Clement was scheduled to pitch Sunday, but a combination of what the right-hander calls "just a dead arm" and Saturday's scuttled doubleheader, led the manager to bump Clement in favor of Josh Beckett in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader followed by David Pauley in the second game.
The extra rest was not entirely unwelcome to Clement, who last started June 4 in Detroit, when he picked up the win, going six innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks, striking out five.
"The last two days have been a big improvement," Clement said. "But in my own mind and peace of mind I think we all felt it would be better if I got a few extra days of rest than having a chance of having a setback again and starting from square one where I was [June 5].
"It's just a dead arm I get when I get to a point where I've gotten fatigued on the mound a couple times. There's just a lot of factors that get you there: extra workload, harder innings, unbalanced [rest], which we've definitely had this year because of rain, and I had two times at eight days (of rest) and then I went to five (days of rest) four or five times in a row. Stuff like that happens during the season. I'm usually bullheaded and try to pitch through it but this time I just felt like I need to take care of this. It's so early in the season, if I let this go on, it could turn into a month and half or something. I didn't want that to happen."
Francona said a trip to the disabled list for Clement could be an option if the pitcher isn't able to start Wednesday. A DL stint would become retroactive to his last start, June 4, allowing the Sox to potentially make a roster move without endangering Clement's next start. Clement is expected to test his arm in a side session in between Sunday's doubleheader.
Francona indicated after Saturday's game that Lester would get another start. Where he fits in the rotation remains to be determined
After talking with Wakefield, Francona will use Monday's off-day to consider match-ups, teams, and ballparks to assist is setting his rotation. Wakefield typically pitches well indoors and is 6-2 (4.37) at the Metrodome in his career.
"He's going to pitch [in Minnesota], but just what day and things like that," Francona said. "I want to, rather than say it and retract it, I'd just rather wait."
For Francona, the rotation uncertainty underscores Curt Schilling's value to the staff.
"He's not a question mark for me," Francona said. "You've got to have guys you can lean on. On good staffs there always is that guy."
Timlin to Pawtucket: Reliever Mike Timlin, on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain, was headed to Pawtucket on Sunday to pitch a simulated game, with trainer Jim Rowe, PawSox manager Ron Johnson and pitching coach Mike Griffin watching.
Lineup shifts: Right fielder Trot Nixon gets a rest in Game 1 of Sunday's doubleheader, with Willie Harris spelling him, while Manny Ramirez will sit for Game 2.
"I didn't want to [rest] them both in the same game," Francona said. "The catchers will split it up (Jason Varitek starts Game 1, Doug Mirabelli in Game 2). One of the middle infielders (second baseman Mark Loretta or shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who are both starting Game 1) is going to sit in the second game. I don't know who it is yet. That's probably about it. I'll probably put [Kevin] Youkilis in left field as long as he doesn't get hit again. We'll see how it goes."
Beckett Saturday?: Even with the rain delay of nearly five hours Saturday, Francona said he did not consider having Beckett -- Sunday's Game 1 starter who was to have pitched in the second game of Saturday's rained-out doubleheader -- pitch Saturday night in place of Jon Lester, who made his Major League debut.
"Why would you?" Francona asked. "It was 6 p.m. If you put yourself in his shoes, Lester shows up to throw the first game, so he's on call. Beckett's not even here. He doesn't have to show up [early]. So, all of a sudden, you're going to take a guy, I mean that game could have started at any time. We were on hold. So, I'm not going to take a guy right out of his street clothes and pitch him that just wouldn't make sense."
Place and Bard: The Sox's first pick in the draft, outfielder Jason Place of Wren High School in Piedmont, S.C., whom the Sox selected with the 27th overall pick, was a pregame visitor in the team's clubhouse.
Meanwhile, the team's other first-round pick, at No. 28, right-handed pitcher Daniel Bard of the University of North Carolina, had the shortest outing of his college career Saturday, lasting just 2 2/3 innings in a super-regional contest in the NCAA tournament. Of the first five batters he faced, Bard hit three and walked one. But a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth helped UNC beat Alabama, 8-7, for its first trip to the College World Series since 1989.
Yaz next for Manny: Manny Ramirez's second-inning home run tied him with Jim Thome with 451 homers on the all-time list. Carl Yastrzemski, with 452 in his career, is next on the list.
Coming up: Schilling (9-2, 3.81 ERA) will face Johan Santana (6-4, 3.16 ERA) in Minnesota on Tuesday at 8:10 p.m. ET.