Kason Gabbard, who threw a complete game three-hitter against the Royals Monday night, is desperately needed in the Red Sox rotation. With all right-handed starters presently in the rotation this season, the Sox desperately need an effective lefty or two to throw against some of the strong, right-handed heavy line-ups in the American League. Gabbard had flashes of effectiveness last season, and although I thought (heck, EXPECTED) Jon Lester to jump into the rotation by now, it seems Gabbard is making a claim on the number five spot in the rotation.

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Personally, I see no reason that Yo-Yo Tavarez is even on the team still. He has a low dollar figure, is on a short contract, can start or relieve, and has a rubber arm. His trade value is peaking, and the Sox should be looking to trade him, if only for a mid-level prospect. When Schilling comes back, Tavarez is going to lose his spot in the rotation (there would be a revolt by Boston fans if Tavarez stayed in the rotation and old reliable Shakey-Wakey ended up in the bullpen). Really, Gabbard and Lester should be in the rotation and Wakefield mopping up in the bullpen; however, I doubt that it will happen this season. Tavarez has been a good soldier, and has been about as average as you would expect him to be as a starter, so it is a good time to move him out.

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Seriously, the time to trade Wily Mo Pena has obviously come to a head. If the Sox can get anything for him, his bags should be packed and waiting outside his locker. I have finally accepted that Pena is never going to be a regular in the Boston outfield. Yes, he is potentially a 30 or 40 home run guy, but he will never be more than Adam Dunn if he does not get a couple of years of playing everyday. That is not going to happen here. For his sake, he should be sent to San Diego, who desperately needs someone with the power to reach the fences, and who has the best bullpen in baseball and could part with a decent arm.

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I am not really sure what lame nickname to give the Sox 7-8-9 inning team at the back of the bullpen. Jerry Remy is going to come up with something, so I feel a need to be a bit ahead of the curve here. The combination of Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima, and Jonathan Papelbon has to give us something good:

DOP: No, that just makes me think of the DOOP (Democratic Order Of Planets) from Futurama and think of off-color Zap Branigan remarks. Besides, how does it sound when the announcer says: The Red Sox are going to their DOP now. Definitely a no-go.

DELOKIPAP: That is just horrible.

Manny, Oki, and the Pap: Ugh, another loser of a nickname. See, this is not easy for anyone. Don Orsillo has been grinding this out every afternoon for a month with no solution.

MOJO: Finally, something usable. M for Manny, O for Oki, J for Jonathan and the extra O just for that extra mojo. Hmm, now to try it out: After six strong innings by the starter, the Sox went to their MOJO as Manny Delcarmen came on for the seventh, Hideki Okajima for the eighth, and Jonathan Papelbon closed it out in the ninth. Yeah, that works. Send royalty checks to me at the address below.

Seriously, these three have been lights-out consistently for the Sox, and having that strength and ability to get that big strikeout at the end of games is huge. Right now, we are looking at Delcarmen with a 1.54 ERA, Oki with a mind-boggling 0.81 ERA, and Papelbon with a 1.87 ERA. Not too shabby.

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