Diamond Update On The Boston Red Sox
Some news and notes from what has been a hectic couple of days for the Boston Red Sox:
1) Kevin Youkilis was suspended by Major League Baseball offices for five games for his role in last night’s brawl with Rick Porcello and the Detroit Tigers. Youkilis will begin serving his suspension tonight after initially appealing the suspension.
2) Tim Wakefield is on the comeback trail as the Boston knuckleballer will start for Triple A Pawtucket on Friday. Wakefield hopes that if his calf and back respond well, he will be back with the big club soon. George Kottaras will catch the 43-year-old in his own comeback from the disabled list.
3) John Smoltz refused his assignment to the minor leagues from the Boston Red Sox which gives Boston ten days to either trade or cut the 42-year-old. Smoltz cleared waivers which allows Boston to trade him or outright release him. A release would put the Sox on the hook for the remainder of his $5.5 million contract.
4) Daisuke Matsuzaka is in Fort Myers and threw 40 pitches from a mound on Monday. Dice-K’s pitch count will increase with each session and Japanese right-hander is eyeing a comeback to the Sox rotation sometime in September.
5) The Sox put a waiver claim on Washington Nationals shortstop Christian Guzman but the likelihood of Guzman coming to Boston is very slim as the Nationals do not have a shortstop to replace Guzman and are currently playing their best baseball of the year. Also, the Sox would have to eat Guzman’s entire contract which could put a snag in any negotiations between both clubs.