On Friday afternoon, the Boston Red Sox sent out this press release to announce that they have signed seven free agents to minor league contracts and invited them to major league spring training camp.
Some of it is old news. If you read “Heard if from Hoard” on December 14th, you already knew about the possibility of Fernando Cabrera, Gil Velazquez, Darnell McDonald, Edwin Moreno, and Angel Sanchez playing for the PawSox in 2010.
But there are a couple of names in the Red Sox release that I haven’t blogged about previously: pitchers Brian Shouse and Jorge Sosa.
Shouse is a left-handed sidewinder who pitched for Boston (and Pawtucket) in 1998. He was 29 then – he’s 41 now – and hoping to stick with the Red Sox as a “situational lefty” in the bullpen. Brian pitched in 45 games for Tampa Bay last year, going 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA, and has a career 13-10 MLB record with six saves, and a 3.72 ERA in 467 relief appearances over parts of 10 seasons with the Pirates (1993), Red Sox (1998), Royals (2002), Rangers (2003-06), Brewers (2006-08) and Rays (2009).
Sosa, 32, was 13-3 with a 2.55 ERA for the Atlanta Braves in 2005 and started a playoff game against the Houston Astros. He hasn’t been able to replicate those numbers since, while pitching for the Cardinals, Mets, and Nationals. Jorge has a career 42-50 big league record with seven saves and a 4.72 ERA in 272 games (88 starts) over parts of eight seasons with the Rays (2002-04), Braves (2005-06), Cardinals (2006), Mets (2007-08) and Nationals (2009).
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It was great to attend the annual Boston baseball writers’ dinner on Thursday night with PawSox President Mike Tamburro and several friends from the Pawtucket staff.
The biggest names at the head table were Terry Francona, Kevin Youkilis, John Lackey, and Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy, but the speaker that got the biggest laughs was former PawSox manager Ron Johnson – especially when he informed Francona that he has terrible vision and will probably get a bunch of guys thrown out while coaching first base this year for Boston.
Don’t worry folks, RJ was joking.
The event did get me fired up for spring training and the start of the season.
Opening night at McCoy is 83 days away!