The Red Sox aren't playing until Friday night, but NESN is showing the Pawtucket Red Sox Thursday, starting at 7:05. And, with the number of Red Sox on rehab assignment (or simply optioned to Triple-A), it looks more like the Boston squad than normal.
Carl Crawford, who might very well be with the Red Sox in time for their series against the Chicago White Sox next week, is leading off and playing in left field in the latest stop on his rehab assignment. He's slated to go five innings in his first game with Pawtucket, following stints with both the Gulf Coast League Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs.
Scott Podsednik is with Pawtucket once more, and will slot in as the DH. And Ryan Kalish will resume his regular position in center for the PawSox, after he was sent down in favor of Ryan Sweeney, once the latter returned from the disabled list.
On the hill for the PawSox is someone who we're unlikely to see in Boston this year, Doug Mathis. Mathis was drafted back in 2005 by the Texas Rangers, in the 13th-round. He's bounced around as of late, pitching for the Rangers and their minor-league affiliates, as well as minor-league stops in the Giants' and Athletics' systems, and is now in his first year with the Sox. He's thrown 91 innings and owns a 1.8 K/BB, relying on grounders rather than whiffs to get his outs.
It's not the Red Sox, but after a week with just an exhibition game to tide us over, the PawSox are a fine way to ease back into the swing of things.