Battle for final two bullpen spots
If you work under the assumption that Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jonathan Papelbon, Daniel Bard, Bobby Jenks, Dan Wheeler and Tim Wakefield are the 10 pitchers who are sure to make the team, that leaves two spots open.
There are a barrage of lefties in the mix for those spots, including Hideki Okajima, Dennys Reyes, Andrew Miller and Rich Hill. Righies Alfredo Aceves, Scott Atchision and Matt Albers are also in the competition.
With so many pitchers going for so few spots, the Red Sox will huddle after Tuesday’s game to determine how best to utilize the innings for the final week the team is in Fort Myers.
“After the game tonight, I think [pitching coach] Curt [Young] and I, and [general manager] Theo [Epstein] and some guys from the front office will kind of sit and talk and not just talk about how we feel about things, but maybe map out the next couple of days. We’re getting to a point where innings are going to be at a premium so certainly there are going to have to be some innings at the minor league complex and innings in big league games. we’ll sit and map that out tonight.”
Francona isn’t sure exactly when the pitching staff will be finalized.
“I’d rather do it right than have to set an arbitrary deadline,” Francona said.