The Red Sox will be without Xander Bogaerts Saturday afternoon as they give Rubby De La Rosa perhaps his last start before he returns to Pawtucket.
|BOSTON RED SOX||OAKLAND A'S|
|Brock Holt - RF||Coco Crisp - CF|
|Dustin Pedroia - 2B||John Jaso - C|
|David Ortiz - DH||Yoenis Cespedes - DH|
|Mike Napoli - 1B||Brandon Moss - LF|
|Daniel Nava - LF||Josh Donaldson - 3B|
|A.J. Pierzynski - C||Jed Lowrie - SS|
|Stephen Drew - SS||Stephen Vogt - RF|
|J. Herrera - 3B||A. Callaspo - 1B|
|Jackie Bradley - CF||Eric Sogard - 2B|
Losing Xander makes a struggling lineup look that much worse, but given his .525 OPS in June, Bogaerts hasn't exactly been part of the solution in this most recent team-wide slump. That's not to say Jonathan Herrera is an answer, just that Bogaerts could probably use a day off, even if he was out of the lineup not long back with flu-like symptoms.
More interesting than the lineup is the man they're playing behind today: Rubby De La Rosa. Through no fault of his own, this is very likely De La Rosa's last start with the Red Sox for now. He's been a mixed bag on the mound for the team in his four starts, providing two impressive performances against the Twins and Rays, and struggling through a pair against the Tigers and Orioles. What we've seen, though, is the potential he has if he can fully harness his fastball. It's a foundation to build on when he returns to the minors, and if he manages a decent outing against a good offensive team in the Athletics today, he can leave the team with a good last impression to consider when next they need a spot starter.
First pitch is mercifully at 4:05 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN, WEEI, and the MLB Network.