Red Sox need relief

The Red Sox’s primary need at the trade deadline came into clearer focus on Sunday when Hideki Okjaima again couldn’t get the job done with the game on the line. Manager Terry Francona only has two relievers he can truly count on in any situation — Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard. The problem is that the cost for relief help around the game is exceedingly high when it comes to pitchers like Toronto’s Scott Downs, but perhaps the price will drop a bit in the final hours leading up to July 31.

As for players the Red Sox might part with, Mike Lowell continues to top that list. The veteran corner infielder is continuing his Minor League rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket this week and is swinging the bat well. The Rangers and Tigers are two teams who have expressed some degree of interest in Lowell, who simply doesn’t have a spot on a Boston team that has Kevin Youkilis and Adrian Beltre at the corners with David Ortiz DH-ing.

With a time-table for Jason Varitek’s return to the team still uncertain, the Sox are also looking for catching.

Ian Browne


Unfortunately Pap lost “count on in any situation” status during the 2009 ALDS.

C’mon Theo – work your magic!

Cinzano as a Red Sox fan I feel your frustration with the bullpen. However, after looking at what the Blue Jays were asking for lefty Scott Downs (Casey Kelly) I hope Theo doesn’t hit the panic button and do something stupid. The starting pitching is getting healthy and when they are they should be able to get you thru 7 innings. The back of their pen is fine. As for a lefty out of the pen Oki is showing he is all done. The sox should consider using Wakefield in that role. His record clearly indicates that he is more effective against Lefties than righties. (Certain switch hitters like Posada prefer hitting rightie against Wake) No, I’m frustrated myself but I really feel that they already have the players in house. They could start by dumping Oki and bringing up Bowden. In closing its not the moves that the sox make out of their system that will determine this race, I firmly believe its the moves the Yankees don’t pull off that will decide it (Losing out on both Lee and Haren. As for Tampa Bay I believe that they are going to be in the mix and will beat out the Yanks for the wild card unless the Yanks get more pitching. Pitching is the name of the game and the Yanks as currently structured have the least effective starting pitching of the three contenders. Go Sox!

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