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With the strugles of Clay Buchholz this spring, could fatty man Colon take the fifth starters spot once his arm strength is all ready and his body is ready to take the heat of the rigirous MLB season. Here's and opinion of one boston sports writer.

 

 Colon poised to take fifth?

 By Gordon Edes Globe Staff / March 29, 2008

Bartolo Colon, who took another step toward making a claim on the fifth spot in the Red Sox rotation with four solid innings in a 3-1 loss to the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium last night, is now scheduled to pitch Pawtucket's season opener Thursday night in Pawtucket, manager Terry Francona said after the game. Colon will travel with the team to Oakland before heading back for his start for Boston's Triple A affiliate.

Colon struck out four of the first seven batters he faced, and did not give up a hit until Rafael Furcal's two-out single in the third. The Dodgers opened the fourth with back-to-back doubles by Andre Ethier and Jeff Kent to break a scoreless tie, but Colon worked out of it, stranding runners on second and third by inducing Juan Pierre to ground out.

Colon threw 60 pitches, 36 for strikes. He topped out at 92 miles an hour on the Dodger Stadium radar gun, but Francona said he thought the gun might have been a tick or two slow.

"I think we're all pleased," Francona said. "I think he was, too."

Sox PR man John Blake had first base coach Luis Alicea all set to translate for Colon, but the big righthander declined to speak with reporters.

The Sox placed reliever Mike Timlin on the 15-day disabled list last night with a laceration of the ring finger on his pitching hand. The move was retroactive to March 20, meaning Timlin is eligible to be activated next Friday, the first game of the weekend Toronto series. Timlin joins Josh Beckett, who also can't pitch until the Toronto series, on the DL.

Francona said the club will not rush Timlin back into action, implying he may not be ready for Toronto. The stitches in Timlin's finger have yet to be removed.

"What we want him to do is be able to pitch," Francona said. "We don't want him to go backwards. I'm sure he's frustrated because he's felt good this spring, but we want to make sure he's OK and ready to pitch."

The move means three relievers battling for the final spot on the pitching staff - lefthander Javier Lopez, the incumbent, and righthanders Bryan Corey and David Aardsma - will remain with the club at least through the two regular-season games in Oakland.

When Beckett and Timlin are activated, only one of the three can stay. All three are out of options, meaning they cannot be sent to Triple A Pawtucket without being exposed to waivers.

Corey, who was 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in nine appearances after being recalled last September from Pawtucket, had pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings in his last six exhibition outings before being touched for a run in Wednesday's 5-1 loss to Oakland.

 

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