Aaron Cook has pitched on the biggest stages that baseball has to offer. But as he tries to shake off numerous injuries that have plagued him over the last couple of seasons, he will begin to regain his form at Pawtucket.
The former Colorado Rockies ace was at the Pawtucket Red Sox media day on Wednesday, as he tries to return to the majors in Boston. Even though the minors isn't where Cook wants to be, he is ready to work and hopes to eventually contribute with the big league club.
"It's always disappointing when you get sent down, but there are things to work on down here, stay positive get my innings up and my pitch count up," said Cook.
Cook was solid for Boston during his spring training appearances. The 33-year-old pitcher posted a 1.88 ERA in 14 1/3 innings, and was encouraged by his outings.
"I felt really good," said Cook. "I felt like I was able to command both sides of the plate well, throw my sinker the way I needed to and was able to get my work in and stay healthy."
Cook was selected to the All-Star game in 2008, but has been ravaged by knee and shoulder injuries that have limited the effectiveness of the Rockies' all-time leader in wins. Cook struggled in 17 starts last season, going 3-10 with a 6.03 ERA.
Cook feels positive about his progress this season, working on a shoulder strengthing program to hopefully get him ready to face major-league hitting once again.
While the goal is to eventually make his way back to the professional level, Cook is focusing on the work that he has to accomplish down in Pawtucket.
"That's one thing I can't really worry about," said Cook. "I'm here. I have to work on the things down here that I need to work on. I just have to let everything else fall into place."
While down in the minors, Cook has been able to talk to the younger players and give them pointers about the game in the big leagues. Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler said that having a veteran such as Cook is a big bonus for the younger players in the minors.
Beyeler said that veterans such as Kevin Millwood have been a great resource for the players hoping to make their way up to the big leagues, and that Cook has been just as valuable.
With opening day kicking off for both Pawtucket and Boston on Thursday, Cook could quickly find himself traveling from one to another. The 10-year veteran will start in Pawtucket, but the call-up to Fenway Park could be in his future soon.