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.
Mets starter Jon Niese left his start Tuesday night against the Cardinals due to left knee pain.
Niese walked two and gave up an RBI single before leaving with a trainer with one out in the bottom of the first inning. He was eventually charged with three earned runs. Robert Gsellman, just up from Las Vegas, took over, making his major league debut under unexpected circumstances.
Niese, who has not pitched well at all since coming over in a trade with the Pirates, is likely to be placed on the disabled list after the game or before tomorrow’s game.
Mark Trumbo still has many chances to hit a home run tonight — it’s only been an inning or so in the Nats-Orioles game — but his weird home run streak is over.
Coming into tonight’s game, Trumbo’s last seven hits had been homers. The all-time record had been 11, set by Mark McGwire back in 2001. The last time Trumbo got a hit that wasn’t a dong was back on August 11. Later in that game, however, he hit a grand slam. After that he went 6 for his next 34, with all those safeties dingers.
But that’s over now. In the first inning tonight he drove in a run with a two-out single. Then he was thrown out trying to stretch it to two. Good job on the RBIs, Mark. Bad job on the base running. Judgment withheld on the homer streak because, really, that’s just kind of weird and cool.