Apr 18, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT
Despite re-signing with the Red Sox for $1.75 million this offseason Hideki Okajima lost the left-handed specialist competition to Dennys Reyes during spring training and began the season as a 35-year-old at Triple-A.
Reyes lost his job after just one week and now the Red Sox have also sent the man who replaced him, Felix Doubront, back to the minors, calling up Okajima from Pawtucket after he threw 5.2 scoreless innings there with a 5/0 K/BB ratio.
Okajima struggled enough last season that he’s unlikely to reclaim his old lefty setup man gig, instead starting off in more of a true left-handed specialist role and perhaps working his way up the bullpen ladder from there.
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that Okajima has a minor-league option remaining, so the Red Sox are free to send him back and forth to Triple-A.
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