Thursday, February 05, 2009

Kotsay Out Two Plus Months After Back Surgery...The Red Sox 2009 Bullpen

The Boston Red Sox have felt the sting of the injury bug even before the 2009 season begins. Mark Kotsay, signed to a one-year deal last month, underwent back surgery on Jan. 29 to remove a displaced disc fragment. Kotsay will not be ready to start the regular season but is expected back around May 1, according to a baseball source. We all hope he's ready by then...ready and completely healthy. Now the Brad Wilkerson signing makes more sense. He was inked to a minor league deal and will attend spring training with the big club.

No word from Boras(s) or his client, Manny Ramirez, yet. I wouldn't be surprised if the "delirious duo" wait until March to sign with the Dodgers. He'll be playing somewhere (other than Boston), that's a 100% sure thing.

The Red Sox bullpen is complete and looks damn good. Here's a quick rundown of the main guns...

1) Jonathon Papelbon...ace closer. No more needs to be said. Simply the best.
2) Manny Delcarmen...part of the sturdy and solid bridge to Paps.
3) Ramon Ramirez...see #2
4) Hideki Okajima...our "Darkman." He's a great lefty asset to the 'pen.
5) Javier Lopez...another effective lefty...limited lefthanded batters to a .189 batting average last year. He had a great 2008.
6) Takashi Saito...he's 39 years old and had elbow problems last year. If he's healthy, he'll make a great addition to Boston's deep bullpen.
7) Justin Masterson...induces righty batters to hit the ball on the ground. That's SO important when coming into a game with men on base.

I like our bullpen...a lot. Now if the injuries can stay away for eight months or so, the Boston Red Sox will be just fine, thank you. Have a great Thursday. It's another below zero morning here in north central Connecticut, and I'm getting sick of it! As always, BE WELL. You can click on the title of this post to be linked to the Boston Herald Sox homepage, where you can read the entire bullpen article and all the latest on Kotsay's condition. See ya! Stay warm if it's cold and cold if it's warm.

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