ST. PETERSBURG -- Brandon Workman was back with the Red Sox on Saturday and will be activated in time to start Sunday's game against the Rays in place of the ailing Felix Doubront.
Workman worked as both a starter and reliever for Boston last year, including getting some key outs in the latter role during the postseason.
After opening this season in Boston's bullpen, Workman was optioned to Pawtucket on April 9, where he was used as a starter.
"I feel like I've been throwing pretty well," said Workman, who was 3-1 with a 5.12 ERA. "My numbers aren't the best right now, but I feel like I've been throwing the ball better than the numbers have shown and I feel pretty confident about it right now."
Workman started three games for the Red Sox last year, going 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA. He lost a start to the Rays on July 22, but pitched well, giving up seven hits and two runs over six innings.
"I definitely will be going over scouting reports and stuff like that to get ready, but there was a little bit of familiarity because I've seen them a few times, but we'll definitely need a refresher for that," said Workman.
Workman feels he's at his best as a starter.
"I feel real good with it," said Workman. "Starting, I've been able to throw my changeup a little bit more, work a two-seamer in. Those are things I didn't really do much out of the bullpen, but I've been able to work on them. I feel confident in them right now."
When the Red Sox activate Workman, they will likely option right-hander Alex Wilson back to Pawtucket. Wilson was recalled on Friday.
Doubront was placed on the disabled list earlier this week with a left shoulder strain.
Victorino back on DL; Nava elated to rejoin Red Sox
ST. PETERSBURG -- For the second time this season, Shane Victorino has been placed on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain. That setback created an opportunity for Daniel Nava to return to the Red Sox in time for Saturday afternoon's game against the Rays.
Nava was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on April 22 after a prolonged slump wiped away the memories of his breakout season of 2013.
"I'm obviously thrilled to be back," said Nava. "I was doing a lot of things wrong [earlier in the year]. I think it was a combination of not putting the ball in play as much as I'd like to, putting it in play at guys who had been playing that position, that spot for a long time, and just struggling. Throw that all together and it was what it was."
In Nava's first stint with the Red Sox this season, he hit .149 in 67 at-bats. Nava did not start Saturday's game against Rays lefty David Price. He will get most of his starts against right-handers.
As for Victorino, he aggravated his hamstring hustling down the line on a bunt in the ninth inning of Friday's 1-0 loss.
Manager John Farrell doesn't think the injury is as serious as the one that took place in the final Grapefruit League game on March 30.
"We still think it's not as severe," Farrell said. "But with the other situations we're also managing, his was the most clear-cut in need of some downtime. So he's on the DL."
For Pawtucket, Nava hit .253 with three doubles, three homers and 14 RBIs in 24 games.
"I was feeling good [with Pawtucket]," said Nava. "I was obviously in a slump up here. To get down there and work and be with [Dave] Joppie, the hitting coach down there, and focus on some things, just to get me back to where I feel comfortable, is something that was really good -- to have someone who's seen me before and knew what it took to get me back to where I think I was in a better position than I was."
Though Nava is open about the fact he feels the Red Sox could have given him more time to break out of his slump, he also took ownership for his hitting woes.
"Obviously I didn't want to get sent down. Obviously I would have liked to have stayed up and worked through it," said Nava. "In the same regard, if I wasn't doing what I was doing, it wouldn't have happened. If you're going to be proud of what you did, you have to take responsibility. If I didn't do that, maybe I wouldn't even be back here."
Of course, Nava's story has already had its share of ups and downs, dating back to when he couldn't even make his college team at first.
"If it was my first time dealing with something like this, it would have been a lot tougher. I've been on this side of the fence before, many times. That made it a lot easier," said Nava. "It doesn't make it any more enjoyable. It's still something, you want to be here. this is where you want to be. but having that said, it makes it a little easier because I've been here before, I know what it's like.
"Getting sent down was obviously a good wakeup call, but it's also a reminder that there's a lot worse things you could be doing than not playing baseball. I'm grateful I still have a job to be playing baseball. I was playing co-ed softball at one point, so I guess I could be doing that all over again."
Napoli, Papi sit out against Price
ST. PETERSBURG -- Not only did Shane Victorino go on the disabled list on Saturday, but Red Sox manager John Farrell also had to put together a lineup that didn't include David Ortiz or Mike Napoli, the team's two top sluggers.
Napoli missed two games earlier this week with the flu and is still dealing with issues from the left ring finger he dislocated in Chicago on April 15. Ortiz has had some trouble with his right calf since tweaking it late in Spring Training.
"Nap is still dealing with the effects from the flu. The dislocated finger is still giving him issues. And with a hamstring, and he's dealing with a calf thing, as well," said Farrell. "We're beat up, obviously. With the lineup that we have in there today, we're beat up. Nap is going to be day to day. I can't say this is a one-day thing. There might be more days needed than that. We're hopeful to avoid downtime with the DL with him."
Clearly, it wasn't the most opportune day for Ortiz to be out of the lineup, but Farrell also felt he needed a down day.
"David with the calf issue, this was also a planned day to deal with that and manage it to go forward. Despite the other two guys being out of the lineup I didn't want to deviate from that," Farrell said. "We're dealing with each one of them individually and this is what his situation called for."
Entering the day with an eight-game losing streak, the Red Sox went with a lineup that featured Mike Carp. Brock Holt, Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia filling out the top three spots. Jonny Gomes, A.J. Pierzynski (designated hitter), Grady Sizemore, David Ross and Jackie Bradley Jr. filled out the rest of the lineup against Rays ace David Price.