Turco time in Tampa

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Turco time in Tampa

TAMPA Its Turco time tonight in Tampa.

Marty Turco gets his first start in a Bruins uniform and hes excited to show his wares after making 20 saves in the final two periods against the Pittsburgh Penguins last weekend in his Bs debut as mop-up man.

Turco was the first goaltender off the Tampa Times Forum ice at Tuesdays morning skate and confirmed following the skate hed be getting the call between the pipes.Its the perfect time for Turco with Tim Thomas fighting back obvious fatigue following nine straight appearances for the Bruins, and a 3-4 record to go along with a 3.60 goals against average and .860 save percentage in seven appearances during the month of March.

Its time for Turco to come in and help us out. We saw from the last game that he was in pretty decent form: competitiveness and everything else, said Julien. So hes got to step up and help us win a hockey game here.

Its also a flood of feelings and emotions for the 36-year-old Turco, who wondered if hed ever get back to the NHL when the offers dried up this season following a subpar year with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The veteran netminder hung in there with TV analyst gigs and a few weeks playing for the Red Bulls in Austria, and now hes playing for a Bs hockey club that desperately needs points and victories. Its the kind of high-pressure situation among a group of talented teammates that he hoped hed himself in at least once more before calling it a career.

It almost got to the point where this wasnt going to happen, said Turco. You do what you can to stay in shape, practice and go to Europe late in the year. When the deadline comes and goes you get resigned to the fact it might be over. But as excited and anxious as you are with all of the emotions go rolling through your head and not taking anything for granted as much any more you realize that its about a great opportunity for our club to get back on the winning page.

Its up to me to give them a chance and give Timmy a chance to get some rest. Its not just about giving them a token game, but going in at a high level and giving them a chance to win. Thats what I expect out of myself. Ive put the work in and I feel as ready as Ill ever be.

Turco Time begins tonight for the Bruins against a high-powered Lightning attack and, in this case, needed victories will be akin to rave reviews.

The pros and cons of Rafael Devers' promotion

The pros and cons of Rafael Devers' promotion

BOSTON — Rafael Devers is here and there’s a bundle of reasons to be excited. There’s reason, too, to be skeptical. 

Here is a look at the potential pros and cons, depending on Devers’ success. We’ll start with the good as the 20-year-old top prospect heads to the big leagues for the first time.

PROS

Infusion of energy

In the same way a trade can bring a boost of morale, so too can the promotion of a top prospect. It’s new blood walking through the door, either way. There’s help for a group of hitters — and by extension, pitchers lacking run support — who need to see a lift from the front office. Sox manager John Farrell previously acknowledged the sense of anticipation leading up to the trade deadline. The mood heading into Devers’ first game should be an exciting one.

Production

Virtually anything is better than what the Sox have had offensively at third base. Devers’ minor league hitting has been a spectacle. They wanted to see how he adjusted to Double-A pitching and he did so admirably. He walked into Triple-A and kept raking, with three hits in his final game. The ceiling is very high.

Trade leverage

Theoretically this applies to Devers directly. If the Sox wanted to deal him, he’d be worth more as a big leaguer with some success. But if we believe everything the Sox say, they don’t want to trade him. They’d be crazy to do so. Leverage, then, comes in another form. Those teams that the Sox have talked to about third-base help, or hitting help, in general now get a message from the Sox of “Hey, we don’t need you.” Potentially, any way.

Feet wet for the future

A taste isn’t always a good thing, but it often is. One way or another, the Red Sox have to hope that Devers’ first stint in the big leagues lays the groundwork for the future. Growing pains might be inevitable but in some way, the sooner he can go through them, the better. If he comes off the bench at times, that’ll be a new experience he can have under his belt, although you wouldn’t expect he’ll need that skill too much early in his career.

Prospects saved, or repurposed

It’d still be a stunner if the Sox don’t make a trade at the deadline. It just wouldn’t be the Dombrowski way to stay idle. But Devers’ arrival might allow for a different allocation of resources. Whatever prospects the Sox were willing to put toward a third-base upgrade could go toward another bat, or a reliever or both.

CONS

Uncertainty

This is the biggest concern. Even if Devers rakes for the first week and thereby convinces the Red Sox they don’t need to trade for a third baseman, what does one week really tell them? A month isn’t really enough, either, but it would have been a lot better. (There is always the possibility of a trade in August.) Devers is still missing what the position has been missing all along — a known quantity. Someone with a major league track record, someone who can provide as much certainty as can reasonably be found.

Public about-face

Promoting Devers to the majors for the purposes of evaluation ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline would have been wiser at the start of July. He was raking after two months at Portland. It’s clear the Sox didn’t intend to move Devers with this kind of speed. They’ve adjusted on the fly, which is necessary sometimes, but Dombrowski said on July 14 — the day Devers was moved to Triple-A — that "I don't want to put it on his back that we're counting on him in a pennant race.” Didn’t take long for that to change.

Defense

Devers made four errors in 12 games at Pawtucket and has 16 in 72 games between there and Portland. One scout who has seen Devers doesn’t think he’s ready defensively yet. From there, it’s worth noting the context at this position: how chaotic third base has been for the Sox this season. Basic plays were not made for a time, and that’s how Deven Marrero ended up with a job. A drop off in defense is fine, but repeated errors on routine plays won’t work, particularly at a position where the Sox have already lived those woes.

Development

It’s a natural worry for a 20-year-old kid: if he doesn’t do well, can he handle it mentally? He wouldn’t be in the big leagues if the Sox didn’t think so. At the same time, you run the risk of a slow-down for a player who was chugging right along. Devers is poised to share time for now, which means he may well come off the bench, something he hasn’t had to do.

Loss of leverage

If Devers looks bad for a week — as in, truly overmatched — the Sox aren’t going to have any better position for a trade for an established infielder or bat. If anything, the potential trade partner would gain ground.