Farrell plans to use 4 starting pitchers in ALDS

Porcello, Price, E-Rod, Buchholz will get call; Wright could return for ALCS

Farrell plans to use 4 starting pitchers in ALDS

BOSTON -- Red Sox manager John Farrell plans on using four starters in the American League Division Series, and knuckleballer Steven Wright won't be among them. The earliest Wright would be able to return from his right shoulder bursitis is the AL Championship Series.

Rick Porcello, David Price, Eduardo Rodriguez and Clay Buchholz will be the four starters, and Farrell will wait until he knows for certain the opponent and where the series will start before announcing the alignment.

The way the schedule lines up, the Red Sox could bring Thursday's Game 1 starter -- likely Porcello -- back on three days of rest for a potential Game 4, and then the Game 2 starter (probably Price) on full rest for Game 5. But Farrell doesn't sound inclined to do that.

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"The only scenario that might alter that is if we get into a weather situation where you've got to use a starter that you weren't intending to," said Farrell. "I can't say today that we're sitting here with a Game 1 starter coming back on short rest. Again, that may change based on extra innings, weather-related situations. But as of now, no."

As for Wright, there simply isn't enough time for him to get ramped back up in time for the Division Series.

The right-hander threw a side session on Friday.

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"Roughly about 70 percent effort," said Farrell. "Improved. Now it's just a matter of continuing to build some repetition. It's likely he throws two more bullpens, the next being Monday, before we would look to alter his program. In other words, starting to see hitters or anything along those lines. It is a step in the right direction for Steven."

Wright had a strong season for the Red Sox, going 13-6 with a 3.33 ERA in 24 starts. He suffered the injury running the bases on Aug. 7. Fortunately for the Red Sox, Rodriguez and Buchholz have both rebounded after tough starts to the season and the rotation has pitched well as a whole down the stretch.

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.