Sox complete trade for Paul Byrd

A Byrd in the hand… It’s hard to believe that the Sox, who began the season with an embarrassing excess of starting pitching, now have to trade for rotational depth, but here it is. The Sox acquired 37-year old starter Paul Byrd from the Indians for a PTBNL or cash yesterday. The player will be of minimal value, according to Indians GM Mark Shapiro. Byrd will likely take over the 5th slot in the rotation, allowing young Clay Buchholz to go back to Pawtucket (again) and sort out his recent struggles.

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Wakefield hits the DL; Bowden Boston-bound?

Pitcher Tim Wakefield will be placed on the 15-day DL with a stiff shoulder and is scheduled to miss two starts. He will receive a cortisone shot and rest his throwing arm. The injury is not unlike the shoulder pain that kept him off the playoff roster last season, and it was expected that the 41-year old would probably need some time off this year. This move serves the double purpose of giving Wakefield some extra recovery time and a chance to pace himself for the stretch run.

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Colon problems

Sorry for the rather gross title. But it seems Bartolo Colon has hit another speed bump in his throwing program. He felt discomfort during long toss at 120 feet the other day, and will take a couple of days off. Let’s just hope it was the big lunch he ate, and not anything serious.

Francona set a re-evaluation timeline of after the All-Star Break for the big righty.

2008 Mid-season report

At 49-32, the Boston Red Sox hold a 1-game lead over Tampa Bay in the AL East. Their .605 winning percentage is second in the AL only to the Los Angeles Angels (.608), but we have a much better run differential of +70, suggesting that they are (once again) playing over their heads a little bit and are an overrated team. That being said, the running Angels do seem pretty consistently to outperform their Pythagorean projections. So 81 games in, your Boston Red Sox are one of, if not the best, the top teams in the AL and a clear favorite to make the playoffs once again.

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Schilling done; Sox still have enough arms

The trade rumors are spreading: C.C. Sabathia and Erik Bedard are available, as well as a growing number of other veterans. What do you think, should be be trading for these guys? Cleveland would likely want Jed Lowrie and someone like Brandon Moss for their burly lefty rental (there’s no window to negotiate a contract extension), while Seattle would want a bit more. There’s no way 2-3 months of Sabathia is worth that price, but they can ask for a lot because a lot of teams have come calling. We’re still involved, of course, just in case we can land a bargain.

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44-28: Sox continue winning ways against O’s, Reds

Two out of three ain’t bad, especially when you’re doing it every series. And doing it without David Ortiz and Daisuke Matsuzaka playing. Midway through June, the Sox have opened up a 2 1/2 game lead in the AL East over the Tampa Bay Rays, who are still around. Also beginning to come up in the rear view mirror are the Yankees, who are getting some phenomenal play out of Alex Rodriguez, Johnny Damon, Mike Mussina, Joba Chamberlain and Jason Giambi.

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There goes the starting depth

I suppose this is punishment for me not feeling bad about the Yankees losing Chien-Ming Wang this week to a baserunning injury: Bartolo Colon hurt his back swinging the bat yesterday, and will go on the DL. Just what was he trying to do up there? Right-handed reliever Chris Smith rejoins the active roster; he was called up earlier, but didn’t have a chance to pitch. Most likely Justin Masterson will get to stay with the club a little longer, with Clay Buchholz waiting in the wings at Pawtucket.

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40-26: Sox take two from M’s at home

The Red Sox continue to play well at home, despite injuries to David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, the team’s top two hitters. PItching and defense are getting it done, with special recognition to the bullpen, which has been really, really good the past two weeks.

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Dice-K to the DL, Jeff Bailey back with the team

Daisuke Matsuzaka was placed on the 15-day DL with a mildly strained rotator cuff. There doesn’t seem to be any structural damage, which means that he should be fine to go as soon as he is eligible. He will go on a shoulder-strengthening program, which hopefully will help his endurance. The emergence of Bartolo Colon allows Boston to be very cautious with its rotation, which will pay off in the long run.

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32-23: Anemic Sox drop two to Seattle

When the Red Sox travel, there are always a lot of friendly faces. But when they travel to Seattle, there are family members of Jon Lester, Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury present. With the Seattle Mariners quickly sliding out of contention, this was a good chance for the Sox to buoy their road woes with some W’s. Too bad that didn’t work out. With all the games so close, you have to wonder what kind of difference it would have made to have our first baseman healthy, especially in game 3 versus a lefty starter.

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