Cook pitches tonight in Pawtucket

MINNEAPOLIS – Righthander Aaron Cook pitches the second game of a scheduled doubleheader at Pawtucket’s McCoy Stadium tonight vs. the Durham Bulls.

Cook is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA. We’ll see how he performs, but so far he’s been lights-out, and it appears his performances have been wasted at Triple-A.

Cook has a May 1 opt-out of his contract and, according to one major league source, he has no intention of extending the date.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said the team is pleased with Cook’s work to date and will monitor his next couple of starts. It appears Cook will have one more start after this one before he can escape.

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Major League personnel haven been very impressed with Cook and he would appear to have no shortage of suitors if he should escape.

There has been dialogue between Cook and Cherington on this topic, but the Red Sox continue to hope their current malaise straightens itself out so they can keep Daniel Bard in the rotation, even though Bard could be used out of the bullpen tonight.

Bard is scheduled to make his Friday start vs. the Chicago White Sox.

* Look for newly acquired Marlon Byrd to get a start in center Monday night. At least that was the plan as of early this afternoon.