Beckett, Timlin nearing return

The good news for Red Sox Nation: Josh Beckett is ready to rock and roll. He is scheduled to take the ball Sunday against Roy Halladay.

And the good news, part 2: Mike Timlin is nearing his return to the active roster as well. He is scheduled to throw off a mound today, then report to Pawtucket for a couple of tune-up outings first.

With the return of these two stalwarts, the final roster is finally beginning to take shape. The Sox have been carrying an extra reliever so far, but now one of Javier Lopez, David Aardsma or Bryan Corey (who are all out of minor league options) will have to be placed on waivers to make room on the 25-man roster.

My vote is for Corey to wave bye-bye. Though he could probably contribute and pitch well out of the bullpen in a right-handed middle relief role, that’s exactly the role Timlin will fill. Lopez is left-handed and too valuable to lose, and Aardsma has the velocity and the potential to be really good. In short, Corey’s the most easily replaced pitcher. However, he is also the most veteran of the three players, and has more history with the team; if the Sox don’t like what they’ve seen so far out of Aardsma, he could get the boot.


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