Red Sox Notes: Doug Fister Still Could Be Valuable Asset For Boston

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Doug Fister’s time in the Boston Red Sox’s rotation might be coming to an end soon.

The right-hander entered Wednesday’s game against the Texas Rangers with less than stellar career numbers in the Lone Star State and his struggles continued as the Rangers jumped on him early at Globe Life Park.

Fister lasted just 3 2/3 innings, allowing six runs (four earned) on five hits while striking out three and walking three. In three starts with the Red Sox, Fister is 0-2 with a 6.14 ERA but has pitched better than his numbers would indicate.

He was victimized by one bad pitch in each of his first two outings, and he struggled in a proverbial house of horrors for him Wednesday. Fister couldn’t keep the ball down against the Rangers and it led to two home runs and a host of hard hit balls.

The righty was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels on June 23 in order to fill in for the injured Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez already has made two rehab starts for Red Sox minor league affiliates and will either make one more rehab start Sunday, or pitch out the bullpen for the Red Sox over the weekend before rejoining Boston’s rotation after the All-Star break.

Manager John Farrell announced after the game that Fister will take his next turn in the rotation as the Red Sox have a doubleheader scheduled with the New York Yankees on July 16 following the break.

After that, however, Fister likely will be relegated to bullpen duty in order to make room for Rodriguez. The Red Sox still would be wise to keep the veteran right-hander around as opposed to designating him for assignment. Outside of Wednesday’s short outing, he has pounded the strike zone, shown good sink on his fastball and would be a welcome sixth starter in case of emergency.

In a season where Steven Wright was lost for the year, and Rodriguez and David Price have missed extended periods of time due to injury, Fister could prove to be a valuable asset down the stretch.

Here are more notes from Red Sox vs. Rangers.

— While Rodriguez’s rehab start in Triple-A Pawtucket didn’t appear good from a numbers standpoint, Farrell told the media the left-hander feels good.

“Everything points to (velocity) being consistent,” Farrell said, per MassLive.com. “So the energy in his delivery was good — and even to the point at times, it might have been a little quick. But that’s a good thing. That indicates he’s not favoring anything or subconsciously holding back.”

—  Brock Holt continued his rehab assignment with Double-A Portland on Wednesday. Boston’s utility man has been on the disabled list with vertigo and played the infield for the first time since his rehab rebooted when he manned third base for the Sea Dogs on Wednesday.

— The Red Sox were held to three hits Wednesday after tallying 29 over the first two games of their series with the Rangers.

Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

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