Daily Red Sox Links: Clay Buchholz, Will Middlebrooks, David Ortiz

BOSTON, MA - Bobby Valentine #25 of the Boston Red Sox reacts to the fans during a game against the Oakland Athletics in the fifth inning at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The deadline is today for Aaron Cook to opt out of his contract with the Red Sox. Marc wrote yesterday about the possibility of a six man rotation, but that is looking unlikely. In fact, it's looking unlikely that Cook will even be around for that to happen. Manager Bobby Valentine said that if Cook is brought up to Boston it will be as a reliever, though he said that before another weak performance by Clay Buchholz yesterday (Matt Sullivan wrote about Buchholz's lousy year to date yesterday). (Mike Petraglia; WEEI.com)

Bad announcers suck. (Jason Wojciechowski; The Platoon Advantage)

There is lots of talk about the incredible start to the year that third base prospect Will Middlebrooks is having in Pawtucket. Here's an in-depth scouting report on Middlebrooks courtesy of the fine dudes at Sox Prospects. (Chris Mellon; Sox Prospects)

Good news on the minor league front: pitcher Matt Barnes, last year's first round pick by the Red Sox, has been promoted to High-A Salem because he was kicking too many butts in Single-A. (James Crowell; Sox Prospects)

You may not have noticed it because it's been subtle, but David Ortiz is having a decent start to the year. (Tim Britton; The Providence Journal)

As noted above, Clay Buchholz has been less than advertised for the Red Sox. Chip Buck looks into why. (Chip Buck; Fire Brand of the AL)

Some Yankee news... Andy Pettitte's start in extended spring training didn't go well. (Yay!) (Grant Brisbee; Baseball Nation)

... and who threw the worst pitch last week? I'll give you a hint: he wears ultra-slimming pinstripes and his name rhymes with Schmil Schmughes! (Jeff Sullivan; Baseball Nation)

Finally, in a suggestion straight out of a 5:25 pm drive-time sports-talk radio call-in show, Bill Shaikin of the LA Times thinks the Dodgers might be interested in trading for Carl Crawford. (Bill Shaikin; Los Angeles Times)

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