BOSTON -- Though Red Sox manager John Farrell's full rotation plans are still evolving for the upcoming American League Division Series presented by Doosan against the Astros, Drew Pomeranz was announced on Tuesday as the Game 2 starter. Lefty ace Chris Sale had already been in place for Thursday's Game 1, and he will face former Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander.
Pomeranz, who matched Sale with 17 wins this season, will be opposed by another former Cy Young Award winner in left-hander Dallas Keuchel on Friday.
It was a breakout season for Pomeranz, who had a 3.32 ERA and a 9.0 K/9 rate. Though he struggled in his penultimate regular-season outing, giving up five runs in two innings against the Blue Jays on Sept. 25, he bounced back with a strong six innings against the Astros on Saturday, giving up one run over six innings in a 6-3 victory.
The only reason Farrell waited a couple of days before announcing his Game 2 starter is because he wanted to make sure Pomeranz didn't need more rest. He will start Game 2 on five days of rest.
"Just wanted him to have a day of recovery and just talk with him briefly after that on that possibility of one [extra day] versus three extra days. So Friday is his day," Farrell said.
Farrell is still having internal discussions about how to proceed with his pitching for Games 3 and 4 at Fenway Park. The manager maintained his prior stance that David Price will remain a reliever in series.
"There are two scenarios in place that will be revealed at the appropriate time, and that means probably more internal discussion is needed here," said Farrell. "I don't think our Game 3 starter is going to hinge upon winning or losing Games 1 or 2."
It's possible Sale will pitch Game 4 (if necessary) on three days' rest.
"That would only be dependent on how Game 1 goes," Farrell said. "And I don't think I can give you much more of an answer about that than that. That's going to be solely dependent on how that first game unfolds."
If Rodriguez started Game 3, it would make three straight lefties in Boston's rotation.
"No, it wouldn't give [us] pause, it wouldn't prevent us from doing anything -- but again I think what I tried to explain earlier is we are trying to determine what is the best combination of our pitching staff and how does that play out and putting certain guys in certain roles," said Farrell. "It wouldn't be a shock to see a guy that's been in our rotation finding his way into our bullpen."
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.