Red Sox recall reliever Hideki Okajima from Triple-A

Leave a comment

Despite re-signing with the Red Sox for $1.75 million this offseason Hideki Okajima lost the left-handed specialist competition to Dennys Reyes during spring training and began the season as a 35-year-old at Triple-A.

Reyes lost his job after just one week and now the Red Sox have also sent the man who replaced him, Felix Doubront, back to the minors, calling up Okajima from Pawtucket after he threw 5.2 scoreless innings there with a 5/0 K/BB ratio.

Okajima struggled enough last season that he’s unlikely to reclaim his old lefty setup man gig, instead starting off in more of a true left-handed specialist role and perhaps working his way up the bullpen ladder from there.

Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that Okajima has a minor-league option remaining, so the Red Sox are free to send him back and forth to Triple-A.

2017 Preview: The National League West

Getty Images
Leave a comment

For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League West.

The Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break and the Dodgers lost the best pitcher in the world in Clayton Kershaw for a big chunk of the season. Yet, somehow, L.A. won the NL West by four games. The biggest culprit was the Giants’ suspect bullpen, which they put some real money toward fixing this winter. Is it enough? Or is a a Dodgers team with a healthy Kershaw just too talented for San Francisco to handle?

Below them is an intriguing Rockies team, though probably not a truly good Rockies team. The Dbacks have a lot of assorted talent but are nonetheless in reshuffle mode following a miserable 2016 campaign. The Padres, meanwhile, are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, but do possess some of the best minor league talent in the game.

Here are our previews of the 2017 NL West:

Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres

2017 Preview: The American League West

Getty Images
3 Comments

For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League West

There’s not a lot of separation between the top three teams in this division. Indeed, it would not be a surprise for either the Astros, Rangers or Mariners to end the year on top. Part of that is because none of these contenders are perfect, with all three facing some big challenges in putting together a strong rotation.

Meanwhile, the best baseball player in the universe toils in Anaheim, where he’ll most likely have to content himself to playing spoiler. Up the coast in Oakland . . . um, green is pretty?

Our 2017 AL West Previews:

Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Oakland Athletics