The Red Sox are calling up Aaron Cook

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Rob Bradford of WEEI is reporting that the Red Sox are planning on promoting Aaron Cook to the majors. The decision is today, he’d actually arrive in the next few days. The key here is that if he wasn’t on the big league roster today — or if he didn’t have an agreement in place with the Red Sox to make that happen as of today —  Cook could opt-out.

Cook has been killing ’em in Pawtucket, going 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in five starts.  His success down there has led to some trade rumors of late, but the Sox have apparently decided that he can help them more in Boston for now.

But how does he help?  Who does he replace in the rotation? The two who were most expected to have trouble this year and thus require relief from Cook were Felix Doubront and Daniel Bard, but they’re doing fine. Beckett and Lester aren’t going anyplace.  I suppose Clay Buchholz is the most vulnerable right now, but really, one bad stretch won’t cost him his job, will it?

Bobby V. could go six-man rotation here. Or he could skip Bard once or twice, giving Cook starts and allowing Bard to be a true swingman.  Or he could just use Cook out of the pen, though his low strikeout rate seems problematic for that.

But it’s better to have too many arms than not enough, yes?

Justin Verlander earns 200th career win

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Astros starter Justin Verlander wasn’t his usual dominant self on Sunday against the Athletics, but he was good enough to get the win. In doing so, he earned the 200th win of his career, becoming the 117th member of the 200-win club.

Verlander went 5 1/3 innings, yielding four runs (all earned) on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts. On the season, Verlander is now 12-8 with a 2.65 ERA and a 223/29 K/BB ratio in 169 2/3 innings. Sunday’s win helped the Astros stave off the surging A’s. The Astros now have a one-game lead in the AL West.

Only two active pitchers have more wins than Verlander: Bartolo Colon (247) and CC Sabathia (244). Zack Greinke will likely be the next member of the 200-win club as he currently has 184 to his name.