Results tagged ‘ Aaron Cook ’

PawSox Win the 2012 I.L. Wildcard

It took 142 games to nail down a post-season berth, but who cares.

Saturday night the PawSox shutout the North Division champion Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Yankees, 2-0, and in doing so, won the wild card.

PawSox players celebrating on the field after Saturday night’s won over the Yankees. (Jillian Souza)

As Pawtucket heads back to the Governors’ Cup playoffs for the second straight year, here are some facts, figures, and observations about this 2012 PawSox club:

  • 68 players have played for the PawSox this season — 70 is the franchise record set in both 1995 and 2006 (“so you’re sayin’ there’s a chance”).
  • 21 different players have been promoted to Boston this season (not including 10 called-up from injury rehab).
  • Five players in the Boston’s lineup Saturday night had played for Pawtucket in ’12.
  • Three of the Red Sox five pitchers Saturday had spent time with the PawSox this year.
  • The members PawSox six-man Opening Day rotation are currently spread over four different time zones:
      • Justin Germano: traded to the Cubs on July 19
      • Brandon Duckworth: signed with Japan
      • Doug Mathis: also signed with Japan
      • Alex Wilson: now in the PawSox bullpen
      • Aaron Cook: in Boston’s rotation
      • Ross Ohlendorf: opted out of his contract, signed with the Padres
  • Since August 1, the PawSox have received seven players from Double-A Portland currently on the active roster. They had 23 games of Triple-A experience, combined.
  • Pawtucket has won seven of its last eight games. During that time the PawSox…
      • Rotation has gone 4-1 with a 1.95 ERA (11 ER/50.2 IP) with six quality starts
      • Closers have gone 5-for-5 in save situations
      • Are hitting .271 (overall this year, Columbus leads the league batting .269)
  • Somehow I haven’t mentioned yet some of the position players now in Boston:
      • Mauro Gomez: 2012 International League MVP
      • Will Middlebrooks: We knew he wouldn’t last long
      • Ryan Lavarnway: Hit a league-best .405 in June
      • Pedro Ciriaco: The club’s offensive spark plug and played three positions
      • Jose Iglesias: One scout told me, “the best shortstop in all of baseball.”

The PawSox will host Scranton-Wilkes/Barre in the playoffs on September 5 and 6 in a best-of-five series. The two clubs will then travel to Rochester, Ny. to finish the series at Frontier Field.

A Red Sox vs. Yankees post-season will happen after all.




14 Roster Moves in Seven Days

This has felt much longer than an eight-game homestand. The PawSox have lost 6-of-7 games thus far, have dropped two games by one run (both in extra innings), and have been shutout twice.

As far as player moves go, a lot has changed for the PawSox over the last seven days at McCoy:

  • Ronald Bermudez, who has played in eight games with the PawSox, was placed back on the disabled list with a recurring left hamstring strain.
  • After dominating in Double-A with the Sea Dogs, outfielder J.C. Linares was promoted to Pawtucket and went 4-for-6 with a double in his debut. Since then, he’s been held to one hit over his last five games.
  • Once fully recovered from a left knee injury, outfielder Jason Repko was outrighted to Pawtucket following his rehab.
  • He struck out 20 batters over seven appearances, but following his outing on June 21 at Syracuse, Mark Prior was placed on the disabled list with an oblique strain.

Even at 36-years-old, Podsednik has some spring left in his legs. The outfielder rehabs for the PawSox tonight, batting second and DH’ing. (Kelly O’Connor)

  • To fill Prior’s void in the bullpen, lefty Will Latimer received his first call-up to Triple-A. Unfortunately, he’s been dealt the loss in his two appearances thus far.
  • Aaron Cook was recalled to Boston from his rehab in Pawtucket to start for Clay Buchholz.
  • After two appearances (one start), righty Jeremy Kehrt was assigned back to Portland
  • On the disabled list since May 25, Jose Iglesias (back) was reinstated on Tuesday and has made two starts.
  • Part of the Kevin Youkilis deal with the White Sox, Zach Stewart arrived in Pawtucket and pitched the PawSox to their lone win of the homestand (although Brandon Duckworth more than deserved a win last night).

With a surplus of outfielder, Josh Kroeger was released Thursday by the Red Sox. (Kelly O’Connor).

  • First placed on the temporary inactive list, outfielder Josh Kroeger was released yesterday by the Red Sox. In 64 games with the PawSox, Kroeger hit .244 with nine home runs and 25 RBI.
  • Tony Thomas, who had been playing virtually everyday at second base when Iglesias was on the disabled list, is now on the DL himself with a finger injury suffered during batting practice.
  • After opting out of his contract with Cleveland, Andy LaRoche has been signed by the Red Sox and gets the start at third base tonight. The 28-year-old played 40 games last year with Oakland where he hit .247 with no homers and five RBI. In 46 games this season with Triple-A Columbus, LaRoche hit .234 with five home runs and 16 RBI.
  • Tonight Scott Podsednik bats second and will serve as the PawSox designated hitter as he begins a rehab assignment to heal a groin injury suffered running to first base against the Cubs. In 19 games with Boston, the 36-year-old is hitting .387 with one homer and seven RBI.

Get all that? We’ll see what happens tonight as the PawSox finish the homestand with the Knights, aiming for a series split.



Red Sox Farmhands Selected to Futures Game

The Red Sox will be represented by two young promising prospects at the 2012 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game held on July 8 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Right-handed pitcher Matt Barnes (U.S. Team) and shortstop Xander Bogaerts (World Team), both with High-A Salem, have been selected to represent the Red Sox organization at the game. The PawSox will also be represented at the event by manager Arnie Beyeler who has been selected as one of the coaches for the World Team.

“I’m very excited,” Arnie said from the visiting clubhouse in Syracuse today. “I feel honored to be selected. It should be a lot of fun to get to a big league ballpark and spend time with some real talented young players.”

Barnes, 22, was taken by the Red Sox with the 19th overall pick last June out of the University of Connecticut. He began the season with Single-A Greenville where he flat out dominated. He went 2-0 in five starts and compiled a microscopic 0.34 ERA (1 ER/26.2 IP) while walking four and fanning 42. Numbers that resembled a video game more than anything else, he allowed just 12 hits.

Barnes has struck out 95 batters in 72 2/3 professional innings pitched (Kelly O’Connor).

Barnes was then promoted to High-A Salem where in eight starts he’s gone 5-1 with a 1.37 ERA (7 ER/46.0 IP) with eight walks and 53 punch outs.  With the Salem Red Sox he’s been paired with the 19-year-old Bogaerts who hit .293 over the first half of the season.

One of only two 19-year-olds in the Carolina League, some argue that Bogaerts should be the Red Sox No. 1 prospect because he may have the highest ceiling. At 6-foot-3, he could wind up being too big for a shortstop, but for now that’s the only defensive position he’s played in his young pro career.

Ranked by Baseball America as the Red Sox No. 2 prospect, Bogaerts clubbed 16 homers as an 18-year-old with Single-A Greenville in 2011. (Kelly O’Connor)

For the complete rosters, click here. Current Red Sox players to suit up in the Futures Game include:

  • Josh Beckett
  • Clay Buchholz
  • Aaron Cook
  • Carl Crawford
  • Jacoby Ellsbury
  • Adrian Gonzalez
  • Kevin Youkilis
  • Will Middlebrooks

Enjoy the game, and keep an eye out for Arnie who will probably get an inning or two coaching third base.



Aaron Cook Rehabs with PawSox

After 11 seasons and 72 wins, right-hander Aaron Cook has put himself in the Colorado Rockies’ record books. He’s the club’s all-time wins leader and was a 2008 All-Star selection. In his first season ever pitching outside of the Rockies’ organization, Cook is hoping to make an impact with the Red Sox.

After going 3-0 with 1.89 ERA in five April starts with the PawSox, Boston called the righty up to Fenway to avoid losing him as a result of the May 1 opt-out in his contract. In his first (and only) start for the Red Sox, Cook’s knee was severely cut when he was spiked covering home plate on a passed ball.

“Aggravating. Really aggravating,” is how Cook described the injury. “Been waiting, basically, just for a cut to heal.”

Cook had to stay off his feet for nearly two weeks as the cut healed, then pitched a few innings in Ft. Myers followed by a simulated start in Lowell. Tonight, in Syracuse, Cook makes his first actual start since suffering the injury on May 5.



Cook is a career 72-69, 4.56 ERA pitcher in 239 Major League appearances (207 starts). (Kelly O’Connor)

Ross, Cook Join the PawSox in Buffalo

The PawSox have had their share of Major League rehabbers this season. In fact, before today, six Red Sox players had rehabbed with Pawtucket this year.

1. Andrew Miller
2. Rich Hill
3. Daisuke Matsuzaka
4. Kevin Youkilis
5. Darnell McDonald
6. Ryan Kalish (later optioned to the PawSox)

We can now add two more names to the list: Cody Ross and Aaron Cook. Ross, in his first year with the Red Sox, is scheduled to lead-off tonight in Buffalo and DH. The Red Sox outfielder suffered a broken bone in his left foot that fortunately did not need surgery.


Right-hander Aaron Cook, who began the season with the PawSox, is scheduled to make his first rehab start on Monday in Syracuse. Cook’s injury is as odd as it is disappointing. In his 2012 Major League debut at Fenway Park, Cook suffered a deep cut on his knee when he was “cleated” covering home plate.

The PawSox are a league-best 43-25 and can lock down a sereis win with a “W” in Buffalo tonight. Billy Buckner (0-1, 11.42) will be opposed by Bisons’ starter Jeurys Familia (5-3, 4.35). First pitch tonight is scheduled for 7:05,  pre-game coverage begins at 6:50.

Talk with you then.



Ross will test his left foot tonight in his frist rehab start for the PawSox. At the time of his injury, Ross was batting .271 and had appeared in all three outfield positions for the Red Sox. (Kelly O’Connor)

Greetings From Toledo

We all woke up this morning to multiple rumors surrounding a number of potential call-ups to Boston. Will third baseman Will Middlebrooks be called up today because of the health of Kevin Youkilis? Will Aaron Cook be promoted to Boston now that the Red Sox are down to the wire and have to make a decision regarding his contract opt-out? If these moves happen, who will the PawSox get to replace them?

Regardless of what happens, it’s great knowing the Red Sox and PawSox haven’t been short on interesting storylines during the first month of the season.

PawSox Notebook

  • It’s been a thrill watching Middlebrooks this season and I’m rooting for him no matter when his time comes. However, if he is called up, it will be following the poorest stretch of games he’s had to date (really the only time he’s been cold). In Will’s last five starts, he’s batting .190 (4-for-21) with one home run, two runs batted in, and eight of his 18 strikeouts. Of note, the PawSox have lost all five games.
  • I could spot that mustache from a mile away! Arnie looking good during his playing days here in Toledo. (

    The PawSox starting pitching has been terrific this season. Last night marked just the fourth time this year where a Pawtucket starter was dealt the loss. Overall, the starters are 10-4 with a 3.45 ERA. Through the first 26 games of the season, Pawtucket starters are yet to lose back-to-back games.

  • Mauro Gomez finished last night 0-for-4, marking just the fourth time this season he has failed to record a hit. Of his 31 hits this year, over half (16) have been for extra-bases (8-HR, 7-2B, 1-3B). For comparison, Middlebrooks, who also has 31 hits, has 13 for extra-bases. Both are extraordinary.
  • PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler has a past life here in Toledo. An infielder in the Detroit Tigers’ system, Arnie played in 29 games for the Mud Hens in 1991 before his playing career ended. He then served as an area scout for the Tigers from 1992-96.
  • There’s a good chance you’ve seen former Denver Bronco’s offensive lineman, and current ESPN NFL analyst, Mark Schlereth on television. His son, Daniel, was a former first round draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks and now plays in the Tigers’ system. Daniel is currently in Toledo on the Mud Hens DL, but has spent parts of the last four years in the major leagues pitching out of the bullpen.

The PawSox and Mud Hens keep things going tonight with a 6:30 first pitch from Fifth Third Field (my favorite fraction). We hit the air at 6:15 with the pre-game show.

Talk with you then.



Mark and Daniel Schlereth at Fenway Park last season. (

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.



Catching Up With Rich Hill

Following a combined five rehab appearances with Single-A Greenville and High-A Salem, left-handed reliever Rich Hill has joined Pawtucket’s roster as he rehabs from Tommy John Surgery. The Milton, Ma. native made his 2012 PawSox debut on Saturday against Durham (Tampa Bay) where he allowed one run (a homer) in one inning of work.

“The rehab process has been going well,” Rich told me. “The ball is coming out of my hand the way I want it to, and all the work I put in this off-season is starting to pay off.”

Hill had a busy off-season rehabbing from his June 9th surgery. “I was in the gym everyday of the week except for Sundays,” he said. “[Three days a week] I was working on my shoulder program and throwing, [four days a week] I was at the gym lifting and conditioning.”

Hill on the mound at McCoy Stadium Saturday afternoon. The left-hander has appeared in 29 games for the PawSox over the past two seasons. (Kelly O'Connor)

The lefty stated that at this stage of his rehab, he can do everything he did before. “[The surgery] hasn’t changed anything, really. I just think that it’s about your approach, the way you go about your business, the way you take the ball when you are given it.”

“You have to stay aggressive, you have to stay on the attack,” Hill continued. “You have to pitch with conviction. All the work you put into getting back is all for nothing if you don’t go out there and let it come out of your hand the way you want every time.”

Aside from facing more advanced hitters in Triple-A, Hills rehab process has changed from the standpoint that he is no longer starting, but coming out of the bullpen. “It’s a different environment when you come in as a starter,” he told me. “You come in, you pitch your one or two innings, and you’re done.”

“Here, you come in with a score on the board, in a certain situation, and that gets the adrenaline going even more so than before.”

Rich will be in uniform tonight and, although the tarp is still on the field here at McCoy, the rain has stopped and we should be good-to-go for a 5:05 p.m. doubleheader against Durham. Justin Germano starts Game 1, followed by Aaron Cook in Game 2.  We’ll be on-air with the pre-game show at 4:45.

Talk with you then,



PawSox Notebook: Pitching Nearly Perfect

Although it now feels like the baseball season has been in full-swing for weeks, it’s Opening Day at Fenway Park this afternoon at 2:05 as the Red Sox host Tampa Bay. Josh Beckett takes on David Price in what should be a great matchup and, hopefully, the Sox second win of the season.

This picture, posted on the Red Sox Facebook page, was taken at around 6:00 this morning.

As the first pitch of the Red Sox vs. Rays game is being thrown, the PawSox will be loading the bus and heading over to Frontier Field in Rochester where they’ll wrap up a three game series to end the first leg of the current nine-game road trip. As the PawSox set numerous season-highs last night en route to a 10-1 win to even the series 1-1, here are some interesting facts and figures through eight games this season.

PawSox Notebook

  • PawSox pitchers have allowed just four runs over the last 36 innings (1.00 ERA)
  • Lin connected on a moonshot home run to left field in Pawtucket's 10-1 win last night over Rochester. (Kelly O'Connor)

    Pawtucket’s bullpen has not allowed a single run since Game 4 of the season on April 7 (15 1/3 innings).

  • The ‘pen has allowed just two earned runs over 22 1/3 innings so far (0.81 ERA).
  • With the best team ERA in the International League of 1.34, the PawSox are more than 1.5 runs better than second-place Lehigh Valley (2.86 ERA).
  • The club’s 1.34 ERA is the third-best in all of minor league baseball. (Triple-A New Orleans, 0.91 ERA; High-A Myrtle Beach, 1.17 ERA.)
  • Thanks to a season-high 13 hits last night, the PawSox raised their team average from .245 (7th) to .260 (3rd).
  • Pawtucket scored 13 runs last night with only thee extra base hits.
  • Two of those XBH came from outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin who connected on his first home run of the year and also doubled.
  • Per Alex Speier of, it was just the second time in 90 Triple-A games that Lin has had multiple extra-base hits in the same game.
  • Lin had only two Triple-A home runs last year. The first came on June 22 vs. Louisville when he homered off Bats’ starter Daryl Thompson in a game that Brandon Duckworth started for the PawSox. Last night it was once again Thompson (now with Rochester) who surrendered Lin’s longball in a game were, you guessed it, Brandon Duckworth started for Pawtucket.
  • Shortstop Jose Iglesias had two hits over his first five games this year. Last night he went 3-for-5 with a sacrifice bunt. His batting average went from .111 to .217.
  • Third baseman Will Middlebrooks has a hit in six of the first eight games, including three multi-hit efforts.

A victory tonight for the PawSox would win the three-game series versus the Red Wings and would make the PawSox an impressive 12-2-5 in their last 18 series dating back to July 4th of last year. Righty Aaron Cook makes his second start for Pawtucket and is opposed by right-hander Cole DeVries.

First pitch from Frontier Field is at 7:05, pre-game coverage begins at 6:50.

Talk with you then,



Aaron Cook Talks About Saturday’s Start

Less than an hour after Aaron Cook’s seven-inning complete game Saturday afternoon at McCoy Stadium, Boston sports talk radio was already brainstorming about how the right-hander could be used in Boston’s rotation.

In his first professional start outside of a Rockies’ affiliated uniform, Cook handcuffed the Lehigh Valley IronPigs to just one unearned run on five hits while walking two and striking out four.

“I really had my sinker working well early in the game, and later in the game I was actually able to use my slider really well, and that’s something I hadn’t really used all spring,” Aaron told me. “I feel like my arm strength is starting to come around … I was able to use [both pitches] consistently and I felt really good about it.”

Cook used 89 pitches to toss a seven-inning complete game on Saturday at McCoy Stadium. His first career-win outside the Rockies' organization. (Kelly O'Connor)

Cook used 89 pitches to toss a seven-inning complete game on Saturday at McCoy Stadium. His first career-win outside the Rockies' organization. (Kelly O'Connor)

Pawtucket pitching coach Rich Sauveur told me that he was impressed with what he saw from Cook. “His composure was great and he has the knowhow – that’s why he’s done what he’s done for so many years. He’s a Big League pitcher, no doubt about it.”

Sauveur said that Cook has been a pleasure to work with and that he was very open with him from the first day. “Aaron told me about some [mechanical] bad habits he has up on the mound and told me not to let him get away with them. Because he’s so approachable, it opens the door for me to help with whatever he needs. He’s a Major League guy both on the field and off.”

As a 10-year Major League veteran and the all-time winningest pitcher in Rockies’ history, it would be easy for Cook to come to Pawtucket and do things “his way.” However, Cook is open to help in order to get back to the Bigs. “The biggest thing is being open and not being close-minded. If you ever get to the point where you think you know it all and can’t learn anything else, it’s probably time to quit. I’m always looking for something from somebody.”

Cook walking off the field with PawSox catcher Ryan Lavarnway. (Kelly O'Connor)

I’ve interviewed Aaron twice, and after both conversations I get the feeling that he is as humble as he is eager to pitch for Boston. There’s no questioning the early woes the Red Sox have had on the mound, which makes Aaron even more valuable. Not to mention the fact that he can opt out of his contract on May 1, there may not be many more starts from Cook here in Pawtucket.




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