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Francona, Red Sox Announce ALDS Roster

APTOPIX Blue Jays Red Sox Baseball

There were a few surprising moves as Manager Terry Francona and GM Theo Epstein announced the Red Sox ALDS roster today.  The Red Sox opted to go with Paul Byrd as the 11th man in the bullpen – presumably as a long reliever in case one of the Red Sox starters had any injury issues.  Although six of Byrd’s 7 appearances in 2009 came as a starter, Francona felt that Byrd would better serve the Red Sox against the Angels in the ALDS.  “I think it needs to be a factor.  The one way you can get derailed is if you can’t cover an accident.  You’d like to have a move for every situation.  I think it’s more realistic to cover your pitching.  If something happens bad, maybe you have a bad game, but it doesn’t mean the series is over.”

Francona opted to go with Byrd over “regular reliever” Manny Delcarmen.  Delcarmen had struggled with an ERA over 7.00 since the All-Star Break, and when he was still suffering from back and neck pains after a weekend car accident, the decision became clear.

The Red Sox also hoped that Rocco Baldelli would be able to go in the ALDS.  Baldelli’s right-handed bat could have been useful against the Angels’ left-handed starters in Games 3 and 4 at Fenway Park – Scott Kazmir and Joe Saunders.  But Baldelli is still dealing with a hip flexor issue and the Red Sox opted to go with reserve outfielders Brian Anderson and Joey Gaithright instead.

Game 1 action against the Angels begins on TBS tonight at 9:37PM EST.

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