Cook: No one's discussed role beyond Saturday

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Cook: No one's discussed role beyond Saturday

BOSTON -- Aaron Cook makes his first start for the Red Sox on Saturday, but after that, nobody's discussed the plan with him.

"There has been no discussion," said Cook before Friday's game at Fenway Park. "I just know I'm taking the ball on Saturday. And then, whatever happens after that, we'll get ready and go."

Cook was promoted to Boston's active Major League roster on Thursday, and will take the place of Josh Beckett on Saturday, who is suffering from a strained lat.

When asked if he'd be opposed to moving to the bullpen after Saturday's start, Cook said that wouldn't be a problem.

"I wouldn't be opposed," he said. "Pitching here and just helping to contribute in any way, that's what I want to do. But my main focus is tomorrow I've got to go out there, take the ball, and then after that we'll worry about that."

Cook went 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA for Triple-A Pawtucket before being called up. And even though the promotion may have taken longer than he may have liked, Cook is happy to be in Boston.

"It's really nice. This is where I've wanted to be the whole time. And to actually get the call up to be here and actually be with the guys I was with in spring training, to be able to make my first start here is just unbelievable," said Cook.

"I definitely made the right choice," he added. "This is an organization that I wanted to be with. I knew the coaches, I know a lot of players on this team. It definitely was the right choice."

Cook said he let his agent handle his May opt-out clause, while he just worried about his pitching. And after a few years of nagging shoulder injuries in his last couple of seasons with the Colorado Rockies, Cook said his sinker and breaking stuff has been effective for him in the minors.

"I've been working really hard on my sinker, getting late into games, throwing more pitches and innings," said Cook. "And I've been able to use my breaking stuff more effectively too. Once I get guys swinging at the sinker down and away, or the sinker in, then you can mix it up a little bit and just keep them off-beat.

"I just want to go out and give us a chance to win every time I take the ball," he added. "That's kind of what I did in spring training. My goal was to go deep into games and give us a chance to win. With this lineup, if you can keep the other teams to a few runs, we're going to have a really good chance."

Other than his sinker and breaking stuff, Cook credits his consistency -- not any increase in velocity -- for his confidence entering Saturday's start. And having a healthy shoulder helps too.

"I don't even know if you can put the shoulder from last year and the shoulder from this year in the same category," said Cook. "They have a really good shoulder program here, and the training staff has done an excellent job of monitoring everything from day one of spring training. And it's really paid off being patient."

The Red Sox hope the patience pays off for them as well.

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.