Sox.com ran a story on the final relief position tonight. The reasonable expectation is that the following fellas have positions locked down in the pen: Randy Williams, Bobby Jenks, J.J. Putz, Matt Thornton, Scott Linebrink and Tony Pena.
As Merkin points out in the story: the final relief slot needs to have a pitcher who can work in any number of different roles. He might be called on to fill an inning late in a close game if this group of previously mentioned talent has been used frequently in a specific time period.
With regard to the remaining candidates for the 7th spot, Ozzie has said the following about Greg Aquino. “Aquino is very impressive. He throws strikes,” Guillen said. “Every time he’s out there, he does a good job. It’s a situation game. He can be on and see how he handles it very well.”
“He came back [in the ninth] and did the same stuff. He’s got a lot of experience. He throws strikes. Especially when you’re competing for a job, you can get wrapped up and all of a sudden you lose what you have. He takes care of it very well.”
Aquino is a 32 year old right hander who has pitched 145 games in the majors.
Sergio Santos is talented, but extremely green. Dan Hudson is also talented, but also green, and is being groomed to be a starter. It seems to me that the better place for Hudson is in the rotation in Charlotte.
Given all of that, it seems to me that Aquino is your man.
The Sox bats came to life today against the Padres.
Paulie Walnuts went three for four with a homer and three RBI
Fields went three for three, A.J. went two for four, and Wise went two for six with a homer and four RBI in the leadoff slot.
According to reports, Ozzie is giving serious consideration to starting Wise in center and putting him in the leadoff slot. I question his defense, especially in an outfield that also features TCQ (who is adequate in the outfield) and Dye whose skills in the outfield are (lets find a politically correct term) fading.
Personally, I would prefer Anderson in the outfield and at the bottom of the lineup with either Getz, Beckham, or Lillibridge starting at second and at the top of the order, but nobody asked me.
According to Scott Merkin, the centerfield situation will get a little murkier before it gets clearer as Lillibridge will be played in center in coming games.
Thome has been held out of his last start with tightness in the back. Doesn’t sound like anything major, but when you get as old as Jim is, and you start talking about a back injury, that’s cause for concern.
The John Van Benschoten experiment may be ending, as he got touched up again for two runs in an innning, bringing his ST ERA to 9.82. Thanks for playing John, we have some lovely parting gits for you…..