Notes: Boomer has his day

Notes: Boomer has his day

KANSAS CITY -- David Wells pleaded his case for two hours on Wednesday and now will wait to see whether Major League Baseball eliminates or reduces the six-game suspension handed down to Wells for a heated confrontation with umpires on July 2.

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein expects the veteran left-hander to make his scheduled start on Sunday against the Tigers. A decision is not anticipated before Monday. The Wells appeal was heard at Kauffman Stadium after Major League Baseball went through a suspension appeal with Royals right-hander Runelvys Hernandez.

"I pleaded my case the best way I could and we'll see what happens," Wells said. "Hopefully, it turns out for the best and I don't have to miss a start. If I do, we'll cross that bridge when it comes."

Wells said he didn't get a sense for what the decision might be.

"Every time we pleaded our case, they countered with why they should suspend me," Wells said. "I gave them a tape and it clearly shows there was no spitting, no bumping. The only thing you can do is read my lips."

Epstein said decisions on suspension appeals generally take a few days and nothing is done on weekends. Therefore, the Red Sox are proceeding with rotation plans that have Wells going on Sunday.

"David was very articulate," Epstein said. "I learned a few things from him that I didn't learn in law school."

Schilling starts: The long-awaited return of Curt Schilling to the starting rotation comes on Thursday night in Kansas City.

Although the Red Sox aren't setting a specific pitch count for Schilling, manager Terry Francona said that somewhere around 75 pitches might be appropriate for this outing.

"You just have to use some common sense," Francona said. "It's about how hard he has to work in each inning."

Francona said Schilling will throw between starts.

"That's part of what will help him," Francona said. "The more he can throw, the closer he can get to being what he wants to be. I think he has a chance now to be himself. He has a chance for about seven starts. The timing is appropriate. We're hoping that by the end of this, we're playing well and his pitch count is not an issue."

With Schilling moving into the rotation and Keith Foulke still on the mend, the Red Sox will mix and match with their bullpen.

"[Mike] Timlin might go two innings at times," Francona said. "We'll just see how much rest guys have. We've got September [roster expansion] right around the corner and that will give us more arms."

Schilling agrees with Robinson: During his weekly appearance on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan show Wednesday, Schilling said he agreed with Nationals manager Frank Robinson that Rafael Palmeiro's records should be erased because of his failed drug test.

"Yeah. I read something the other day about his career, his career numbers and how a lot of his career numbers coincide with certain dates and he obviously sat next to me in Washington [before Congress] and lied, so I don't know there's any way to prove that anything he did was not under the influence of performance-enhancing drugs," Schilling said.

Around the horn: Foulke played catch again on Wednesday as he recovers from an arm bruise. The Red Sox are proceeding cautiously and Foulke won't throw in a simulated game until he gives the green light that he's ready to do so. "We don't want to slow him down, but we don't want to push him back, either," Francona said. ... Francona was impressed with Trot Nixon's first appearance on Tuesday following a month-long absence because of an oblique strain. "He looked good," Francona said. "He ran well, moved well." ... Francona said the Red Sox will likely have a couple of waves of callups when rosters can be expanded. "We'll have a couple on Sept. 1 and a few more about Sept. 5 or 6," Francona said.

Coming up: Schilling will try to have the same level of success as a starter against the Royals as he had as a closer earlier this month at Fenway Park. Schilling recorded saves in all three games of a Boston sweep. The Royals will go with veteran right-hander Jose Lima.

Robert Falkoff is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.