BOSTON -- While the Red Sox start to endure injuries to their pitching staff, one arm who is only a phone call away is Alfredo Aceves.
The right-hander was recently demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket when his late-season slump of 2012 carried into the early stages of this season.
Aceves, who is being used exclusively as a starter for Pawtucket, is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in his first two outings.
"He's going to be evaluated independently based on his ability to execute with the consistency that we outlined when we optioned him to Pawtucket," said manager John Farrell. "While he's in the starting role there, we feel like that's the best place for him to gain that consistency, and yet he wouldn't be the only option if a need were to continue to arise to support the bullpen."
The early reports on Aceves are encouraging, but the Red Sox would like to see a larger body of work before they bring him back.
"He's had two starts, he's gone six innings each time," Farrell said. "Solid performance numbers and yet I think after he got through the first inning plus last night, where he used more of his overall pitch mix, he pitched a little bit better. So again, it's still a matter of gaining that consistency."
Middlebrooks, Ross out of lineup following collision
BOSTON -- A day after Will Middlebrooks and David Ross collided in pursuit of a foul ball that the former made a great catch on, both players were out of Wednesday's lineup and still a little sore.
Though the Red Sox are confident that Middlebrooks, their starting third baseman, is not seriously injured, the club was awaiting MRI results during the pregame hours on Wednesday.
Middlebrooks was experiencing pain in his right side, so the club is hoping to rule out an oblique or rib injury. He also underwent X-rays and a CT scan following Tuesday night's game.
"Will has got some soreness on the right side of the ribcage," said manager John Farrell. "He just did get an MRI this afternoon. We don't have the results of that back yet. We do know through the imaging and the tests last night there was no fractures of any kind, so that's checked out. He's sore. He's day to day. That's where we are on both guys."
Pedro Ciriaco, who made two errors in relief of Middlebrooks on Tuesday, got the start at third base. The Red Sox are thin at third from an organizational standpoint, so they can ill-afford to lose Middlebrooks for any length of time.
Prior to the game, Farrell was unsure if he'd be able to use Middlebrooks in an emergency situation. Jonny Gomes looked to be Boston's emergency option in the infield or behind the plate if a situation presented itself.
Ross, who suffered a left quad bruise, thinks starting a game could be realistic by this weekend.
"Woke up today and could bend it," said Ross. "Squatting still felt a little tight. I think there's some swelling in there still, but I think the training staff did a good job. We hopped on it to get treatment a lot last night, and I took a machine home to ice with. I think the second day is usually the big test. If it had been worse today, I probably would've been concerned. Definitely night and day from yesterday."
Hanrahan's MRI getting reviewed by two doctors
BOSTON -- The Red Sox sent the MRI results that reliever Joel Hanrahan had on his ailing right forearm to renowned specialists Dr. James Andrews and Dr. David Altchek.
"It's been sore pretty much all throughout that area since Monday," said Hanrahan. "It's still sore. I can't really grip a whole lot. I haven't really been doing anything but icing and riding the bike. There's not a lot we can do. Just sit, wait and do treatment and see where that takes us.
"The flexor muscle basically protects your ligament. That's one of the things they're looking at, to see how that ligament looks. Obviously I think you could probably go through this clubhouse and look at everybody's ligament and it's not going to be like a 12-year-old's ligament. So that's one thing they'll look at, to see if that ligament has been compromised."
There isn't much Hanrahan can do from a rehab standpoint until the team gets the evaluations from those two doctors.
"Joel is still in a shutdown period," said manager John Farrell.
Things appear to be headed in a better direction for Andrew Bailey, who is on the disabled list with a right biceps strain.
"With Andrew, we're hopeful to put a ball in his hand tomorrow to get his arm moving, to get him through the range of motion and initiate a throwing program," said Farrell.
Bailey is eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday when the Sox begin a road trip in St. Petersburg. The club hasn't discussed yet whether he would pitch in a Minors rehab game or two before being activated.
Cantara Sox's winner of Honorary Bat Girl contest
BOSTON -- Christie Cantara, a mother of three who is battling breast cancer, will be the honorary bat girl as the Red Sox host the Blue Jays this Sunday in celebration of Mother's Day.
All 30 clubs will have an honorary bat girl, chosen by fan votes on HonoraryBatGirl.com along with help from a panel that included CC Sabathia, Matt Kemp, Andrew McCutchen, Alex Gordon, as well as Maria Menounos of Extra TV and Sam Ryan, MLB Network host and reporter.
Cantara will be honored before Sunday's game and participate in pregame ceremonies.
After being misdiagnosed by her doctors twice, Cantara finally learned of her cancer on Valentine's Day this year. She's been undergoing chemotherapy. Her friends created an organization called Team Christie to support her as she takes a year of medical leave from work.
In baseball's celebration of Mother's Day, players will also demonstrate their support by wearing the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms along with pink wrist bands.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Jason Mastrodonato is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @jmastrodonato. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.