NEW YORK -- The Red Sox were missing an important bat Thursday for the third straight game, as catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia remained idled with an ailing back for Thursday's opener of a four-game showdown with the Yankees.
The good news, manager John Farrell said, is that Saltalamacchia was expected to resurface at some point over the weekend.
"Well we expect him to be in the lineup sometime in this series," Farrell said. "He's getting better with daily treatment. He still has some other functional activity and testing to go through but he went out and threw today. So some of the rotational stuff is not as hindering as it was just a couple of days ago. We do expect him back on the field this weekend."
Instead of giving the start to backup David Ross, Farrell instead went with No. 3 catcher Ryan Lavarnway.
Ross had played the last two days.
"Yeah, there was a combination of things and as well as [Ivan] Nova's pitched over the last couple of months, particularly the use of his breaking ball, we just felt maybe a better matchup offensively as well with Ryan, and that's where we are today," Farrell said.
It was Lavarnway's first start for the Red Sox since Aug. 15.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.