February 28, 2005

The Rotation. Thinking about who Boston's five starts will be, Tim Wakefield tells Gordon Edes: "I know the situation with Wade Miller, too. I don't see any reason why I should be the guy who goes to the bullpen. It's either me or Bronson. I think Bronson's the more likely candidate for that. ... At his age [28], he might be a little more resilient than I am right now. I could probably pitch every day, too, but he's shown in the past that he can pitch back-to-back days -- two innings, two innings, then get the day off."

Of course, if Miller -- who long-tossed from 210 feet this afternoon and expects to throw an abbreviated bullpen session tomorrow -- opens the season on the DL, then both Wakefield and Arroyo will start. But at some point, it will be a tough decision for Tito. While I sympathize with Wakefield and agree that he's been jerked around quite often during his tenure -- his stint as the closer back in 1999 shaved four years off my life -- I do not want to see Arroyo in the bullpen.

Starters for Monday's game against the Yankees: Abe Alvarez vs Chien-Ming Wang. ... MLB's Ian Browne looks at the fight for the final two spots off the bench. ... Terry Francona expects Bill Mueller to play in a game about March 10. ... Chicago Tribune: "Cubs may regret letting go of Clement" ... Francona said Trot Nixon will not face Randy Johnson on Opening Night. David Ortiz and Johnny Damon will probably be the only left-handed batters in the lineup as Jay Payton (.216 in 37 AB against Johnson) will likely play right field.

Pedro Watch: One week ago at the Mets camp, when a heckler blurted, "Who's your daddy," Martinez grabbed his crotch. ... Later on, he threw 29 pitches to Jesus Flores, John Pachot and Andy Dominique, and even with Pedro calling out what he was throwing, only four pitches were hit hard. Pedro also had this to say about Mike Piazza: "Mike doesn't have any problems receiving pitches. He's got pretty good hands. His throwing program, I don't know who's going to help him or what he's going to do." Nice. ... On Sunday, Martinez threw for the final time before Friday's scheduled exhibition game start. Including his warm-up tosses, the right-hander threw close to 70 pitches. "I feel like everything is clicking right now. My breaking stuff is coming along."

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