PAWTUCKET, R.I. — With the injury to Rich Hill on Wednesday afternoon leaving the Red Sox without a lefthanded reliever in the bullpen, Hideki Okajima said he harbored little, if any, hope of getting called up to fill that open spot.
Speaking through an interpreter, the 35-year-old lefthanded reliever seemed emphatic in his reply when asked if he expected to be called up.
“I’d rather not be called up in this situation,” he said tonight.
In fact, Okajima said he hoped to move on after being designated for assignment on May 20. Before he was designated, Okajima started the year in Triple-A Pawtucket after failing to make the cut for the 25-man roster on Opening Day.
He was called up April 18 and went 1-0 with a 4.37 ERA in seven outings (8.1 innings pitched, 7 hits, 4 runs, 5 walks, 6 strikeouts). He cleared waivers May 26 and rejoined the pitching staff in Pawtucket.
“It’s definitely a new start for me,” Okajima said. “I’m in a new position. It’s all about pitching well and hopefully along the line another team will show more interest in me and I can be traded.”