The newbies: The late-season infusion to the lineup helped down the stretch
If all goes according to plan, guys like Devern Hansack and Brandon Moss will run out of the Red Sox dugout sometime next April to receive their World Series rings.
So will Bryan Corey, Royce Clayton and a slew of other players.
They’re the latecomers to the party; the bit players in the Red Sox’ Broadway production.
For some, like Clayton, it will be a proud moment in a sparkling career. For others, like Moss, it, hopefully, will be a jumpstart to many more.
The players who arrived after the trading deadline on July 31 have had various roles with the team. Some have made major contributions to the team’s success, some have been disappointments and others have done little more than take up space.
Here’s a look at the guys who arrived late for the 2007 Red Sox (all numbers are heading into the final homestand).
Clay Buchholz - He caught the imagination of fans with his no-hitter against the Orioles in just his second major league start and probably will be in the starting rotation next year. The Red Sox have been careful about overextending him this summer, and he’s 3-1 with a 1.59 ERA in four games, three starts. It’s 50-50 whether he’ll be on the postseason roster.
Kevin Cash - The veteran catcher was recalled from Pawtucket on Aug. 17 when Doug Mirabelli went on the disabled list. He’s played well in the backup catcher’s role, doing a fine job catching Tim Wakefield and contributing a key hit or two. His numbers aren’t great (.115-0-4), but he’s been a solid veteran with the team.
Royce Clayton - This is probably the last stop for the veteran infielder during his major league career. He was called up from Pawtucket as infield insurance and has hardly played since his arrival, getting into just four games and going 0-for-1 during that time.
Bryan Corey - Red Sox manager Terry Francona speaks highly of the relief pitcher and hasn’t been afraid to use him in September. He’s responded with 71/3 scoreless innings in six appearances, going 1-0 during that time. He’ll probably get lost in the depth of the bullpen and won’t be on the postseason roster.
Jacoby Ellsbury - He’s been the best of the newcomers and the Sox haven’t missed anything with Manny Ramirez nursing his sore oblique. He was recalled on Sept. 1 and immediately had a 15-game hitting streak, hitting in 19 of 20 games. He’s hitting .372 with three home runs and 15 RBI, sparkled defensively and been a blur on the basepaths. He’s a lock to be on the postseason roster.
Eric Gagne - He was the Sox’ main acquisition at the trading deadline, and he’s been a major disappointment, giving up runs in seven of his 17 appearances with the team. He’s 2-2 with a 7.58 ERA and three blown saves with the club. For the Sox to go deep into the playoffs, they’ll need Gagne to be good, and there’s a question now whether he will be. He’ll be on the postseason roster.
Devern Hansack - His shining moment came in the final game of the 2005 season when he hurled five no-hit innings to beat the Orioles. This year, he’s insignificant, having pitched just three innings since his recall. He won’t be with the team in the postseason.
Bobby Kielty - He was picked up on waivers from Oakland and came to the club Aug. 18 after Wily Mo Pena was traded, but his impact has been minimal. He’s played in just 16 games, 11 starts, and is hitting .261 with one home run and eight RBI. The Sox don’t lose much when Kielty plays, but they don’t gain much either. If the Sox want a sixth outfielder in the postseason, he’s the one.
Brandon Moss - He might have a bright future in the major leagues, but not with the Sox this year. He’s nothing more than a surplus outfielder with the club, hitting .217 with no home runs or RBI since his recall. He won’t be on the postseason roster.