Skip to main content

Fie to you WBC!!!

Ok, I spoke too soon. We are short a pitcher (and maybe two, if Becket's suspension is upheld). What to do now?

The Sox lost Dice-K to WBC desease for a few weeks at least. He'll probably miss two or three starts. Since he's generally healthy and pitched so well in his second, Faustian, MVP-winning World Baseball "Classic", I feel good about him coming back strong. But this is when that 9 man starting staff comes into play.

I propose that the Sox hand over the Dice-K rotation slot to the 9th man on that list: Michael Bowden.

This comes from a process of elimination. It goes this way. First choice: John Smoltz is unavailable because 50 year old pitchers don't pitch until June. Second choice: Clay Buchholz has a slight hamstring injury. Why risk it for 2 emergency starts?

This brings us to Justin Masterson, the consensus shoo-in to fill the Dice Man's spot. The logic goes this way: Masterson pitched wonderfully for 4 innings when Matsuzaka left his last start, he's already on the roster, and we trust him as a Nation.

The problem is that this move leaves you with two question marks on your 12 man staff. Masterson would not be available late in games, leaving that job to Saito and Ramirez (the new, sane one) to fill the righty set up role. That's something we all hope - and expect? - them to do by the end of the summer, but right now I'm just not confident in them. And it's my confidence that matters here, clearly.

Masterson is also a question mark in the rotation. I think he can be a good starter, but when he starts he can't throw as hard and the fact that he really only has two pitches is exposed.

The best thing is to leave Masterson where he is in the pen - though perhaps doing one spot start if Beckett is suspended - and calling up Bowden to replace Hunter Jones on the roster once the starter is needed (Monday's 11am Patriot's Day game against B-more).

Bowden gives us as good a chance to win as Masterson would starting. Meanwhile, Masterson being available in the pen gives us a better chance to win every game than does Masterson starting and Big Hunter (or Daniel Bard) in the pen.


Popular posts from this blog

Hanley Exits Stage Right

Hanley Ramirez has been released by the Red Sox.  With Pedey coming back, this had occurred to me as an option but a very unlikely one.  It seemed like having three catchers was a luxury they couldn't afford, or they'd send Brock Holt down temporarily or put Nunez on the DL just because he really is always injured so why not.

In the end though, they realized keeping Hanley didn't make sense.  If he came out of his slump, you're likely going to get stuck with him for next year or have a conflict with him and the fans when you bench a productive player.  But it was more likely he'd have good moments but never be all that good.  He's been terrible for about 3 weeks now.  Cutting bait with Hanley means you have more money for next year (Kimbrel & Mookie perhaps), you don't have the headache of however he's going to act if/when you bench him, and you keep other options on your roster.  As for the money, you're already spending it either way so don…

JD Martinez and Red Sox Depth

The Sox have signed JD Martinez; so, that's good.  His track record, personal reports on work ethic and attitude (aka lessons learns from Panda mania), and the fact that he's seen most of his success in the American League point to this being as sure a success as you can have in free agency.  He is getting a hefty pay check while the Sox aren't locked down for 6, 7 or Hosmer years.

Taking as a given that Martinez will be an outstanding hitter in the middle of the lineup, this signing - along with the signing of Eduardo Nunez earlier in the weekend - gives this Red Sox offense the most depth they have had since the 2013 champions.  That team taught us that it makes good baseball sense to go a few players deep at each position if you can, and to not obsess with how you'll find at bats for everyone.  Here we go again with that approach.

The 2018 Red Sox are remarkably deep and flexible.  When someone gets hurt, the likelihood is that that player will be replaced in the l…

Opening Day & Possible Unlikely 2018 Contributors & Breakthroughs

It's opening day and the Sox are playing the Rays.  While the beauty of baseball is that any team can beat any other team on any given day, the Sox should - and need to - dominate the Rays this season.  The Rays are going to try a 4 man rotation (a very good idea btw with the way the game is trending) - but then they lost one of those four.  Rumor is that they are close to signing Charlie Hough.  Their best player is Kevin Kiermaier whose very solid, but essentially their best player is Jackie Bradley, Jr.  Even if Wilson Ramos returns to All Star form and C.J. Cron finally becomes decent, this will be a pretty bad team.  They'll get a jolt when star SS prospect Willy Adames arrives but otherwise the Sox need to feast on the Rays this year if they hope to win the division.

The Sox opening day lineup meanwhile has a couple of sorta-surprises from where we started spring.  Hanley is starting at 1B over Mitch Moreland despite a righty starter, and Christian Vazquez is catching Chr…