Red Sox confirm Kevin Millwood signing, make seven roster moves

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The Red Sox aren’t acting like a team that has won six in a row.

On Friday, they turned over 12 percent of their major league roster, calling up infielder Drew Sutton, activating Dan Wheeler from the disabled list and activating the newly acquired Franklin Morales.  Going to make room were right-hander Michael Bowden, left-hander Hideki Okajima and shortstop Jose Iglesias.

The team also confirmed the Kevin Millwood signing and bumped both Okajima and outfielder Daniel Nava from the 40-man roster.

The Millwood signing would stink of desperation if the Red Sox weren’t so hot.  Millwood, though, might prove useful in a park that doesn’t yield a lot of homers, and though Fenway is rightfully considered a favorable hitter’s environment, it’s not a home run park.   One can surmise that the Red Sox took note of the fact that Millwood is 4-2 with a 3.62 ERA lifetime at Fenway, a particularly strong line given that Boston was typically running out some of the league’s best lineups during his starts.

The arrival of Morales led to the departure of Okajima.  Okajima had a 4.32 ERA in seven appearances since being recalled from Triple-A, but he wasn’t working his way up the depth chart, as evidenced by the fact that he hadn’t pitched in 10 days.  Morales’ upside was too tantalizing to ignore, and Okajima could always choose to remain with the team if he clears waivers.

Nava, a fun story last year, is also about to go on waivers.  The former indy leaguer, who his a grand slam in his first major league at-bat on June 12, 2010, was batting just .192/.321/.262 with no homers in 156 at-bats for Pawtucket.

Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young dies at 51

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Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young died on Tuesday at the age of 51, the team said. Young was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in February.

Young, 51, pitched parts of six seasons in the majors from 1991-96. He began his big league career with the Mets in 1991 and stayed with the team through ’93. He famously failed to win a game between April 24, 1992 and July 24, 1993. During that span of time, he went 0-27. It was a great example, even back then, of the uselessness of won-lost records. Young posted a respectable 4.17 ERA in ’92 and 3.77 in ’93.

Former pitcher Turk Wendell, who was Young’s teammate with the Cubs in 1994-95, called Young “a true gentleman.”

Blue Jays designate Jason Grilli for assignment

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The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday that the club designated reliever Jason Grilli for assignment as part of a handful of roster moves. Outfielder Dwight Smith was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, outfielder Ezequiel Carrera was activated from the 10-day disabled list, and pitcher Chris Smith was recalled from Buffalo as well.

Grilli, 40, struggled to a 6.97 ERA with a 23/9 K/BB ratio in 20 2/3 innings of work this season in Toronto. The right-hander similarly struggled in the first half last year with the Braves before being acquired by the Jays but Grilli’s role had diminished and most of the rest of the bullpen has been pulling its weight.

Grilli should draw some interest — perhaps from the Nationals — as his peripheral stats suggest he’s not nearly as bad as his ERA suggests.