The Red Sox must submit their final divisional round roster to the league office this afternoon, but that didn’t stop Terry Francona from leaking a few of the details to the Boston press yesterday.
Veteran Paul Byrd is in, youngster Manny Delcarmen is out. Describing Delcarmen’s past month as “tumultuous” is being kind. 1) He was in a car accident and 2) he may have a blown tire. Over the final four weeks of the season Delcarmen appeared in seven games, racking up only five-and-a-third innings pitched, allowing three home runs, and unintentionally walking five batters. The differences extend beyond a run of poor pitching since his strikeouts, velocity, and ability to avoid walks dipped, leading to career highs in tRA and FIP as well as concern for his well-being.
Meanwhile Byrd claims the season’s Roger Clemens Memorial Award as the old pitcher who returns mid-season only to find his way into the playoffs. The 38-year-old joined the Sox for seven regular season starts and will be in the Red Sox pen just in case Josh Beckett’s back stiffens up during his start. It seems odd when addressing a pair of pitchers – one nearing 40 who sat out most of the season and the other 29 and probably within his physical prime – that we would be worried about the latter’s back giving out, but hey, that’s baseball.
Speaking of old-man injuries, Rocco Baldelli’s hip could bump Brian Anderson onto the roster.One of those two will join speedster Joey Gathright as reserve outfielders. Gathright will also serve as the designated pinch runner and car-leaping extraordinaire. At least two of those skills should come in handy throughout the series.
Also worth noting: Daisuke Matsuzaka will be available out of the bullpen through the first two games of the series.