Uber-prospect Casey Kelly gets some trial by fire tomorrow against the Rays. Tampa has a very potent line up (discussed yesterday) and the appearance will give the brass a chance to see the 20 year-old against Grade A competition.
The Sox still have some decisions to make, the biggest being how to fill out the bullpen. The candidates for a couple of spots include some greybeards, ranging from southpaws Embree and Schoeneweis to righthanders Nelson and Atchison. You wonder sometime how they make these decisions, and needless to say, they don't always work out.
Mike Lowell gets some showcasing tonight at third base as the Sox try to cut their losses with the third baseman coming off hand surgery, hip woes, and knee pain. Lowell's first at bat resulted in a ringing single to right. Unfortunately, Jason Varitek followed with a swing where his bat seems to drag through the hitting zone. At this point, Varitek's contribution will probably be some combination of action against LHP and helping Victor Martinez complete his transition to handling most of the staff.
So far tonight, Josh Beckett looks to have good stuff but has been what I'd call "wild in the zone", leaving a couple of pitches where he'd probably rather not.
Place holder? I'm anything but an expert on the Sox minor league prospects, but I read Soxprospects.com regularly. What of Jason Place, the toolsy centerfielder who will probably start the season at Portland. Like many young players, he needs to improve his plate discipline and contact, which is hardly unique.