What Should the Red Sox do With Their Rotation?
The Boston Red Sox have quickly gone from having one of the worst rotations to one of the best. Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and John Lackey have bounced back big time. They have gone from liabilities to all-star caliber pitchers in the course of a year, playing to their contracts expectations. The top three in the Red Sox’s rotation is a solid core, anchoring a deep staff overall. The staff is rounded out by Jake Peavy, Felix Doubont, and Ryan Dempster. Yes, the Red Sox’s have six quality starters and only five spots to fill. A lot of speculation has been made about the possibility of moving one of these guys, and I wholeheartedly disagree with that notion.
“You can never have enough pitching,” is a famous quote that applies to every MLB team. Depth is always a good thing, and with pitcher’s being particularly susceptible to injuries due to the wear on their arms, this quote has a whole lot of truth behind it. The Red Sox have six guys, who are all proven starters in the MLB and somebody is destined to wind up on the D.L one way or the other, so why move the safety blanket?
When you have a surplus you have the unique ability to improve another area of pressing need while not diminishing another. The World Champions have the surplus, they just do not have a particular area of need. Through a lot quitter off-season the Red Sox have filled any needs that need addressing. Signing A.J Pierzynski, Mike Napoli, and Edward Mujica, while also trading for Burke Badenhop. Here is the Red Sox’s projected depth chart
Catcher: A.J Pierzynski/David Ross
First Base: Mike Napoli/Mike Carp
Second Base: Dustin Pedroia
Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts
Third Base: Will Middlebrooks
Right Field: Shane Victorino
Center Field: Jackie Bradley Jr.
Left Field: Daniel Nava/Jonny Gomes
Designated Hitter: David Ortiz
- Jon Lester
- Clay Buchholz
- John Lackey
- Jake Peavy
- Felix Doubront
Ryan Dempster/Brandon Workman/Drake Britton
After reviewing it there is only one area that I can see that needs improving and that is 3B/SS. Will Middlebrooks has had consistency problems, lacking plate discipline and range. A security blanket/replacement could be in order, but on the trade market there are not a lot of 3B/SS who are a sure fire improvement over Middlebrooks. One exception is Chase Headley. If the Red Sox could start a package around Peavy or Doubront this move makes a lot of sense. However, the Padres seem very unlikely and unenthusiastic about the thought of dealing their franchise third basemen.
Dempster would be the only guy that I would not object to being moved. He makes too much money for a long-reliever, and struggled last year with Boston. Plus he is not getting any younger. The thing is the Red Sox would most likely have to take on a majority of his contract to move him, nobody is reaching out for his services. So, why not keep him if you are not getting anything back in return? It makes sense for me depth wise, and he does have experience in the bullpen which people forget. The Red Sox should stand pat with their rotation and be content with its promise.
- Patrick Green is the Lead MLB Writer for ProSportsExtra.com
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