FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) _ Bob Hamelin, a former American League rookie of the year who batted .174 in spring training after being signed as a free agent, was released Wednesday by the Boston Red Sox.

Hamelin, a lefty slugger who appeared unlikely to make the team, had asked to be released after going 4-for-23. He had one homer, two RBIs and six strikeouts in eight games before being let go Tuesday.

With Reggie Jefferson, another lefty designated hitter, expected to miss the beginning of the season with back problems, Brian Daubach, a career minor leaguer who can play first base and the outfield, moved closer to making the club.

Hamelin, a first baseman who won the 1994 rookie award when he hit 25 homers and batted .282 for Kansas City, moved to Detroit as its designated hitter in 1997. He was with Milwaukee last season and had four pinch-hit homers in 146 at bats.

The Red Sox had been seeking add power since Mo Vaughn, who hit 40 homers last season, signed as a free agent with Anaheim.