6/28/2014 1:02 A.M. ET
Victorino, Middlebrooks shut down after setbacks
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Shane Victorino continues to have roadblocks in his quest to return from the disabled list. The latest?
"Well, baseball activities are shut down," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He's going through treatment right now. We don't have a date that he's going to resume those. It is the treatment to the low back area."
Victorino's original injury -- the one that has put him on the disabled list twice this season -- was a right hamstring strain.
But discomfort in his back might be related.
Third baseman Will Middlebrooks is also having a slower-than-expected recovery from a fractured right index finger.
Middlebrooks has also been shut down from baseball activities due to increased swelling.
In part because of Victorino's prolonged absence, the Red Sox are getting No. 5 prospect Mookie Betts some exposure in right field at Triple-A Pawtucket.
"There's been some correlation to that," said Farrell. "Tonight will be the second time he's been in right field. We're just trying to get him exposure to both center and right field in the event that some further discussion and ultimate decision is made to bring him here. That has not happened yet."
Middlebrooks and Victorino had both been playing in Minor League rehab games for Triple-A Pawtucket earlier this week.
Holt's emergence could generate All-Star buzz
NEW YORK -- Though much of the season has been marked with frustration for the Red Sox, the story that keeps on giving is the emergence of Brock Holt.
The super-utility man is playing every day, and not only coming through on offense, but also flashing the leather no matter where he plays.
Since May 23, Holt has played all 321 innings of Boston's 34 games. You wonder if Holt can generate enough notice to warrant consideration for a spot on the American League All-Star squad.
Though he isn't on the ballot to be selected as a starter, Holt could generate some consideration as a manager's selection -- Red Sox manager John Farrell will lead the AL -- or the Final Vote ballot.
In Friday night's 6-0 loss to the Yankees, Holt made a tremendous leaping catch against the wall in right to take extra bases -- perhaps even a home run -- away from Brian Roberts.
In the eighth, Holt made a nice sliding snare against Carlos Beltran.
"He's doing a great job for us in right field," said Farrell. "He makes a diving catch in short center field to take away a base hit, leadoff walk to [start] the game, a double into right-center field, goes up against the wall in right field to make another good catch. Brock has done a very good job in that role."
At the plate, Holt has hit safely in 31 out of his last 34 games.
He generated one of just two extra-base hits the Sox had on Friday against the Yankees, ripping a double in the third.
"I feel good," said Holt. "It's been a good run. I'm trying to continue to do what I've been doing, stay with my approach and get in a good position to hit and put a good swing on a good pitch."
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
Doubront to remain in Red Sox's bullpen
NEW YORK -- Though the Red Sox are still trying to sort the starting rotation out, manager John Farrell did announce that lefty Felix Doubront will stay in the bullpen for the foreseeable future instead of getting a start against the Cubs at Fenway Park next week.
Jake Peavy, who has struggled of late, is likely to pitch Monday as Farrell continues to try to find a way to get a turn for Rubby De La Rosa.
While Clay Buchholz and Doubront were on the disabled list, De La Rosa turned in some standout performances.
"Yeah, right now we would go with Jake Peavy on Monday," said Farrell. "Clay Buchholz Tuesday. And then we'd come back around to Brandon Workman right now on Wednesday. That puts Rubby in maybe a little different situation than we've discussed over the last couple of days. But still, nothing else to follow up with Rubby's situation as of right now."
What changed from earlier this week, when Farrell hinted that Doubront would get a start against the Cubs?
"Chris Capuano's designation has changed that, and that has put Felix in the bullpen going forward," Farrell said.
If the storyline sounds familiar, consider that Doubront was also demoted to the bullpen during last year's postseason.
Doubront wasn't happy about the move back in October, though he did pitch well in relief while helping the Red Sox win the World Series. He isn't particularly enthusiastic about it this time either.
"I see myself as a starter," said Doubront. "Right now, [the bullpen is] the only spot for me. I want to take it. I'd rather be here than the Minor Leagues. That's the spot, so I'm going to take it. I'm going to figure it out myself and do my job as a reliever. It's something that's happening right now."
Part of the problem both last season and again this season is that Doubront has been prone to bouts of inconsistency.
"He does view himself as a starter," said Farrell. "But as it was explained to him, that's where our need currently is, in the bullpen for him, and as well as other guys in our rotation that are ahead of him. There's a way to get back in the rotation -- that's pitch your way back into it."
"The situation that we're in right now, I'm the only one who can do that job in the bullpen," Doubront said. "Like I said, it's something that I don't want, but it's there. I have to stay positive and do my work."