Once Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora revealed Michael Wacha most likely wasn’t going to make his start Monday due to a “heavy arm” issue, there was plenty of speculation as to who the team would use in his place.
Turns out, the Red Sox are going with a bullpen game when they open up a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays on the holiday at Fenway Park.
According to multiple reports, which cited the Red Sox for making the announcement, Boston will hand the ball to lefty Austin Davis when it takes on the Rays to begin a critical stretch of games before the All-Star break.
It will be Davis’ second start of the campaign, as the reliever served as the Red Sox’s opener in a May 15 tilt against the Texas Rangers. Davis, who owns a 2.45 ERA and has struck out 32 batters in 29 1/3 innings this season, lasted two innings in his lone start. Davis last worked an inning of scoreless relief on June 27 against the Toronto Blue Jays.
It looked like Kutter Crawford would be lined up for another spot start when Cora mentioned the right-hander as an option for Monday’s game instead of Wednesday — another day in which the Red Sox have an opening for a starter.
It’s unclear how long Wacha will be sidelined, as he joins a growing list of Red Sox starting pitchers who are currently dealing with injuries.
The Red Sox face the Rays on Monday with first pitch scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET. You can watch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.