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Time ran out on Tavarez

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  May 12, 2008 05:13 PM

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MINNEAPOLIS - The Red Sox' attempt to trade Julian Tavarez over the past few days reached the point where instead of pursuing something that just wasn't there, they opted to designate the veteran pitcher for assignment. They still hoped to deal him for something.

According to major league sources the Sox were asking for a pitching prospect from Colorado, but the Rockies were not inclined to give up anyone of note for Tavarez. The Sox were also engaged in talks with at least two other teams, but they faced the same issue of teams not wanting to give up a prospect. Can't blame them for trying. The Sox were also willing to eat much of Tavarez's remaining contract to get a deal done, but not even that could do it.

On other topics:

Jacoby Ellsbury was hit with a pitch on the right knee during last night's game and will get the night off. Coco Crisp will play center. A National scout at the series had this to say about Ellsbury: "I've never seen a guy who can play all three outfield positions as well as he does. Usually when you move a guy around, he's better at one or two than the other(s), but he plays them all unbelievably well."

Sean Casey is 13 for 25 with one homer and 9 RBIs against Twins' starter Livan Hernandez, so Kevin Youkilis, hitless in one at-bat against him, gets his night to rest.

Julio Lugo has resumed "baseball activities" today and the Sox will evaluate how he feels following the completion of those. Lugo suffered a mild concussion while sliding into second base Friday, and sat out Saturday, Sunday, and tonight. Alex Cora is playing shortstop once again.

The Tavarez demotion is certainly a good sign for Craig Hansen, who remains with the team. The Sox may begin to give Hansen more important relief assignments. Also, don't forget that Bartolo Colon is on the rebound and needs a roster spot in the next two weeks.

Manny Ramirez is back in the lineup in left field. We were chatting before the game about all of the shattered bats in baseball this season. One theory is so many players now use maple bats. "I like the maple," said Ramirez. "I break a few of them, but I like the way they feel."

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