Astros grant Robertson his wish

Nomar Garciaparra is joining Trot Nixon in the DL and might not resurface until the end of April or later.

Updated: April 1, 2004, 8:13 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
Nomar injury wrinkles Red Sox roster
After an incredible offseason featuring spectacular acts of roster one-upsmanship, it is somewhat anticlimactic that the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry will begin the 2004 season without two key players. Rightfielder Trot Nixon's bulging disc has him sidelined for an undetermined amount of time and shortstop Nomar Garciaparra is joining him in the DL and might not resurface until the end of April or later. Sean McAdam of the Providence Journal reports that Garciaparra's injured heel is going to need complete rest and rehab before he can play again.

In his stead, Pokey Reese will make the move from second base to shortstop. Reese is a defensive specialist brought in by the offensive-minded Red Sox to make life a little easier for groundball pitcher Derek Lowe. Reese is no stranger to short. His first year in the bigs with Cincinnati, he played 110 games there as a fill-in for an injured Barry Larkin. He has doubled that number through the course of the rest of his career. Oddly, what appears to be an opportunity for Reese may well be his undoing. Backup Mark Bellhorn now gets a full shot at second base. If he shows flashes of his great 2002 self, it will be very hard for the "score-first-defend-second" Red Sox to yank him out of the lineup when Garciaparra gets back into action. Reese would then be relegated to a utility role. Should Bellhorn continue on the run-deprivation program he appeared to be on in Chicago and Colorado last year, though, then it will be back to Plan A when Nomar gets back.

Self-confidence a must

Nomar Garciaparra
Chris Stanford /AllsportThe Red Sox will begin the season without Nomar Garciaparra.
One of the problems with relying on players for self-assessment is that, in order to play at peak performance, it is never a good idea to be too objective about oneself. An over-inflated sense of self worth often comes with the territory and it's probably a good thing to have in some cases. Staring down Jim Thome and knowing in your heart that you don't belong on the same field with him is not a good way to go through life.

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Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at bottlebat@gmail.com.

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