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Kapler back in Beantown is Almost Official

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Theo Epstein hasn't announced anything yet, but Gabe Kapler is in Fort Myers today working out en route to getting back to Boston.

According to the article, Kapler will spend some time in Fort Myers and then spend a week or two in the minor leagues, most likely Pawtucket.

Like I've said before, Kapler is going to be more of an influence in the clubhouse than on the field. A lot of players missed Kapler when he went over to Japan, and that may have effected how they played. Even Jason Varitek said how Kapler's absense has hurt the clubhouse this year.

Kapler can still put up numbers, though. I'm sure he's hell-bent on making a name for himself and showing his teammates and the fans that he can still play. I wouldn't be surprised if he came out of the gate extremely hot considering he's back in the United States and back in Boston.

Adam Stern is the question mark in the whole Kapler signing. If we demote him, then the Atlanta Braves have the right to take him back because we acquired Stern in the Rule-V draft. But I see no reason to drop him because for most of last season we had five outfielders, with Kapler and Dave Roberts as our backups. Stern is our fastest outfielder so he would serve well as a late-inning pinch runner, like he did last night.

If it's not Stern, then it's probably going to be a pitcher. Jeremi Gonzalez isn't getting much work unless it's a blowout. Alan Embree is another option. I know Terry Francona likes to use Embree a lot, but his time as a Sox is very close to being over. We can't afford to have a relief pitcher with an ERA up in the 7's coming in and relieving late in the game. John Halama is another option, but I think the Sox would rather have Halama in a long-relief situation than Gonzalez.

Overall it's a plus to get Kapler back. Even if he hits .200, I think just being there will help the club. He very well may be the push we need to seperate ourselves from the Yankees and Orioles and win the American League East.