FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Aaron Cook will officially start his audition to be Boston's fifth starter when he works in relief of Jon Lester in Sunday's road game against the Orioles.
The 33-year-old righty has gone at a more conservative pace than the other pitchers because of his recent history of injuries. But when Cook is right, he can be an integral part of a pitching staff.
In 2008 he went 16-9 with a 3.96 ERA.
What will manager Bobby Valentine be expecting from Cook on Sunday?
"Sinker. Really look for his sinker," Valentine said. "He's been throwing it, and he feels good. It's his make-or-break pitch. We're going to see how it's sinking."
Can Cook catch up in time to be ready for the rotation at the start of the season?
"That may be an issue at some point," said pitching coach Bob McClure. "I don't want to rush him. I want him healthy, and so does he. He doesn't want to go backward, either. We'll just have to see on that. But I'm not going to rush him through it, because he's got a career still ahead of him."