O'Sullivan allowed six runs on six hits in three innings during a rehab start at Triple-A Pawtucket. He struck out four and didn't walk a batter. O'Sullivan lasted just 53 pitches before getting yanked. The right-hander, who had a few starts in Boston when the Red Sox had some problems at the back end of the rotation, is expected to be assigned to Pawtucket when he's ready to come off the disabled list.
O'Sullivan (knee) will make a rehab start with Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday, Ryan Hannable of WEEI reports. While his rehab seems to be progressing well, with the trades the Red Sox have made at the deadline, it seems O'Sullivan likely won't get a starting spot once he's back. Depending on how well he pitches from the bullpen, it will determine his value moving forward.
O'Sullivan was placed on the 15-day DL on Saturday with left knee tendinitis, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports. This move conveniently opens up a roster spot for Brad Ziegler, who is expected to be activated Sunday. O'Sullivan has struggled in 21.1 innings with the big club this year, but the Red Sox have won in all four of his starts with the offense exploding for 39 runs in those four games. It's entirely possible O'Sullivan will return to a starting role once healthy, but his window to start may shut in a hurry as the Red Sox figure to be in pursuit of rotation help at the trade deadline.
O'Sullivan didn't factor into the decision versus the Rays on Friday, giving up four earned runs on seven hits and a walk over five innings. He struck out four. After 93 pitches over five innings and having seen a 4-2 lead evaporate, manager John Farrell didn't want to push his luck with the erratic O'Sullivan. The veteran righty's performance was serviceable, but he did give up a Brad Miller sacrifice fly and Evan Longoria RBI single in his final inning of work, allowing the Rays to erase a two-run deficit. It remains to be seen if O'Sullivan will hang on to his rotation spot following the All-Star break.
O'Sullivan will start Friday's game against the Rays, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reports. It came down to O'Sullivan or Clay Buchholz, and O'Sullivan earned a second start after he carried a shutout into the sixth inning of Sunday's win over the Angels. An additional factor was that manager John Farrell liked the idea of having Buchholz available out of the bullpen a day earlier than O'Sullivan would be available. We're taking this one day at a time with O'Sullivan as the fourth starter. Presuming he pitches well Friday, he'll remain in the rotation following the All-Star break.