Cook on Possible Move to ‘Pen

May 1 has officially arrived and with it comes a decision for the Boston Red Sox. If they fail to promote veteran righty Aaron Cook to Boston, the all-time winningest pitcher in Colorado Rockies history can opt out of his contract and seek a new employer.

“Really, it’s up to Boston. If I decide to take my out, they have 48 hours to decide to put me on the roster. It’s kind of a unique situation I’ve never been in before.”

Although it has been since 2003 when Cook last pitched from the bullpen, the 2008 National League All-Star says he’s open to the idea of pitching in relief.

“Yeah, I think so. Getting back to the big leagues is getting back to the big leagues. I told them coming out of Spring Training that if they needed me out of the bullpen that I’d be willing to try it.”

Cook is 72-68 with a 4.53 ERA over 238 major league appearances (206 starts). (Kelly O'Connor)

In five Triple-A starts for Pawtucket, Cook has gone 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA. He has tossed a pair of seven-inning complete games (doubleheaders) and paces the club with 33 1/3 innings pitched. Although not a “strikeout guy,” Cook fanned a season-high five batters in Saturday’s start in Columbus.

“I felt like I was consistent with everything down in the zone. I was able to use my slider a little more effectively, that might have been the only thing that was different,” Cook told me outside the PawSox clubhouse. “I made a conscious effort that I was really going to work on it. I probably threw 15 or 20, instead of two or three.”

PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler has been impressed by the right-hander and knows that he can’t last in Triple-A much longer. “The stats on the back of his baseball card show you that he doesn’t really belong here. I think he’s come down here and shown that he’s healthy and that he can pitch. He’s done a great job for us.”

There’s really nothing more Cook could have done over the first month of the season to impress Boston – and every other major league front office. Now, just like the Patriots a few days ago, the Red Sox are on the clock.



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