Pablo, Rusney debut in Toronto
With a quick turnaround after last night’s thrilling victory, manager John Farrell made a couple of lineup changes for Saturday afternoon’s matinee in Toronto.
Pablo Sandoval and Rusney Castillo, who are owed a combined $134.5 million for the balance of their contracts and are playing bench roles, are both in the lineup. Sandoval is at third, with Travis Shaw moving to first and Hanley Ramirez serving as the DH. David Ortiz will get a rest. Castillo is in center, with Jackie Bradley out of the lineup.
“To get everybody on the field, get everybody involved in a ballgame on this first road trip,” said Farrell. “[R.A.] Dickey’s kind of an unusual matchup for us and I think there are certain types of swings that we have felt, over a course of time, that have played better against a knuckleballer. It’s an opportunity for Rusney to get into center field, put Panda on the field as well, who’s swung the bat in a limited number of bats but at least he’s swung the bat decently against Dickey. This keeps everybody involved.”
Chris Young, who is 1-for-13 lifetime against Dickey, is expected to make his first start of the season tomorrow.
Despite needing the bullpen for six innings on Friday, Farrell thinks he’ll have enough coverage on Saturday.
“Barnes will be available. We’re certainly covered, we’ve got the ability to match up if needed. We’re in decent shape,” Farrell said.