Boston Red Sox Weekly Reader: May 6, 2012

By Matt Sullivan

It has been a busy week full of transactions for the Boston Red Sox. To quickly summarize, with Kevin Youkilis dealing with a back injury, the team first called up ace glove man Jose Iglesias to give some extra infield depth. They made room for Iglesias by sending Lars Anderson down. When it became apparent that Youkilis would need to go on the DL, the Red Sox called up top third base prospect Will Middlebrooks and sent Iglesias back down. Middlebrooks first game in the show was a memorable one as the rookie got two hits and

The Red Sox were not done shuffling the deck yet though. Thanks to his opt-out clause, Bostonneeded to find a role for Aaron Cook or lose him to the free agent market. While it first appeared that Cook would get relief work in Boston, the team surprised everyone by announcing that Cook would start in place of Josh Beckett in tonight’s game against the Baltimore Orioles. Cook’s call up means Iglesias is headed back down 95 South toPawtucket.

It was a good week for Red Sox prospects, as some notable players in the system besides Middlebrooks took significant steps forward. Top 2011 draft pick, pitcher Matt Barnes, is moving up to High A Salem and Alex Speier of WEEI has that story. Barnes will join up with an other elite prospect, Xander Bogaerts, who is in some elite company with his current performance at High A. As good as Bogaerts has been, his numbers are still short of teammate Jackie Bradley Jr, who is currently sporting a .479 OBP.

Also called up with Middlebrooks was reliever Clayton Mortensen. You may remember Mortensen as the player than the Boston Red Sox received for Marco Scutaro.  He impressed in his first relief appearance with Boston, striking out six in three innings of work and allowing just one hit. Marc Normandin at Over the Monster took a look at Mortensen’s new mechanics and the results are very encouraging for the Red Sox beleaguered bullpen.

Speaking of pitcher’s mechanics, I looked at the difference in Clay Buchholz’s mechanics for OTM, and those results were not so encouraging. Buchholz will start again Sunday and hopefully, he is more like the pitcher we knew back in 2010.

Bobby Valentine has been known to question things, and Troy Patterson of The Hardball Times points out that he hasn’t been afraid to let his starters throw more pitches. I have to ask, is this really a good thing?

For some more out of the box thinking, take a look at this piece, considering the possibility of the Dodgers trading for Carl Crawford, by Bill Shaikin of the LA Times.  It’s an interesting idea, but I don’t see it happening. If Crawford ever returns healthy and productive, the Boston Red Sox will want to keep him around, if he doesn’t the Los Angeles Dodgers aren’t going to want him. Still, a guy can dream, right?

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