Cook will pitch out of the bullpen after Boston rejected trade offers from several teams. (UPDATE: Cook’s first appearance will be as a starter; Josh Beckett will skip his Saturday’s start due to soreness.) Boston has 48 hours to add Cook to the roster, but there are more pressing issues for the Red Sox to worry about on the roster right now.
There is speculation that third baseman Will Middlebrooks will join the squad Wednesday, taking the roster spot of Lars Anderson, who was optioned to Pawtucket following Tuesday’s game. This would push Nick Punto back to a backup infield spot, joining Jose Iglesias. Middlebrooks would remain with the club for at least the next two games while Kevin Youkilis recovers from injury. After Thursday’s game, either Iglesias or Middlebrooks would be optioned for Cook. This would give Boston 12 pitchers.
Another move would certainly follow, as the Red Sox would prefer to have an additional pitcher or outfielder in lieu of Middlebrooks/Iglesias, who need to play every day in Pawtucket if possible. With Boston playing 20 games in 20 days starting Friday, Boston could go to a 13-man pitching staff by recalling Mark Melancon, who has been very effective in Pawtucket. They could also add a fifth outfielder in Jason Repko, who is eligible to be activated off the disabled list on Sunday.