There are a few different story lines that emerged from the 4-4 tie that Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees played at JetBlue Park last night.
First, it is thought that Alfredo Aceves, Daniel Bard and Felix Doubront are the final three candidates for the final two spots in the starting rotation. Secondly, Bobby Valentine is pissed at Joe Girardi for pulling his squad off the field after the end of the 9th with the score tied.
With regards to my first point, while those three are considered to be the "finalists" for the rotation spots, Aaron Cook is trying to make Valentine's decision about those rotation spots all the much harder.
The one thing Cook doesn't have in his favor is the fact that he probably won't be ready for Opening Day. However, he wouldn't be needed until the Red Sox have to put their 5th starter on the mound.
Cook put up four solid innings, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out two. The sinkerballer had good command of the strikezone and the main thing was he was getting ahead of the hitters early in the count. Those runs he allowed were his first of spring training in 9 1/3 innings. He's averaging just 12 pitches per inning.
If Cook can build up his arm strength by the end of the spring training slate in just under two weeks, it is quite possible that he could emerge as the 5th starter. At the latest, the Red Sox will have until May 1st to put him in the big leagues as he has an opt-out clause in his contract. Of course, the Red Sox could always work something out with Cook for him not to opt-out at that time.
Normally during spring training games, you rarely ever see extra innings because some teams don't have enough pitching for the day. Usually though, they may play one extra inning and then call it a day.
But after the 9th inning of last night's tie, the Yankees skipper pulled his squad off the field and got back on the bus to Tampa. The main reason why this pissed off Valentine was the fact that he warmed up Clayton Mortensen for the 10th. Had he known that the two teams weren't going to play the 10th, he wouldn't have warmed Mortensen up.
Sure it's spring training and maybe Valentine shouldn't be upset. But I understand why he is.
Mortensen is trying to make the team after coming over in the Marco Scutaro trade. As we wind down here in spring training, innings are precious and not too many guys will get as many innings, especially in the bullpen. Hence Valentine's displeasure with Girardi.
It will be interesting to see if this carries over to the rivalry during the season. Knowing what we know about Valentine, the odds are it will.
To see today's lineups for the game against the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota as well as the overnight and morning links from the media, please click on the read more button below if you're on the home page.
After tying the Yankees 4-4 last night, the Red Sox make the trip up I-75 to Sarasota to take on the Orioles.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. and the game will be broadcast nationally on the MLB Network. There is no radio coverage of the game in Red Sox Nation.
Here are today's lineups:1. Nick Punto
3B 1. Nolan Reimold
LF 2. Jose Iglesias
SS 2. Nick Johnson
1B 3. Jarrod Saltalamacchia
C 3. Nick Markakis
RF 4. Darnell McDonald
CF 4. Adam Jones
CF 5. Josh Kroeger
RF 5. Matt Wieters
C 6. Lars Anderson
1B 6. Mark Reynolds
3B 7. Jason Repko
LF 7. Wilson Betemit
DH 8. Nate Spears
2B 8. Steven Tolleson
2B 9. Mauro Gomez
DH 9. Robert Andino
SS Clay Buchholz
SP Jason Hammel SP
Buchholz will be followed by RHP Mark Melancon, RHP Matt Albers and LHP Justin Thomas.
Hammel will be followed by RHP Brad Bergesen, RHP Armando Galarraga, RHP Kevin Gregg and LHP Zach Phillips.
MORE LINKS WILL BE ADDED BEFORE GAMETIME IF/WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE AND WILL BE BOLDED
To open the links up in a new tab or window, use Control+click
Francona makes call [Boston Globe]
Bard could be losing grip on starting spot [Boston Globe]
Valentine blasts Girardi [Boston Globe]
Carl Crawford looks to Jacoby Ellsbury for inspiration [Boston Herald]
Terry Francona 'still trying to stop bleeding' [Boston Herald]
Rude exit by Yanks [Boston Herald]
Curtis Granderson: Bard, Aceves will be tough in any role [Clubhouse Insider]
Cook: 'Anything can happen' [CSN New England]
Valentine: Sox, Yankees ending 'not very courteous' [CSN New England]
X-rays negative for Pedroia; forearm bruise [ESPN Boston]
Bobby Valentine irked with Joe Girardi for calling tie game [ESPN Boston]
Pedroia ready to play after being hit [Extra Bases]
Aaron Cook looking to give Red Sox ‘a hard decision’ [Full Count]
Bobby Valentine: Yankees ‘not very courteous’ for walking off field in tie [Full Count]
Cook making his case for the Red Sox rotation [Projo Sox Blog]
Valentine calls Girardi's decision to end game "not very courteous" [Projo Sox Blog]
Top prospect Bogaerts has swing beyond his years [Projo Sox Blog]
Bittersweet reunion as Tito broadcasts Sox [RedSox.com]
Pitch bruises Pedroia's arm; X-rays negative [RedSox.com]
Cutting game short, Girardi riles Valentine [RedSox.com]
Carl Crawford's new look on life (and the Red Sox) [RedSox.com]
Scouting Scratch: Three down [SoxProspects.com]
For more slices of Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, CSN New England, ESPN Boston, NESN, Providence Journal, RedSox.com and WEEI websites.
Follow Ian on Twitter @soxanddawgs. And be sure to like us on Facebook as well.
Photo credits: Getty Images
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