FORT MYERS, Fla. - The player the Red Sox received as compensation from the Cubs for the hiring of former general manager Theo Epstein, righthanded reliever Chris Carpenter, is having elbow surgery on Thursday.
“Headed into surgery tomorrow with Dr Andrews to remove a bone spur in my elbow,’’ Carpenter tweeted on Wednesday. “Stayin positive and prepared to work harder than ever to come back as soon as I can this season.’’
Carpenter, 26, has appeared in only two major league spring training games and was not a candidate for the Opening Day roster.
Red Sox GM Ben Cherington confirmed that Carpenter is having surgery, but would not comment on whether the injury predated the Feb. 21 trade with the Cubs or when Carpenter might return.
In October, Epstein quit the Red Sox with a year remaining on his contract, and the Sox were guaranteed “significant compensation’’ from the Cubs. Epstein was allowed to join the Cubs as their president of baseball operations before the compensation was negotiated.
Four months later, the Cubs sent Carpenter and a player to be named to the Red Sox for a player to be named. That deal was announced as satisfying the compensation.
Righthander Aaron Cook has a May 1 opt-out in his contract, and judging by the reaction of scouts watching him in his five-inning outing on Wednesday against Tampa Bay’s Double A hitters, Cook will have no trouble finding a job if the Red Sox don’t have a spot for him.
Cook touched 86 miles per hour on the radar gun, which normally wouldn’t impress anyone. But his ability to get hitters out is undeniable.
Cook threw 68 pitches and got 11 ground outs. He’s been a bit behind the rest of the staff because the team didn’t want to tax his pitching shoulder, which he’s had problems with in the past. He also had a sore groin for a while.
He retired the first three hitters of Wednesday’s game on eight pitches. He was so efficient, the coaches had him pitch to six batters in the first inning and needed only 13 pitches.
Cook said he hasn’t heard much about his role with the team, or if he’ll even make the team. There’s a possibility he will go to Pawtucket since he has a minor league contract, but the team won’t have much time to make a decision unless he decides to extend the deadline.
Cook said he’s benefited from working here with Bob McClure, his former pitching coach with the Rockies.
Andrew Bailey said he’s ready to start the season. In a Triple A game on Wednesday, he pitched an inning, went back to the dugout, and then threw part of a second inning.
He will pitch a few more innings before Opening Day.
“It’s been a quick spring training,’’ Bailey said. “You don’t want to start things the way I did [with a lat injury] coming to a new team, but I feel fine and I’ve had enough work. I’m ready to go.’’
Curt Schilling, who was a part of two World Series championship teams in Boston, heads the 2012 class of inductees for the Red Sox Hall of Fame. Also to be enshrined at ceremonies at Fenway Park Aug. 3 will be former players Marty Barrett, Ellis Burks, Joe Dobson, and Dutch Leonard, as well as John I. Taylor, who owned the team from 1904-11, and former groundskeeper Joe Mooney . . . Clay Buchholz was tagged for two homers and four earned runs in the Triple A game. He went six innings, throwing 89 pitches. Buchholz will pitch the third game of the season-opening series against the Tigers. “I started out feeling great in the first inning and then I had a couple of long innings,’’ Buchholz said. “I’m out there trying to work on things, but overall I was happy with it.’’ . . . Vicente Padilla threw three innings as he began his new bullpen role, and afterward was asked if he’d prefer to start with another team. “The Red Sox have given me the opportunity and I want to pitch here,’’ he said . . . Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched well over nearly two innings in an intrasquad game. He was throwing 92 m.p.h. Rich Hill had a little command issue, but also threw hard in an inning of relief . . . Liverpool FC, the English Premier League club owned by John Henry, will play AS Roma July 25 at Fenway Park as part of a North American tour.