Red Sox Likely to Go With 11 Pitchers in ALDS, Although John Farrell Still Faces Decisions

Felix Doubront, John FarrellBOSTON — The Red Sox have 10 more games to figure out who exactly is going to be on the playoff roster. John Farrell already has an idea as to how his roster will be constructed, though.

Farrell said on WEEI’s Salk & Holley on Wednesday that he expects to carry 11 pitchers on the playoff roster. That would include four starters and seven relievers, although it’s unclear how exactly the rotation and bullpen will be set up.

“Everything points to us going with 11 pitchers,” Farrell said Wednesday. “So we just by virtue of the schedule are going to drop down to four starters. That’s going to cause some decisions. … We’ll get to that point in due time.”

The rotation figures to include Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey and Jake Peavy, which means that Ryan Dempster and Felix Doubront are currently on the fence. While one or both could wind up in the bullpen, Farrell noted Wednesday that he’d like to see whichever starters move to the ‘pen pitch in relief before the end of the regular season to avoid being thrown into an unfamiliar situation.

“That would be ideal,” said Farrell. “If it’s one of the starters that we have going to the bullpen, I think it’s in that pitcher’s best interests to also get a couple of appearances out of the bullpen to re-acclimate or acclimate to that role. We’ve got some time here in the last 10 days.”

Farrell isn’t tipping his hand about who will take the ball in Game 1 of Boston’s first playoff series, but the skipper might have already made up his mind. In other words, the final 10 games — from a rotational standpoint — will likely involve getting everything lined up accordingly.

“I have my thought,” Farrell said before Wednesday’s game. “We’ve got a lot of internal discussion to go through before we begin to identify that and work backwards from that on when those starts might take place in the last two series.”

The Red Sox have two built-in off days next week — Monday and Thursday — that will factor into Farrell’s planning.

Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.

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