Reddick called up to give Sox outfield depth
Outfield prospect to get regular playing time due to injuries
BOSTON -- A hot hitter throughout Spring Training, it seemed fairly safe to assume that Josh Reddick would resurface in the Red Sox's clubhouse at some point this season. Thanks to injuries piling up in recent days, that moment came Tuesday, when the left-handed hitter was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket and immediately placed in Boston's starting lineup.
Reddick, a prospect the Red Sox think highly of, batted ninth and played center field for the opener of a three-game series against the Rangers. With Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron both placed on the disabled list on Tuesday, Reddick should get regular playing time for the next few days.
After hitting .390 for the Red Sox in Spring Training, Reddick had a slow start at Pawtucket, hitting .179 in nine games.
"Hopefully I can add some energy, go out there and hit the ball like I haven't been lately," Reddick said. "Hopefully I can try to give these guys a little bit of a spark and try to play the game hard."
With the Red Sox off to their worst start in 14 years, an energetic player can only help.
"I know his numbers don't look good in Triple-A, but he got off to a terrible start the first week and kind of lost his approach and has looked better the last few days," said Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein. "He's gotten back into a more controlled approach at the plate and has looked like the player we saw in Spring Training. He's an exciting player. He plays every game with a lot of energy, and that might be a good thing.
"That's not why we called him up, but that might be a good thing for us right now, because we've been seemingly playing without a lot of energy out there. He's a guy whether he's at the bat, letting it go, or in the field getting after balls, or on the basepaths, he does play with a high motor and a lot of energy. Maybe that will spur us a little bit. He's still developing, so we need to make sure we put him in a position to succeed and keep a close eye on him. But he's also someone we trust to have a chance to impact the game."
Francona juggles lineup seeking spark
BOSTON -- His offense free-falling during a five-game losing streak, Red Sox manager Terry Francona did some realignment for Tuesday night's game against the Rangers.
Dustin Pedroia was moved from the second position to third, with Francona hoping that the second baseman's early power surge will be more beneficial in that spot. Victor Martinez, who has started the season in disappointing fashion, went from third to fifth. Two other players who have been slumping -- J.D. Drew and David Ortiz -- were also moved.
Drew has hit mostly seventh, but he was hitting second on Tuesday. The hope is that his on-base skills will be more of a factor near the top of the order and that he might see some more fastballs. Ortiz went from fifth to sixth.
"I think I said on Opening Day, if we were making changes, something isn't going right," Francona said. "I do believe in being very patient. I think that is what helps players. At the same time, what we were doing wasn't working. We hit J.D. second the other day to try to get him in some fastball situations. If he has that hole open, that plays into the way he hits.
"Pedey's been a really hot hitter for us. We put him in an RBI situation. We're just trying to lengthen out that batting order a little bit."
Matsuzaka completes rehab stint
BOSTON -- Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka completed his Minor League rehab assignment for Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday, turning in another strong performance.
In a game played in Allentown, Pa., Matsuzaka scattered six hits over 5 2/3 innings, walking none and striking out eight. He threw 99 pitches, 66 for strikes, and gave up two runs, one of which was earned.
Dice-K will return to Boston's rotation next week, most likely during the club's three-game series at Toronto, which starts Monday. The Red Sox have yet to say how they will finagle Matsuzaka into a rotation that already includes Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Tim Wakefield and Clay Buchholz.
Matsuzaka started the season on the disabled list because of an upper back issue that slowed him at the beginning of Spring Training. He posted an 0.55 ERA in three games for Pawtucket, walking one and striking out 12.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.