BOSTON -- Aaron Cook, whose status with the Red Sox has been the subject of much debate over the past few days, is being called up and will pitch in place of Josh Beckett on Saturday. General manager Ben Cherington discussed Cook's status as part of a wide-ranging talk on Wednesday:
"No definitive plans for him beyond Saturday. Pitching coach Bob McClure and I have talked about that. We're looking at that 20-day stretch of games and mapping that out. Certainly we expect him to be a part of the pitching staff. We've just got to map out exactly where they all line up."
"He's willing to do anything. He has been a starter and that's the role he's coming up to play. We'll map out the rotation." When asked if that meant the Sox would shift to a six-man rotation -- which may help Daniel Bard and Felix Doubront, both of whom are new to starting -- Cherington replied: ""That came up. So far this year, basically everybody has been on a six-day schedule essentially because of the off days. Most guys have had the extra day. And so if we did that, it would be consistent with the schedule the guys have been on so far. We haven't made a decision but that's been discussed and it's a possibility."
"He's obviously been a good starter in the big leagues for a long time and we need to keep as much starting depth as we can. So there's different options that we're looking at. But our plan is to have him start Saturday and if that goes well, keep going."
"We just felt it was important at this point of the year to keep as much pitching depth as we could."
"I think the big thing with Aaron is just coming off the year that he had last year, it was building arm strength and building his pitch count and maintaining stuff deeper into a pitch count. We saw earlier in the spring where his first outings where his pitch count was lower, his sinker was really working earlier in the pitch count. Then, it got flattened out a little bit as games went on. Toward the end of spring, and while he has been in Pawtucket, he's been able to hold that sinker deeper into the pitch count. And that's the key for him obviously is to just let that sinker play and getting ground balls. And he's been able to do that in Pawtucket."