It is being reported by Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that Hideki Okajima has been recalled by the Boston Red Sox in place of Felix Doubront, who has been sent down to Pawtucket. Okajima, who has seen his major league numbers quickly dwindle to fairly unacceptable over the last few seasons, performed well in Pawtucket, where the batters had not seen his delivery before.
This is a move that I can kind of see the Sox perspective, but I don't like. I can understand and even approve of Felix being sent down. He has a lot of potential as a major league starter, and may well be needed as one if some of the major league starters performances keep going as they have been. Considering that in the past he has actually had some struggles against left-handed batters, he never made a huge amount of sense to me as a lefty specialist.
What I don't necessarily love is the call-up of Okajima. As mentioned earlier, his numbers have consistently dropped every year. Meanwhile in Pawtucket, we have Rich Hill, who has looked impressive as a lefty specialist, striking out 11 and only walking 2, with no earned runs and only 5 hits in his 8 2/3 innings so far. He looked equally impressive in major league spring training. As Peter Abraham points out, this may well be because Okajima has options left, and so can be sent down again, whereas Hill does not, so if they bring him up, they can't send him down before being exposed to waivers. I understand this logic, but at the same time, this team is at a point where they really cannot have another pitcher who is going to be blowing leads that our starters give them.