By BRENDAN McGAIR
PAWTUCKET – Some PawSox notes to pass along as the locals close out an eight-game homestand with a matinee against Indianapolis.
-- Tuesday’s starter was supposed to be Rubby De La Rosa, but those plans were scrapped after the hard-throwing Pawtucket pitcher tweaked a muscle in his side while throwing on flat ground on Monday.
“Better safe than sorry with him,” said manager Gary DiSarcina. “It’s nothing to get concerned about. He came in (Tuesday) and said he felt better.”
Taking De La Rosa’s spot is Chris Hernandez, the lefty who started the season in Pawtucket’s starting rotation before getting moved to the bullpen earlier this month. Tuesday will mark Hernandez’s first start since April 21.
-- Another change of note involves Jose Iglesias, who will make his first-ever professional start at third base on Tuesday. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Iglesias has played 313 at shortstop between the majors and minors.
DiSarcina talked about the rationale behind moving Iglesias around the infield prior to Monday’s game.
“If you don’t have those tools and if someone calls down and says they need a utility player, it’s tough to recommend someone if they’ve never done it,” DiSarcina acknowledged. “Jose is a major-league shortstop, but the goal is to give him a tool. Not just for himself, but for the organization to have.”
-- Jackie Bradley Jr. is not in Tuesday's lineup, as DiSarcina noted that it will work to the outfielder's benefit to have a scheduled day off followed by the PawSox having Wednesday off and playing a night game in Indianapolis on Thursday night. (For more about Bradley's playing schedule, click here: http://www.woonsocketcall.com/node/8310 ).
-- It was announced Monday that Portland will be the only Red Sox affiliate to participate in “Futures at Fenway” this season. Now in its eighth season, “Futures at Fenway” has usually featured a doubleheader that includes some combination of Pawtucket, Portland or Single-A Lowell.
This year’s Futures game takes place Saturday, July 27. Ironically, Pawtucket is playing at McCoy Stadium the same night. The PawSox have participated in five Futures contests.