Sox renew five coaches, Alicea walks

Boston will bring back five of its coaches next season, but first base coach Luis Alicea will not be returning. It should be interesting to see who the Sox tap to fill this position. Brad Mills is excellent as a bench coach, and the Red Sox have become much better baserunners since DeMarlo Hale took over as third base coach.

Also, after being waived by the Red Sox, reliever Chris Smith chose to become a free agent today. Hope he catches on somewhere.

Sox claim Dewon Day, Buchholz shines in AFL

Just a couple of non-playoff-related things:

The Red Sox claimed 28-year old pitcher Dewon Day off of waivers today, and cut reliever Chris Smith to make room on the 40-man roster. Day struck out a good number of batters this year and throughout his minor league career using his low-90s sinker and mid-80s slider.

Clay Buchholz is pitching great in the Arizona Fall League, so don’t forget about him as a starter next season. It could all come back together for him in a hurry, like Jon Lester this season. What a rotation THAT would be.

Smith up, Van Every down

Reliever Chris Smith was called up yesterday for the 5th time this year, and Jonathan Van Every was sent back down to Pawtucket in time to start in the IL playoffs.

Friday will be a big day for Boston, as they expect to get Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell and Sean Casey back. Let’s hope they are all healthy down the stretch, so that we can go get that AL East title.

Drew back on the DL; Kotsay eyed as replacement

J.D. Drew has been placed on the 15-day DL with a herniated disc in his back, a condition that can cause a great deal of pain, depending on how badly it has slipped. The Red Sox are in trade talks with the Braves that could bring veteran outfielder Mark Kotsay to Boston. The 32-year old Kotsay had been kind of terrible in 2007 and to begin 2008, but has had a big resurgence of late and is now hitting .289/.338/.418 in 318 AB for the Braves, very near his career numbers.

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Roster Update: Timlin, Crisp back

Mike Timlin was activated today, and says he’s healthy and ready to go. With his return, Chris Smith was shipped back to Pawtucket.

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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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Tavarez, Smith assigned to Pawtucket

Julian Tavarez and his $2.8M salary have passed through waivers, and he has accepted an assignment at Pawtucket. Teams were interested in him, just not in paying that much money for him. That’s one advantage big-market clubs have in baseball; they can afford reserves that get paid like small-market regulars. Looks like they’re pretty committed to this Craig Hansen experiment.

Reliever Chris Smith was also sent down to make some room on the roster. He was with the team for a couple of games, but didn’t have an opportunity to pitch.

Injury update: Okajima, Crisp

Hideki Okajima has a sore throwing wrist. John Farrell has noted that Okajima hasn’t been following through on his splitter recently, and as a result the pitch has lost some of its late sink. Hopefully this is not a major issue; the Sox plan to shut him down for a few days and see how he feels.

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