Souvenir program sales should be good for the next several home games at McCoy Stadium because it could be hard to tell who is in uniform without a roster.
Let’s start with who’s gone.
I was able to wish Jeff Bailey good luck as he packed his bags following Monday’s 2-0 win over Lehigh Valley. The 2008 International League MVP is headed to Boston to replace Rocco Baldelli who came out of the Red Sox win over Baltimore with a strained hamstring and is headed to the D.L.
Pawtucket won’t have Bailey tomorrow but will have Julio Lugo and Jonathan Van Every, who join the team on rehab assignments from Boston. Both of them figure to be in the starting lineup at 6:15 vs. Rochester.
Lugo had knee surgery on March 17th and figures to play in several games for Pawtucket before joining the Red Sox.
Van Every suffered an ankle injury in spring training, and it will be interesting to see if his stint with the PawSox is brief. If he proves he’s healthy and swings the bat well, the Red Sox could call him up and send Chris Carter down since they both bat left-handed and Van Every is better defensively.
It also seems likely that Daisuke Matsuzaka and Mark Kotsay will be wearing Pawtucket uniforms relatively soon. Dice-K has been on the D.L. for a week and will play catch on Tuesday at Fenway while continuing to build strength in his shoulder. Last year under similar circumstances, Matsuzaka was out for about two-and-a-half weeks before making a rehab start for the PawSox.
Kotsay, who is recovering from a back injury, has been playing in games at extended spring training so it’s only a matter of time before he begins a rehab stint.
Terry Francona told reporters today that Jed Lowrie will have surgery on his wrist, but it will not be a season-ending proceedure. In fact, the Sox hope Jed will be back by the All-Star break which means we’ll probably see Lowrie with Pawtucket on a rehab assignment in several weeks.
Did I forget anybody?
Kudos to Michael Bowden who earned his first Triple-A win on Monday as he teamed up with Fernando Cabrera and Daniel Bard on a 3-hit shutout in the win over Lehigh Valley.
That’s a league-high 4 shutouts for the Pawtucket pitching staff in the first 12 games of the season.
Bowden entered the game with an stingy 1.04 ERA in two starts, but this was easily his most impressive performance of the season. His fastball appeared to have a little extra pop and he had command of all of his pitches (92 pitches, 61 strikes). Bowden struck out 7 in 5.1 IP to reduce his ERA to 0.64.
Bard pitched a hitless 9th inning with a walk and two strikeouts. International League batters are 1-for-24 against him for a .042 batting average.
Bard, Jeff Natale, and manager Ron Johnson will be my guests tomorrow as we tape our first episode of “Talkin’ PawSox” this year. The show airs on Cox Sports and we do 10 episodes each summer. You can check out previous episodes on PawSox.com. Just go to the top of the homepage where is says “Multimedia” and scroll down to “Watchin’ Talkin’ PawSox.”
On Monday, I came up with a Patriots Day edition of “Stump Steve” as we played “2 Out of 3 Ain’t Bad.”
In this case, the correct answers to three baseball questions shared the last name of a famous patriot of the American Revolution.
1. I was an American League All-Star last year in just my second year in the big leagues and broke a record that had previously been held by Bobby Abreu.
2. I pitched in the big leagues from 1995 to 2005 for the Cubs, Dodgers, Phillies, Blue Jays and Red Sox and I have a World Series ring.
3. I am a current major league pitcher now in my third season with the St. Louis Cardinals. In fact, last year due to injuries to Jason Isringhausen, I became their closer and finished with 17 saves.
The answers are:
1. Josh Hamilton (Alexander Hamilton). Hamilton broke Abreu’s record for most home runs in one round of the home run derby competition (28 to 24).
2. Terry Adams (John Adams), who earned a ring with the Red Sox in 2004.
3. Ryan Franklin (Ben Franklin) was the Cardinals closer last year.
Steve was completely stumped this time, but it still 7-3 this season.
Speaking of Patriots Day, I highly recommend this story by Gordon Edes about the Red Sox tradition of playing at 11:00am on that holiday.
Pawtucket opens a 2-game series against Rochester on Tuesday night at 6:15. Kris Johnson takes the mound for the PawSox, and the team has won both of the games he has started this year by 1-0 final scores.
Pregame coverage starts at 6:00 on the PawSox radio network and PawSox.com.