Help Is On The Way. Mark Bellhorn played six innings for Pawtucket last night, going 1-for-3 with a double. He might play again tonight and then join the team Friday night in Chicago. ... Trot Nixon could return in early or mid-September. He hopes to begin baseball activities later this month.
Epstein is still holding out hope that Byung-Hyun Kim could help the bullpen in September. Kim had an easy two innings for Pawtucket on Tuesday, but surrendered eight runs in the third. ... Pedro Astascio's velocity is around 86-87 in the Gulf Coast League and Epstein says he "could move up the chain fairly quickly." ... Youkilis is now in Fort Myers beginning his rehab. ... Scott Williamson was originally scheduled for surgery on Wednesday, but decided against it after getting a third opinion. Williamson will opt for a 10-to-14-day rehabilitation. If he does have surgery, he would not be able to pitch until 2006.
Good pitching performances by everyone this week: strong starts from Lowe and Wakefield, Pedro and Schilling battling without their best stuff, and Arroyo pitching well again in a losing effort.
Doug Mientkiewicz on the collision with Carlos Delgado: "[T]here was nothing dirty about it, but I just didn't appreciate being hit like that in my first game at second base ... [H]e knows I'm a first baseman and he took advantage of that."
The New York Post says the Yankees are close to a deal that would send Esteban Loaiza to the Rangers. The paper notes: "Moving Loaiza so soon after he was acquired and less than a week after [Joe] Torre and Mel Stottlemyre devised a six-man rotation to get a better look at him is an admission that getting him was a mistake."