Red Sox Add Dennys Reyes to 40-Man Roster, As Terry Francona Still Has Bullpen Decisions to Make

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March 26, 2011

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox left-hander Dennys Reyes is a bit closer to making the team going north. However, he isn't quite there yet.

The team purchased the contract of Reyes on Saturday and added him to the 40-man roster. The veteran had signed a minor league deal this offseason and got a late start this spring due to visa issues, but he's done enough to firmly put himself firmly in what has become a four-man race for two spots.

Now, he just needs to do a little more.

"The season hasn't started yet," manager Terry Francona said. "We still have some guys in camp and he's one of them. We still have some decisions to make. Everybody likes the movement, track record, his ability to compete and that's kind or what we told him."

Reyes had a clause that would allow him to opt out and seek an alternative team if he was not part of the roster by Saturday. He now has a few remaining chances to compete with fellow left-hander Hideki Okajima, as well as right-handers Matt Albers and Alfredo Aceves.

The organization, which loves its bullpen depth right now, may still view Aceves as a guy who can fortify the depth for the rotation. That could rule him out and cause him to be part of the rotation at Pawtucket with Andrew Miller and Brandon Duckworth, although Francona indicated those are decisions that still need to be made.

Another decision is whether to keep two lefties or one of each. Francona knows that having a great trio at the back end of the bullpen gives him less of a need for multiple lefties as he's not going to play any matchup games once he gets into the Bobby JenksDaniel BardJonathan Papelbon grouping. So, do you keep two lefties for middle relief only?

"I would say that it's always nice to have two, just because it saves wear and tear on the one," Francona said. "But we're not taking Bard out when a lefty comes up."

If just one southpaw is necessary, Albers, who has had a strong spring, could join either Reyes or Okajima.

Okajima pitches Saturday night vs. Minnesota. Albers is scheduled to go Sunday at Baltimore. Aceves threw four innings in a minor league game Friday. Reyes, who said he wants to pitch in Boston so that he can be part of a contender, gave up three runs — two earned — in an inning of work Friday night vs. Toronto.

Francona indicated that the last couple of outings for each guy can make a difference, but there is much more that goes into the final decisions. A mistake made on a 1-2 offering on March 25 is not necessarily enough to kill anyone's chances.

"I don't think the way a guy attacks a hitter tonight [means much]," Francona said. "I don't think that it's a pitch-off. I think it's maybe more us trying to determine how we best set up, not only now but down the road, and how to go about that."

Junichi Tazawa, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, was placed on the 60-day disabled list to make room for Reyes on the 40-man roster.

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