pawtucket. He went 2-for-4 while playing nine innings at third base.
Impact: Middlebrooks, who is still a number of days away from returning to Boston, had his rehab clock restarted, so there's no rush to get him back to the majors. That may be best, as he faces a jammed roster in Boston where playing time would be shared unless the Red Sox deal Stephen Drew.
Andrew Miller - #30 - Pitcher - 6'7" - 210lbs
News: Miller pitched a perfect eighth inning Saturday to pick up his team-leading 11th hold of the season.
Impact: Other than Koji Uehara, Miller has been Boston's best reliever and is earning high-leverage innings as a set up man. If Boston eventually deals Uehara, Miller is a candidate to pick up save opportunities.
News: Betts will continue to get exposure in right field and center field with Triple-A Pawtucket, ESPN Boston reports. He was optioned to Pawtucket on Saturday to make room for the return of Shane Victorino from the disabled list.
Impact: Manager John Farrell described Betts as a "work in progress defensively" in the outfield and he'll get a chance to play everyday with the PawSox. Betts will also stay connected to his natural position of second base.
News: Drew did not play in Saturday's win over Kansas City.
Impact: With Shane Victorino returning to the lineup and playing right field, manager John Farrell moved Brock Holt from right to shortstop. There will be a lineup shuffle going on to accommodate Victorino's return, which means a less-than-everyday role for Drew.
News: Victorino, who went 1-for-3 in his return to the lineup Saturday after a long stint on the disabled list, will not be an everyday player immediately, the Providence Journal reports. Manager John Farrell said after Saturday's game that Victorino would be closely monitored and be given periodic breaks initially.
Impact: Farrell mentioned maybe playing Victorino five times a week, particularly with a road trip coming up next week that has Boston playing seven games on artificial turf in Toronto and Tampa Bay.
News: Victorino (hamstring) was activated from the disabled list in order to start Saturday's game versus the Royals, Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports.
Impact: Prior to tilts Thursday and Friday at Triple-A Pawtucket, Victorino endured a shutdown of his initial rehab assignment but still was hitless in 17 at-bats. However, the most recent pair of games seemed to include the encouraging signs that the Red Sox required: 3-for-8 at the plate with two runs scored. In his first MLB action since May 23, he'll cover right field and bat sixth in the order.
News: De La Rosa held the Royals to one run in seven innings Saturday while earning his third win of the season.
Impact: De La Rosa pitched to contact, striking out just two batters and walking four. He's doing everything he can to earn a longer look at the big league level, though Brandon Workman continues to be in the mix.
Sat. July 19, 2014 | STATS
News: The World Series champions have optioned outfielder Mookie Betts to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Impact: Betts hit .235 in 10 games with one homer and two RBIs.
News: Betts was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday, MLB.com reports.
Impact: During his time with the big club, Betts played solely in the outfield, while slashing a mediocre .235/.278/.382 with one homer, two RBI, five runs, and one steal (in two attempts). His demotion is the corresponding move in order to activate Shane Victorino (hamstring) from the disabled list.
Sat. July 19, 2014 | STATS
News: Bogaerts hit a two-run homer in Friday's 5-4 win over Kansas City.
Impact: Friday's homer was Bogaerts' first in 25 games. He's hitting just .122 with six RBIs over that stretch.
Ryan Lavarnway - #20 - Catcher - 6'4" - 240lbs
News: Lavarnway (wrist) went 1-for-3 with a double while serving as the designated hitter Friday for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox, WEEI.com reports.
Impact: Lavarnway is beginning a rehab assignment after suffering a fractured hamate bone in June.
News: Middlebrooks (finger, wrist) resumed his rehab stint Friday night, the Providence Journal reports. He played the entire game, going 0-for-2 with an RBI and a hit by pitch.
Impact: Middlebrooks was plunked on the arm by Esmil Rogers, which didn't sit well with the third baseman. The two have history. It was Rogers who hit Middlebrooks in 2012, ending his rookie season early with a broken wrist. In any event, this was Middlebrooks' first game in nearly a week after he sprained his left wrist while sliding. He's made 50 plate appearances in a stop-and-start rehab process over the last month and could be nearing a return to Boston.
News: The Red Sox are expected to option Betts back to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Shane Victorino (hamstring), who is slated to return Saturday, WEEI.com reports.
Impact: Victorino will be examined at Fenway Park on Saturday morning to determine if he is indeed ready to return after playing seven innings in his second of back-to-back games with Pawtucket on Friday. As for Betts, he's 8-for-34 (.235 average) with two doubles and a homer in 10 games with the big club, and it's certainly understandable that the club would prefer he play everyday in the minors rather than simply sit on the bench.
News: Betts is not in the lineup Friday, the Providence Journal's Tim Britton reports.
Impact: Brock Holt will man right field in the first game after the All-Star break. Betts is certainly an intriguing talent, but we aren't to the point were he's an everyday player, which hinders his fantasy value in mid-sized leagues.
News: Uehara logged save number 19, tossing a scoreless ninth inning of a 5-4 win over Kansas City on Friday night. He allowed one hit, and struck out one.
Impact: He has just 19 saves but that's not all his fault. The Red Sox have won just 44 games, and while he hasn't been as dominant as he was in 2013, his 1.61 ERA does indicate he has been pretty competent. The question is whether Boston will opt to deal him prior to the trading deadline since this season is likely a lost cause.
Jonny Gomes - #5 - Left Field - 6'1" - 230lbs
News: Gomes hit a pinch-hit, two-run home run to cap off a four-run sixth inning as the Red Sox rallied to down the Royals on Friday night.
Impact: Xander Bogaerts had hit a two-run shot earlier in the inning, and Gomes hit his sixth of the year, driving in his 31st and 32rd runs when the Royals lifted starter James Shields in favor of southpaw reliever Scott Downs.
News: Bogaerts was 1-for-3 with a walk and a two-run home run as the Red Sox defeated Kansas City on Friday night.
Impact: Bogaerts has gone through about a month of horrendous production so this had to be a breath of fresh air. Hitting just .236 with seven home runs and 24 RBI, the Red Sox have continually stated they will stick with him, and he has the talent to make that a wise decision once he gets everything back in sync.
News: Buchholz allowed four runs on 10 hits, did not walk a batter, and struck out three over six innings of a 5-4 win against the Royals on Friday night.
Impact: Buchholz (5-5, 5.46 ERA) was coming off a brilliant three-hit, no-walk, 12-strikeout complete game win over Houston so there was optimism that his season struggles were a thing of the past. Even though he picked up a win, this wasn't vintage Buchholz so the jury is still out on his turnaround. We'll see if the magic returns against Toronto in the Rogers Centre next time out.
News: Victorino (hamstring) appears to be on track to return Saturday, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports.
Impact: The Red Sox haven't confirmed Victorino's return, but it appears to be the likely outcome given the current signs from the club. Owners in daily formats should confirm Victorino's presence in the lineup Saturday prior to activation given the shred of uncertainty.
News: Victorino (hamstring) could be activated for Saturday's game, according to manager John Farrell, the Providence Journal's Brian MacPherson reports.
Impact: While Farrell wouldn't commit to Victorino being back with the Red Sox on Saturday, it certainly sounds like that's where the team is leaning, especially given how good Victorino looked in his last rehab game. Still, Boston has a bevy of middling options in the outfield, and Victorino might not be an everyday player going forward.
News: Middlebrooks (finger) should have an opportunity to play against left-handers when he returns to Boston, given Stephen Drew's platoon struggles, the Providence Journal reports. The thought is Xander Bogaerts can move to short with Middlebrooks playing the hot corner against southpaws.
Impact: With the organization scrapping plans for Middlebrooks to see time in the outfield and focus on third base, that means a squeeze on playing time at the major league level. Sitting Drew against lefties is one way for Middlebrooks to get at-bats. And if the Red Sox deal Drew, Middlebrooks will have an opportunity to regain a hold on the everyday job at third.
News: Victorino (hamstring) played all nine innings in a rehab game with Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday, ESPN Boston reports. He went 2-for-4 with two runs scored while playing right field for the PawSox.
Impact: Victorino showed no hesitation in any aspect of the game, including a running catch in the outfield and a headfirst slide when going from first to third on a hit-and-run. The plan calls for him to play another nine innings in Pawtucket before returning to Boston, though Victorino said he's hoping to talk his way back to Boston early.
Thu. July 17, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Manager John Farrell said Middlebrooks (finger), who is expected to resume his rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday, will focus solely on playing third base, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports.
Impact: The Red Sox were tinkering with the idea of using Middlebrooks in left field upon his return to the big club, but positive contributions at the plate from Brock Holt and Mookie Betts in the corner outfield have prompted the Red Sox to table that position change for the time being. Instead, Middlebrooks will attempt to prove himself healthy and comfortable at his natural third base spot, though a playing time crunch looms once he's activated. The Red Sox want to see him play a full nine innings at third base in back-to-back games at Pawtucket before an activation will be considered.
Thu. July 17, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Victorino (hamstring) is tentatively scheduled to play for Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday, the Boston Globe reports. Earlier this week, manager John Farrell suggested Victorino could be activated this weekend.
Impact: Victorino has had a few starts and stops while rehabbing his right hamstring strain. He's played in seven minor league games since June 14, going hitless in 17 at-bats with two walks.
Wed. July 16, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Pierzynski was released by the Red Sox on Wednesday, Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports.
Impact: Apparently, there was little market on the trade front for the veteran catcher, who will be free to sign with any organization. In his half season with the Red Sox, he put together a modest .254/.286/.348 line with four home runs, 31 RBI, and 19 runs in 256 at-bats.
Wed. July 16, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Middlebrooks (finger) has been recalled from his latest rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket because of a left wrist strain, according to sources, freelance reporter Maureen Mullen reports. This marks the second time that Middlebrooks has been forced to stop his rehab.
Impact: Middlebrooks, who's rehabbing a fractured finger, did not play in games over the weekend because he sprained his left wrist sliding headfirst. He'll be returned to Pawtucket when he's ready.
Christian Vazquez - #55 - Catcher - 5'9" - 195lbs
News: Vazquez had two hits and two RBIs Sunday.
Impact: Vazquez figures to see more action after the break with the Red Sox floundering out of contention.
News: Buchholz allowed three hits and struck out a career-high 12 in his fifth career shutout in Boston's 11-0 win over Houston on Sunday.
Impact: Buchholz went to high school 90 minutes from Houston in Lumberton, Texas. He didn't walk a batter in his first shutout since June 2, 2013, against the Yankees. "I definitely had a lot of people out here to watch the game, so that makes it even better," Buchholz said. "Obviously, a win to end the first half is a good thing, too."
News: Holt goes into the All-Star break on a sizzling note.
Impact: Holt had a career-best five hits, including a leadoff homer. He played his college ball at Rice. He smiled when told that a television shot of his mother showed her tearing up after his homer. "You don't expect to have weekends like this, so for all the family and friends to be in to see it was pretty special," Holt said. "It doesn't surprise me that (mom) was crying. She's probably about to cry right now when I say goodbye."
News: Workman made his first start Sunday since being sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket. He allowed four runs on 10 hits and two walks while striking out three in five innings.
Impact: Workman is the likely replacement for Jake Peavy once the Red Sox eventually deal him, though he can't be promoted to Boston until July 19.
News: Middlebrooks (finger) has missed two games with Triple-A Pawtucket because of a jammed left wrist, the Boston Globe reports.
Impact: Middlebrooks is eight games into his rehabilitation assignment for a fractured right index finger.
News: Victorino (hamstring) played five innings in right field for Low-A Lowell on Sunday, the Providence Journal reports. He went 0-for-2 with a walk, went from first to third on a single and threw a runner out at the plate.
Impact: Red Sox manager John Farrell is hoping Victorino will be able to return to Boston for Friday's game against the Royals, though he acknowledges that timetable might be optimistic.
News: Lester's first start after the All-Star break will be Sunday against the Royals, the Providence Journal reports.
Impact: Lester will presumably pitch one inning in Tuesday's All-Star game and should be ready to go by Sunday.
News: Buchholz will get the first start following the All-Star break Friday against the Royals, the Providence Journal reports.
Impact: Buchholz, who finished out the first half in style with a complete game shutout Sunday, will get the ball in two straight games.
News: Nava went 2-for-4 with two runs scored in Sunday's win over Houston. It was his second consecutive multi-hit game.
Impact: Nava heads into the All-Star break looking like a player that will continue to get regular at-bats in the second half of the season. In June and July, he hit .330 (30-for-91) and got on base at a .419 clip.
News: Buchholz tossed a three-hit shutout with no walks and 12 strikeouts in Sunday's game against the Astros.
Impact: Buchholz did not exactly face the best offense in the league, but he dominated the Astros nonetheless. Buchholz spent a month on the DL after drawing a 7.02 ERA in his first 10 starts, but he is heading into the All-Star break on a high note. In four starts since June 25, he has a 3.92 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. The only blemish has been the five home runs allowed in the same time period.
News: Holt went 5-for-6 with a home run in Sunday's win over the Astros.
Impact: Holt finished up his breakout first half with three multi-hit games in a row against Astros pitching, going 10-for-15 in the series. The Red Sox have had plenty of disappointing rookies in recent years, but Holt is certainly not one of them. He will continue to see everyday at-bats after the All-Star break.
Sun. July 13, 2014 | STATS
News: Holt had three hits in a 3-2 loss to Houston on Saturday.
Impact: Holt, now batting .315, is 5 for 9 in this series after batting .194 (6 for 31) in his previous seven games.
Sun. July 13, 2014 | STATS
News: Peavy had a solid outing Saturday against Houston but didn't get enough support again in a 3-2 defeat.
Impact: Peavy allowed six hits and three runs with a season-high nine strikeouts in seven-plus innings, but extended his career-long losing streak to eight games. He hasn't won since April 25 as the Red Sox have given him 27 runs in his last 14 starts. He's gotten nine runs of support in his past seven games.
News: Victorino (hamstring), who is playing for Low-A Lowell on Sunday, may be able to rejoin the Red Sox on Friday, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports.
Impact: The idea was tossed out by Red Sox manager John Farrell, who also noted that he's "said a lot of things." Whether or not he's ready Friday, Victorino is on track to return shortly after the All-Star break.
News: The Red Sox are sticking with Bogaerts despite an epic string of futility, the Providence Journal reports. "What's right for our team long term is to get a productive Xander Bogaerts," manager John Farrell said. "We don't lose sight that we still have confidence and know that he's going to be an impact player. We're working through some things to get there."
Impact: Prior to his 2-for-4 effort Saturday, Bogaerts was hitting .105 with a .142 on-base percentage and a .140 slugging percentage in the previous 30 games. Boston coaches are working with Bogaerts on the adjustments necessary to cover the parts of the strike zone opposing pitchers are exploiting. He's been missing or making weak contact on anything down and away, something that's affected his ability to turn on pitches on the inner half. Farrell said Bogaerts has been unable to take those adjustments he's making in batting practice to games.
News: Bradley had his second two-hit game in a row in Saturday's loss to Houston. The defensively-gifted center fielder has strung together hits in eight of his last nine games (12-for-31, .387).
Impact: Going back to the point in June when he altered his batting stance, Bradley is 19-for-61 (.311) in his last 18 games.
News: Betts had two hits and a stolen base in Saturday's loss to Houston. It was his second two-hit game in his last three starts.
Impact: While the Red Sox continue an interminable wait for Shane Victorino (hamstring) to get healthy, Betts should remain up with Boston through the All-Star break and into the second half of the season. He's not playing every day, but he's getting about four or five starts a week. Saturday's output raised his average to .242.
News: Peavy allowed three runs on six hits and one walk while striking out a season-high nine batters in seven innings in Saturday's loss to Houston. This was Peavy's best performance of the season, but he couldn't avoid losing his eighth straight decision.
Impact: It's the same old story for Peavy, who didn't get the support he needed. Boston had 13 hits, left nine men on base and were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position Saturday. They've scored just two runs in the last 20 innings he's pitched. Looking at the positive side, it was Peavy's third consecutive quality start and his trade value is booming. He will remain part of Boston's rotation until they find an appropriate trade partner. The most recent reports have him headed to St. Louis.
News: Manager John Farrell laid out the timeshare at catcher between Ross and rookie Christian Vazquez, ESPN Boston reports.
Impact: Ross will continue to catch Jon Lester and Jake Peavy regularly. Catching Lester has been Ross' job pretty much all season while he's recently picked up Peavy on a regular basis the last month or so. Vazquez will be the battery mate for all other starters.
News: Victorino (hamstring), who was scratched from the lineup at Double-A Portland on Saturday, may be able to play Sunday for Low-A Lowell, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports.
Impact: Victorino restarted a rehab assignment Thursday with Lowell but has so far gone hitless with one walk in four at-bats across two outings. Getting scratched isn't an encouraging sign, considering he's already been shut down once during his current stay on the disabled list, but he'll more than likely continue ramping up to nine innings in the field during Sunday's game.
Sat. July 12, 2014 | STATS
News: Ortiz drove in three runs in Friday's 8-3 win at Houston.
Impact: Ortiz now has 15 RBIs in his last 14 games.
News: Nava is out of the lineup Saturday against the Astros, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports.
Impact: Nava will take a seat Saturday after a 2-for-5 night at the plate Friday. In his place, Mookie Betts will start in right and bat ninth for the Red Sox.
News: Drew is not in the lineup Saturday against the Astros, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports.
Impact: Drew will yield the start to Brock Holt at shortstop, as he'll move in from the outfield and again lead off for the Red Sox.
News: Middlebrooks (finger) played nine innings as a third baseman Friday night for Triple-A Pawtucket. He went 1-for-5 with an RBI and two strikeouts.
Impact: Playing in the field for a full game is a threshold passed for Middlebrooks, who has another 10 days remaining on his rehab assignment. The Red Sox have talked about getting him some time as an outfielder, but we haven't heard any of that chatter of late. It could still be in the plans, but the team could also be thinking about moving on from Stephen Drew at shortstop, which would open up third base for Middlebrooks and/or Brock Holt.
News: Drew went 1-for-3 with a triple, a walk and two runs scored in Friday night's win over Houston.
Impact: It's quite natural to wonder how much longer the Red Sox will carry Drew and his .135 batting average. Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington recently signaled the organization will be taking a longer term view, which potentially means moving Xander Bogaerts back to short with Brock Holt and/or Will Middlebrooks at third base.
News: Bradley went 2-for-4 and scored a run in Friday night's win over Houston. He's tallied a hit in seven of the previous eight games with a .370/.433/.462 line.
Impact: Bradley's now hitting .223, his highest point since May 3. His recent offensive surge, coupled with an anemic lower half of the batting order, prompted manager John Farrell to move Bradley up to sixth in the order.
News: Bogaerts went 0-for-4 in Friday's win over the Astros to drop his season line to .234/.310/.349.
Impact: Considering that he was hitting .304 with a .395 OBP and .464 slugging percentage on June 4, Bogaerts' fall over the past five weeks has been a tremendous one. It's unclear if he'll continue to handle third base on a regular basis once Will Middlebrooks is ready to play again, as the Red Sox may want to consider giving Bogaerts a brief stint at Pawtucket to help him regain his confidence.
News: Lackey struck out three and walked five while holding the Astros to two runs on four hits over six innings Friday night to earn his 10th win of the season.
Impact: The strike zone proved to be a challenge for Lackey and Astros starter Scott Feldman on Friday, but Lackey overcame the issue to deliver another quality start. In the final year of his contract with the Red Sox, Lackey could draw interest from other clubs ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
Fri. July 11, 2014 | STATS
News: Lester struck out 12 in seven innings Thursday but did not get a decision against the Chicago White Sox.
Impact: Lester (9-7, 2.65 ERA) allowed one run and seven hits, but fellow All-Star Koji Uehara gave up a tying homer in the ninth to pinch-hitter Conor Gillaspie. Lester has won three consecutive decisions and five of his last six. He has a 1.01 ERA in his last six starts.
News: Napoli is not in the starting lineup Friday, Mike Silverman of the Boston Herald reports.
Impact: No reason has been provided for Napoli's absence, while Mike Carp will start at first base for the Red Sox on Friday.
News: Lester struck out a dozen batters without a walk over seven dominant innings Thursday against the White Sox, allowing just one run on seven hits, but received no decision.
Impact: Lester was the victim of a rare Koji Uehara blown save, but nonetheless continued what's been a remarkable run recently. He's allowed just five earned runs in his last six starts -- though he has allowed five unearned runs in that span as well. Nonetheless, Lester enters the All-Star break in the midst of the best season of his career, as his 2.65 ERA is easily the best he's put up and he's also striking out more than a batter per inning.
News: Uehara blew his second save of the season Thursday, giving up a two-run homer in a game Boston eventually won in extra innings. It's the fourth time in Uehara's last 11 appearances that he's given up at least one run.
Impact: Uehara is slightly off the elite level at which he performed last season, but he remains one of the game's best closers. With the Red Sox -- who are 10 games below .500 and one of the worst teams in the American League -- inching toward preparing for 2015, Uehara could find himself traded to a playoff contender before the end of the season.
News: Victorino (hamstring) went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts in the first game of his restarted rehabilitation assignment Thursday night with Low-A Lowell, the Providence Journal reports. He played five innings in right field.
Impact: The plan calls for Victorino to play the next four days leading up to the All-Star break, working up to a full nine innings by the weekend. Victorino battled hamstring and back issues during his original rehab assignment, which was shut down late in June.
News: Boston recalled De La Rosa from Triple-A Pawtucket to start Wednesday night against the Chicago White Sox.
Impact: De La Rosa was 2-2 with a 2.51 ERA in five starts for Boston this season. He has also made 12 starts over two stints with Pawtucket.
News: The Red Sox have designated Pierzynski for assignment and called up catching prospect Christian Vazquez from Triple-A Pawtucket.
Impact: The 37-year-old Pierzynski hit .254 with four home runs and 31 RBIs in 72 this season. He signed an $8.25 million, one-year contract with the Red Sox as a free agent in December.
News: Uehara has been added to the AL roster for the All-Star Game. He replaces New York Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka, who was placed on the disabled list on Wednesday.
Impact: The 39-year-old closer is 4-2 with 18 saves and a 1.30 ERA this season.
Tue. July 8, 2014 | STATS
News: Buchholz dropped to 3-5 on Monday as the BoSox lost 4-0 to the ChiSox.
Impact: Buchholz allowed four runs on five hits and a walk, and struck out seven in seven innings. "I'm done talking about the offense," Buchholz said. "It's not like they're out there not trying or anything. It's just not working right now. I'm not going to answer any more questions about our offense."
Tue. July 8, 2014 | STATS
News: Ortiz went 0 for 3 on Monday.
Impact: Ortiz also went on a crazed rant about how the media is treating him so it's unclear where his focus really is. The Red Sox are in last place.
News: Pedroia turned in his fifth three-hit performance in eight games in Sunday's 7-6 loss to Baltimore.
Impact: Pedroia is 16 for 32 over his last eight games.
News: Ortiz was 4 for 5 with his 15th double in Sunday's 7-6 loss to Baltimore.
Impact: Ortiz is 7 for 12 over his last three games with four RBIs.
News: Peavy's winless stretch extended to 13 straight starts Sunday as he gave up an earned run and six hits over six innings in a 7-6 loss to Baltimore.
Impact: Peavy is 0-7 with a 5.33 ERA in 13 starts since his last victory.
News: Lester was solid again Saturday against Baltimore, yielding two unearned runs and five hits over eight innings, though he didn't factor into the decision in the 3-2 victory.
Impact: Lester is 3-0 over his last five starts with a 0.96 ERA.
News: Drew homered in each leg of Saturday's doubleheader versus Baltimore.
Impact: Drew, who hadn't homered previously in 66 at-bats this season, is hitting just .151 with five RBIs.
News: Lackey had another tough outing in the second half of Saturday's doubleheader with Baltimore, surrendering five runs and a season worst-matching 10 hits over 5 1-3 innings in a 7-4 defeat.
Impact: Lackey is 1-2 over his last three starts with an unsightly 10.29 ERA.