Red Sox call up infield prospect Garin Cecchini

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As first reported late Saturday night by WEEI’s Alex Speier, the Red Sox have promoted infield prospect Garin Cecchini from their Triple-A club in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Alex Wilson was then optioned to Pawtucket in a corresponding 25-man roster move.

Cecchini is not in the Red Sox starting lineup on Sunday and will probably be sent back to the minors when Stephen Drew is activated later this week.

The 23-year-old hit .322/.443/.471 with seven home runs and 23 stolen bases in 129 games last season between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland. He’s struggled this year in his first taste of Triple-A, but the third baseman was rated a Top 75 prospect this past offseason by MLB.com, Baseball America, and Baseball Prospectus.

Cecchini’s last name, for those curious, is pronounced chick-KEE-nee.

Masahiro Tanaka to throw off a mound this weekend

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Earlier this month Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka strained both of his hamstrings while running the bases in an interleague game against the Mets and was sent to the 10-day DL. Today it was announced that the beginning of the end of most DL stints for pitchers — throwing off of a mound — is in Tanaka’s immediate future.

Tanaka is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday, which will be his first real (well, fake real) pitching action since the June 9th injury. Assuming the session goes well, Tanaka is expected to return to the Yankees’ starting rotation sometime in early-to-mid July. With the All-Star break coming the week of July 16, it would not be hard to imagine the Yankees giving him a few extra days to get right.

Tanaka is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 73/19 in 72.2 innings on the season.