Wednesday July 14, 2010 | 09:13 AM

It looks like Felix Doubront will get another start in Fenway, with Clay Buchholz telling reporters that he will likely have one minor league start before coming off the disabled list.

Buchholz would likely pitch for Pawtucket on Friday, in Syracuse, according to Comcast Sports New England.

Could Doubront be used more this year in the majors, other than spot starts? While Doubront has always been a starter and cringes when asked about relieving, he could be helpful down the stretch (and in the playoffs?) coming out of the bullpen.

I believe a lefty named David Price helped the Rays as a reliever in 2008. It did not seem to hurt his development.

The other, more certain option for the pen will be Michael Bowden. The Sox are grooming him as a reliever this year, just like they did in previous seasons with Jonathan Papelbon and Justin Masterson.

If Buchholz pitches Friday for Pawtucket, where does that leave Josh Beckett? After he pitched last Sunday for the PawSox, this Friday should be his next start in his rehab. The options are for him to pitch for the Sea Dogs in New Britain on Friday, or in Syracuse on Saturday, or possibly in Lowell Saturday for a 5 p.m. game.

A game in Lowell in not offer Beckett the same type of competition, but it would be the most convenient, and players are always saying they just want to "get their work in" during a rehab start.

Speaking of Lowell, infielder Jed Lowrie and catcher Dusty Brown are with the Spinners on rehab assignments. On Tuesday, Lowrie was 0-for-1 with a walk. He is batting .400 in six games and is likely headed to Pawtucket ... Brown went 3-for-5 on Tuesday and should also be re-joining the PawSox soon.

Infielder Kolbrin Vitek, the Sox first-round draft pick in 2010, went .3-for-5, hitting his first pro home run.

One more rehab note: outfielder Jason Place remains in the Gulf Coast League. He went 0-for-4 Tuesday. In six games, he is 3-for-18 with one home run and seven strikeouts.

And, finally, you may want to check out the feature on Nate Spears, an unheralded prospect who is putting up All-Star numbers.



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Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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