Cook still battling for roster spot


Cook still battling for roster spot

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- On the same day that some of the competition got thinned out for the Red Sox' starting rotation, Aaron Cook took a big step forward for himself.

Cook pitched 3 13 scoreless innings for the Sox in a split-squad matchup in Sarasota against (more-or-less) the regular Baltimore Orioles lineup.

It was Cook's second appearance of the spring, which had been slowed some because of some shoulder weakness earlier in camp.

He allowed one hit and walk with a strikeout and got plenty of ground balls with his sinker.

"Thats me, Cook told the Boston Herald after his outing. I pitch to contact and try to get the guys out of the box as quick as possible and get our guys off the field so they can come in and hit. Today I did everything I went out there to accomplish.

Cook has now pitched a total of 5 13 innings without allowing a run in Grapefruit League action. Saturday, he threw 39 pitches, 24 of them for strikes.

With a number of younger pitchers (Andrew Miller, Felix Doubront) out of options, Cook may have a difficult time making the 25-man roster for Opening Day. In all likelihood, he'll head to Pawtucket, then have a decision to make when his May 1 opt-out date arrives.

Still, Cook isn't totally writing off his chances.
"I think theres time (to make the team),'' he told the Herald, "but well have to see how it plays out. Two and a half weeks is a long time. Theres a lot of stuff that can happen. I feel really good, and its a good place to be in. Im pretty happy.

At the very least, he can be a lot happier than Carlos Silva. Like Cook, Silva had a history of shoulder woes and was signed to a minor league deal in January. But Silva was released Saturday and Cook continues to battle for a roster spot.

Morning Skate: Robust trade market for D-men


Morning Skate: Robust trade market for D-men

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while prepping for Claude Bowl II.

*It’s going to be a robust trade market for defensemen with names such as Jack Johnson, Dion Phaneuf and Oliver Ekman-Larsson highlighting the group that’s available. Paul Martin will be in that select company if he clears through waivers and perhaps Niklas Hjalmarsson will as well with many teams holding D-men they’re willing to part with.

*The Buffalo Sabres apparently want four assets in any deal for rental Evander Kane that includes a draft pick, a prospect and an NHL roster player, and it’s hard to believe anybody is going to do that for a perennial underachiever who's never even scored 60 points in a season before.

*A tough end to the Andrew Cogliano iron-man streak as he’s been suspended for a couple of games after an incident last weekend.

*Brent Burns is the envy of many blueliners around the league because of his hard, accurate shot, which isn’t scoring him as many goals this season

*Year-round Las Vegas resident Deryk Engelland has been rewarded for being a member of the Golden Knights with a one-year contract extension.

*It sounds like the Philadelphia Flyers have got Shayne Gostisbehere thinking more about defense after some up-and-down moments last season in his sophomore effort.

*For something completely different: A profile on a UFC champion and a firefighter all at the same time. Sounds like an interesting dude.


Acciari misses Bruins practice with upper-body injury


Acciari misses Bruins practice with upper-body injury

BRIGHTON, Mass – Noel Acciari was in and out of the Bruins lineup in the Monday afternoon loss to the Dallas Stars with an upper-body injury and the fourth-line grinder was missing from the practice ice on Tuesday as well. 

Acciari has been able to stay healthy the past few months while helping to establish Boston’s fourth line and has added to his hard-hitting style of play with six goals in 28 games this season.

But there's been a litany of injuries the past few seasons given the physical pounding the 5-foot-10, 208-pounder takes given his rugged style of play. This current injury limited him to just 6:05 of ice time in an overtime loss to the Stars. Still, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy was optimistic that Acciari would be able to suit up against the Canadiens on Wednesday night in Claude Julien’s return to TD Garden.

“Jake DeBrusk was under the weather and so was Kevan Miller, so they stayed home,” said Cassidy of Acciari, who has missed 14 games this season mainly due to a broken finger suffered blocking a shot on opening night. “Noel Acciari has a bit of an upper-body injury and it affected his minutes [Monday vs. Dallas]. He’s kind of day-to-day. I suspect that he would play tomorrow, but we’ll have a better idea on [Wednesday] morning.”

Both DeBrusk and Miller are expected to be fine to play against the Habs in their rematch from last weekend this time on Boston's home ice. Here are the line combos and D-pairings for the players that were on the ice for Tuesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena: