KOTSAY IT AIN’T SO
Mark Kotsay, in Pawtucket on a major league rehab assignment, was lifted from the game on Sunday afternoon in the third inning. Kotsay came up limping on his way to first base after hitting a grounder deep into the shortstop hole. Aside from recovering from back surgery, Kotsay has been hampered by a calf issue. The 11 year M.L. veteran had grounded out twice before leaving the ballgame. He had been slated to play 6 innings in centerfield. He did not have any chances in the early going on Sunday. It is a shame that the friendly Kotsay could be sidetracked in his return to Boston. Selfishly, it means that Jeff Bailey or Jonathan Van Every will stay in Boston until Kotsay is better. That is great for those guys, but it won’t help Pawtucket’s anemic offense (.228, 14 home runs through 21 games). Kotsay conceded that it was a tweak of the calf muscle. He claimed that he wasn’t too concerned and that he would be back in the PawSox lineup for a third time on Monday. The injury bug had already bitten a couple of times this week. On Saturday, Jeff Natale, in his first game off the disabled list, reinjured his oblique and earlier in the week, infielder Ivan Ochoa pulled a hamstring. Both of Boston’s regular reserve outfielders Kotsay and Rocco Baldelli are on the DL.
Keeping one eye on the Red Sox games on NESN the last few days, Jerry Remy is M.I.A. The RemDawg missed several spring training games due to what was reported as a bronchial issue, perhaps pneumonia. The cynic in me hopes that it is nothing more serious and the New England icon is soon back with his partner(s) Don Orsillo and Wally. As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I know how much Remy has improved as an analyst. From abysmal in his first year, to one of the best in the game currently.
Besides the PawSox regular outstanding starting rotation (Johnson, Gonzalez, Buchholz, Bowden and Zink) there are some compelling stories prepared to take the mound at McCoy in the forthcoming series with Toledo. Julio Lugo’s brother, Ruddy is scheduled to start against the PawSox on Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. and on Thursday at noon, M.L. veteran Dontrelle Willis is tabbed to start. Daisuke Matsuzaka (arm fatigue) will start for the PawSox on Tuesday at 6:15 p.m. Willis has been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. According to the Detroit Free Press, the lefty said that he wasn’t ” too amped up, running sprints up and down the parking lot. The doctors saw something in my blood that they didn’t like.”
Some teams go an entire season without winning a 1-0 decision. On Sunday, the PawSox won 1-0 for the third time in 22 games. Pitching was the story. Clay Buchholz, Jose Vaquedano, Billy Traber and Marcus McBeth combined for the shutout. Buchholz (1-0, 1.80)looked sharp, fanning 6 in five and a third innings. McBeth is 2 for 2 in save oppportunities.
Former PawSox righthander Manny Delcarmen is having a terrific season. He looks like he is ready to star in the school play about the life of Abe Lincoln. The Hyde Park native is sporting a beard “sans” mustache.