Well it appears that the speculation that Tim Wakefield may not make the 2011 Red Sox was all for waste.
According to manager Terry Francona, the 44-year old knuckleballer's spot on the team is safe and he is considered a lock to make the team. The team today made their second round of cuts which included Scott Atchison, so it appears that Wakefield is safe as the long man. More from Francona (via Gordon Edes):
"Wake's done everything,'' he said. "The hardest thing is for me to figure out how to use him and get the most out of him. I'm trying to figure out how to use him in the bullpen when things are going good, because there's always the chance of a passed ball or stolen base. There are definitely ways he can help us and use him to get people out.''
Wakefield hasn't had the best of Springs, as he currently has an ERA over seven and surrendered five runs during a AAA game yesterday. While pitchers like Alfredo Aceves may being having a better Spring than Wake, his history with the Red Soxhas most certainly kept him around for this long. Also, Aceves does have minor league options left, while Wakefield does not.
As shown today, the Red Sox value their depth. They were able to send down Atchison, Andrew Miller, and Rich Hill (who all have minor league options left). They also seem poised to send Aceves down to AAA Pawtucket to gain more seasoning as a starter. It is still possible that we see all four of these guys this season in Boston.
Wakefield making the team posed a very solid argument today. It appears that right-hander Matt Albers (who is out of minor league options) and left-hander Dennys Reyes (has opt-out clause) will make the team. Leaving Hideki Okajima, Felix Doubront, and Alfredo Aceves (who all have options) in Pawtucket to start the season.