All hands on deck for Red Sox; Peavy, Buchholz to be available in relief

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Red Sox manager John Farrell said prior to Monday’s Game 5 that jake Peavy, who just started Saturday’s Game 3, would be available in relief tonight, and that Clay Buchholz, who started Game 4, could work out of the pen once the series returns to Fenway Park on Wednesday.

Farrell also declined to commit to starting John Lackey in Game 6 and Peavy in Game 7, though he indicated that things still line up that way.

For what it’s worth, Lackey in Game 6 still seems like a given, assuming that he bounces back fine from his between-starts relief appearance on Sunday. It’s likely that Peavy would go in a Game 7, too, but maybe there’s a chance that Felix Doubront could pitch instead after he looked terrific in his relief appearances in Game 3 and 4. Obviously, a Doubront start would hinge on him not pitching in relief in Game 6.

Peavy pitched four innings and allowed two runs in his disappointing Game 3 start, throwing 64 pitches. Buchholz, who showed diminished velocity last night, threw 66 pitches while allowing an unearned run over four innings in Game 4,

Bryce Harper played some third base in an intrasquad game

Bryce Harper third base
Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.

Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.

Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”

Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.

Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.