Aaron Cook: Boston Red Sox Starting Pitcher

Not yet, but soon. When the Boston Red Sox signed Aaron Cook over the offseason, he was something of an afterthought. He was eliminated from the starting-rotation competition during the spring. His minor-league contract included a May 1 opt-out clause, and there was talk that the Red Sox could trade him, rather than call him up.

But the Red Sox are calling him up. And they're starting him in place of Josh Beckett this coming Saturday:

Beckett threw 126 pitches in his last start, against the White Sox. He came away dealing with what's been termed "unspecified soreness", which, okay, maybe that's something to worry about, and maybe it's not. For now, Beckett is missing one start, and that start is going to Aaron Cook. It's unclear if Beckett is having his start skipped, or simply pushed back a day or two. This post isn't about Josh Beckett.

This is about Cook, and the positive thing about Cook is that he posted a 1.89 ERA in triple-A. Less positively, he racked up just 13 strikeouts over five starts, but the sinker-baller kept 55 of 84 balls in play on the ground, and that's his strength. Aaron Cook will do as much as his sinker can do for him. If his sinker is what it used to be, the Red Sox should have a useful pitcher on their hands. If it's not, then in time he'll go back to being an afterthought again.

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