March 25, 2007

A GLUT OF KNH'S:

Hansack makes another pitch to stay (Jeff Horrgan, March 25, 2007 , Boston Herald)

Devern Hansack is giving the Red Sox [team stats] reason to have second thoughts about leaving him off the Opening Day roster.

The 29-year-old right-hander, who was called up from Double-A Portland last September for the final 12 days of the season and will most likely open 2007 with Triple-A Pawtucket, extended his dominant spring yesterday by tossing three perfect innings in a 1-1 tie with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Al Lang Field.

Hansack, who has a 2.08 ERA in five spring appearances, retired all nine batters he faced, including three on strikeouts. He threw his fastball, changeup and curveball all for strikes and mixed in an effective slider.

Okajima won't be left out of spotlight (Tony Massarotti, 3/25/07, Boston Herald)
The Japanese have a term for people like Hideki Okajima. Loosely translated, the kage no hero is "a supporting actor, someone who lives in the shadow of the hero."

But if Okajima keeps this up when the Red Sox start playing games for real, he'll be casting a sizable shadow himself.

Making his eighth official appearance of the spring, Okajima threw two scoreless innings yesterday in the Red Sox' 1-1 tie with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 10 innings at Al Lang Field. The outing trimmed Okajima's spring ERA to 1.69. He has allowed two runs in 10 innings, both runs coming on solo homers.

For all of the attention that has been placed on Japanese import Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-1, 2.84 ERA in 12 innings), Okajima has been equally as impressive.

Pineiro not pining for Pap's position (Karen Guregian, 3/24/07, Boston Herald)
"They never told me it was my job. They never told me that's what I was going to do," Pineiro said before yesterday's 3-2 win over the Orioles. "They said I'd be in the back end of the bullpen, but I don't feel like I lost the job. It wasn't my job to lose. That was his. My contract, that's no problem.

"I thought it was the right decision anyway in the first place. When I heard (Papelbon) was going in the starting rotation, I was like, 'Why is he doing that?' He did such a great job and he dominated everybody."

Sox manager Terry Francona said that, during a meeting Thursday in which he, pitching coach John Farrell and general manager Theo Epstein informed the relievers of the Papelbon news, Pineiro got up and said, "We're deeper now."

That response impressed the manager.

When you consider how bad several National League rotations are -- like the Mets and Nationals -- and the fact that even a mediocre AL starter like Bronson Arroyo so easily became an NL ace, it would be surprising if the Sox didn't deal at least one guy from the Snyder, Hansack, Hansen, Delcarmen, Gabbard, Piniero group.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 25, 2007 6:33 AM
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