Why the Boston Red Sox Should Make Josh Beckett Their Closer

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Why the Boston Red Sox Should Make Josh Beckett Their Closer
Elsa/Getty Images

I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out.  

After allowing closer Jonathan Papelbon to leave via free agency this offseason, the Red Sox found themselves with a gaping hole at their closer position.  Many people thought that Daniel Bard would step into that role, but for whatever reason management has seemed uncomfortable with that idea and prefers using Bard as a starter.  

Instead of promoting from within, the Red Sox went out and acquired Andrew Bailey from the Oakland A's to be the closer for the 2012 season.  Unfortunately Bailey suffered a mysterious thumb injury at some point during Spring Training and is now out for at least the next three months and possibly longer.

Setup-man Alfredo Aceves was then named as the interim closer, a move that has not gone well. In two appearances this year (both Red Sox losses), Aceves has allowed four hits, three runs and has an ERA of infinity.  Yes, really.  

Aceves isn't the only Sox pitcher to struggle.  

In his first start of the year on Saturday, former World Series MVP Josh Beckett failed to get out of the fifth inning, giving up seven runs on seven hits including five home runs.  ESPN reported that a scout at the game said Beckett's start was "the worst he had ever seen him pitch."  

Beckett's fastball was topping out around 92 mph, and he simply looked awful. Clearly something has to change.  Dating back to last season's collapse, Beckett has an ERA of 7.62 during his last 11 starts. 

Beckett is struggling as a starter and the Sox desperately need a closer—it's time to make the switch. 

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