Notes: Snyder set to take fifth spot

Notes: Snyder set to take fifth spot

BOSTON -- After a first half that saw David Wells and Matt Clement battle injuries, the one through four spots in the Red Sox pitching rotation now seem to be solidified. However, the fifth spot cannot seem to find a taker, and instead of finding someone new, it looks as if right-hander Kyle Snyder will make his second start for the Red Sox and be called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to pitch against his former team, the Kansas City Royals, on Monday night at Fenway Park.

Jason Johnson, who took Snyder's spot on the roster when he was traded from the Cleveland Indians on June 21, was sent down to Class A Wilmington on Monday, and it appears as if Snyder will fill Johnson's spot in the rotation.

Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield has been battling soreness in his back, but he will likely make his scheduled start on Sunday in the series finale against Oakland. Snyder could start on Sunday if there is a change in Wakefield's status.

"If we needed to, [we'll] kind of reserve the right to maybe bump [Wakefield] back one more day to Monday," Sox manager Terry Francona said. "We're going to have a pitching move on Monday anyway. We could just do it Sunday if we needed to. I kind of told Wake[field] [that] we'll leave that open. We'll see. As of right now, it's still the same. I think the good news is he made a lot of improvement today and felt better."

"I feel good. I feel OK," Wakefield said.

In his lone start with the Red Sox on June 19 against the Nationals, Snyder got the win, allowing three runs on four hits over five innings while striking out six. In three starts with Pawtucket, Snyder is 1-1 with a 3.54 ERA. In three starts with Pawtucket, Snyder is 1-1 with a 3.54 ERA.

Working their way back: Wells, who on Thursday was reported to begin throwing again, will throw a side session on Saturday. The veteran left-hander has not pitched since taking a line drive off his right knee May 26. A starter that the Red Sox were relying on for regular contribution before the season, Wells has only made two starts this season, going 0-1 with an 8.64 ERA.

"I think Boomer's going to try and throw a side [Saturday]," Francona said. "That got bumped up. He felt good, [we] watched him do it and I think that trainers are on board, so that's kind of the plan. [We'll] see how that goes. It'll be fun to watch."

Reliever Keith Foulke appears to be inching his way back to the mound, as well. He has not pitched since June 11 because of tendinitis in his right elbow and is 2-1 with a 5.63 ERA this season.

"I think he's getting closer to a side, also. We'll see. The exact time ... I don't know that yet, but I think sooner rather than later," Francona said.

Lenny DiNardo, who was transferred from the 15-day DL to the 60-day disabled list on Thursday, will begin a rehab assignment at Pawtucket, where he will start against Charlotte on Friday. Francona expects him to throw 40-45 pitches. DiNardo is 1-2 with a 7.11 ERA this season

Ready to go: Having played 30 innings in their last two games, the Red Sox have not only showcased their flair for the dramatic, but also their plethora of options in the bullpen. Luckily, the All-Star break gave the bullpen some much needed rest after the 19-inning affair with the White Sox on Sunday, and the bullpen should all be available for Friday night's game against Oakland.

"We'll keep an eye on them. [We'll] try and mix and match," Francona said. "I don't want guys to go multiple innings, very often [on] back-to-back days, but when you play extra innings somebody's got to come back and pitch."

Overcoming adversity: With the Red Sox holding on to first place in the American League East for the first half of the season, it could be easy for many people to forget that Boston's disabled list has been occupied, and overcrowded, for practically the entire season thus far.

"I don't think people quite realize how much we've lost," said Francona, who noted that Clement, Wells and Foulke have missed significant time this season.

Coming up: Curt Schilling (10-3, 3.60 ERA) will begin his second half of the season against right-hander Dan Haren (6-7, 3.52 ERA) and the Oakland Athletics on Saturday night at 7:05 ET.

Howard Kussoy is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.