Wakefield following normal routine

Wakefield following normal routine

TORONTO -- Even though Tim Wakefield is due to join the bullpen soon with the return of Daisuke Matsuzaka to the rotation on Saturday, he's been going through his usual routine this week.

"I think the best way to go about it is to let him go out and have a side [session] today, almost like a normal week," manager Terry Francona said.

Because he started on Sunday, the earliest Wakefield can pitch from the bullpen is Friday in Baltimore.

"With the day off [in the schedule] on Thursday, it kind of slots him in where it works," Francona said.

Francona said he hasn't talked to Wakefield yet about his role as a reliever.

"Out of fairness to him, we'll try to give him a little time to breathe for a couple of days," Francona said. "We'll try to do what's best. We'll see. I really don't know, to be honest with you. If guys are getting people out, we'll take it anywhere we can get it.

"Under normal circumstances, we like him to start an inning, just because of the way he pitches, but we actually give guys enough of a heads up that they know who they're getting ready to face."

Larry Millson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.