Decision time for Red Sox on Cook

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Decision time for Red Sox on Cook

BOSTON Before Aaron Cook has to make his decision, the Red Sox will have to make theirs: Add the right-hander to their major league roster or risk losing him. Cooks opt-out date is tomorrow.

In five starts, spanning 33 13 innings, for Triple-A Pawtucket Cook has posted a record of 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA, with two complete games. He has held opponents to a .217 average. He leads the International League in innings pitched, is second in wins, fourth in ERA.

General manager Ben Cherington was in this afternoon, manager Bobby Valentine said before Mondays game against the As. We talked again on that. Im sure that he has all of his ducks in order. I dont know exactly when, why, how with these deadlines and all that stuff, but everyones opinion has been shared.

Cook signed with the Red Sox this offseason as a minor league free agent, after 10 seasons with the Rockies. He has made 238 career starts, with 32 appearances out of the bullpen. He made one relief appearance last season. Before that, the last time he came out of the bullpen was in 2003, his first full season in the big leagues when 27 of his 43 appearances were in relief.

Manager Bobby Valentine said today if Cook is brought up, it would be to work out of the bullpen.

I havent talked to him, So I can't speak for him, Valentine said, when asked if Cook was receptive to that plan.

Cook has a 1.86 groundball-to-fly out ratio with Pawtucket, and a 1.91 big league career mark.

When he throws the sinker its a real good pitch. The hitters hit the top of it, Valentine said.

The evaluation process for someone in Triple A is done by a collection of things -- his numbers and what the uniformed people see and what the people in the stands see. Its always a collection to let you know what weight you put on it.

Cook was delayed in spring training, as a precaution because of past shoulder issues. He appeared in four Grapefruit League games, making three starts, plus a start in a minor league this spring. In league games, he went 14 13 innings, going 1-0 with an ERA of 1.88.

He didn't pitch that well but when he was throwing well and had that sinker I really liked it, Valentine said. Its a little different pitch than many people feature. Competitiveness, he works quickly, he fields his position, has game presence--all that good stuff. I like that, too.

But after being a starter this season and primarily in his career, how difficult will it be for Cook to make that adjustment?

I think it'll be challenging, Valentine said. You dont know whats going to happen. Right now I couldnt say that it could be anything other than that.

After this three-game series with As, the Sox have an off-day scheduled for Thursday. After that, they dont have another off-day until May 24, giving them 20 games in 20 days perhaps necessitating an extra starter.

I think thats a factor, a consideration, Valentine said.

Quotes, notes and stars: Barnes takes the blame in loss

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Quotes, notes and stars: Barnes takes the blame in loss

BOSTON -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 10-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals:

QUOTES

“That one’s one me. I’ve got to do a better job of securing that lead and getting out of that inning.” - Matt Barnes on giving up the lead.

“When he tries to go down and away to right-handers, the ball’s leaking back to the middle a bit. That was the case against [Lorenzo] Cain [and Raul] Mondesi in this case tonight. It’s on the plate first pitch, bases loaded he’s trying to get a strike to get ahead. But in general, Barnes has pitched to the edge at times and missed, and then when he’s on the plate it’s probably found the middle of the plate a bit too much.” - John Farrell on Barnes’ outing.

“I think everybody in that bullpen believes in every single person down there.” - Barnes said on the bullpen.

“It was good, everything was good . . . Just the fastball command was a little out of control.” - Eduardo Rodriguez on his left hamstring and his performance.

 

NOTES

* David Ortiz launched his 31st home run of the season, which also marked the 534th of his career, tying Jimmie Foxx for 18th on the all-time home run chart.

* Mookie Betts recorded his Major League-leading 56th multi-hit game of the season.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. finished 1-for-2, bumping his average to .317 (77-for-243) at Fenway this season.

* The Red Sox grounded into four double plays, tying their season high on 6/12 against Minnesota.

* Matt Barnes’ ERA jumped from 3.68 before Sunday’s game to 4.45 after giving up 5 runs without recording an out.

 

STARS

1) Raul Mondesi

Mondesi’s bases-clearing triple in the sixth opened the floodgates and gave Kansas City the lead they would continue to build off.

2) Matt Strahm

 Strahm relieved Yordano Ventura after his short 4 and 1/3-inning outing. He held the Red Sox scoreless through 2.2 innings to earn his second win of the season.

3) Salvador Perez

Perez launched his sixth home run in his last eight games against Boston. He became the Royal to homer in three-straight games at Fenway since Billy Butler did in 2011.

First impressions: Red Sox implode in 6th inning, lose to Royals, 10-4

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First impressions: Red Sox implode in 6th inning, lose to Royals, 10-4

BOSTON -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 10-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals:

 

Boston’s bullpen continues to be a roll of the dice every night.

This time Matt Barnes was the latest reliever to suffer from the plague that’s filled this bullpen all season.

Part of it was bad luck on two perfectly placed balls, the other part was Raul Mondesi lacing a triple, and Lorenzo Cain smacking a single.

Robbie Ross was better, but not by much.

No lead seems safe in the hands of any Boston reliever.

 

David Ortiz keeps putting himself in the same breath as legendary Hall of Famers.

This time it was former Red Sox great Jimmie Foxx, who Ortiz is now tied with at 534 home runs, 18th all time.

Early in the season he’d match a legendary player every so often, it was impressive. Now it’s almost to be expected every night he plays.

Next on the all-time home run list is Yankee Legend Mickey Mantle with 536.

 

The bottom of the order continues to play an important role in Boston’s run production.

Chris Young got things started in the fifth, then Sandy Leon and Jackie Bradley Jr. kept it rolling so both Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts could cash in all three runners.

Moving JBJ back to ninth Saturday proved to be a good move, and moving Leon back down with his recent scuffles seems to be the best move, too.

Not only can they knock each other in any given instance, but they also put Dustin Pedroia (or Holt) and Bogaerts in run-producing situations, as opposed to just setting the table.

 

Chris Young’s hamstring shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

He was able to leg out the soft grounder to third base in the first inning.

Young has lost a step or two with age, but it seemed like he opened it up on the play.

Hopefully that’s a sign of the end of the injuries in left field this season.

 

Junichi Tazawa looked strong.

That’s more so an observation of his fastball reaching 94 mph.

Tazawa has a long way to go before he’s back to where he was, but the righty took a step in the right direction Sunday night. He retired Kansas City’s 2-3-4 hitters in his first inning and working past a leadoff single in his second inning of work.