September 26, 2010

On Baseball: Big changes may be in store, or not

By Kevin Thomas
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

DESIGNATED HITTER: If Ortiz is brought back, Boston may want to consider sitting him more often against left-handers. If he's gone, Boston's lineup becomes more flexible with various players serving as the DH, depending on the need and matchups.

THE REST of the bullpen has several options, including unknown players likely on Theo Epstein's radar.

Tim Wakefield, 44, who is due to make $3.5 million, is destined for the bullpen unless he retires. Hideki Okajima has pitched better lately, which may save his job for next year. Scott Atchison is likely back.

Boston needs to decide if it wants left-hander Felix Doubront in the bullpen or as a backup starter out of Pawtucket. Michael Bowden is going to relieve full time. His major-league time so far has been inconsistent.

Rich Hill and minor leaguers Robert Coello and Dustin Richardson will get a shot, and scores of other minor-league free agents will be brought in.

IF BOSTON looks to make a trade, it has prospects to deal. It is likely that pitcher Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo and Iglesias are untouchables.

That leaves first baseman Lars Anderson, Navarro, outfielders Josh Reddick and Daniel Nava, and maybe a catcher (Mark Wagner or Luis Exposito) among the possibilities.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at:


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