Corey Out As Timlin Activated

When Bryan Corey made the Red Sox' 25-man Opening Day roster, it marked the first time in his 15-year professional career that he opened the season in the big leagues. Unfortunately for Corey, the honeymoon was short-lived.

The Sox designated Corey for assignment Friday, when they activated Mike Timlin from the 15-day disabled list prior to the first game of a three-game series against the Yankees at Fenway Park.

Until he struggled over the last week, Corey appeared to be the safest of the three most vulnerable Sox relievers—along with Kyle Snyder and David Aardsma—given his track record with the Sox and his strong spring. Corey went 6-8 with a 3.69 ERA, three saves and 67 strikeouts in 68 1/3 innings with Triple-A Pawtucket last year before he went 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in nine games for the Sox in September. He traveled with the Sox throughout the playoffs, though he did not make any of the postseason rosters.

Corey posted a 1.54 ERA in eight games during exhibition play this spring and appeared in both regular season games in Japan. He didn't allow a run in three of his first four appearances but was hammered in his last two outings, during which he gave up six runs in just two-thirds of an inning. His six appearances tied him with Manny Delcarmen for the most on the staff.

The Sox, who acquired Corey from the Rangers in exchange for Luis Mendoza in July 2006, have 10 days to either trade or release Corey, who is out of minor league options. Corey, 34, was drafted by the Tigers in 1993 and has also played in the Diamondbacks, Athletics, Padres, Cubs and Marlins organizations.

It didn't take long for Timlin to jump right into action. He relieved Clay Buchholz in the sixth inning tonight and game up a home run to the first batter he faced, Jason Giambi. Timlin was charged with two runs in one-third of an inning.

Timlin was placed on the 15-day disabled list March 28 (retroactive to March 20) due to a two-stitch cut on his right ring finger that he suffered when he was hit by a ground ball in a minor league game in Ft. Myers March 19. Timlin made two rehab appearances at Pawtucket and threw a scoreless inning both Monday and Wednesday against Lehigh Valley.

Timlin, who turned 42 in March, was 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA and one save in 50 games with the Sox last year. He filed for free agency after the season but agreed to terms with the Sox on a one-year deal worth a reported $3 million in December.

Timlin signed with the Sox after the 2002 season and ranks fourth on the club in service time, behind only Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek and Manny Ramirez. He is 26-18 with a 3.54 ERA and 26 saves in 347 appearances with the Sox. Overall, Timlin—who has also pitched for the Blue Jays, Mariners, Orioles, Cardinals and Phillies—ranks 10th all-time with 1,011 appearances.


Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at diehardmag@yahoo.com. To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752.

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