In their continued quest to find some stability in the back end of their rotation, the Red Sox recalled Eduardo Rodriguez from Triple-A Pawtucket to start Saturday at Yankee Stadium, the second game coming out of the All-Star break.
The Red Sox optioned righty Noe Ramirez to Triple-A after Sunday's 4-0 win over the Rays at Fenway Park, opening up a roster spot for Rodriguez.
After recovering from a right knee injury that put him on the disabled list at the start of the season, Rodriguez struggled mightily with mechanics and pitch tipping. Over six starts, he went 1-3 with an 8.59 ERA before being optioned to Pawtucket on June 27.
With Sean O'Sullivan on the disabled list with left knee patellar tendinitis, the Red Sox felt this was the right time to bring back Rodriguez. The lefty fired seven shutout innings in his first start at Triple-A and allowed two runs on three hits over three innings in a rain-shortened outing last time out.
"There's been some adjustments made to his hand position," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "The first inning in his second start, [it] took him an inning to get into things, but the seven innings prior were sharp, it was powerful. I think he's by all reports -- and watching video of him -- he feels like and looks like he's gained some comfort with the hand position that has been widely talked about. Required and needed adjustments have been made."
Steven Wright will start Friday and David Price will follow Rodriguez in the rotation Sunday during the three-game series at Yankee Stadium. Rick Porcello will likely make his first start coming out of the break on Tuesday against the Giants.
The fifth spot in the rotation is open at the moment. The way the schedule breaks, with an off-day on Monday, Boston could use just four starters for the first seven games coming out of the break and won't need a fifth starter until July 23.
The way the roster is set up now, Farrell expects Clay Buchholz will be reinserted once the team deploys a fifth starter.
Buchholz has twice been moved to the bullpen, and he is 2-8 with a 6.31 ERA in 13 starts this season.
"Pitching has been an area that we continually work to stabilize," Farrell said. "We've got three guys that have taken the ball that have been very, I think, consistent to a point, with David, Rick and Steven. Even with those guys individually, yeah, there's always room for improvement.
"But when you look at 33 starts by six guys in [the fourth and fifth] spots, and just over 150 innings pitched, we've got to improve upon that to get to where this team, I think, can get to, and that is not only to contend throughout the season but to play into the postseason. We're working at that."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.