Sunday, March 21, 2010

Alan Embree Returns...Wakefield Is Ready

Yes, you read that title correctly. Old number 43, lefty Alan Embee, will vie for a spot in the Boston Red Sox 2010 bullpen at the age of 40. Boston pitching coach John Farrell spoke about him just a day ago...

"He’s always had a great arm action and the ability to throw the ball with well-above-average velocity and that was indicative in a short bullpen,” Farrell said. “We’ve just got to be prudent about giving him the right amount of repetition and opportunity in minor league games before we get him over here.”

Competition for the remaining bullpen spots just vamped up considerably for the guys unsure of what the future holds. Theo Epstein wanted another lefty in the 'pen and if Embree can still do it, most likely pitching to one batter each appearance, Theo will get his wish.

Tim Wakefield had another great outing yesterday while pitching against the Baltimore Orioles. He went 5 innings and allowed only two hits and zero runs. The Red Sox beat the Birdies by a score of 6-0. He threw 65 pitches and 39 of 'em were strikes. He said this after the game...

“I feel like I’m ready. I felt a lot better than I did last week, was able to throw a lot of strikes again with a little bit better movement than I did last time.’’ Wakefield said. “The only bad thing about today, I think 0-and-0 counts I wasn’t very good, but the 0-and-1 or 1-and-1 counts I was where I needed to be.’’

Where he'll be starting in April will be the Boston Red Sox starting rotation. Daisuke Matsuzaka has been slow in his conditioning process, with an injury here and an injury there. So the Red Sox will start the 2010 campaign with a quintet comprised of Beckett, Lester, Lackey, Buchholz and Wakefield. Not bad, huh? It'll be nice to have a starter in reserve and Matsuzaka WILL get his starts but at least for April, those five are THE five. That's just fine with me.

The University of Connecticut women Huskies will play their first NCAA tournament game this early afternoon to try to defend their national championship and they are odds-on favorites to do just that. There are some "expert-texperts" out there who think number two Stanford has a chance (UCONN defeated them by double digits earlier this season) but this time of year, ANYONE HAS A CHANCE. You see, it's a "one and done" format. Lose and your season is caput, over, finis. All the NCAA women's games will be on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD. The UCONN women, the team I love, the team that has not lost since 2008, tip off at 12:16pm EST. GO HUSKIES! A possible 6 games are in front of you...win 'em all!

Have a great Sunday as you watch NCAA basketball, the men OR the women (or both). That's what I'll be doing on this soon-to-be warm and sunny Sunday here in Connecticut. Click on this post's title for more on the Alan Embree acquisition and everything else Red Sox. As always, BE WELL. See ya.

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