Description: Shortstop Stephen Drew seems like an obvious fit for the Tigers now that Jose Iglesias (shin) could miss most of the season.
Insight: Scott Boras has the Tigers right where he wants them. Drew is an above average defensive player with decent power for a middle infielder. Though nothing has been decided yet, this deal makes too much sense not to happen.
Description: Red Sox starter Jake Peavy (finger) may not be ready in time for the start of the regular season, according to mlb.com.
Insight: Peavy suffered a deep laceration on his left index finger with a fishing knife. He was able to throw on Tuesday but hasn't been cleared to put his glove on. "We've got an opportunity to keep his arm moving, keep him in shape," said manager John Farrell. "He'll stretch a little bit with long toss today and the plan is for him to throw a bullpen tomorrow, without a glove. The precaution we have to take right now is making sure he doesn't perspire too much that may cause bacteria or whatever to get into the incision that's still closing up."
Description: Red Sox starter Jake Peavy won't throw for at least three days after suffering a lacerated left index finger on Saturday. SOURCE: Scott Lauber, Boston Herald
Insight: Peavy was scratched from a Grapefruit League start after cutting his finger with a fishing knife. According to Boston manager John Farrell, Peavy "almost cut through his finger," so he may have to miss more than one start. The good news is that the injury was to his non-throwing hand. "The fact is, we can pad that index finger to his glove hand," Farrell said. "It's nowhere near the impact had it been the other hand."
Description: According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava (neck) will play Saturday.
Insight: Nava will be making his Grapefruit League debut after sitting out this week with a pinched nerve in his neck. The 31-year-old is coming off a season in which he batted .303 with 12 homers, 66 RBI, 77 runs and an .830 OPS in 134 games. He played primarily against lefties and will do so again this season.
Description: Stephen Drew's agent Scott Boras says that Drew would be willing to move to second base full-time for the right price. SOURCE: Max Wildstein, MLBlogs
Insight: Toronto and the Mets are considered the favorites to land Drew at this point, though an official signing may not come until the regular season is already underway. We've heard dozens of rumors about Drew (.253, 13 HR, 67 RBI) this offseason so take everything you hear with a grain of salt.
Description: Red Sox 1B/OF Mike Carp has been taking reps at third base during spring training. Carp played 29 games at first base last season and 43 at the two corner outfield positions. SOURCE: Providence Journal
Insight: Versatility is always nice and it could give Carp (.296, 9 HR, 43 RBI in 2013) more at bats, especially if the team winds up trading Will Middlebrooks. With that said, the Red Sox contemplated a similar conversion with Mike Napoli last year and never went through with it. Until we actually see Carp play third base in a game, his fantasy value shouldn't change.
Description: Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster told reporters Sunday that he will not pitch in 2014, citing "physical reasons and his desire to spend more time with his kids." SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, foxsports.com.
Insight: Dempster had a 4.57 ERA in 171 1/3 innings last season after signing a two-year, $26.5 million contract with Boston. He'll be placed on the restricted list and won't receive the $13.25 million he was slated to earn in 2014. The Sox will go with Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Jake Peavy and Felix Doubront in the rotation unless they sign a replacement with the money Dempster vacated.
Description: Despite their interest, the Mets aren't likely to sign shortstop Stephen Drew. SOURCE: Ken Davidoff, New York Post
Insight: Drew supposedly has two offers in place but is holding out for a three-year deal. With so few viable options at shortstop, the soft-hitting Drew (.264 career average) remains a fantasy consideration.
Description: Veteran designated hitter David Ortiz has softened his demands after calling the Red Sox out during a television appearance last week. SOURCE: Rob Bradford, WEEI
Insight: Who is Papi kidding? He's not going anywhere. The reigning World Series MVP says all he's looking for is a one-year extension. The Red Sox don't want Ortiz (.309, 30 HR, 103 RBI in 2013) to leave either so we'd expect the two sides to come to an agreement sooner rather than later.
Description: For the first time, Boston DH David Ortiz acknowledged that he could play elsewhere if the Red Sox don't honor his request for a multi-year contract. SOURCE: ESPN Boston
Insight: It may sound like Ortiz is being pushy but after winning the World Series MVP, he deserves to be compensated. We can't imagine Ortiz playing for another team and it's likely the two sides will work out a deal before Papi reaches free agency.
Description: According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Yankees haven't ruled out the possibility of signing shortstop Stephen Drew.
Insight: With Derek Jeter at shortstop, Drew would probably spend most of his time at second base if he went to New York. Drew put together a solid regular season (.253, 13 HR, 67 RBI) for the Red Sox in 2013 but was awful in the playoffs, collecting just six hits in 54 at bats (.111 AVG). For all his struggles at the plate, the 30-year-old has always been an excellent defensive player.
Description: Boston lefthander Jon Lester acknowledged that he'd be willing to take a paycut to stay with the Red Sox. SOURCE: Gordon Edes, ESPN Boston
Insight: His contract expires after the 2014 season. We expect the two sides will have a new deal in place by the time spring training rolls around. Lester is coming off a resurgent 2013 campaign that included 15 wins and a 3.75 ERA in 213 1/3 innings. He was 4-1 with a 1.56 ERA in five postseason appearances.
Description: In a surprise move, the Red Sox and outfielder Grady Sizemore have agreed to a one-year, $750,000 deal. SOURCE: Rob Bradford, WEEI
Insight: It's a major league deal, which means Sizemore could compete with Jackie Bradley Jr. for the starting center field job out of spring training. The 31-year-old used to steal tons of bases (38 in 2008) but he hasn't played in the big leagues since 2011. It will be interesting to see what he has left in the tank. We wouldn't rule Sizemore out as a fantasy option just yet.
Description: Righthanded reliever Edward Mujica has agreed to a two-year, $9.5 million contract with Boston. SOURCE: Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports
Insight: Mujica got off to a nice start last season (2.20 ERA, 26 saves before the All-Star break) but fell apart in the second half (11.05 ERA in September). If he returns to his pre-All-Star break form, he'll be a solid addition to what is already one of the stronger bullpens in the major leagues. Mujica won't be a candidate to close unless Koji Uehara gets injured.
Description: According to Sean McAdam of csnne.com, the Red Sox have re-signed first baseman Mike Napoli to a two-year deal worth $32 million.
Insight: We never expected Napoli to leave the Red Sox after he changed the clubhouse culture, ushered in the bearded brotherhood and brought a World Series title to Boston in his first season. Just remember he'll have significantly less fantasy value in 2014 because he won't be eligible at catcher after playing zero innings there in 2013.
Description: Veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski has agreed to a one-year, $8.25 million deal with Boston. SOURCE: Buster Olney, ESPN
Insight: It's a nice haul for the soon-to-be 37-year-old. Pierzynski could be a liability defensively but he rarely gets injured and his .283 lifetime batting average is extremely impressive for a player at his position. The Pierzynski signing marks the end of the Jarrod Saltalamacchia Era in Boston.
Description: ESPN's Jim Bowden suspects free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury will re-sign with Boston.
Insight: If Ellsbury can get a seven-year deal from Washington or Texas, he'll take it. However, it's unlikely that any team would offer him that many years and Bowden seems to believe Ellsbury would be willing to give Boston at least a little bit of a hometown discount. If Boston decides the price to keep Ellsbury is too high, they'll probably opt to use Jackie Bradley in center field next season.
Description: If the Red Sox want to keep Jarrod Saltalamacchia, they may have to wait in line. The free agent catcher is also being pursued by the Blue Jays, Rockies and Twins according to NESN's Jen Slothower.
Insight: Boston struck out with Carlos Ruiz (re-signed with Philadelphia) and Brian McCann (Yankees), which leaves Salty and veteran A.J. Pierzynski as the top catchers left on the market. The Twins are in the running because they've decided to make Joe Mauer a full-time first baseman. Saltalamacchia (.273, 14 HR, 65 RBI) had his moments in 2013 but inconsistency caused him to lose his starting job to David Ross in the postseason.
Description: The Mets could make a play for free agent righthander Alfredo Aceves. SOURCE: Buster Olney, ESPN
Insight: Aceves wore out his welcome in Boston but at age 31, he still has a few years left to prove himself. If the Mets do end up signing Aceves, it will be interesting to see if they employ him as a starter or out of the bullpen. Though Aceves' preference is to start, his best season came in 2011 when he was used almost exclusively as a middle reliever (10-2, 2.61 ERA in 114 innings).
Description: The Rockies and Rangers are among the teams lining up to sign Mike Napoli. SOURCE: Buster Olney, ESPN
Insight: Napoli was a health risk heading into the 2013 season but he improved his stock dramatically by having a sparkling year both at the plate and in the field. He's also a clubhouse leader, which should play well as he looks for a multi-year deal. Despite the interest Napoli is getting from other teams, we still expect him to be back with the Red Sox next season.
Description: Agent Scott Boras is using Carl Crawford's seven-year, $142 million deal as the benchmark for Jacoby Ellsbury's next contract. SOURCE: NESN
Insight: Somebody is bound to overpay for Ellsbury after his monster 2013 campaign (.298 AVG, 52 steals). According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, that price tag is a little too high for the Mariners, who claim they have "no interest" in Ellsbury. Feinsand mentioned the Cubs as a possible dark horse candidate in the Ellsbury sweepstakes.
Description: The Mariners could be in the running for free agent first baseman Mike Napoli this offseason. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: Napoli would be an upgrade over Seattle's current first baseman Justin Smoak (.238, 20 HR, 50 RBI). Still, after the season he just had with the Red Sox, it's hard to envision Napoli (.259, 23 HR, 92 RBI) playing anywhere else besides Boston.
Description: Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia will have surgery on his left thumb sometime in the next few weeks. SOURCE: Brian MacPherson, Providence Journal
Insight: Somehow, Pedroia managed to play 176 games between the playoffs and regular season with a torn thumb ligament. And he still won a Gold Glove and made the All-Star team. Who knows what kind of season Pedroia could have if he actually stayed healthy for once.
Description: David Ross will get another start at catcher Wednesday in Game 6 of the World Series.
Insight: It appears he's overtaken Jarrod Saltalamacchia and will start the rest of the series. Ross delivered a huge hit in Game 5 to put Boston ahead 2-1 in the seventh inning. Overall, he's hitting .286 in the postseason with a .429 slugging percentage.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz will start at first base in Game 5 of the World Series Saturday in St. Louis.
Insight: Considering how he's pounding the ball, there was no decision to be made. When you are batting a stunning .727 with a 2.114 OPS you play - period. Mike Napoli, who has been taking a few ground balls at third base, will come off the bench.
Description: David Ross will be back behind the plate Sunday versus the Cardinals.
Insight: Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been useless at the plate this postseason (.188 AVG in 32 at bats) and he's also made a number of critical mistakes in the field. Look for Ross to also start Game 5 when Jon Lester returns to the mound.
Description: It appears John Farrell has finally seen enough. The Red Sox skipper benched slumping shortstop Stephen Drew for Will Middlebrooks late in Saturday's loss to St. Louis.
Insight: Drew has given the Red Sox nothing at the plate (4-for-44 in the playoffs) and has only been playing because of his strong glove work at shortstop. With Boston's season on the line, the Red Sox don't have time to wait for Drew to turn things around offensively. Middlebrooks is likely to start at third for Game 4 with rookie Xander Bogaerts filling in for Drew at shortstop.
Description: Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia sealed Boston's fate by delivering a poor throw to third base late in Saturday's loss to St. Louis.
Insight: Will Middlebrooks was charged with the error but the throw was one that never should have been made. Saltalamacchia's poor defense also contributed to a loss two nights earlier back at Fenway Park (he mishandled a throw from left fielder Jonny Gomes, which led to a pair of runs). Salty's poor play in the field could be overlooked if he was hitting but he's not doing that either (.188 AVG in 32 postseason at bats). Look for David Ross to sub in for the struggling Saltalamacchia Sunday in Game 4.
Description: Boston starter Jake Peavy struggled in a no-decision Saturday versus St. Louis.
Insight: Peavy allowed six hits and two earned runs in just four innings of work. He seemed to have no trust at all in his fastball, opting mostly for breaking pitches after barely surviving a two-run, four-hit first inning. As shaky as Peavy looked in the outing, it could have been much worse. Somehow the righthander was able to navigate his way out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fourth inning. He's scheduled to start Game 7 if the series goes that far though his last two performances have done little to inspire confidence.
Description: Boston reliever Craig Breslow imploded for the second straight game Saturday night against the Cardinals.
Insight: Breslow failed to record an out in the seventh inning and was later charged with two runs after Junichi Tazawa allowed a double to Matt Holliday later in the frame. Breslow's latest nightmare performance comes just two days after blowing a save in Game 2. It will be interesting to see what John Farrell decides to do with his bullpen in Game 4 Sunday night in St. Louis.
Description: Mike Napoli, who has never played third base in a major league game, was seen taking grounders at that position Saturday during batting practice.
Insight: When asked about it, Red Sox manager John Farrell said, "Not tonight, but it's an option." It's a risky maneuver given Napoli's lack of experience at that position but having his bat in the lineup would give the Red Sox a huge leg up offensively. Napoli has been benched in favor of David Ortiz for Saturday's Game 3 in St. Louis. Ortiz, usually a DH, will be making his seventh start of the year at first base.
Description: Clay Buchholz won't be at 100 percent when he makes his scheduled start Sunday against St. Louis. SOURCE: Jayson Stark, ESPN
Insight: Buchholz, a Cy Young contender early in the season, saw his velocity decline rapidly in his last start Saturday against Detroit. If his outing gets cut short, Felix Doubront may have to eat up a few innings before Boston can turn it over to the bullpen trio of Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara in the later innings.
Description: As expected, Mike Napoli won't start Saturday's Game 3 against St. Louis.
Insight: Napoli has had a decent postseason offensively (2 HR, 6 RBI) but David Ortiz is far too valuable a hitter to not be in the lineup. There's a strong chance Napoli will get a chance to pinch-hit later in the contest.
Description: Boston manager John Farrell confirmed that Clay Buchholz will start Game 4 of the World Series Sunday at St. Louis, according to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.
Insight: Buchholz admitted that he's dealing with general arm fatigue and looked "uncomfortable" while throwing off flat ground Thursday, but he'll try to get through one more start this season. He'll oppose Lance Lynn after Jake Peavy and Joe Kelly square off in Game 3 Saturday.
Description: Red Sox manager John Farrell confirmed that David Ortiz will start at first base in Game 3 of the World Series Saturday in St. Louis, according to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com.
Insight: Ortiz went 4-for-7 (.571) with a pair of home runs and five RBI in the first two games of the series (he also had a grand slam robbed by Carlos Beltran in Game 1). Mike Napoli will move to the bench in Game 3.
Description: Daniel Nava will start in left field for the Red Sox in Game 3 of the World Series against the Cardinals, according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com.
Insight: Jonny Gomes started the first two games of the series but Busch Stadium's left field is much more demanding than Fenway Park's. With right-hander Joe Kelly on the mound for the Cardinals, it's a no-brainer to start the lefty-swinging Nava and have Gomes available to pinch-hit against a lefty reliever.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz figures to be the starting 1B when the World Series shifts to St. Louis for Game 3.
Insight: Ortiz is 4-for-7 (.571) with a pair of home runs and five RBI in the first two games of the series and no manager in his right mind would leave his best hitter on the bench. He started at first base six times during the season. Mike Napoli will likely move to the bench.
Description: Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli will likely be the odd man out when the series shifts to St. Louis for Game 3.
Insight: There is no way the Red Sox starting lineup doesn't include the hot-hitting David Ortiz (4-for-7, 2 HR in the first two games). Napoli is a former catcher, but didn't start a single game at that position in 2013 so it would be unfair to put him behind the plate in a World Series game.
Description: Red Sox DH/1B David Ortiz produced big numbers in Game 1 of the World Series after struggling against Detroit in the ALCS.
Insight: Ortiz rebounded from a .091 ALCS (2-for-22) by matching that hit total in the opener. It will be interesting to see what happens when the series moves to St. Louis and there is no DH as the team's everyday first baseman, Mike Napoli, knocked in three runs in the opener and was clutch in the ALCS.
Description: Boston manager John Farrell said Clay Buchholz is "ready to go" for the World Series. The right-hander will start Game 3 or 4. SOURCE: Rob Bradford, WEEI.com
Insight: WEEI.com reported Wednesday morning that Buchholz may be dealing with a physical issue, but it appears the team expects him to start one of the first two games in St. Louis. Jake Peavy will start the other game.
Description: As expected, Jonny Gomes is getting the start in left field Wednesday in Game 1 against St. Louis.
Insight: Gomes has outperformed Daniel Nava this postseason and should be the team's starter in left field for the forseeable future. The 32-year-old is 2-for-10 in his career against tonight's starter Adam Wainwright.
Description: Rookie Xander Bogaerts will make another start at third base for the Red Sox in Game 1 of the World Series.
Insight: Bogaerts (3-for-6, seven runs in six playoff games) appears to be locked in as Boston's third baseman for the rest of the postseason. Will Middlebrooks will probably be limited to pinch-hitting duty.
Description: David Ross will get the start at catcher for Game 1 of the World Series Wednesday night at Fenway Park.
Insight: This was to be expected as Ross has now caught three of Jon Lester's four postseason starts. If the Red Sox find themselves in a hole and need offense later in the game, Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be available to replace Ross off the bench.
Description: Boston shortstop Stephen Drew has had a terrible postseason (3-for-35) and Wednesday's matchup with Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright probably won't help matters.
Insight: Drew, a former Diamondback, has faced Wainwright on numerous occasions with very little success (2-for-19). Despite his woes at the plate, the Red Sox are likely to keep Drew in the lineup because of his stellar glovework at shortstop.
Description: The feeling around Boston is that star righthander Clay Buchholz may not be healthy. SOURCE: Rob Bradford, WEEI
Insight: Buchholz has looked rather ordinary since coming back from a shoulder injury (3-1, 3.32 ERA in seven starts compared to 9-0, 1.71 before the injury) and it's fair to wonder if the Red Sox brought him back too soon. The two-time All-Star is slated to start one of the games in St. Louis though Felix Doubront will be on call if the Red Sox need to scratch Buchholz at the last minute.
Description: The Red Sox are likely to start Jonny Gomes in left field Wednesday in Game 1 of the World Series. SOURCE: Boston Herald
Insight: Gomes appeared in five of the team's six games against Detroit in the ALCS. Daniel Nava, who platooned with Gomes in left field during the regular season, could draw a start or two later in the series.
Description: Red Sox closer Koji Uehara won the ALCS MVP after throwing six scoreless innings with nine strikeouts and zero walks over five appearances during the series.
Insight: Uehara was expected to be the team's seventh-inning man this season with Andrew Bailey throwing in the eighth and Joel Hanrahan closing. When Bailey and Hanrahan went down with injuries, Uehara stepped into the closer role and ended the season with 21 saves, a 1.09 ERA, a 0.57 WHIP, 101 strikeouts and just nine walks in 74 1/3 innings. In eight postseason appearances, he has a 1.00 ERA, a 0.56 WHIP, a 13/0 K/BB and five saves in nine innings.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz only has two hits in the ALCS but he could be in for a big night Saturday against Max Scherzer.
Insight: Somehow, Papi is hitting .467 against the soon-to-be AL Cy Young winner. He hasn't driven in a run since Game 2 when he knocked Joaquin Benoit's first-pitch offfering out of the park for a game-tying grand slam.
Description: The Red Sox haven't released their lineup for Game 6 yet but all indications are that catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be in it. SOURCE: Erik Boland, Newsday
Insight: David Ross got the start in Game 5 and actually did a great job with two hits and a bone-crushing takeout of Alex Avila at home plate. Still, Saltalamacchia is the better offensive player and deserves to be behind the plate for Saturday's potential series-clincher.
Description: The Red Sox are expected to start Xander Bogaerts at third base again in Game 6. SOURCE: Erik Boland, Newsday
Insight: The rookie went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk Thursday in Game 5. He's been filling in for Will Middlebrooks, who has struggled offensively during the playoffs (.174 AVG in 23 at bats). Since shortstop is Bogaerts' natural position, Middlebrooks will probably come in as a defensive replacement if the Red Sox have a lead in the ninth inning.
Description: Red Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes is back in the lineup for Game 5.
Insight: Gomes and Daniel Nava have been alternating starts in left field. Gomes' biggest contribution of the series came in Game 2 when he scored on Jarrod Saltalamacchia's game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth.
Description: Boston will be without third baseman Will Middlebrooks on Thursday.
Insight: Manager John Farrell has benched him in favor of rookie Xander Bogaerts. It seems like the right move as Middlebrooks is hitting a mere .174 this postseason. Middlebrooks could be available as a pinch-hitter or defensive replacement if the Red Sox get desperate in the late innings.
Description: Boston's Xander Bogaerts will make his first start of the postseason Thursday against Detroit.
Insight: Bogaerts is in for third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who is just 1-for-10 in the series. The 21-year-old Bogaerts went 1-for-2 in last night's loss and has hit .261 since joining the Red Sox in mid-August.
Description: Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli homered for the only run of the night Tuesday in a Game 3 win over the Tigers.
Insight: The round-tripper came on a 96-mph fastball from Justin Verlander in the seventh, the same pitch Napoli struck out on two innings earlier. Napoli now has six home runs in 39 career postseason games.
Description: Red Sox starter John Lackey (6 2/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 8 K's, 0 BB) was outstanding Tuesday in a Game 3 win against the Tigers.
Insight: He outdueled Justin Verlander, which isn't an easy thing to do. Lackey got knocked around a bit in the first inning (two hits) but Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said the 20-minute delay after a brief power outage in the second gave him a chance to settle down and find his rhythm. Tuesday was Lackey's first career road playoff win. If the series goes seven, we'll see him against Sunday night at Fenway Park.
Description: Boston DH David Ortiz is a career .370 hitter (10-for-27) with two home runs and a 1.174 OPS against Detroit right-hander Justin Verlander.
Insight: Big Papi put together a solid September and has continued to swing a big bat in the postseason going 6-for-20 with three long balls and seven RBI. He's one of the few players who apparently doesn't mind facing the Tigers' ace.
Description: Boston first baseman Mike Napoli is expected to be in the lineup Tuesday against Detroit after coming off the bench in Game 2. SOURCE: Brian MacPherson, Providence Journal
Insight: Napoli entered the game in the eighth inning last night and struck out in his only at bat. The power-hitting first baseman is hitting .222 in his career against Tigers righthander Justin Verlander.
Description: Jonny Gomes is expected to start in left field Sunday in Game 2 against the Tigers. SOURCE: Drew Silva, NBC Sports
Insight: Gomes started the first two games of the Division Series against Tampa Bay but has been limited to pinch-hitting duty since then. He'll get the nod over Daniel Nava, who went 1-for-3 in last night's 1-0 loss.
Description: Boston first baseman Mike Carp is expected to make his first start of the postseason Sunday in Game 2 against Detroit. SOURCE: Drew Silva, NBC Sports
Insight: Carp has played sparingly during the playoffs but with Mike Napoli in the midst of a wicked slump (two for his last 16), the Red Sox are running out of options at first base. Carp is 2-for-8 in his career against tonight's starter Max Scherzer.
Description: Struggling Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli won't start Sunday in Game 2 against the Tigers. SOURCE: WEEI
Insight: Napoli had an awful game Saturday (0-for-3, 3 K's) and is now hitting just .125 in his first five postseason games. Napoli's .111 career average against tonight's starter Max Scherzer makes John Farrell's decision to sit him that much easier. Mike Carp is expected to start at first base.
Description: Jon Lester was terrific Saturday in a loss to Detroit.
Insight: Lester did everything he could to keep the Red Sox in the game, allowing just one run in 6 1/3 innings. Boston's bats never woke up, however, and now the Sox head into Game 2 Sunday night with ground to make up. The lefthander is tentatively scheduled to start Game 5 on Thursday, assuming there is one.
Description: First baseman Mike Napoli is just 1-for-9 against Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer with three strikeouts.
Insight: It's been feast or famine for Napoli, who bashed 23 homers this season, but also struck out 187 times. Against Scherzer its more likely famine. Napoli is just 2-for-16 in this postseason. Avoid.
Description: Boston outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is 5-for-9 (.556) with a home run and five RBI against Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer.
Insight: Ellsbury was a force in the Tampa Bay series (9-for-18 with seven runs scored), but couldn't do much against Detroit in the ALCS opener going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Perhaps this favorable matchup will help.
Description: Boston DH David Ortiz is a career .375 hitter (6-for-13) with three home run and a 1.391 OPS versus Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson.
Insight: Big Papi put together a solid September (.293, 6 HR, 21 RBI, .992 OPS) and became the second Red Sox player in history to record seven 30 HR/100 RBI seasons. He's continued to swing a big bat in the postseason going 4-for-9 with a double and two homers in the first three games of the series. He's a must start.
Description: Boston left fielder Daniel Nava is expected to start Monday in Game 3 of the ALDS versus Tampa Bay.
Insight: Jonny Gomes (.247, 13 HR, 52 RBI) has started the first two games with lefties Matt Moore and David Price on the mound. Nava hit .303 with 12 homers, 66 RBI, 77 runs and an .831 OPS in 134 games this season.
Description: Boston left fielder Daniel Nava won't start Saturday against the Rays.
Insight: Jonny Gomes (.247, 13 HR, 52 RBI) will start in left field for the second game in a row. Gomes usually starts against lefties so this was to be expected. Nava should see more playing time when the series returns to Tampa Bay.
Description: Red Sox left fielder Daniel Nava has been dismal against Rays ace David Price in 20 lifetime at bats (just two hits).
Insight: Nava, a natural lefthander who switch-hits, isn't nearly as strong from the right side of the plate (.252 in 119 at bats compared to .322 batting lefty). Jonny Gomes is likely to get the start in left field for Game 2.
Description: Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia probably won't have much success Saturday against David Price. He's only an .071 lifetime hitter versus the Rays lefthander.
Insight: Salty had a huge game on Friday (2-for-4, 2B, BB, 3 RBI) but he's unlikely to repeat the effort Saturday with Price pitching for Tampa Bay. Price is 10-6 against the Red Sox in his career including 2-2 this season (2.48 ERA in 32 2/3 innings).
Description: Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew is hitless in ten career at bats against Tampa Bay starter David Price.
Insight: It shouldn't come as much of a surprise as Drew traditionally struggles against lefthanded pitching (.196 AVG in 153 at bats versus lefthanders this season). Drew had one hit in Friday's playoff opener.
Description: Fifteen of Mike Napoli's 27 career at bats against Rays lefthander David Price have resulted in strikeouts.
Insight: It's been feast or famine for Napoli, a .259 lifeftime hitter against Price. Either he gets all of it or none of it. Yesterday, he went 1-for-4 with a double and a walk in Boston's Game 1 victory. Napoli is a .271 career hitter in the postseason (5 HR, 20 RBI in 96 at bats).
Description: Jon Lester was outstanding Friday in a lopsided win over the Rays.
Insight: The Red Sox lefty went 7 2/3 innings for the victory, walking three with seven strikeouts. Two of the three hits he allowed were homers (one by Sean Rodriguez and one by Ben Zobrist) but both were solo shots. Friday was Lester's first postseason win in over five years (October 1, 2008 against the Angels).
Description: According to a WEEI report, the Red Sox are likely to go with Jon Lester in Game 1 of the Division Series.
Insight: It's an easy choice as Lester (15-8, 3.75 ERA) was far and away Boston's best pitcher in the second half. John Lackey is likely to start Game 2 with either Jake Peavy or Clay Buchholz starting Game 3. The Red Sox will face the winner of Wednesday's Wild Card game in Cleveland.
Description: Boston DH David Ortiz is back in the lineup Sunday for the team's regular season finale. SOURCE: Jenny Dell, NESN
Insight: He took a breather on Saturday. Earlier this week, Papi became the second Red Sox player in history to record seven 30 HR/100 RBI seasons. Ortiz's RBI total this season (103) is his highest since 2007.
Description: Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia has a tough matchup in the regular season finale.
Insight: He'll face Orioles starter Chris Tillman, a pitcher he has gone 2-for-19 against with seven strikeouts. However, Saltalamacchia is also 15-for-37 (.405) with five doubles, three homers and 11 RBI over his last 10 games, so you'll probably want to leave him in the lineup Sunday. The catcher has hit .272 with 40 two-baggers, 14 homers, 65 RBI and an .803 OPS this season.
Description: Boston righthander John Lackey has been scratched from his start Sunday against the Orioles. SOURCE: Brian MacPherson, Providence Journal
Insight: Rookie Allen Webster will start instead. Now that the Red Sox have clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs, there's no use in wasting Lackey (10-13, 3.52 ERA) in a meaningless game. He's sure to be a part of Boston's playoff rotation.
Description: Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia has hit .424 (14-for-33) with three homers and 10 RBI over his last nine games.
Insight: This stretch has followed a 0-for-20 slump. Boston is expected to face two right-handers at Baltimore in its final series of the season, and Salty is hitting .292 with 12 homers and an .872 OPS against righties this season.
Description: According to the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo, Jacoby Ellsbury is going to play five innings in center field tonight against the Rockies.
Insight: Wednesday will be Ellsbury's first game in three weeks after missing time with a fractured foot. Jackie Bradley Jr. is the most likely candidate to replace Ellsbury in center field when he comes out of the game.
Description: Boston center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury has returned to the starting lineup.
Insight: He'll bat leadoff Wednesday against the Rockies. Ellsbury (.299, 8 HR, 52 RBI) had missed the last 16 games with a compression fracture in his right foot. It will be interesting to see if the injury affects Ellsbury on the base paths (52 steals on 56 attempts this season).
Description: Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli will miss another game Wednesday versus Colorado.
Insight: With Boston playing in a National League park, the DH spot will be unavailable. Napoli probably wouldn't have played anyway as he's been battling a foot injury. David Ortiz (.307, 29 HR, 98 RBI) will make his sixth start of the season at first base.
Description: Boston first baseman Mike Napoli is out of the lineup Tuesday.
Insight: Napoli has been battling plantar fasciitis all season. For the most part, he's been able to play through it but now that the Red Sox have officially clinched the division, they can afford to give their power-hitting first baseman a couple of days off.
Description: Boston first baseman Mike Napoli is getting another day off to rest his injured left foot. SOURCE: Brian MacPherson, Providence Journal
Insight: Napoli (.257, 23 HR, 90 RBI) has been battling plantar fasciitis all season. For the most part, he's been able to play through it but now that the Red Sox have officially clinched the division, they can afford to give their power-hitting first baseman a couple of days off. Mike Carp (.302, 9 HR, 42 RBI) will hold down the fort at first Sunday against Toronto.
Description: Red Sox starter Jon Lester's seven innings of one-run ball Friday against the Blue Jays helped Boston clinch the AL East.
Insight: Lester struck out eight, walked two and gave up five hits in his 15th win of the season. The lefty has been phenomenal down the stretch, going 5-2 with a 1.80 ERA over his last nine starts. He has won at least 15 games in five of his last six seasons, with 2012 being the exception.
Description: Boston center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury said he's "very confident" that he'll be back before the end of the season. SOURCE: Associated Press
Insight: He's missed most of September with a compression fracture in his right foot. If Ellsbury (.299, 8 HR, 52 RBI, 52 SB) does come back it will only be for the last couple games. Fantasy owners can cut him loose at this point.
Description: Koji Uehara's streak of consecutive batters retired ended Tuesday in a loss to the Orioles.
Insight: Prior to Danny Valencia's triple in the ninth inning, the Red Sox closer had retired 37 hitters in a row, four shy of Bobby Jenks' major league record for a relief pitcher. Even with the loss, Uehara's ERA is still barely over one (1.18). He's having a season for the ages and should be started in all formats.
Description: According to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal, Felix Doubront will rejoin the Red Sox rotation Saturday against the Blue Jays.
Insight: Doubront was removed from the rotation once Clay Buchholz returned from the DL. He allowed 10 hits and 10 earned runs in 7 1/3 innings over his last two starts. However, he could be a decent streaming option against a Toronto team that will be without Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.
Description: Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli is a career .423 hitter (11-for-26) versus Baltimore right-hander Scott Feldman.
Insight: Mike Carp is getting the start in Napoli's place. The first baseman has a problem with strikeouts (178), but when he hits it he's banged out 22 Hr and 89 RBI. This is a favorable matchup for fantasy owners to take advantage.
Description: According to ESPN's Joe McDonald, lefthander Felix Doubront will rejoin Boston's starting rotation during their weekend series against the Blue Jays.
Insight: Doubront lost his rotation spot last week when Clay Buchholz came back from his shoulder injury. The 25-year-old had a nice stretch earlier this season but he's looked pretty ordinary since the All-Star break (4.58 ERA in 10 appearances).
Description: Boston lefty Jon Lester was spectacular Saturday in a win against New York.
Insight: Lester (8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 K's) has now pitched at least eight innings in each of his last two starts. The 29-year-old has been dominant since the All-Star break with six wins and a 2.38 ERA in 11 starts.
Description: The Red Sox are sitting third baseman Will Middlebrooks Thursday against the Rays.
Insight: He's just 1-for-12 against Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson and 0-for-8 over his last two games. However, he's batting .337 with six homers and a .970 OPS in 28 games since returning from his minor league exile.
Description: Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia has hit .304 with three doubles and two home runs in 23 at-bats against Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson.
Insight: Salty is 0-for-20 over his last six games so he needs this matchup. The catcher has increased his average 37 points from last season but most of his home runs have turned into doubles. He had 17 doubles and 25 homers in 2012 but has 35 doubles and 11 homers in 2013.
Description: Felix Doubront will rejoin the rotation at some point but the team hasn't determined when that is yet, according to MLB.com.
Insight: "He'll get another start," said manager John Farrell. "We've just skipped him in this turn in the rotation. He'll get some side work with (pitching coach) Juan (Nieves). We have yet to determine when he's going to actually be inserted back into the rotation." Doubront went 7-5 with a 2.99 ERA from May 16 to Aug. 27 but allowed 10 earned runs in 7 1/3 innings over his last two starts.
Description: Boston righthander Clay Buchholz (strained neck) returned from an absence of more than three months to defeat the Rays Tuesday night.
Insight: Buchholz threw five scoreless innings and struck out six in his first start since June 8. He had multiple setbacks in his recovery from a neck strain. The right-hander is 10-0 with a 1.61 ERA this season.
Description: Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava is just 1-for-18 (.056) against Tampa Bay ace David Price with eight strikeouts.
Insight: Nava has posted solid numbers as part of a left field platoon this season. He's hitting .296 with 11 homers, 58 RBI, 67 runs and an .833 OPS, but those numbers aren't likely to improve if he's in Tuesday's starting lineup.
Description: Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury has officially been diagnosed with a compression fracture in his right foot. SOURCE: Ian Browne, MLB.com
Insight: The Red Sox are saying they still expect Ellsbury (.299, 8 HR, 52 RBI, 52 SB) to be back before the end of the season. That seems a little optimistic given the nature of his injury. Any fracture is serious and Ellsbury's value is largely contingent on speed, which will obviously be hindered by a foot injury. He's probably not worthy of a roster spot at this point.
Description: According to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com, either Ryan Dempster or Felix Doubront will be bumped from the rotation by Clay Buchholz, who will return Tuesday.
Insight: Dempster was a big free agent acquisition this past offseason, but he has struggled with the Red Sox. Doubront is 7-5 with a 3.55 ERA in 121 2/3 innings since May 16, but he has allowed 10 hits, seven walks and 10 earned runs in 7 1/3 innings this month. Both pitchers can be cut in fantasy leagues.
Description: The Red Sox called up Allen Webster from Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday.
Insight: Webster (1-2, 9.57 ERA) made a few starts earlier in the year but the rotation is full now that Clay Buchholz is back in the mix. He'll be used as a long reliever and probably won't be on the team's postseason roster.
Description: Scorching hot Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli will take a seat Sunday against the Yankees.
Insight: Mike Carp is getting the start in Napoli's place. The bearded first baseman has been on a power surge recently. During the team's five-game winning streak, Napoli has gone 10-for-18 with four jacks and nine RBI.
Description: Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts hit his first career home run Saturday against the Yankees.
Insight: Bogaerts went 2-for-4 with a double, a homer and three RBI in the game and is 8-for-24 (.333) in part-time duty since making his major league debut. The top prospect has limited fantasy value while he's serving as a backup infielder.
Description: Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks is 11-for-25 (.440) with three homers and eight RBI in September.
Insight: Middlebrooks was demoted after hitting .192 over the first 53 games this season, but the Red Sox kept their faith in him and brought him back up to be the starting third baseman in August. In 25 games since returning to the majors, Middlebrooks has hit .357 with five homers and 15 RBI.
Description: Boston center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury's MRI showed inflammation in the navicular bone in his right foot. He has been placed in a walking boot and has returned to Boston for an examination to determine whether it is a bone bruise or fracture. SOURCE: Scott Lauber, Boston Herald
Insight: Red Sox manager John Farrell described the injury as potentially long term. "I don't think we're looking at something that's just day to day here," said Farrell. Dustin Pedroia had a navicular bone injury in 2010 and missed about three months and Cody Ross missed a month with the injury. However, GM Ben Cherington said Ellsbury's injury is "different" from the others."My understanding is there’s not a long-term concern here. It’s really about how do we best manage it over the course of the next several weeks, and hopefully he can play a lot in those several weeks," Cherington said. "I know he wants to play. We obviously want him to play. It's our hope that he'll be playing before too long." The Red Sox won't have a definitive timetable until Ellsbury is examined by team orthopedist Dr. Peter Asnis and foot specialist Dr. George Theodore.
Description: Jackie Bradley has been recalled from Pawtucket which may be an indication that Jacoby Ellsbury may be sidelined for a while.
Insight: He's got long-term fantasy value, but hasn't shown much this season. The 23-year-old outfielder has been bouncing back and forth between Boston and Pawtucket all season, but has struggled at the big league level batting .155 in his 58 at-bats. Latest update; Bradley will start in center field and bat seventh.
Description: Boston righthander Clay Buchholz will return to the starting rotation Tuesday against Tampa Bay.
Insight: Ryan Dempster, who had been scheduled to pitch that day, will likely move to the bullpen. Buchholz wound up missing three months with shoulder inflammation. He's undefeated in 12 starts this season (9-0. 1.71 ERA).
Description: Red Sox closer Koji Uehara continued his dominance Tuesday with a nine-pitch save against the Tigers.
Insight: Uehara (3-0, 1.16 ERA, 17 saves) has been unhittable in the second half. Since the break, he's held his opponents to an .078 average in 18 appearances. Uehara's scoreless streak is now at 25 innings. He's retired each of the last 21 hitters he's faced.
Description: Jacoby Ellsbury is 5-for-9 (.556) with three walks and a .667 OBP against Detroit ace Max Scherzer.
Insight: Ellbury has been dealing with a thumb injury, but was in the lineup on Monday and should play on Tuesday. He's had a solid season (.297, 7 HR, 50 RBI, 87 runs, 51 SB) and fantasy owners should be happy as long as they didn't expect a big home run total. Latest update: Ellsbury is not in the starting lineup.
Description: Felix Doubront has had a surprising year for the Red Sox but he couldn't make it out of the fourth inning Sunday against the White Sox.
Insight: It was Doubront's shortest outing since September 1st of last year. All four of the runs Doubront (10-6, 3.89 ERA) surrendered came in the fourth inning. Despite his struggles, the Red Sox were able to hold on for the win, stretching their lead to five and a half games in the AL East.
Description: Boston righthander Daniel Bard has been designated for assignment.
Insight: Bard was a stud reliever for the Sox a few seasons ago but lately he's turned into a walk machine (29 BB in 16 1/3 innings between the majors and minors this season). He still brings mid-90s heat so it's possible Bard could catch on somewhere else. Just don't expect much fantasy production when he does.
Description: Boston DH David Ortiz entered Thursday's game against Baltimore hitless in his last 18 at bats.
Insight: Fortunately, the Red Sox lineup is deep enough to withstand such a slump and Boston still leads the American League with 79 wins. Despite his poor performance of late, Ortiz is still fifth in the AL in batting average (.313).
Description: Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is just 1-for-13 (.077) with five strikeouts against Baltimore starter Chris Tillman.
Insight: Saltalamacchia has had a decline in home runs from last year but his batting average is up from .222 to .273 and with 35 doubles he actually has more extra-base hits than last season. However, he isn't likely to do much against Tillman Thursday.
Description: Red Sox righthander Clay Buchholz struggled during his first rehab start Sunday for Single-A Lowell. SOURCE: William Montgomery, Boston Herald
Insight: Buchholz was only able to get out two of the seven batters he threw to. His fastball didn't even make it to 90 mph. The Red Sox were hoping to have Buchholz back in the rotation sometime next week but it looks like he may need a little more time. We'll see how he does in his next start Friday for Double-A Portland or Triple-A Pawtucket.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz is out of the lineup for the second straight day.
Insight: It's also the second straight day the Dodgers have featured a lefthanded starting pitcher, which could be the reason behind Ortiz's absence. Mike Napoli will hit cleanup and play first base Sunday in the series finale.
Description: Boston lefthander Jon Lester (7 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 6 K's) turned in a vintage performance Saturday against the Dodgers.
Insight: Lester has looked excellent on this road trip (2-0, 0.57 ERA) and really for most of August (2-1, 2.70). The ten days of rest he got between the All-Star break and the start of the second half have helped tremendously as Lester is throwing harder and commanding his fastball better than he has in a long time. The rest hasn't helped him at the plate, however, as Lester remains hitless in his big league career (0-for-3 with three strikeouts on Saturday).
Description: Boston ace Clay Buchholz is hoping to return to the rotation September 4th against the Tigers. SOURCE: Scott Lauber, Boston Herald
Insight: Buchholz will make a rehab start for Single-A Lowell on Sunday. He's missed the last two and a half months while dealing with inflammation in his right shoulder. Buchholz is undefeated in 12 starts this season (9-0, 1.71 ERA).
Description: Boston DH/1B David Ortiz will sit for Saturday's contest against the Dodgers and lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu, according to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.
Insight: Ortiz left Wednesday's game early because of lower back tightness and while he played on Friday all this time at first base (they are on a road trip to NL cities) isn't helping it heal. Mike Napoli will get the start.
Description: Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew is a stunning 11-for-21 (.524) with three homers and a 1.736 OPS versus Dodgers starter Ricky Nolasco.
Insight: Drew went 1-for-5 with a home run on Wednesday and is hitting .246. He'll need to produce to hold off prospect Xander Bogaerts, who was called up this week to serve as a backup at third base and shortstop and his matchup is a nice place to start.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz left Wednesday's game against the Giants with lower back tightness and is questionable for Friday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Insight: Ortiz went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts before exiting prior to the bottom of the fifth inning. Ortiz has been forced to start at first base in two of the last three games because the team was playing in a National League city. They start a series with the Dodgers and Ortiz may be reduced to a pinch hitting role.
Description: Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks is hitting .441 with three doubles, two homers, seven RBI, six runs and a 7/7 K/BB in 11 games since returning from the minors.
Insight: Middlebrooks went 1-for-3 with a homer and two RBI Wednesday against the Giants and seems to have rediscovered his swing after hitting .192 with a .617 OPS and 60 K in 53 games prior to his demotion.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz left Wednesday's game against the Giants with lower back tightness, according to Evan Drellich of MassLive.com.
Insight: Ortiz went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts before exiting prior to the bottom of the fifth inning. With no DH available, Ortiz has had to start at first base in two of the last three games, which could have something to do with his back tightening up.
Description: Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz (shoulder) will start a minor league rehab assignment next week if he gets through a bullpen session on Friday. He threw a three-inning simulated game Tuesday. SOURCE: Scott Lauber, Boston Herald
Insight: Buchholz hasn't pitched since June 8 due to inflammation in his shoulder. He's had multiple setbacks along the way but finally appears close to making a return.
Description: Boston infielder Xander Bogaerts is not in the starting lineup Monday against the Giants.
Insight: Bogaerts was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket earlier in the day. Manager John Farrell said it's unlikely that Bogaerts will be an everyday player for the Sox. Instead, he'll play shortstop against lefties while getting the occasional start at third base. With Stephen Drew about to become a free agent, Bogaerts should be Boston's starting shortstop in 2014.
Description: The Red Sox have activated catcher David Ross from the 60-day disabled list.
Insight: Ryan Lavarnway was sent down to Triple-A to make room for Ross on the active roster. Concussions have limited Ross to just 23 games this season. He's not in Monday's starting lineup but he should be available off the bench.
Description: Boston starter John Lackey was finally able to get back on track Saturday against the Yankees (6 2/3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER).
Insight: The win was Lackey's first since July 12th. Fantasy owners were expecting more from Lackey after his excellent first half (7-6, 2.78 ERA) but at least he delivered a solid outing on Saturday. His next start will come Friday against the Dodgers.
Description: Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli is not in the lineup Thursday against the Blue Jays.
Insight: Napoli hit a game-tying two-run homer in the ninth inning Wednesday but is 4-for-39 (.103) with 17 strikeouts over his last 11 games and 4-for-19 (.211) with six K in his career against Thursday's starter Mark Buehrle.
Description: Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli busted out of an 0-for-16 drought by slamming a game-tying homer in the ninth inning Wednesday against Toronto.
Insight: Napoli (.245, 15 HR, 69 RBI) had a chance to be the hero again in the tenth inning but he grounded out with a couple of men on base. The free-swinging first baseman is on pace for 210 strikeouts this season, which would easily be a career-high.
Description: Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz (shoulder) threw roughly 50 pitches in a bullpen session Wednesday and said it was his "best day so far." SOURCE: Scott Lauber, Boston Herald
Insight: Buchholz hasn't pitched since June 8 due to inflammation in his shoulder. The right-hander threw all of his pitches Wednesday in what was his first bullpen session at 100 percent intensity since mid-July.
Description: Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz (shoulder) will throw a full bullpen session Wednesday, according to MassLive.com.
Insight: Buchholz hasn't pitched since June 8 due to inflammation in his shoulder. He has thrown a few light bullpen sessions at less than 100 percent intensity, but he'll ramp it up to 100 percent Wednesday. Manager John Farrell said a clearer timetable should be available after the session.
Description: John Lackey's nightmare second half continued Sunday against the Royals.
Insight: Lackey surrendered four runs in seven innings, walking two with five strikeouts. He's 0-4 with a 4.96 ERA since the All-Star break. In the first half, Lackey was 7-6 with a 2.78 ERA in 16 appearances.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz has another favorable matchup Sunday against Royals starter James Shields. Ortiz is 18-for-54 (.333) with nine doubles, three homers, 16 RBI and eight walks against the former Rays righty.
Insight: Ortiz also had strong numbers against Saturday's starter Jeremy Guthrie, but he went 0-for-4. We're betting he won't have a second straight poor game with Shields on the mound.
Description: The Red Sox recalled third baseman Will Middlebrooks from Triple-A Pawtucket Saturday.
Insight: After trading Jose Iglesias in a deal for Jake Peavy, the Red Sox have had a hole at third base. Instead of calling up top prospect Xander Bogaerts, a shortstop who has been playing some third base at Triple-A, the team has gone back to Middlebrooks, who hit .268 with 10 homers and a .790 OPS in 45 games with Pawtucket. He'll return to a pitiful .192/.228/.389 line with the Red Sox.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz is a career .342 hitter with three homers and a 1.133 OPS against Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie.
Insight: Ortiz is hitting .392 since the All-Star break on top of an excellent first half. It appears that he's going to post a 1.000 OPS for the second consecutive year and fifth time of his 17-year career. He's a must start on Saturday.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz is not in the lineup Thursday night against the Royals, according to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. He has started 28 games in a row going back to July 6.
Insight: Mike Napoli is starting as the DH, with Daniel Nava playing first base. Ortiz has recorded two straight four-hit games and is hitting .392 since the All-Star break. He should be back in the lineup Friday.
Description: David Ortiz's renaissance continued Wednesday in a four-hit effort versus Houston.
Insight: The Red Sox DH has absolutely throttled the Astros this season, collecting a .630 AVG in 27 at bats. He went 8-for-9 in the final two games of the series to raise his average to .332, fourth-best in the major leagues behind Miguel Cabrera (.359), Chris Johnson (.339) and Mike Trout (.333). The nine-time All-Star is hitting .392 since the All-Star break.
Description: Call him Mr. Clutch. Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew produced another game-winning hit Wednesday against the Astros.
Insight: Boston trailed 5-4 heading into the ninth inning but Drew changed that with one swing, crushing a three-run homer to make it 7-5. A disappointment in the first half (.233 AVG in 232 at bats), Drew has been much better since the All-Star break (.316 in 57 at bats). He's batting .448 (13-for-29) during his eight-game hitting streak.
Description: Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz (shoulder) threw off a mound at 60-65 percent intensity Tuesday and came away optimistic, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
Insight: Buchholz is trying to return from inflammation in his shoulder. The right-hander hasn't pitched since June 8 and has experienced multiple setbacks from trying to push himself too hard to come back.
Description: Boston lefthander Felix Doubront, who posted another good outing Sunday against the Diamondbacks, is probable for Friday's scheduled start against Kansas City due to tightness in right oblique.
Insight: Doubront (7 IP, 5 H, 5 K's) has allowed three runs or fewer in 15 straight starts. That's the longest streak by a Boston starting pitcher since Pedro Martinez did that 16 times in a row between 2002 and 2003.
Description: Boston lefthander Felix Doubront threw all zeros Sunday against the Diamondbacks.
Insight: Doubront (7 IP, 5 H, 5 K's) has allowed three runs or fewer in 15 straight starts. That's the longest streak by a Boston starting pitcher since Pedro Martinez did that 16 times in a row between 2002 and 2003.
Description: Righthander Jake Peavy will start Sunday versus Arizona.
Insight: Peavy's Boston debut will be a nationally televised game on TBS. By pitching on Sunday, Peavy will be going on normal rest. He's sandwiched between Felix Doubront and John Lackey in the Red Sox starting rotation.
Description: Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli shouldn't be in any fantasy lineups on Thursday.
Insight: That's because "King" Felix Hernandez will be on the hill for Seattle, a pitcher Napoli has always struggled against (6-for-36, 14 strikeouts). Napoli went 0-for-5 Wednesday in Boston's 15-inning win.
Description: Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew plated the game-winning run Wednesday night against Seattle.
Insight: Drew capped off a two-hit night with a bases loaded single in the 15th inning. Despite his recent heroics (he had a two-homer game against Baltimore last week), Drew is still hitting just .228 for the season. It's unlikely the Red Sox will retain Stephen Drew in free agency next winter with top prospect Xander Bogaerts waiting in the wings.
Description: The Red Sox have called up Triple-A infielder Brock Holt to play third base.
Insight: Jose Iglesias was shipped to the Tigers Tuesday night as part of the Jake Peavy trade, leaving the Red Sox with a hole at third base. Holt was hitting .264 with Triple-A Pawtucket at the time of his call-up. Despite his struggles earlier in the season, the Sox are still hoping Will Middlebrooks can be the team's third baseman of the future. Holt is a stop gap and not someone fantasy owners can rely on.
Description: According to Jon Heyman and Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, White Sox starter Jake Peavy is on his way to the Red Sox.
Insight: The trade, which is still breaking, is a three-team deal also involving the Tigers. Jose Iglesias is expected to be shipped to Detroit. Peavy has made just one appearance at Fenway Park in his career and went seven innings while giving up three runs.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz is just 3-for-20 (.150) against Seattle left-hander Joe Saunder without an extra base hit and a .377 OPS.
Insight: Ortiz, who is hitting .329 with 20 home runs, 67 RBI and a 1.020 OPS, has been a huge part of the Red Sox offense as well as a bright spot for every fantasy owner, but this is an unfavorable matchup.
Description: Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury is just 3-for-17 (.176) with no extra base hits against Seattle starter Joe Saunders.
Insight: He's batting .302 with four homers, 34 RBI, 62 runs and a league-leading 39 steals. His 32 HR season of 2011 was obviously a fluke, but his batting average and speed are consistent year-to-year. This is a poor matchup, however.
Description: Boston's top prospect Xander Bogaerts will make his fifth start of the season at third base Monday with Triple-A Pawtucket, according to Pawtucket Red Sox broadcaster Jeff Levering.
Insight: It is unclear if the Red Sox have any plans to promote the 20-year-old shortstop to play third base down the stretch, but it appears they are keeping their options open. Bogaerts, who is ranked No. 6 on the latest list of MLB.com's top-100 prospects, is hitting .296 with 14 home runs, an .887 OPS and an 80/58 K/BB in 96 games in the minors this season.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz will avoid a suspension for his actions Saturday night, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
Insight: Ortiz, who is hitting .329 with 20 home runs, 67 RBI and a 1.018 OPS, was ejected Saturday for arguing balls and strikes and took a bat to the dugout phone. MLB reviewed the situation and has decided not to suspend him.
Description: Boston outfielder Daniel Nava should not be in Monday's starting lineup as he's an ugly 1-for-18 (.056) with eight strikeouts in his matchups versus Tampa Bay starter David Price.
Insight: Nava posted a fantasy-worthy .885 OPS in April, but his production has dropped in each month since, from .820 to .758 to .697. He should be firmly entrenched on your bench after going hitless in the Baltimore series.
Description: Boston shortstop Stephen Drew cranked two homers Saturday in a win over Baltimore.
Insight: It was Drew's first multi-homer game of the season. Before Saturday, Drew hadn't homered since June 4th. His second home run of the night was originally ruled an inside-the-parker as Drew beat the throw to home plate. Upon replay, the umpires determined that the ball had actually gone over the fence. He finished the night with a season-high five RBI.
Description: Boston DH David Ortiz was ejected for arguing with home plate umpire Tim Timmons in the seventh inning Saturday against Baltimore.
Insight: Ortiz was already out of the batter's box when Timmons called a strike on what Papi thought should have been ball four. After Ortiz (.321, 19 HR, 65 RBI) struck out, he went back to the dugout and started bashing the bullpen phone with his bat. Ortiz shouted out to Timmons, who immediately tossed him from the game. Ortiz threw his elbow pad onto the field and had to be restrained by manager John Farrell before eventually heading back to the clubhouse. A fine is likely but we're not expecting Ortiz to be suspended.
Description: Boston first baseman Mike Napoli is 1-for-9 versus Tampa Bay right-hander Jeremy Hellickson.
Insight: The first baseman was an RBI machine earlier in the season with 27 in April, but he has produced just 33 in the next three months combined. He's is starting to heat up again, with seven hits in his last 15 at-bats, over four games.
Description: Dustin Pedroia's new deal with the Red Sox is worth $110 million over eight seasons.
Insight: He'll be under contract until 2022. It's the largest deal ever for a second baseman, though Robinson Cano will probably surpass that when he hits free agency this winter. Pedroia has appeared in all 102 games for Boston this season.
Description: You should not expect Boston outfielder Daniel Nava to be in Wednesday's starting lineup as he's an ugly 1-for-18 (.056) in his matchups versus Tampa Bay starter David Price.
Insight: Nava posted a fantasy-worthy .885 OPS in April, but his production has dropped in each month since, from .820 to .758 to .721. He should be firmly entrenched on your bench at this point in time.
Description: Boston first baseman Mike Napoli is 4-for-18 (.222) versus Cy Young award winner David Price with a stunning 11 strikeouts.
Insight: The first baseman was an RBI machine earlier in the season with 27 in April, but he has produced just 35 in the next three months combined. Although he's 3-for-6 in the first two games of the series, you should give him the night off.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz is 6-for-27 (.222) with a .640 OPS versus Tampa Bay left-hander David Price.
Insight: Ortiz continues to amaze at age 37 with bad wheels. He's batting .324 with 19 HR, 65 RBI and 51 runs scored in just 82 games, but he's never done much damage against Price and you should probably look elsewhere for production on Wednesday.
Description: Red Sox starter Jon Lester ran his record to 9-6 with a victory over Tampa Bay Tuesday.
Insight: Lester threw 6 1/3 innings, allowed seven hits and two runs, struck out eight and didn't walk a batter for the first time this season. Prior to Tuesday, he had only allowed less than three runs once his in previous 11 starts and walked 4.09 batters per nine during that span.
Description: Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz (shoulder) said Tuesday that he might not be ready until close to September, according to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal.
Insight: Dr. James Andrews confirmed this week that Buchholz only has inflammation in his shoulder and no structural damage. The right-hander hasn't pitched since June 8 and has experienced multiple setbacks from trying to push himself too hard to come back.
Description: Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury is expected to get Tuesday off, according to beat writer Evan Drellich.
Insight: No injury, just a planned day off for the oft-injured outfielder. He's batting .304 with four homers, 34 RBI, 61 runs and a league-leading 37 steals. His 32 HR season of 2011 was obviously a fluke, but his batting average and speed are consistent year-to-year.
Description: Clay Buchholz got some good news from Dr. James Andrews on Monday. SOURCE: Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe
Insight: Andrews confirmed that Buchholz doesn't have any structural damage in his shoulder and that he's simply dealing with inflammation. Buchholz will resume throwing though there's no guarantee that he'll be back with the Red Sox anytime soon.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz is 5-for-10 with a 1.545 OPS versus Tampa Bay left-hander Matt Moore.
Insight: Ortiz, who over his career has hit lefties at just a .268 clip, is batting .305 in 109 at-bats this season against southpaws, although his OPS is a mediocre .764. He's a stunning .353 hitter with a 1.148 OPS against right-handers this season.
Description: According to WEEI's Rob Bradford, Boston starter Clay Buchholz will visit Dr. James Andrews next week for a second opinion on his injured shoulder.
Insight: Well, it looks like Buchholz can say goodbye to the 2013 season. Originally expected to miss just one or two starts, the Red Sox ace has been out for nearly two months with no return date in sight. Fantasy owners had to know that this was a possibility heading into the season. The fragile righthander has only thrown over 100 innings twice in his seven-year career.
Description: In an effort to revamp its bullpen, Boston brought in Brandon Lyon on Friday.
Insight: Boston's pen has been hit hard by injuries over the last week with Andrew Bailey going down with a shoulder injury and Andrew Miller out for the year with a foot issue. Lyon will start out with the Paw Sox but it shouldn't be long before he's promoted to the major leagues. He's just an extra arm and we wouldn't expect him to be of much use to fantasy owners.
Description: Jose Contreras was scooped up by the Red Sox on Friday.
Insight: Pittsburgh dropped Contreras earlier this week. With Andrew Bailey headed for surgery, Boston is looking for as much bullpen depth as possible. Koji Uehara will remain the closer so Contreras won't be worth picking up in fantasy leagues.
Description: Over his last 11 starts, Red Sox pitcher Felix Doubront has gone 4-2 with a 2.48 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.
Insight: Doubront allowed three hits and one earned run over 6 1/3 innings Friday against the Yankees to improve to 7-3 this season. His WHIP is still unsightly at 1.39, but only because he gave up 46 hits and walked 22 batters over his first 37 1/3 innings this season.
Description: WEEI reports that the Red Sox haven't made much progress on a long-term deal with center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
Insight: That's because the Red Sox aren't planning on re-signing Ellsbury (.305, 3 HR, 33 RBI, 36 SB). With Jackie Bradley waiting in the wings, there's no need for the team to overspend on a singles hitter with a history of injuries. Don't expect the speedy outfielder to be in Boston for much longer.
Description: Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz will be reexamined Friday, according to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. The righty didn't pick up a ball during the All-Star break.
Insight: The team will determine the next step based on Buchholz' examination Friday. Buchholz went 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in his first 12 starts, but he hasn't pitched since June 8 due to a neck strain and shoulder bursitis.
Description: Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz is hoping to throw a bullpen session Thursday. SOURCE: Boston Globe
Insight: Buchholz went 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in his first 12 starts, but he hasn't pitched since June 8 due to a neck strain and shoulder bursitis. He still felt soreness in his bullpen session Sunday and won't start a rehab assignment until that is gone.
Description: Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz threw in the bullpen on Sunday, but still felt soreness and his rehab schedule is now up in the air. SOURCE: Boston Globe
Insight: He hasn't pitched since June 8th due to a neck strain and right shoulder bursitis. He went 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in his first 12 starts. Fantasy owners who hoped Buchholz would return right after the All-Star break will have to wait a little while longer.
Description: According to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe, Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew is aiming to return Saturday against the Yankees.
Insight: He'll head to Double-A Portland for a quick rehab assignment first. Hamstring tightness has sidelined Drew since June 28th. When Drew returns, Jose Iglesias will move back to third base. Brock Holt, who has been filling it at third, will probably head back to the minors.
Description: In his first major league start, Red Sox rookie Brandon Workman didn't allow a hit until the seventh inning.
Insight: Coco Crisp finally broke up the no-no with an infield single to lead off the seventh. Josh Donaldson smacked a two-run homer later in the inning to force Workman out of the game. Regardless of the end result (the A's won 3-2 in extra innings), it was a very impressive debut for the 24-year-old. Look for him to stay in the rotation for another couple of turns while Clay Buchholz rehabs in the minor leagues.
Description: Jackie Bradley is headed back to Triple-A.
Insight: The 23-year-old outfielder has been bouncing around between Boston and Pawtucket all season. With Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino healthy again (relatively) and Daniel Nava having his best season, he's unlikely to play a meaningful role in the majors this season. Ellsbury is set to become a free agent next winter so Bradley's chance could come in 2014.
Description: The White Sox have traded reliever Matt Thornton to the Red Sox. SOURCE: Scott Lauber, Boston Herald
Insight: And all Boston had to give up was Double-A outfielder Brandon Jacobs. With Andrew Miller out for the season, the Red Sox needed a lefthander out of the pen and they couldn't have done much better than Thornton. Though his ERA is probably a little higher than it should be (3.86 in 28 innings this year), the 36-year-old has been lights out against lefties (.173 AVG in 52 at bats).
Description: The Red Sox will send Brandon Workman to the hill Sunday in their last game before the All-Star break. SOURCE: Sean McAdam, Comcast Sports New England
Insight: It's Workman's first major league start. He made his big league debut earlier this week, allowing three runs in a relief appearance against the Mariners. Prior to getting called up, Workman was 3-1 with a 2.80 ERA in six starts for Triple-A Pawtucket.
Description: Boston center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury's sore wrist hasn't given him any trouble at the plate over the last two games.
Insight: Ellsbury sat two games this week with left wrist soreness, but he has gone 5-for-8 with a double, a homer, three RBI and two walks since returning to the lineup Wednesday. Ellsbury has picked up at least one hit in 19 straight games.
Description: Boston's David Ortiz set the all-time hits record by a DH Wednesday against Seattle.
Insight: Ortiz has now recorded 1,690 hits as a designated hitter, two more than former White Sox great Harold Baines. He's had a monster series, going 8-for-10 with two homers, four RBI and a stolen base (yes, Papi actually has three steals this year) in his last three games. The nine-time All Star ranks second in the AL in hitting (.331), second in on base percentage (.412), third in slugging (.636), third in OPS (1.048) and sixth in RBI (65).
Description: Boston pitcher Clay Buchholz is expected to make his first minor league rehab start on Sunday, according to Red Sox manager John Farrell.
Insight: He hasn't pitched since June 8 due to a neck strain and right shoulder bursitis. He went 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in his first 12 starts and fantasy owners hope he returns right after the All-Star break.
Description: According to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com, Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury's sore left wrist will keep him out of the lineup again Tuesday.
Insight: With both Ellsbury and Shane Victorino (hamstring) dealing with injuries, the Red Sox recalled Jackie Bradley Tuesday. Victorino is in the lineup Tuesday for the first time since Saturday, while Bradley is starting in center and Daniel Nava in left.
Description: With Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino both hurting, the Red Sox are expected call up outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. from Triple-A, according to Joon Lee of SBNation.
Insight: Bradley has been playing solid ball at Pawtucket, hitting .297 with seven home runs, 21 RBI and a .923 OPS. He's struggled in two earlier stints with the big club and has a .154 batting average in 52 at-bats.
Description: Boston center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury will get the night off Monday against Seattle.
Insight: He's dealing with a sore left wrist. It doesn't sound like a serious injury and he could be back Tuesday. Daniel Nava (.294, 10 HR, 50 RBI) is filling in for Ellsbury in center field tonight against the Mariners.
Description: Boston pitcher Clay Buchholz is expected to throw a bullpen session Tuesday or Wednesday, according to Evan Drellich of MassLive.com.
Insight: Buchholz will need to throw two bullpen sessions in order to be cleared for a minor league rehab start next Sunday. He hasn't started since June 8 due to a neck strain and right shoulder bursitis.
Description: Boston reliever Andrew Miller was taken to the hospital for X-rays after suffering a left foot injury in Saturday's game against the Angels. SOURCE: WEEI
Insight: Miller (2.64 ERA, six holds) has been a valuable lefthanded specialist out of the Sox bullpen this season. If he has to miss a significant amount of time, Boston could look to make a deal for a relief pitcher before the July 31st trade deadline.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz is just 2-for-16 (.125) with five strikeouts against Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson.
Insight: Ortiz hasn't hit a home run since June 22 and his splits against left-handers are mediocre at best this season (.263, 5 HR, 19 RBI, .773 OPS). A good day to sit the slugger. Latest update - Ortiz is not in the starting lineup as we predicted.
Description: Red Sox starter Jon Lester threw his best start since May 15 Wednesday against the Padres.
Insight: Lester improved to 6-0 with a 2.72 ERA on that day, but he went 2-4 with a 6.99 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP in 47 2/3 innings over his next eight starts. He gave up six hits and one run, walked one and struck out five over seven innings in a no decision against the Padres Wednesday.
Description: Boston pitcher Clay Buchholz said Wednesday that he felt like he had "finally turned a corner" in his recovery from bursitis in his right shoulder, according to Evan Drellich of MassLive.com.
Insight: Red Sox manager John Farrell has said that Buchholz would need at least two rehab starts because he hasn't pitched in a game since June 8. If that happens, he won't be back until after the All-Star break. However, Buchholz said if he felt good after one rehab start, he would ask the team to activate him.
Description: Righthander John Lackey limited the Padres to one run in eight innings Tuesday in a 4-1 Red Sox victory.
Insight: Is Lackey, dare we say it, an All-Star? He's sure pitching like one. He's 3-0 with a 2.17 ERA in his last four outings and is now 6-5 for the year with an ERA under three. Lackey's dominance over the past month has made up for the loss of Clay Buchholz, who is still recovering from shoulder bursitis.
Description: It's safe to say we won't see Red Sox ace Clay Buchholz again until after the All-Star break.
Insight: Tuesday marked Buchholz's first real progress in several weeks as he was able to throw from 75 to 90 feet on flat ground today before the team's game against San Diego. Buchholz (9-0, 1.71 ERA) was diagnosed with bursitis in his right shoulder about a week ago. There is no timetable for his return.
Description: According to a Providence Journal report, Boston shortstop Stephen Drew is expected to miss the team's upcoming series with San Diego because of a tight hamstring.
Insight: Drew is a notoriously slow healer so this might turn into a DL situation at some point. With Drew sidelined, Jose Iglesias will get to play his natural position while newcomer Brandon Snyder fills in at third base.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz has had 64 career at-bats against Sunday's starter Mark Buehrle and he has picked up 24 hits, including nine doubles and three homers, against the lefty.
Insight: Ortiz is hitting .258 with a .769 OPS in 93 at-bats against lefties this season, compared to .354 with a 1.154 OPS against righties, but Toronto's Buehrle is one lefty he dominates. UPDATE: Ortiz is getting Sunday off, so he'll miss this matchup.
Description: Red Sox starter Felix Doubront struck out six, walked three and allowed five hits and two runs over 6 1/3 innings Saturday against the Blue Jays.
Insight: Doubront has a 2.89 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP over his last nine starts. He had a 6.40 ERA over his first six outings (five starts, one relief appearance) this season. The lefty has good strikeout potential, but he still walks far too many batters.
Description: Red Sox starter Jon Lester will make his next start according to NESN's Jenny Dell.
Insight: He suffered a minor hip injury late in his start Thursday against Toronto. Lester has dominated the Jays this season (3-0, 2.79 ERA) but he hasn't been nearly as impressive against the rest of the league (5-4, 5.29).
Description: Boston starter Clay Buchholz's MRI revealed inflammation in the bursa sac in his right shoulder, according to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.
Insight: Buchholz doesn't have any structural damage and said he's not concerned. He'll take some time off to let the inflammation subside before resuming a throwing program. The right-hander hasn't pitched since June 8 due to discomfort in his neck and shoulder area.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz has owned Toronto pitcher Chien-Ming Wang in their previous meetings. Ortiz is 16-for-37 (.432) with two homers, 11 RBI and a 5/7 K/BB against Wang.
Insight: Wang, of course, used to pitch for the rival New York Yankees, so Ortiz had plenty of chances to hit against the righty. Ortiz is hitting .319 with 16 homers, 57 RBI and a 1.025 OPS in 61 games this season.
Description: Boston righthander John Lackey continued his resurgence with another strong outing Wednesday versus Colorado.
Insight: Lackey racked up 12 strikeouts in seven innings, his highest K total in three seasons for the Red Sox. Most left him for dead after his miserable 2011 campaign (6.41 ERA in 28 starts) and the Tommy John surgery that followed but Lackey has actually been excellent this season, compiling a 2.99 ERA in 78 1/3 innings. With Jon Lester struggling to find consistency, you could argue that Lackey has been the team's second-best starter this year behind Clay Buchholz.
Description: Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has picked up eight hits in his last 18 at-bats.
Insight: Pedroia went 3-for-5 with four RBI, two runs and a steal Tuesday against the Rockies. The second baseman didn't have a multi-hit game and batted just .146 in 41 at-bats from June 9-20, but he's heating up again.
Description: The Red Sox have optioned third baseman Will Middlebrooks to Triple-A Pawtucket, according to WEEI.com.
Insight: Middlebrooks lost his job to the hot-hitting Jose Iglesias earlier this week, so he'll work on his swing in the minors instead of sitting on the bench with the Red Sox. The 24-year-old has been a massive disappointment this season, batting .192 with a 60/9 K/BB and nine homers in 53 games.
Description: Despite getting rocked Saturday versus Detroit, rookie Allen Webster will make at least one more start for the Red Sox. SOURCE: Pete Abraham, Boston Globe
Insight: He'll take the mound again Saturday versus Toronto. Webster hasn't looked too confident in his first three big league appearances (0-2, 11.25 ERA). He'll be a good player someday but he's not quite there yet.
Description: According to Boston manager John Farrell, Jose Iglesias has surpassed Will Middlebrooks and is now the team's starting third baseman. SOURCE: Brian MacPherson, Providence Journal
Insight: Farrell said the team has no plans to send Middlebrooks down to Triple-A, though he didn't rule that out either. Iglesias is hitting .431 in 32 games compared to just .192 in 53 games for Middlebrooks.
Description: Red Sox rookie Allen Webster has been called up from Triple-A to make the start Saturday against Detroit.
Insight: It's a nationally televised game so the 23-year-old will be on a pretty big stage. Hopefully Webster does better than he did the last time he was in the major leagues (1 2/3 IP, 6 H, 8 ER, 3 BB against the Twins on May 8th).
Description: Sean McAdam from Comcast Sports New England reports that Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz was unable to throw his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday.
Insight: He was hoping to return from the DL Tuesday against the Rockies but that's out of the question now. McAdam believes Buchholz will have to endure a rehab stint in the minor leagues before the Red Sox allow him to return to the rotation. Buchholz strained his neck two weeks ago in a game against the Angels.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz is 6-for-10 with a pair of home runs against Detroit starter Max Scherzer.
Insight: In just 57 games, Ortiz has compiled 15 doubles, 15 home runs and 54 RBI while hitting .306. But Scherzer has become one of the league's best pitchers this season, starting off 10-0 with a 3.08 ERA, 0.913 WHIP and 116 strikeouts in 96 1/3 innings pitched, so this might be a tougher matchup than history would expect.
Description: It looks like Red Sox lefty Franklin Morales could be headed to the disabled list. SOURCE: RedSox.com
Insight: Morales (2-0, 7.30 ERA) injured his shoulder during a relief appearance Saturday against Detroit. Morales has been filling in as an occasional starter as well so a trip to the DL would certainly give Boston's rotation less depth. Allen Webster could be a candidate to fill that long relief role, though he's struggled in his past couple appearances (13 ER in his last six innings).
Description: Boston infielder Jose Iglesias went 3-for-5 with a triple and two run Friday against the Tigers.
Insight: Iglesias is hitting .431 in 102 at-bats this season despite batting .257 in his minor league career. The infielder has been incredibly lucky with a .494 BABIP despite hitting line drives less than 19 percent of the time.
Description: Red Sox manager John Farrell announced Friday that Koji Uehara will be the team's new closer, according to Evan Drellich of MassLive.com.
Insight: Andrew Bailey has blown three saves and allowed seven runs in his last five appearances, and Boston removed him from the closer role following Thursday's game. Bailey said he's looking at the change as a temporary one, but fantasy owners can go ahead and add Uehara, who has a 2.10 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP and 42 strikeouts in 30 innings this season.
Description: Red Sox manager John Farrell didn't take long to remove Andrew Bailey as the team's closer. Farrell confirmed after Thursday's blown save that Bailey is being removed, according to Evan Drellich of MassLive.com.
Insight: Bailey allowed a two-run walk-off homer to Jhonny Peralta Thursday and has given up seven earned runs on eight hits, walked five and allowed four home runs over his last five appearances (4 IP, 3 BS). The team will look at internal options, Farrell said, which means that either Junichi Tazawa or Koji Uehara will get a look.
Description: Boston closer Andrew Bailey blew his second straight save chance Thursday against Detroit.
Insight: Bailey allowed a two-run walk-off homer to Jhonny Peralta. He has given up seven earned runs on eight hits, walked five and allowed four home runs over his last five appearances (4 IP, 3 BS). Joel Hanrahan is out, so Bailey doesn't have much competition, but the team might consider turning to Junichi Tazawa.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBI Thursday against the Tigers.
Insight: In just 56 games, Ortiz has compiled 15 doubles, 15 home runs and 54 RBI while hitting .310. He's fourth in the AL in RBI despite playing 15 or so fewer games than the other players in the top five.
Description: Red Sox first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp (hamstring) has been cleared to play, according to WEEI.com.
Insight: Carp was supposed to be in the team's lineup for Game 2 of a doubleheader Tuesday, but did not end up playing. He has been out since suffering a hamstring injury Sunday. Carp has impressive numbers -- .324, 8 HR, 25 RBI -- in limited playing time (105 at-bats).
Description: Red Sox starter Felix Doubront was incredible Tuesday against the Rays.
Insight: He allowed just three hits in eight shutout innings. Tuesday was the longest outing of Doubront's career. Unfortunately, Doubront (4-3, 4.38 ERA) had to settle for the no-decision after Andrew Bailey gave up a game-tying homer to Kelly Johnson in the ninth inning.
Description: Boston starter Clay Buchholz (neck) will throw soon to determine whether or not he'll be placed on the DL, according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com.
Insight: The Boston ace hasn't pitched in a game since June 8 due to stiffness in his neck and upper back near his shoulder. If he doesn't have an issue during his throwing session Tuesday, he'll advance to throwing off a mound in a side session.
Description: Red Sox righthander Alfredo Aceves is expected to get a start in one of the Tuesday doubleheader games.
Insight: Aceves' career numbers are better as a reliever than as a starter. He's made 14 career starts and is 5-2 with a 4.46 ERA and 1.569 WHIP while having a 3.54 ERA and 1.110 WHIP in 177 relief appearances.
Description: Red Sox first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp left Sunday's game because of a tight hamstring and is questionable for Tuesday against Tampa Bay.
Insight: Carp (.324, 8 HR, 25 RBI) suffered the injury while advancing to third on a single by Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the seventh inning. Manager John Farrell said he should be ready for Tuesday's series opener.
Description: Evan Drellich from the Springfield Republican is reporting that Red Sox first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp left Sunday's game because of a tight hamstring.
Insight: Carp (.324, 8 HR, 25 RBI) suffered the injury while advancing to third on a single by Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the seventh inning. He should be ready for Tuesday's series opener against the Rays.
Description: There's growing speculation that the Red Sox are getting ready to place righthander Clay Buchholz on the disabled list. He's been struggling with neck tightness for over a week.
Insight: The Boston ace hasn't pitched in a game since June 8th against Los Angeles. According to Comcast Sports New England, the Red Sox will make their decision on Buchholz (9-0, 1.71 ERA) Tuesday after he throws a bullpen session. If Buchholz does land on the DL, Alfredo Aceves would likely be called up from Triple-A to take his place in the rotation.
Description: Boston infielder Jose Iglesias extended his hitting streak to 17 games Sunday versus Baltimore.
Insight: That's the fifth-longest streak in the majors this season. Iglesias (.438 AVG in 27 games) can play anywhere in the infield, which has allowed manager John Farrell to give him regular at bats even while Will Middlebrooks, Dustin Pedroia and Stephen Drew are all healthy. He hasn't displayed much power (one homer in 89 at bats) but fantasy owners looking to gain an edge in batting average should look no further.
Description: Boston first baseman Mike Carp came up limping in the seventh inning Sunday against Baltimore.
Insight: Shane Victorino came off the bench to pinch run for Carp with Daniel Nava taking over at first base. With Carp hurt and Mike Napoli still dealing with an illness, the Red Sox are extremely shorthanded at first base. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks could see some action at first if Carp's injury lingers.
Description: Red Sox starter John Lackey bounced back from a poor start his last time out to win his fourth game of the season Saturday at Baltimore.
Insight: Lackey allowed seven hits (six singles) and two earned runs over seven innings. He gave up 10 hits and four earned runs to Tampa Bay in his last start and caused the benches to clear when he hit Matt Joyce. The right-hander has experienced a resurgence after missing all of 2012 due to Tommy John surgery. He has a 3.08 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.
Description: Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz (back, neck) has been scratched from Sunday's bullpen session and ruled out of Tuesday's start, according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com.
Insight: Buchholz has been dealing with soreness in his upper back and neck. He also missed a start in May due to soreness around the AC joint in his collarbone and this injury might be related. The right-hander said he wants to make sure he's 100 percent before returning this time. Buchholz has been a great starter this season going 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA and 1.02 WHIP.
Description: According to Nick Cafardo from the Boston Globe, at least three teams are interested in acquiring Red Sox third baseman Pedro Ciriaco.
Insight: The emergence of Jose Iglesias (.449 AVG this season) made Ciriaco expendable and the team eventually designated him for assignment on Monday. Cafardo wasn't specific about who was interested but Ciriaco (.216, 1 HR, 4 RBI in 28 games) should have a new team soon.
Description: According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz (back, neck) felt stiffness when he threw Wednesday and is likely to have his next start pushed back.
Insight: Buchholz has been dealing with soreness in his upper back and neck. He also missed a start in May due to soreness around the AC joint in his collarbone and this injury might be related. The right-hander said he wants to make sure he's 100 percent before returning this time. Lauber predicts the team will push Buchholz back to Tuesday.
Description: Red Sox starter Jon Lester had a miserable night Tuesday against the Rays, walking seven and allowing three home runs.
Insight: Lester gave up eight hits and seven earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. The left-hander was 6-0 with a 2.72 ERA after nine starts; he is 0-3 with a 6.90 ERA over his last five starts and his ERA has dropped to 4.12.
Description: According to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe, Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz (back, neck) has not been ruled out of Sunday's start against the Orioles. Buchholz left his last start with soreness in his trapezius muscle.
Insight: Buchholz also missed a start in May due to soreness around the AC joint in his collarbone and this injury might be related. The right-hander said he wants to make sure he's 100 percent before returning this time. Buchholz will throw a bullpen session Friday to test out his injury.
Description: Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who was activated from the disabled list on Monday night, will get Tuesday off after going 1-for-7 in his return.
Insight: Jose Iglesias will get the start. Middlebrooks is batting just .199 with eight homers and 22 RBI. Much more is expected of the 24-year-old who batted .288 with 15 HR and 54 RBI in 75 games last season.
Description: Boston will turn to Franklin Morales for the start Wednesday versus Tampa Bay. SOURCE: Evan Drellich, Springfield Republican
Insight: It's just a spot start so fantasy owners don't need to rush to the waiver wire to go pick him up. Morales made one start earlier in the year, allowing two runs in five innings against the Phillies.
Description: The Red Sox designated third baseman Pedro Ciriaco for assignment on Monday.
Insight: Ciriaco finds himself as the odd man out in Boston's crowded infield. He's a .287 lifetime hitter with good speed (16 steals last year) so he shouldn't have trouble catching on with another team.
Description: According to WEEI.com, Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz (upper back, neck) won't return until he is "completely better," leaving him questionable to make his next start Friday against the Orioles.
Insight: Buchholz left Saturday's start with soreness in his trapezius muscle. He missed a start in May due to soreness around the AC joint in his collarbone and this injury might be related. "We’ll see how I feel the next couple of days in Tampa and then go from there. It’s going to be completely better whenever I come back,said Buchholz. "That’s my sole purpose right now, to come back without this happening again."
Description: Red Sox infielder Jose Iglesias went 2-for-4 Sunday and is batting .446 in 74 at-bats this season.
Insight: Iglesias has hit .244 in 829 at-bats at Triple-A, so this is quite the surprise. Before you go penciling in Iglesias as your starting fantasy shortstop, keep in mind two things: His playing time will be cut when Will Middlebrooks returns from the DL this week, and he has been extremely fortunate to post a .508 BABIP despite hitting line-drives at a subpar rate of 17.7 percent.
Description: Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia slugged two homers and drove in four Sunday versus the Angels.
Insight: Saltalamacchia's strikeout rate is up, but so is his line-drive rate and dramatically so. He had a 22.8 percent line-drive rate last season and hit .222 with a .265 BABIP. This year, he has a 28.8 percent line-drive rate and is batting .273 with a .385 BABIP.
Description: Boston ace Clay Buchholz exited in the seventh inning after suffering an injury Saturday against the Angels. SOURCE: Will Carroll, Bleacher Report
Insight: This could be a new injury or it could be related to the shoulder issue that caused Buchholz to miss a start at the end of last month. He gave up two runs in 6 2/3 innings before his departure and is in line for his ninth win of the season.
Description: The Red Sox are expected to send outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. down to Triple-A on Saturday. SOURCE: Brian MacPherson, Providence Journal
Insight: Bradley had been filling in for Jacoby Ellsbury in center field but he returned from a groin injury on Thursday night. Optioning Bradley to Pawtucket will allow the Red Sox to activate outfielder Shane Victorino (strained hamstring) from the disabled list.
Description: Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks (back) is eligible to come off the DL Saturday, but he'll remain with Triple-A Pawtucket through the weekend before returning next week, according to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.
Insight: Middlebrooks hit just .201 with eight homers and 21 RBI prior to his injury. More was expected of the 24-year-old.
Description: Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is out of the lineup Thursday against Texas.
Insight: Salty is hitting .311 with five homers and a .919 OPS against right-handers this season, but is just 5-for-38 (.132) against lefties. With Derek Holland on the mound for the Rangers, Saltalamacchia will take a seat.
Description: With Will Middlebrooks set to come off the disabled list this Saturday, the Red Sox will soon have to make an important roster decision.
Insight: Jose Iglesias (.431, 1 HR, 7 RBI) has been spectacular while filling in for Middlebrooks and deserves to stay in the major leagues. Meanwhile, Pedro Ciriaco (.234, 1 HR, 4 RBI) has struggled at the plate and he's been a major liability defensively (seven errors in 25 games). The Red Sox haven't made an official announcement yet but we're guessing Ciriaco will be the odd man out when Middlebrooks is activated. He could be sent down to Triple-A.
Description: Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster limited the Texas Rangers to three earned runs on five hits over seven innings Tuesday night to pick up his first win since May 2.
Insight: Dempster (3-6, 4.39 ERA) has thrown seven innings in two straight starts after getting hit hard in the three starts before that. The right-hander had walked 32 batters in 62 2/3 innings coming into Tuesday's start, but he walked just one batter against Texas, the team he made 12 starts for last season.
Description: Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks (back) will begin his rehab assignment at Pawtuket on Tuesday and if there are no setbacks could be ready to return when he is first eligible on June 8, according to manager John Farrell.
Insight: Middlebrooks' will have to improve on his first 46-game production (.201, 8 HR, 21 RBI, .642 OPS) if fantasy owners are going to get fair market value.
Description: Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia is 7-for-15 (.467) with one homer against Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda.
Insight: Kuroda has been excellent this season, going 6-3 with a 2.39 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP, but Pedroia has handled him well. Pedroia is batting .333 with three homers, 30 RBI, 38 runs and eight steals this season despite playing through a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz is just a career .224 hitter versus Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia with 15 strikeouts.
Insight: Ortiz only got three official at-bats in the two games in Philadelphia as the team had to play without a DH. The slugger (.333, 8 HR, 34 RBI, .993 OPS) does have two home runs in 49 at-bats versus Sabathia, but his .650 OPS is well below his career numbers.
Description: Boston first baseman Mike Napoli is not in the starting lineup Thursday at Philadelphia.
Insight: With no DH available in the National League park, the Red Sox will start David Ortiz at first base Thursday. Napoli is hitting .259 with eight homers and 39 RBI this season, but he is second in the majors with 75 strikeouts.
Description: Even though he has been scratched twice from starts this week due to soreness in his AC joint, Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz said he isn't worried about the injury. SOURCE: Boston Herald
Insight: Buchholz, who is 7-0 with a 1.73 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and a 73/27 K/BB in 72 2/3 innings this season, was scratched from Monday's start and has been pushed back from Friday. He possibly could start Sunday against the Yankees. Buchholz said he wanted to start Friday, but the team is being cautious.
Description: Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was recalled from the minors Wednesday, but he isn't likely to stick around. SOURCE: MLB.com
Insight: Bradley will fill in as a backup outfielder until Shane Victorino returns from the DL next week. The outfielder owns a .097 batting average (3-for-31) at the major league level but is one of the team's top prospects.
Description: According to Ian Browne of MLB.com, Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz (collarbone) will make his next start no sooner than Sunday.
Insight: Buchholz was scratched from Monday's start due to mild irritation around his collarbone, and more discomfort Wednesday has forced Boston to push him back from Friday's start. The right-hander is 7-0 with a 1.73 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and a 73/27 K/BB in 72 2/3 innings this season.
Description: Red Sox ace Clay Buchholz (collarbone) was cleared yesterday to make his next start, but he is still experiencing discomfort under his collarbone and might have to be skipped after all, according to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.
Insight: Buchholz was scratched from Monday's start due to mild irritation around his collarbone, and he isn't certain for Friday against the Yankees. The right-hander is 7-0 with a 1.73 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and a 73/27 K/BB in 72 2/3 innings.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz is not in the lineup for Wednesday's game at Philadelphia.
Insight: The Red Sox have to play without the DH over the next two days and Ortiz will sit out the first game. The slugger (.336, 8 HR, 34 RBI, 1.000 OPS) is expected to play first base on Thursday with Mike Napoli taking a seat.
Description: Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia revealed he's been playing with a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb.
Insight: It hasn't kept Pedroia from getting off to a great start, batting .332 with 37 runs scored, 28 RBI and an .866 OPS. He's struggled against Wednesday's starter Kyle Kendrick, going 1-for-7 in their matchups.
Description: Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster lost his fourth straight decision Tuesday, but he pitched better than he had in his previous three starts.
Insight: Dempster allowed 20 hits and 15 earned runs and walked 11 over his previous 12 2/3 innings, but he threw seven innings and gave up two runs and six hits Tuesday against the Phillies. The right-hander is 2-6 with a 4.45 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.
Description: Red Sox ace Clay Buchholz (collarbone) has been cleared to make his next start Friday against the Yankees, according to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal.
Insight: Buchholz was scratched from Monday's start due to mild irritation around his collarbone, but he'll be good to go Friday. The right-hander is 7-0 with a 1.73 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and a 73/27 K/BB in 72 2/3 innings.
Description: Red Sox left-hander Franklin Morales, who has been out since spring training with neck and pectoral issues, has been activated from the 15-day disabled list.
Insight: Morales will join the bullpen, so he'll have no fantasy value initially. The left-hander went 3-3 with a 4.14 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings in nine starts last season, so he'll have some mixed league intrigue if he earns a spot in the rotation at some point.
Description: Boston outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is just an .083 hitter (1-for-12) against Phillies lefty Cliff Lee.
Insight: Ellsbury's 32 home run season of 2011 is just a memory from the past as he's returned to be the speed player he has been for most of his career. He's leading the AL with 15 steals. It's hard to steal if you can't get on first base and Ellsbury has not been very good at that against Lee.
Description: Red Sox ace Clay Buchholz will not make his next start (Monday vs. Philadelphia) due to a collarbone issue, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
Insight: He limited the White Sox to just one run and five hits over seven dominant innings on May 22. Buchholz is a stunning 7-0 with a 1.73 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. Fantasy owners are hoping he'll return by the end of the week.
Description: Boston shortstop Jose Iglesias contributed three hits Saturday against Cleveland.
Insight: This just doesn't make sense. Iglesias has been excellent in the majors (.481 in eight games) despite a .202 average in 119 at bats in the minors this season. Either way, it looks like he's going to be playing a lot of third base while Will Middlebrooks is sidelined with a back injury.
Description: The Red Sox recalled infielder Jose Iglesias on Friday.
Insight: The Sox placed Will Middlebrooks and Shane Victorino on the DL, which opened up a roster spot for Iglesias. He started at third base on Friday and is playing shortstop today against the Indians.
Description: Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is is an ugly 0-for-7 with six strikeouts against Indians' starter Scott Kazmir.
Insight: This would be a good day for him to watch David Ross from the bench, but if he plays you must make sure he's not in your fantasy lineup. His 46 strikeouts in 124 at-bats is a little concerning, but catchers with an .806 OPS are hard to come by.
Description: Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia "owns" Cleveland starter Scott Kazmir, batting a stunning .515 with a .610 OBP in 41 plate appearances.
Insight: Pedroia is having another excellent season, batting .333 with 34 runs scored, two homers, 24 RBI and eight steals. Despite the low home run total, fantasy owners are still getting their money's worth. He's a must start on Saturday.
Description: Red Sox starter John Lackey allowed just two hits and one unearned run in a win over Cleveland Friday night. He has allowed three hits and two unearned runs in 13 innings over his last two starts.
Insight: Lackey walked three and struck out eight in seven innings. The right-hander has been very good in his return from Tommy John surgery, posting a 2.72 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP and striking out 40 batters in 39 2/3 innings.
Description: Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks was placed on the 15-day disabled list with lower back spasms.
Insight: Middlebrooks has not lived up to expectations this season after hitting .288 with 15 homers in 75 games last year. He's hitting .203 with eight homers and an ugly strikeout-to-walk ratio (52/7) through 45 games.
Description: Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks left Thursday's game with lower back spasms and is doubtful for Friday's game against Cleveland.
Insight: Middlebrooks has not lived up to expectations this season after hitting .288 with 15 homers in 75 games last year. He's hitting .203 with eight homers and an ugly strikeout-to-walk ratio (52/7) through 45 games.
Description: Boston GM Ben Cherington says that the team still hasn't discussed a long-term contract with impending free agent Jacoby Ellsbury.
Insight: It's clear that the Red Sox would rather hand over the reigns to up-and-comer Jackie Bradley than overspend on Ellsbury. Look for the Sox to try and deal the veteran outfielder before the trade deadline.
Description: Boston minor league outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., who just recently returned from a trip to the Triple-A disabled list, is playing well after his mid-April demotion from the Red Sox, batting .315 with 12 runs scored and nine stolen bases in 14 games.
Insight: Despite his struggles at the major league level at the start of the season (.097 in 31 at-bats), he's still got a bright future and fantasy owners should continue to monitor his progress.
Description: Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster has allowed 15 hits and 11 runs and walked seven batters over his last two starts (9 2/3 IP).
Insight: Dempster dominated earlier this season and still has a 16.3 percent line-drive rate and 12.2 percent swing-and-miss rate, which is fourth best in the majors. His K/9 is 10.77. The only causes for concern are his 4.27 BB/9 and 1.54 HR/9.
Description: Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava has gone 4-for-8 with one homer and three RBI over the last two games.
Insight: He has started both in right field with Shane Victorino (back) out of the lineup. Nava has been the starting left fielder against right-handers this year and is hitting .319 with two homers in 91 at-bats against them. He has a .293 average, six homers, 27 RBI, 24 runs and a 24/18 K/BB in 36 games.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz socked two homers and drove in six runs Saturday night against the Twins.
Insight: Ortiz' walk rate is way down (14.6 percent to 7.8 percent), but that's probably because the DH is crushing most of the pitches he sees. He's hitting .393 (11-for-28) with 11 extra-base hits on flyballs this season and .875 (14-for-16) with five doubles on line drives. Overall, he's hitting .362 with seven homers and 29 RBI in just 24 games.
Description: Red Sox manager John Farrell told WEEI that reliever Andrew Bailey (biceps) will come off the DL by Monday at the latest, according to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.
Insight: Bailey will likely throw a simulated game Thursday and a rehab game Saturday before being activated Monday. Fill-in Junichi Tazawa hasn't picked up a save yet since taking over the closer role.
Description: Red Sox manager John Farrell said that he expects to get reliever Andrew Bailey (biceps) back in 5-7 days, according to MLB Network Radio.
Insight: Bailey is eligible to be activated from the DL today, but he needs more time. The right-hander did throw a 20-pitch bullpen session this afternoon and felt good, according to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. He'll face hitters in a simulated game Thursday. Fill-in Junichi Tazawa hasn't picked up a save yet since taking over the closer role.
Description: Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is not starting Tuesday's game against Tampa Bay.
Insight: No injury, just a day of rest for the catcher, who has played 29 games this season, batting .263 with four homers and 11 RBI. His 36 strikeouts in 95 at-bats is a little concerning, but catchers with an .828 OPS are hard to come by.
Description: Red Sox closer Junichi Tazawa was charged with his second loss of the season Saturday against Toronto.
Insight: Adam Lind took him deep to give the Blue Jays a 3-2 lead in the ninth inning. With Andrew Bailey and Joel Hanrahan still on the sidelines, Tazawa (2-2, 3.31 ERA) will continue to be Boston's last line of defense in the late innings.
Description: Boston reliever Joel Hanrahan has opted for season-ending surgery on his right elbow.
Insight: This has Tommy John written all over it. It's likely that Hanrahan has played his last game with the Red Sox. Here is what he tweeted to his followers: "Definitely not the way I wanted my time here with the Red Sox to go, hopefully I'll get a chance to show #RSN the real pitcher I am someday."
Description: Red Sox starter Jon Lester faced one batter over the minimum in a complete-game one-hit shutout Friday against the Blue Jays.
Insight: Lester allowed a double to Maicer Izturis in the sixth, but otherwise was perfect. After posting the worst ERA of his career last season, Lester has bounced back by going 5-0 with a 2.73 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP.
Description: Boston closer Joel Hanrahan (forearm) has damage to his flexor tendon, which protects the UCL in his elbow. He has to decide between rest and rehab or season-ending surgery, according to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal.
Insight: Hanrahan was moved to the 60-day DL yesterday and can be dropped in all leagues. Junichi Tazawa will serve as the closer since Andrew Bailey (biceps) is also on the DL.
Description: Boston starter John Lackey allowed five runs in seven innings Thursday against the Twins, but only one was earned.
Insight: It was a strong start otherwise, as Lackey allowed six hits, walked one and fanned eight. The Red Sox made two errors behind him. Lackey has been effective so far, posting a 2.82 ERA, a 1.30 WHIP and a 24/7 K/BB in 22 1/3 innings.
Description: Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks (ribs) is back in the lineup Thursday against the Twins, according to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.
Insight: Middlebrooks collided with catcher David Ross while making a sliding catch in foul territory Tuesday night and has been dealing with bruised ribs. Ross suffered a quad contusion, but he is also back in the lineup Thursday.
Description: Red Sox reliever Andrew Bailey (biceps) said he played catch on Thursday, but has no timetable for a return, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com.
Insight: He definitely won't be back when he is eligible on May 14, that much is clear. Joel Hanrahan was transferred to the 60-day DL Thursday, meaning Junichi Tazawa could have a longer run than expected as Boston's closer.
Description: Boston closer Joel Hanrahan (forearm) has been moved to the 60-day DL.
Insight: Hanrahan was placed on the 15-day DL just two days ago, so this move should tell fantasy owners that his injury is serious. Forearm strains sometimes can be indicative of an elbow problem, which is why Hanrahan will see Dr. James Andrews. Junichi Tazawa will serve as the closer since Andrew Bailey (biceps) is also on the DL.
Description: Boston starter Clay Buchholz has denied using sunscreen to doctor his pitches this season. SOURCE: WEEI
Insight: Buchholz said he has used sunscreen in the past but not this season. Buchholz probably won't draw any disciplinary action from the league (it would be pretty hard to ban sunscreen) but umpires are definitely going to keep a closer eye on him going forward. Buchholz (6-0, 1.60 ERA) is off to a terrific start and should be started in all fantasy leagues.
Description: Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks' MRI showed no structural damage in his sore rib cage, according to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.
Insight: Middlebrooks collided with catcher David Ross while making a sliding catch in foul territory Tuesday night. Lauber reports that Middlebrooks is trying to talk his way into Wednesday's lineup but he'll likely miss at least one game.
Description: Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks collided with David Ross in foul territory in the fifth inning Tuesday and later left the game. UPDATE: He has been diagnosed with a right side injury, according to beat writer Evan Drellich.
Insight: Middlebrooks made a sliding catch but slid into Ross's leg. The young third baseman lasted until the seventh inning, so this might just be a precautionary move related to side soreness. Ross also exited one batter after the collision with a left quad contusion.
Description: Boston lefty Felix Doubront has been demoted to the bullpen, according to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.
Insight: Doubront took a 3-0 record and a 4.24 ERA into his last start, but he gave up 12 hits and six earned in 3 2/3 at Texas on May 3. Allen Webster will make at least one start in place of Doubront.
Description: Red Sox manager John Farrell said that he will use Junichi Tazawa in the ninth inning with both Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey on the disabled list, according to Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio.
Insight: Farrell wants to keep Koji Uehara in the eighth inning. Neither Hanrahan or Bailey has a timetable for a return, so Tazawa could hold onto the role for a while if he succeeds.
Description: Boston closer Joel Hanrahan had to leave Monday night's game against Minnesota because of tightness in his right forearm.
Insight: Hanrahan had surrendered a game-tying solo home run to Brian Dozier just a couple batters earlier. The injury could mean another trip to the disabled list. The Red Sox other closer option, Andrew Bailey, is already sidelined. Boston could use Koji Uehara in the role or bring up Alfredo Aceves from Pawtucket.
Description: Boston closer Joel Hanrahan had to leave Monday night's game against Minnesota because of an injury.
Insight: It looked like he tweaked his hamstring. Hanrahan had surrendered a game-tying solo home run to Brian Dozier just a couple batters earlier. Clayton Mortensen has come on to take Hanrahan's place.
Description: Updating an earlier report, Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey (biceps) will not pitch Saturday after feeling soreness while playing catch before the game, according to Mike Silverman of the Boston Herald.
Insight: Bailey has been dealing with biceps soreness and hasn't pitched since April 28. This injury could open the door for Joel Hanrahan to regain the closer role after he lost it while on the DL.
Description: Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey is dealing with biceps soreness and has been downgraded to doubtful for Saturday's game against Texas.
Insight: That explains why Bailey, who hasn't pitched since April 28, wasn't called upon for a save chance Thursday night. The injury is ill-timed for fantasy owners, as it gives Joel Hanrahan a chance to prove himself in the closer role after losing it while he was on the disabled list.
Description: Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey is dealing with biceps soreness, according to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.
Insight: That explains why Bailey, who hasn't pitched since April 28, wasn't called upon for a save chance Thursday night. The injury is ill-timed, as it gives Joel Hanrahan a chance to prove himself in the closer role after losing it while on the disabled list.
Description: Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is hitting .315 this season, but he has never had success against Friday's opposing starter Derek Holland. Pedroia is 2-for-14 (.143) against the Rangers hurler.
Insight: Pedroia does have one homer against Holland, which is one more than he has this season. The second baseman has been performing well lately -- after striking out 15 times in his first 15 games, he has one strikeout, nine walks and a .320 average over his last 13 games, but Friday's game does not present a favorable matchup for him.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz is not in Thursday's starting lineup, according to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.
Insight: Ortiz is batting .487 with three homers and 15 RBI in 10 games since returning from the DL. We understand the team wants to get him a day off every once and awhile to keep him healthy, but it's tough not having his production even for one game.
Description: Boston DH David is a career .361 hitter with three homers and 13 RBI against Toronto starter Mark Buehrle.
Insight: Ortiz slammed his third homer of the season and went 2-for-5 with four RBI Tuesday against the Blue Jays. Big Papi has started off with a nine-game hitting streak since returning from his injury. He's hitting an even .500 with 15 RBI and a 1.429 OPS.
Description: Red Sox starter Jon Lester had his worst start of the season Tuesday against the Blue Jays, allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits in six innings.
Insight: Lester (3.11 ERA) has actually had two poor starts in a row, as he walked six and gave up six hits in his last start, but he won the last one to improve to 4-0. A 5-0 record was not in the cards this April, but Lester still has had an infinitely better month than April 2012, when he went 1-2 with a 4.65 ERA.
Description: Red Sox reliever Joel Hanrahan has been activated from the disabled list. That's the good news. The bad news is that it appears Andrew Bailey will keep the closer's role for now.
Insight: Hanrahan (hamstring) is 1-0 with a 11.57 ERA and 2.357 WHIP in six appearances. Bailey has been nearly perfect of late and Red Sox manager John Farrell has indicated he's going with the hot hand.
Description: It appears that Red Sox reliever Andrew Bailey will keep the closer's role even when Joel Hanrahan returns from the disabled list.
Insight: Bailey is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA, .811 WHIP and five saves in six chances. There is no guarantee that he will remain the closer for the rest of the season, but for now Bailey is the guy to have in the Red Sox bullpen.
Description: Boston first baseman Mike Napoli is 2-for-14 with seven strikeouts against Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow.
Insight: Napoli is producing as fantasy owners and Red Sox fans had hoped when he came to Boston. He's batting .280 with four home runs and 27 RBI in 25 games. This matchup, however, is an unfavorable one.
Description: Boston starter John Lackey returned from a biceps strain with a win against the Astros on Sunday. He walked two, struck out four and allowed five hits and one run in six innings.
Insight: Lackey suffered the injury in his first start of the season, which also happened to be his first start since 2011. He had a 4.40 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP in 2010 and a 6.41 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP in 2011 so he won't be a reliable fantasy option.
Description: Boston righthander John Lackey will return to the Red Sox rotation on Sunday after making just one rehab start.
Insight: Lackey has been sidelined for the last couple of weeks because of a biceps strain but he'll be on the mound Sunday for the series finale against Houston. It's tough to recommend Lackey in fantasy leagues when he's only made one major league start in the last two seasons.
Description: Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew continues to struggle, batting .136 in 14 games, but the matchup with Houston right-hander Bud Norris could help him break out of the early-season slump. Drew has yet to produce a multi-hit game.
Insight: Drew is 5-for-9 (.556) with a 1.444 OPS in his matchups against Norris.
Description: It looks like Joel Hanrahan could be back with the Red Sox by Tuesday. The righthanded reliever is currently on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. SOURCE: Masslive.com
Insight: Hanrahan (hamstring) got blasted in his lone inning of work Friday night against Columbus (2 H, 2 ER). He'll probably have to settle for a setup role upon his return though Hanrahan could have a chance to close again should Andrew Bailey falter.
Description: As expected, Boston righthander John Lackey will return to the Red Sox rotation after making just one rehab start. SOURCE: Brian McTaggart, MLB.com
Insight: Lackey has been sidelined for the last couple of weeks because of a biceps strain but he'll be on the mound Sunday for the series finale against Houston. It's tough to recommend Lackey in fantasy leagues when he's only made one major league start in the last two seasons.
Description: Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is 1-for-14 (.071) against Houston starter Erik Bedard.
Insight: The second baseman is hitting .301 with 15 walks, but he has struck out 15 times in 83 at-bats and has yet to hit his first homer. Friday is an unfavorable matchup which should probably be avoided.
Description: Red Sox starter John Lackey (biceps) threw 50 pitches in a bullpen session Thursday and "felt good," according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
Insight: Lackey suffered a biceps strain in his first start of the season after missing all of 2012 following Tommy John surgery, but his recovery has gone smoothly and he is on track to start Sunday against the Astros.
Description: Ryan Lavarnway is expected to be called up to Boston now that there's an open spot on the roster. SOURCE: Pete Abraham, Boston Globe
Insight: He might only be in the majors for a couple days as John Lackey is expected to reclaim his spot in the rotation Sunday against Houston. The backup catcher hit .157 in 46 games at the big league level in 2012.
Description: Sean McAdams from Comcast Sports New England is reporting that the Red Sox have demoted righthander Alfredo Aceves to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Insight: Aceves (1-1, 8.66 ERA) had a bizarre outing Tuesday against Oakland (he had two balks in one inning) and apparently that was the last straw for manager John Farrell, who was never high on Aceves to begin with. John Lackey is set to rejoin the rotation this weekend so Aceves had to know his days as a starter were coming to an end.
Description: The Red Sox have promoted relief pitcher Daniel Bard to the major leagues.
Insight: This move comes as a bit of a surprise. Bard has basically been in a downward spiral ever since Bobby Valentine decided to move him into the team's starting rotation a little over a year ago. Bard (0-1, 4.00 ERA in eight relief appearances for Double-A Portland) will join Boston's bullpen as another middle relief option alongside Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Miller and Clayton Mortensen. He won't be of use to fantasy owners.
Description: Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury is hitless in 11 career at-bats against Oakland left-hander Brett Anderson.
Insight: Ellsbury had an 11-game hitting streak broken up on Tuesday night and could probably use the day off anyway. He's been the ideal leadoff man this season batting .287 with 15 runs scored and nine stolen bases.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz is not in the starting lineup Tuesday against the Athletics. Jonny Gomes is starting at DH. SOURCE: Gordon Edes, ESPNBoston.com
Insight: Ortiz sat out the second game of Boston's doubleheader Sunday but he has played three straight days since coming off the DL. Plus, he is a career .130 hitter (6-for-46) against Oakland hurler Bartolo Colon, and Gomes has a .385 average versus the veteran starter.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz is just a career .130 hitter (6-for-46) against Oakland hurler Bartolo Colon.
Insight: Ortiz just returned to the Red Sox after missing the first few weeks with a heel injury and is off to a flying start batting .500 in his first three games. This matchup, however, isn't a favorable one and could be an opportunity to get Jonny Gomes into the lineup who is a career .385 hitter versus Colon.
Description: If Boston outfielder Jonny Gomes returns to the team in time (birth of his third child) he has a favorable matchup against Oakland right-hander Bartolo Colon. He's 5-for-13 against the veteran starter with a pair of homers and a 1.429 OPS.
Insight: Gomes hasn't done much this season (.172, 0 HR, 0 RBI) and isn't likely to see regular at bats until Daniel Nava (.326, 4 HR, 14 RBI) cools off, but this matchup might be worth John Farrell finding a spot start for him.
Description: Boston outfielder Jonny Gomes left the team to witness the birth of his third child this afternoon. SOURCE: Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle
Insight: He's not in the starting lineup but there's a chance he could be available to pinch hit if he makes it back to Fenway Park in time. Gomes (.172, 0 HR, 0 RBI) isn't likely to see regular at bats until Daniel Nava (.326, 4 HR, 14 RBI) cools off.
Description: Boston reliever Koji Uehara finally gave up his first run of the season Sunday in a 5-4 loss to Kansas City.
Insight: He blew the save by giving up a solo shot to Billy Butler with two outs in the eighth. Prior to Sunday, Uehara's longest outing of the season had lasted just 14 pitches. He needed 21 pitches to get through the eighth inning on Sunday.
Description: Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli ripped three hits in Sunday night's loss to Kansas City.
Insight: He was a triple shy of the cycle. Napoli had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth but Lorenzo Cain caught his fly ball on the warning track. He leads the Red Sox with 20 RBI this season.
Description: Red Sox righthander Allen Webster looked sharp Sunday in his major league debut against the Royals.
Insight: The 23-year-old allowed just two earned runs over six innings and had been in line to get the win before Koji Uehara let up a game-tying home run to Billy Butler in the eighth. Webster walked two and struck out five.
Description: As expected, Red Sox DH David Ortiz will sit out the second game of Sunday's doubleheader versus the Royals.
Insight: Given his recent string of injuries, playing 18 innings in one day would be asking a lot of Ortiz right now. Instead, Jarrod Saltalamacchia will DH with David Ross getting the start behind the plate. Ortiz should be available to pinch hit if the Red Sox need him to.
Description: Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew whiffed three times Sunday in a 4-2 loss against the Royals.
Insight: The loss snapped Boston's seven-game winning streak. By going hitless for the third time in his last four outings, Drew saw his average fall to .100 for the season. He has just three hits since coming off the DL on April 10th and has struck out 12 times in his 30 at bats this season. Unless your goal is to sabotage your own team, Drew shouldn't be on any fantasy rosters right now.
Description: Boston third baseman Will Middlebrooks (1-for-4 with two strikeouts Sunday versus Kansas City) is hitting just .105 with 15 strikeouts in 38 at bats since homering three times against the Blue Jays on April 7th.
Insight: He's driven in just one run over that span with no extra base hits. The slumping infielder should be benched in all formats until further notice.
Description: Despite compiling a 3.38 ERA over his first four starts, Red Sox righty Ryan Dempster is still winless.
Insight: Dempster had an up and down outing Sunday against the Royals (7 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 8 K's). It's worth noting that the Red Sox are averaging just three runs per game in Dempster's starts compared to 5.31 runs per game on days when he doesn't pitch.
Description: Boston DH David Ortiz is off to a blazing start. In his first two games back from a heel injury, Papi has already generated five hits.
Insight: Three of those hits came Sunday in the first game of a day/night double-header against Kansas City. He still isn't moving around the bases too well so owners can expect manager John Farrell to use pinch runners for Ortiz (.625, 0 HR, 2 RBI) in most late game situations.
Description: NESN's Jenny Dell reports that Red Sox righthander John Lackey will throw four innings or 65 pitches Monday in his rehab start for Double-A Portland.
Insight: Lackey, who was DL'd because of a biceps strain earlier in the month, is expected to rejoin the Boston rotation after just one start, assuming he doesn't suffer a setback in Portland on Monday. Alfredo Aceves will head back to the bullpen upon Lackey's return.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz will likely get one game off Sunday as Boston plays a doubleheader against the Royals, but he has strong numbers against both starters the Red Sox will face.
Insight: Ortiz returned from the DL Saturday and had two hits. He is 7-for-24 (.292) with two homers against Ervin Santana and 13-for-38 (.342) with five doubles, three homers and five walks against Jeremy Guthrie. It's doubtful Boston will trot him out there for both games after he just returned from inflammation in both heels that dogged him all spring.
Description: Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has been underwhelming against Royals starter Ervin Santana, who faces Boston Sunday. Pedroia is 3-for-20 against Santana.
Insight: The second baseman is hitting .300 with 12 walks, but he has struck out an uncharacteristic 15 times in 60 at-bats and has yet to hit his first homer. Santana gives up a lot of home runs, but he always has been able to get Pedroia out.
Description: Boston 1B/DH Mike Napoli is 6-for-15 with three homers and two double against former Angels teammate Ervin Santana, who now pitches for the Kansas City Royals.
Insight: Napoli played for Texas for two seasons, so he got plenty of looks at Santana. The slugger had a seven-game hitting streak snapped Saturday, but he did walk twice (just his second and third walks of the season). Napoli has seven doubles, two homers and 17 RBIs in 16 games, but he has struck out 23 times.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz (heels) was activated Friday and has a nice matchup to return to as he's a career .314 hitter (16-for-51) with three homers, 15 RBI and a 1.073 OPS against Royals right-hander James Shields.
Insight: Ortiz said he feels fine in terms of timing and the condition of his Achilles and heels. He is a strong fantasy option as long as he's healthy.
Description: Boston starter Clay Buchholz (3-0) will not get a chance to win a fourth straight on Friday night as the Kansas City-Red Sox game has been postponed due to police activity.
Insight: Buchholz was great in his last outing giving up two hits and striking out 11 in eight scoreless innings. He owns a 0.41 ERA and 0.95 WHIP through three starts. That's a complete reversal from last year, when Buchholz had a 9.09 ERA and a 2.02 WHIP through his first six starts.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz (heels) was activated for Friday and has a nice matchup to return to as he's a career .314 hitter (16-for-51) with three homers, 15 RBI and a 1.073 OPS against Royals right-hander James Shields.
Insight: Ortiz said he feels fine in terms of timing and the condition of his Achilles and heels. He is a strong fantasy option as long as he's healthy.
Description: If Red Sox DH David Ortiz (heels) is activated for Friday, he has a nice matchup to return to as he's a career .314 hitter (16-for-51) with three homers, 15 RBI and a 1.073 OPS against Royals right-hander James Shields.
Insight: Ortiz said he feels fine in terms of timing and the condition of his Achilles and heels. He is a strong fantasy option as long as he's healthy.
Description: Red Sox reliever Andrew Bailey has breezed through his last two save opportunities.
Insight: He hasn't allowed a baserunner in either of the last two games. Red Sox manager John Farrell already has said he doesn't know if Joel Hanrahan will get the closer job back when he returns from the DL.
Description: Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-for-5 with two runs and a stolen base Thursday against the Indians.
Insight: Ellsbury has one homer in 15 games, but he also has three doubles, three triples, 13 runs scored and seven steals. He may never come close to 32 home runs again, but he's still a fine fantasy option.
Description: Boston starter John Lackey (biceps) is expected to make a minor league rehab start Monday with Double-A Portland, according to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.
Insight: Lackey suffered a right biceps strain in his first start this season, but he has thrown twice this week without issue. He missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery and posted a 6.41 ERA and 1.62 WHIP over 160 innings in 2011.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz (heels) says he is ready to be activated from the DL Friday. SOURCE: Alex Speier, WEEI.
Insight: Ortiz said he feels fine in terms of timing and the condition of his Achilles and heels. He injured his Achilles' last July and then dealt with inflammation in both heels this spring, but he should be a strong fantasy option as long as he's healthy.
Description: According to a Boston Herald report, Red Sox manager John Farrell hasn't decided what Joel Hanrahan's role will be when he returns from the disabled list.
Insight: Hanrahan, who is on the DL because of a hamstring issue, has been flat out awful this season (0-1, 11.57 ERA). If Andrew Bailey (1-0, 1.69 ERA, one blown save) pitches well during his absence it's possible that Farrell could just stick with him as the closer.
Description: The success Red Sox left fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. enjoyed in spring training hasn't carried over into the regular season. The youngster is likely headed back to the minors when David Ortiz returns from a heel injury on Friday.
Insight: Bradley has looked lost at the plate (3-for-31) but that's to be expected for a player during his first stint in the majors. He'll have a chance to fine-tune his game in Triple-A and he should get another shot with the big club later in the year.
Description: Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is just 1-for-13 (.077) against Cleveland right-hander Justin Masterson.
Insight: Masterson has pitched great this season (3-0, 0.41 ERA, 0.818 WHIP) and the combination could prove to be too much for Pedroia in this unfavorable matchup. Although batting .306 this season, Pedroia has just one hit in his last seven at-bats.
Description: Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan has been placed on the disabled list retroactive to April 14 due to a right hamstring injury.
Insight: This would explain why Hanrahan has struggled over the last week. Andrew Bailey, who blew a save opportunity on Patriots' Day, should now get a few more chances to show he can get the job done. In Oakland he averaged 25 saves a season.
Description: Red Sox DH David Ortiz (heel) missed a couple of days in his minor league rehab assignment and is dealing with soreness in the heel, but is back in Tuesday's Pawtucket lineup, according to a Providence Journal report.
Insight: Ortiz is hoping to return to the big leagues for Friday's game with the Royals. Ortiz has produced 20-plus homers for 11 consecutive seasons and the Red Sox could use his bat in the lineup.
Description: Boston right-hander Ryan Dempster was outstanding on Monday afternoon, going seven innings and yielding just two hits and a run. He struck out 10 while walking just two batters.
Insight: Dempster has improved in each outing this season to lower his ERA to 2.65 with 25 strikeouts in 17 innings. Since returning to the starting rotation from the bullpen in 2008, Dempster has posted double-digit wins in five consecutive seasons and is pitching well enough to continue that streak.
Description: Red Sox set up man Andrew Bailey took over the closer role on Monday against Tampa Bay with Joel Hanrahan sidelined by a right hamstring injury.
Insight: Bailey didn't get the job done, blowing the save, but earned a win when Mike Napoli doubled home Dustin Pedroia in the bottom of the ninth. Bailey converted just six of nine chances during an injury-plagued 2012 campaign, but averaged 25 saves per season for Oakland from 2009-11. He should get another chance or two before Hanrahan returns to the bullpen.
Description: Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks has faced Tampa Bay starter Jeremy Hellickson nine times and has one hit, a single, while striking out an alarming six times.
Insight: Middlebrooks has four homers and six RBI this season, though three of the blasts were in one game against Toronto last Sunday. He's batting just .129 in his other eight games and this matchup figures to be just as unfavorable.
Description: Boston starter Clay Buchholz took a no-hitter into the eighth inning to win his third straight start Sunday against the Rays.
Insight: Buchholz gave up two hits, walked four and struck out 11 in eight scoreless innings and owns a 0.41 ERA and 0.95 WHIP through three starts. That's a complete reversal from last year, when Buchholz had a 9.09 ERA and a 2.02 WHIP through his first six starts.
Description: Joel Hanrahan has turned in two rough outings in a row. Saturday, the Boston closer walked two hitters without getting an out.
Insight: Koji Uehara came in and got Hanrahan out of the jam. Despite his recent struggles (6 ER in his last inning and two thirds), Boston skipper John Farrell says that Hanrahan is still the team's closer. If Hanrahan continues to implode, Andrew Bailey could get some chances in the ninth inning.
Description: Red Sox outfielder/first baseman Daniel Nava may be batting .421 with three homers, but he's a career .067 hitter (1-for-15) against Tampa Bay ace David Price with seven strikeouts.
Insight: Nava likely won't be in the starting lineup, but if he is, you should remove him from yours. He's hit safely in all six games he's played this season and is a nice option against right-handed pitching.
Description: Boston lefty Felix Doubront will be skipped in the rotation after Friday's rainout.
Insight: Doubront struck out six and walked none in his first start but allowed three runs on nine hits in five innings against the Blue Jays. He walked 71 and struck out 167 in 161 innings last season.
Description: Joel Hanrahan's night was a disaster. The Boston closer allowed five runs on three hits in 2/3 of an inning Wednesday night against Baltimore.
Insight: Manager John Farrell finally pulled him after he gave up a three-run bomb to Manny Machado with two outs in the ninth. It was Hanrahan's first blown save as a member of the Red Sox. He's certainly had a tough series (he gave up a home run before getting the save on Monday) but Hanrahan isn't in any danger of losing his job.
Description: Boston starter John Lackey has been moved to the disabled list. He suffered a strained bicep in his season debut Saturday against the Blue Jays.
Insight: With Franklin Morales also unavailable (injured back), the Red Sox will turn to Alfredo Aveves Thursday against Baltimore. Aceves has been awful this season (10.38 ERA in 4 1/3 innings) and shouldn't warrant any fantasy consideration.
Description: The Red Sox have sent shortstop Jose Iglesias back to Triple-A.
Insight: Iglesias (9-for-20) played well while filling in for Stephen Drew the first week of the season. Drew gets hurt pretty frequently so it should only be a matter of time before Iglesias gets another chance at the big league level.
Description: Boston shortstop Stephen Drew (concussion) has been activated for Wednesday's game, according to Red Sox beat writer Maureen Mullen.
Insight: The shortstop could be a nice sleeper player at a shallow position when he finds his batting stroke. He was just 2-for-13 down at Double-A Portland, so he might not be ready for your fantasy lineup in his first week back.
Description: Red Sox righthander Clay Buchholz held the Orioles to just three hits over seven shutout innings Monday in Boston's home opener.
Insight: The four walks are a bit troubling but overall, Buchholz has pitched extremely well in his first two starts (2-0, 0.64 ERA, .184 AVG against). Last year after two starts, Buchholz carried an ERA of 9.82 in 11 innings.
Description: Red Sox outfielder/first baseman Daniel Nava extended his hitting streak to four games by smacking his second homer of the season Monday in a win over Baltimore.
Insight: Nava started in left field with Jackie Bradley getting the afternoon off. Nava (.500 AVG in four games) is off to a great start but he'll probably return to a reserve role when David Ortiz comes off the DL sometime next week.
Description: Boston lefthander Jon Lester improved to 2-0 Sunday with a win over the Blue Jays.
Insight: He tossed seven scoreless frames for the Sox, who enter Monday's home opener with four wins and just two losses. Lester struck out six without walking a batter. Believe it or not, this is the first time since 2007 Lester has won his first two decisions of the year. He carries a 1.50 ERA in 12 innings this season.
Description: Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks blasted three homers Sunday in a 13-0 victory over Toronto.
Insight: In his other at bats, Middlebrooks doubled and made a long out that took Blue Jays left fielder Melky Cabrera all the way to the warning track. Jacoby Ellsbury, Daniel Nava and Mike Napoli also homered for the Sox on Sunday.
Description: The tentative plan for Red Sox DH David Ortiz (heels) is for him to play extended spring game Monday through Wednesday and join the Triple-A club for a minor league rehab assignment Thursday. SOURCE: Pete Abraham, Boston Globe.
Insight: Ortiz has been dealing with inflammation in both heels since the beginning of spring training. He'll make for a fine fantasy option as long as he stays healthy.
Description: Red Sox starter Jon Lester has done well against most of the hitters in Toronto's lineup. He'll face them Sunday. Lester (3.60 ERA, 7/2 K/BB) had an impressive spring and won his first start of the season.
Insight: The Blue Jays can mash, but haven't against Lester. Jose Bautista is 10-for-45 (.222), Edwin Encarnacion is 4-for-21 (.190), J.P. Arencibia is 5-for-26 (.192), Colby Rasmus is 2-for-9 (.222) and Adam Lind is 3-for-27 (.111) with 10 strikeouts against Boston's left-hander.
Description: Red Sox righthander John Lackey left Saturday's game with Toronto due to a right bicep injury.
Insight: He was making his first start since September 2011 after having Tommy John surgery. Even at his best Lackey never won 20 games, struck out 200 batters, or posted a WHIP under 1.21. This probably doesn't change any fantasy pitching rotations.
Description: Boston shortstop Jose Iglesias exited Friday's game versus Toronto after being hit by a pitch.
Insight: Iglesias took a pitch off the arm in the second inning but didn't leave until the top half of the fourth. Pedro Ciriaco has come on to take his place. Starting shortstop Stephen Drew is only a few days away from returning from a head injury so Ciriaco and Iglesias won't carry any long-term fantasy value.
Description: Boston right-hander Ryan Dempster allowed three runs in five innings in his first Red Sox start Thursday against New York. He walked four and gave up five hits but struck out eight. Dempster gave up a two-out two-run bloop single to Lyle Overbay and a short-porch first-row homer to Brett Gardner. With some better luck, his night would have looked a lot cleaner.
Insight: Dempster posted a 5.09 ERA after being traded to Texas last season, but he was much better in his final nine starts -- 6-2, 4.01 ERA, 51 2/3 IP, 54/19 K/BB -- than his first three -- 1-1, 8.31 ERA -- and he ended up striking out a batter per inning with the Rangers. He won't put up a 2.25 ERA again like he did with the Cubs before the trade last year, but a repeat of 2010 -- 15 wins, 3.85 ERA, 208 strikeouts -- isn't unrealistic.
Description: While the Red Sox are planning for Boston DH David Ortiz (heels) to be ready for the third week of April, Ortiz told Tim Kurkjian of ESPN that with no setbacks, he would be ready to play in a major league game in 10 days.
Insight: Ortiz has been dealing with inflammation in both heels since the beginning of spring training. He is expected to start playing in spring training games on Monday. Jackie Bradley Jr. will start in left field, with Jonny Gomes at DH, until Ortiz returns.
Description: Boston DH David Ortiz (heels) will start extended spring training games on Monday, according to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.
Insight: Ortiz has been dealing with inflammation in both heels since the beginning of spring training. Jackie Bradley Jr. will start in left field, with Jonny Gomes at DH, until Ortiz returns. Boston manager John Farrell said that the third week of April is a reasonable timetable for Ortiz.
Description: Boston manager John Farrell could choose to sit Jonny Gomes on Wednesday as he's never managed to produce against Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda. He's 0-for-8 in their career matchups with three strikeouts.
Insight: Gomes was 2-for-4 on Monday, but has an unfavorable matchup. The Red Sox still have plenty of DH options even with David Ortiz sidelined. Mike Napoli, Daniel Nava or Jarrod Saltalamacchia could get the role.
Description: Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is 6-for-14 (.429) in his matchups with Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda.
Insight: Pedroia was 2-for-6 with an RBI in Monday's season opener. Fantasy owners are hoping he'll bounce back from a mediocre season in 2012. A second straight good outing would go a long way in restoring the faith.
Description: Jackie Bradley reached base three times in his major league debut Monday against the Yankees.
Insight: Bradley walked three times in five plate appearances. In the other two, he struck out and generated a run on an RBI groundout. Bradley also made a terrific catch in left field to rob Robinson Cano of extra bases. So far, so good for the 22-year-old. We'll continue to monitor Bradley closely throughout the season.
Description: Red Sox backup catcher David Ross has much better career numbers against Yankees lefty CC Sabathia than starter Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Ross owns a .308 batting average with two homers and a 1.144 OPS versus Sabathia while "Salty" is a .214 hitter with a .536 OPS.
Insight: Saltalamacchia figures to get the Opening Day assignment, but if manager John Farrell does stick Ross behind the plate he offers solid fantasy value.
Description: Boston DH David Ortiz has officially been placed on the disabled list. He's been battling heel inflammation for much of spring training.
Insight: This move has long been expected so fantasy owners shouldn't have had to rethink their strategy heading into the season. Ortiz has proven to be a slow healer over the last year so we wouldn't be surprised if this injury knocked him out until May or June. His absence should allow rookie outfielder Jackie Bradley to play almost everyday.
Description: It's official. Jackie Bradley has made Boston's Opening Day roster.
Insight: Mauro Gomez was designated for assignment in the corresponding transaction. Bradley had a phenomenal spring and will begin the year as Boston's starting left fielder with Jonny Gomes filling in at DH. It's possible that Bradley could return to Triple-A once David Ortiz comes off the DL. If he's still playing well at that point, the Sox can easily find a way to keep Bradley on the roster.
Description: According to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe, outfielder Jackie Bradley is expected to make the Red Sox Opening Day roster.
Insight: Bradley, once a longshot to make the Opening Day roster, has made the team over Ryan Sweeney after hitting .441 with two homers and 12 RBIs this spring. He'll start in left field for Boston until David Ortiz returns and moves Jonny Gomes out of the DH spot.
Description: Michael Silverman from the Boston Herald is reporting that Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard has been optioned to Double-A Portland.
Insight: Pretty tough to get any kind of fantasy stir going when you can't even crack the big league roster. A few years ago it looked like Bard would be the heir apparent to Jonathan Papelbon. Now it's fair to wonder if he'll ever be a productive major leaguer. Call it the Curse of Bobby Valentine.
Description: Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew is expected to take batting practice on Wednesday. Drew had some problems with returning concussion symptoms after Monday's session with the bat, according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com.
Insight: There's still no timetable for his return and it would be foolish for fantasy owners to expect him to be ready for Opening Day. Jose Iglesias and Pedro Ciriaco should both see time at shortstop while Drew continues his rehab.
Description: Jackie Bradley's sensational spring continued Sunday when he homered off Philadelphia's Cliff Lee.
Insight: Bradley, once a longshot to make the Opening Day roster, could begin the season as Boston's starting left fielder. His emergence this spring should make it easier for Boston to part with center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who will be a free agent after this season.
Description: Boston manager John Farrell has decided that no one player will serve as the designated hitter in the absence of David Ortiz (heels). "We feel like this will be a rotating thing rather than one person being the regular DH," Farrell said. "It serves a couple of benefits. You’re looking for matchups; you’re looking for a day off their feet." SOURCE: Boston.com
Insight: The Boston Globe lists Jonny Gomes, Mike Napoli, Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia as players who could DH while Ortiz is on the DL. However, Gomes will likely be in the lineup on a regular basis, either as the left fielder or DH, early in the season. Gomes hit .299 with 11 homers and a .974 OPS against lefties last season, compared to .209 with seven homers against right-handers. Those numbers coincide with his career splits.
Description: Brian MacPherson from the Providence Journal reports that Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew has been cleared to resume baseball activities. Drew has been out the past two weeks while dealing with a concussion.
Insight: He was scheduled to take some swings in the batting cage on Thursday but there's still no timetable for his return. Jose Iglesias and Pedro Ciriaco should both see time at shortstop while Drew continues his rehab.
Description: Boston lefty Jon Lester threw 79 pitches over six perfect innings Sunday.
Insight: Opposing batters are 6-for-65 (.092) against Lester this spring, and he has allowed two earned runs in 20 innings. The lefty lost 14 games and had a 4.82 ERA last season but he's poised for a bounce-back campaign.
Description: According to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com, David Ortiz continues to experience discomfort in both heels when running on a treadmill, and his scheduled batting practice Monday could be canceled.
Insight: Ortiz has been dealing with inflammation in his heels this spring after suffering an Achilles injury last summer. He'll miss the start of the regular season.
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- We'll see how NeNe (NEE'-NEE') Leakes handles her first low scores on "Dancing With the Stars," considering she doesn't take kindly to criticism on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta."
BC-US--Dow Record-Three Personal Stories, 1st Ld-Writethru,1173 Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes AP Photo FX102, FX103 Eds: With BC-US--Dow Record. Adds photos. By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ AP Business Writer NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...