A lot could be on the line Saturday for Red Sox right-hander Rubby De La Rosa when he takes on the A's.
With Felix Doubront back from injury, Clay Buchholz returning from the disabled list soon and Brandon Workman eligible to return from his six-game suspension Tuesday, De La Rosa might be the odd man out.
The right-hander has made four starts since May 31, when he replaced Buchholz, who hyperextended his left knee, in the rotation. De La Rosa is 2-2 with a 2.84 ERA, and in two outings at Fenway Park, he has allowed no runs and just five hits in 14 innings. On the road, though, he is 0-2 with eight runs allowed in 11 1/3 frames.
Jon Lester, John Lackey and Jake Peavy are secure in their starting roles, and manager John Farrell said Friday that he would like to keep Workman (1-0, 3.21 ERA) in the rotation as well.
If there is no room for De La Rosa, he could potentially move to the bullpen, but Farrell does not know how that transition would be handled.
"I'm unaware of any potential deal that would move a guy to create that space," Farrell said. "So I don't think we're looking to just move pitchers for the sake of fitting someone in at this point."
Jesse Chavez gets the start for the A's on Saturday, and he is rounding back into his early-season form after a handful of spotty starts. The right-hander, pitching on six days' rest, tossed six innings of one-run ball against the Yankees on Sunday to lower his ERA to 2.93.
Chavez didn't walk a batter and scattered just five hits with four strikeouts.
"It's not like he was pitching poorly," said manager Bob Melvin, "but that was the type of outing we were seeing earlier in the year when he was really knifing through teams and cutting through them very quickly."
The A's are 10-4 in Chavez's starting assignments. He's never started against the Red Sox but has faced them three times in relief, allowing one run over a combined 5 1/3 innings.
A's: Bullpen rounding into form
After a string of late-inning struggles, Oakland's relievers have looked dominant in recent weeks -- in part because the A's have solidified roles, starting with Sean Doolittle in the ninth inning.
"In a perfect world, it's 7-8-9 with [Dan] Otero seven, [Luke] Gregerson eight and Doolittle nine, with [Fernando] Abad mixed in there for the lefties," said Melvin. "Now, we've been in a lot of games here where we're not going to have everyone available, but in a perfect world where everyone's rested, that's what we're looking at."
Doolittle, flashing an absurd 48:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, has not allowed a run over his last 20 outings, Gregerson his last 12. Eighteen of Otero's last 21 outings have been scoreless, and the righty has already racked up 44 innings -- second most among Major League relievers.
"He's been unbelievable," said Melvin. "The most versatile guy we have done there. He's economical in his pitches, he's durable, and whoever is not available on a particular day, he can fill that role."
Red Sox: Ortiz has little to say about Torre's statement
David Ortiz was mum Friday when asked what he thought of a statement issued by Major League Baseball executive Joe Torre, who expressed disapproval at Ortiz's complaints regarding an official scoring decision made Wednesday at Fenway Park.
"I've got no comment on that," Ortiz said.
Farrell noted that the Red Sox plan to appeal the decision, which resulted in an error charged to Twins first baseman Joe Mauer rather than an infield hit for Ortiz.
Earlier on Friday, Torre -- MLB's executive vice president for baseball operations -- released a statement on Ortiz's behavior.
"Official scorers have a job to do, and by their very nature, their decisions don't make everyone happy," said Torre. "But everyone in our game deserves respect. I hope that David will meet that standard going forward, because I don't share the same views that he expressed.
"Official scorers should never give any benefit of the doubt to the home team. We want their best judgment, based on the rules. We have a process to review the decisions that our scorers make. Even when there are inevitable disagreements, we expect everybody to act professionally and respect the game and the integrity of our scorers."
• The Red Sox have won five of their last six games against right-handed starters.
• Josh Reddick, on the 15-day disabled list with a hyperextended right knee, is expected to play in two more rehab games before possibly returning to the A's Tuesday in New York.
Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.