Red Sox ponder using Cook in relief

CHICAGO — Veteran righthander Aaron Cook, who has pitched well for Triple A Pawtucket, can opt out of his minor league contract on Tuesday if he is not in the majors.

With no apparent opening in the rotation, the Sox are discussing the idea of using Cook in the bullpen. That would keep him available should a need arise.

“There have been discussions. Yep,” Valentine said. “[Pitching coach] Bob McClure thinks it’s feasible. Initially there was no [chance]. In spring training that was a non-factor, a non-consideration.”

Cook’s history of shoulder issues once precluded him from relief work. But that has changed.


“When I talked to him right before [the end of spring training], he said he felt he could pitch out of the bullpen,” McClure said. “Before I don’t think he could have physically. But he said his shoulder hadn’t felt this way in years.”

McClure said Cook’s sinkerball would play out of the bullpen.

“It’s not strikeout stuff but it’s mis-hit stuff,” he said. “He had a strong spring training.”

Cook made 27 relief appearances in 2003 but only one since, that coming last Sept. 16 when he allowed three runs in one inning against the Giants.

Cook was 3-0 with a 1.33 in his first four starts for Pawtucket. He is starting against Columbus tonight.

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