Red Sox pitcher Aaron Cook, currently in Triple-A Pawtucket after signing a minor league deal this winter, said that he is focused on pitching as well as he can rather than spending too much time thinking about whether or not he will exercise an opt-out clause in his contract if he is not called up by May 1. That said Cook -- who is 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA in four starts -- said in an interview on the Mut & Merloni show that he feels that he is ready to contribute to a big league club.
"I just feel like I'm healthy. I feel like I've done what I've needed to do. Hopefully I will get a phone call [informing him of a promotion to the big leagues] by May 1st," he said. "[The opt-out date is] always in the back of your mind, but you can't control it till it comes. As of now, I'm still down here. I'm going to do what I can to try to win my next start, and when May 1 comes, me and my agent will have a conversation about what's going on if I haven't gotten a phone call yet."
Cook said that, for the first time in years, he feels like he is fully healthy at the start of a season. He was encouraged by his most recent start -- a seven-inning complete game in which he allowed just one run on Monday for the PawSox -- in which his velocity ticked up to 92 mph and by the fact that he is getting opponents to pound his sinker into the ground.
"The results are kind of speaking for themselves right now," said Cook. "I hit 92 a couple times last night. That's really encouraging to me not for the fact that I can throw hard but that I can sustain throughout the game, throw the ball where I want. ... I don't know where the top [velocity] would be for this year, but as long as I'm getting groundball outs and going deep into game, that's what I'm going off of, not how hard I'm throwing or how soft I'm throwing, but whether or not guys are still hitting the ball into the ground. When they start lifting the ball and hitting it off the wall, then we'll have something we'll have to go back and look a little bit closer."
Asked if he would extend the opt-out date beyond the May 1 opt-out (as Andrew Miller and Kevin Millwood did while in Pawtucket last year), Cook did not rule out the possibility, noting that he would still have a June 1 opt-out and he would receive a bonus for not exercising the May 1 opt-out.
"If I stick around a little longer, I have a June 1 [opt-out] and get a little extra bonus. There's another buyout bonus-slash-day in there," said Cook. "I don't know how much discussion there would be [of extending the May 1 opt-out]."
Even though he remains in the minors during a month in which he has looked like a pitcher who can contribute at the big league level, the 33-year-old said that he regretted nothing about his decision to sign with the Sox this offseason (in which he turned down other clubs).
"It was the opportunity that they were saying was out there. They needed to fill a couple starter roles. They didn't know what they were going to do with a few guys. I have a long history with the pitching coach, and it's such a great city to play in. Who would want to turn down the opportunity to play in Boston?" said Cook. "For me, it was the three things combined that led to my decision to sign here. It's been great. The organization has been awesome, coaching staff, major league, minor league, everybody has been great. I wouldn't change my decision for any other one right now."
Cook remains optimistic that things will work out with the Sox, thogh for that to happen, an opportunity would have to emerge. If the Sox keep their current five starters in the rotation (Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront, Daniel Bard), Cook was asked if he would be open to working out of the bullpen in Boston.
"I do definitely view myself as a starter, but I have pitched out of the bullpen in the past. I probably have 40 or 50 appearances coming out of the bullpen," he said. "It's definitely something that is fun and interesting, but teams have expressed to me that they view me more as a starter. But for me, either way. If I get the ball and get to go out and pitch, I'll do whatever."
Christian and Chris talk about overrated Pats players this season and in the past and then get into the QB issue on the team. They talk about all three guys, what they bring to the table and if they can keep their head above water without the best QB in the league for 4 weeks. Then...Karlos Williams was released by the Bills - should the Pats consider adding the overweight second year running back? Christian also brings up Dante Scarnecchia and gets Price's opinion on if this one man can truly improve a shaky offensive line.
Christian Arcand is in for Tanguay for NFL Sunday with Chris Price. The guys talk about the victory over the Bears, Jimmy G's progress and their expectations for the Pats defense this season. Arcand thinks that there are more holes on the D than some fans realize.
We check in with Bill Belichick after the first Preseason game for our weekly "Patriots Monday" discussion.
Sam Packard is joined by Celtics 2nd Round draft pick Abdel Nader to discuss his path to the the NBA and how he plans to improve his game. Sam then talks to Player Development Coach Nick Friedman from Elite Skills Training, the pre-Draft camp Nader attended. Friedman also gives his opinion on the Celtics performance at summer league and the development of Jaylen Brown.
Isaiah Thomas talks to Glenn and Lou about why he loves Boston, the NBA Money Bump, oh, and some Durant guy
Danny Ainge joins Glenn and Christian to explain the Celtics draft process; and he also discusses the trade rumors that permeated the night.
Joe and Tim are joined by US Olympic Medalist and captain of the US Women's Gymnastics team Aly Raisman, as she was at Fenway to throw out the first pitch before the game.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts after the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1
David Price pitched a gem and Andrew Benintendi makes one of the top highlight catches of the year as the Sox take the first game of four against the Rays, 6-2. Christian Arcand recaps the game and takes all of your Sox calls.
Joey Mac joins Ken Laird on his Saturday show to discuss the David Backes addition and Loui Eriksson departure in NHL free agency
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
The 8am hour Friday podcast with Kirk Minihane joined by Butch and Bradford. The guys start with the posted show host job description for Dino's replacement, then get back into the Brady preseason playing time discussion.
Kirk, Butch and Bradfo discuss a new NFL committee that has been formed with Goodell and Kraft, and whether Pats fans should have a problem with it.
Butch, Kirk, and Bradfo debate whether or not they believe the Red Sox will make the playoffs by seasons end
"Angry Lou" goes off yesterday's loss to Tampa Bay, in the process breaking the record for a human talking without taking a breath.
Tom Brady will play in tonight's Preseason game vs. the Panthers. Glenn, Lou, and Christian discuss the decision to play Brady.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian take a look at the Pats' O-Line, and the Tight End Position; focusing on A.J. Derby vs. Clay Harbor.
We discuss the role Mingo will play for the Patriots defense.
We discuss the ridiculous assignment of the selfishness label to Tom Brady this week (based on...?) and where it might be coming from.
In honor of tonight's game we look back at four moments where the Patriots and Panthers cross paths.
Kirk Minihane sits down with former producer Chris Curtis? Or is it current producer Chris Curtis? Either way, Kirk and Chris talk about what happened in their previous tenure together, where it went wrong, and why Curtis is now back with the show.
Kirk Minihane and Gary Tanguay sit down together on Enough About Me for the first time. These two divisive figures talk about Gary's career and his late evolution into a controversial broadcaster. Nobody is spared from Kirk and Gary's wrath on this episode and it will surely make some people at the two sports radio stations very uncomfortable.
The heart of draft season is upon us and as Jim and Pete gear up for their own big draft this weekend, this week’s podcast is filled with tips on Draft Strategy and how work your plan. Jim and Pete walk through the draft from the Elite players at the top, through the middle of the draft where you build your core, through the high upside targets at the back that can help steal you a league victory. Stars to sleepers and how to position yourself to get them are the topic of the day. Good luck with your drafts!
We are joined by David Amoyal or ESPNFC.com and GianlucaDiMarzio.com to talk about the transfer window closing and what may happen in the finals days of the summer.
Chris Price joins the show to discuss the Patriots and the reason Brady played in the third preseason game.More from this show