09/14/12 7:10 PM ET
Valentine seeks depth for Red Sox's thin roster
By Chris Toman / MLB.com
When Valentine was asked by a reporter if there was a particular positional area he was looking for help in, he didn't shy away from his comments.
"Are you kidding? This is the weakest roster we've ever had in September in the history of baseball," Valentine said.
"We could use help everywhere."
He may be in luck, as Boston's Triple-A affiliate, the Pawtucket Pawsox defeated the Charlotte Knights to win their first International League Championship since 1984.
Pawtucket will take on the winner of the Pacific Coast League in Durham on Sept. 18 for the Triple-A National Championship Game.
"There might be one of two guys who are on the roster who will be coming up," Valentine said.
"If there are people who could be brought up, we should bring them up. But I don't know if there are a lot of guys left."
Pedroia anticipated to rejoin Sox over weekend
TORONTO -- Dustin Pedroia didn't make the trip to Toronto with the Red Sox, but he will join the team at some point during their three-game weekend series against the Blue Jays.
Pedroia missed Thursday's contest against the Yankees to join his wife, Kelli, who gave birth to the couple's second son.
"He will see us in Toronto. I doubt it would be tonight [Friday]," Valentine said about his All-Star second baseman.
"They are doing well, mom and baby are doing well. I don't know about Dustin -- no baseball and no sleep."
Despite the difficult year the Red Sox have had, Pedroia has turned in another strong season and has been especially hot of late.
Pedroia has hit safely in all but three of 35 games since Aug. 5, batting a Major League-best .381 over that stretch. In the process, he has raised his average from .262 to .295. His 15 doubles and .434 on-base percentage are also tops in baseball since Aug. 5, while he ranks among the top five American League leaders in hits (53), total bases (88), extra-base hits (22), slugging (.633), OPS (1.067) and runs (26) during that period of time.
Valentine doesn't think the time away will affect Pedroia.
"He'll be back. Dustin will be back, we know that," Valentine said.
Red Sox formulating next step for Lackey
TORONTO -- John Lackey threw on flat ground Friday, a day after throwing 20 pitches in batting practice at Fenway Park.
The plan is for Lackey to throw another batting practice either in Tampa Bay -- where the Red Sox will travel after their weekend series in Toronto -- or at home when Boston returns to face the Orioles starting Sept. 21.
It will all depend on how Lackey's arm responds, but so far, everything has checked out well.
"He felt good afterward," manager Bobby Valentine said about Lackey's 20-pitch session.
Lackey will get into game action in the instructional league at some point this month, but the amount of work he logs has yet to be determined and he isn't likely to start.
"See a little competitive action. Probably a couple innings," Valentine said.
"I think it will be good for him. That's what his plan has been all summer. It seems like accomplishing something you set out to do would be pretty important for an athlete."
Lackey hasn't pitched a big league game since Sept. 25, 2011. Following that outing, he had Tommy John surgery on his elbow. Over 28 starts with the Red Sox last season, the 33-year-old went 12-12 with a 6.41 ERA, his second year with Boston.
Chris Toman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.