Postseason roster shakeup

All the buzz had been that 24 of 25 roster spots were accounted for already, but all that changed today, as the Red Sox announced a couple of surprise changes to the roster for the ALDS against the Angels.

Starter Tim Wakefield, expected to pitch out of the bullpen during this 5-game series, was taken off of the roster and replaced by lefty Jon Lester. This is a golden opportunity for young Lester to get a taste of the big time, and gives an added bonus of having three left-handed options out of the bullpen in this series. It seems that Wake has been battling some back pain, and needed a cortisone shot to deal with the irritation. The front office elected to have him sit this series; let’s hope he can be back should we advance to the ALCS.

Backup catcher Kevin Cash was also announced as part of the postseason roster today. The Sox will carry three catchers in an unusual move aimed at maximizing flexibility with the roster for pinch-hitting and pinch-running situations. There have been plenty of times this year where teams have walked Mike Lowell or J.D. Drew in order to face Varitek or Mirabelli in key situations. The extra day of rest in this series should allow the Sox to rest their pitchers well, and makes this kind of a move possible. My guess is that they may still be slightly worried about Mirabelli’s back, and don’t want to face a situation where we are left with one catcher. If that’s the case, why don’t they leave Mirabelli off the roster, since Wakefield is not on it?

Other notes

David Ortiz received a cortisone injection, and says that his knee is feeling really good. Let’s hope that it doesn’t flare up over the playoffs.

I was disappointed that the Sox took the 8-day series at first, but knowing that Wakefield is out makes it a little easier to swallow. I’d have preferred that we see someone besides Lackey, Escobar and Weaver, but then Joe Saunders owned us earlier this year too. I’d also have preferred that the Yankees would have had to beat Sabathia and Carmona twice each if it went that many games. As it is, hopefully our guys will get a little more chance to rest and get healthy. Everyone’s picking the Sox in this series, BTW.


One Response to Postseason roster shakeup

  1. donchoi says:

    Tony Maz explains the three catcher thing here:

    It’s all about the rule changes.

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