Cook still battling for roster spot

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Cook still battling for roster spot

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- On the same day that some of the competition got thinned out for the Red Sox' starting rotation, Aaron Cook took a big step forward for himself.

Cook pitched 3 13 scoreless innings for the Sox in a split-squad matchup in Sarasota against (more-or-less) the regular Baltimore Orioles lineup.

It was Cook's second appearance of the spring, which had been slowed some because of some shoulder weakness earlier in camp.

He allowed one hit and walk with a strikeout and got plenty of ground balls with his sinker.

"Thats me, Cook told the Boston Herald after his outing. I pitch to contact and try to get the guys out of the box as quick as possible and get our guys off the field so they can come in and hit. Today I did everything I went out there to accomplish.

Cook has now pitched a total of 5 13 innings without allowing a run in Grapefruit League action. Saturday, he threw 39 pitches, 24 of them for strikes.

With a number of younger pitchers (Andrew Miller, Felix Doubront) out of options, Cook may have a difficult time making the 25-man roster for Opening Day. In all likelihood, he'll head to Pawtucket, then have a decision to make when his May 1 opt-out date arrives.

Still, Cook isn't totally writing off his chances.
"I think theres time (to make the team),'' he told the Herald, "but well have to see how it plays out. Two and a half weeks is a long time. Theres a lot of stuff that can happen. I feel really good, and its a good place to be in. Im pretty happy.

At the very least, he can be a lot happier than Carlos Silva. Like Cook, Silva had a history of shoulder woes and was signed to a minor league deal in January. But Silva was released Saturday and Cook continues to battle for a roster spot.

Tanguay: No pressure, Al, but Celts' postseason success hinges on you

Tanguay: No pressure, Al, but Celts' postseason success hinges on you

Hey, Al Horford. No pressure, but these upcoming playoffs are on you. 

The Celtics are having a great REGULAR season. But for this postseason to be anything but regular, Al needs to come up big.

To his credit, he's done that recently. But he need to play even better in the playoffs. Better isn’t even the right word. Power. That’s it: Power. Horford needs to play with more power. 

The problem is this has never really been his game, and therefore it may prove the Celtics overpaid when they gave him a max contract. 

During his 74 postseason games with the Hawks, Horford averaged 12.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. This season he has averaged 6.9 rebounds for the Celtics. There's no way his rebounding numbers an be that low in the playoffs. 

I want at least 18 points and 8 rebounds per game from him over the course of the Celts post season run. And NO THREEs. I know the guy can shoot, but he needs to keep that 6-foot-10 body of his twelve feet or less from the hoop. 

So if the Celtics let you down or underperform this spring, it won't be on Isaiah. It will be on you, Al. 

Again, no pressure. 

Report: Patriots asked Seahawks about a trade for Richard Sherman

Report: Patriots asked Seahawks about a trade for Richard Sherman

PHOENIX -- The Patriots pulled off what many considered a surprise free-agent signing when they acquired corner Stephon Gilmore. As it turns out, before they picked up the former Bills cover man, they inquried about a separate move that would have been even more eye-opening. 

According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, ahead of coming to a deal with Gilmore, the Patriots were among the teams that spoke to the Seahawks about a potential trade for Richard Sherman.

MORE PATRIOTS

During the NFC coaches breakfast on Wednesday morning at the Arizona Biltmore, Seattle coach Pete Carroll acknowledged that multiple teams have contacted the Seahawks about Sherman. But, Carroll said, "I don't see anything happening at all."

Sherman, who turns 29 next season, will make $11.431 million for 2017. He's due $11 million in the final year of his contract in 2018.