It's only April, but the harbingers of doom have settled in Boston. It's almost as though the Boston Red Sox decided they would end last season's brutal September with a big, fat "To be continued."
So Roy Oswalt won't save this team. But he sure would help a rotation that has sputtered out of the gate, to say the least.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Red Sox are showing serious interest in the ex-Phillies starter. Rosenthal notes that the St. Louis Cardinals have also shown interest, and Oswalt is throwing bullpen sessions every other day.
Oswalt went 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 93 strikeouts in 139.0 innings last season for the Philadelphia Phillies. Not exactly awe-inspiring, but certainly more stable than what the Red Sox have gotten from the rotation this year.
Consider the following, from Alex Speier of WEEI.com:
"In 13 games, the Sox have gotten just five quality starts to date this season, tied for 22nd in the majors. Jon Lester and Josh Beckett each have delivered two of those with Daniel Bard claiming the only other one; neither [Clay] Buchholz nor Felix Doubront has given the Sox a single outing that has lived up [to] the standard for a quality start (six or more innings, three or fewer runs)."
"On the other hand, the Sox are getting terrible starts with greater frequency than any other team in the majors. On six occasions, a Sox starter has allowed five or more runs, tied with the Twins for the most in the majors."
"The result? As a group, Sox starters have a 2-7 record and a 6.09 ERA that ranks second-to-last in the majors."
Those numbers were compiled before yesterday, when Doubront gave them six strong innings against the New York Yankees, allowing only one run while striking out seven. That was before the bullpen imploded, allowing 14 runs after the seventh inning.
Adding Oswalt could potentially help the bullpen as well, offering the Sox the option of moving Bard back to relief work, where he has thrived in the past.
For the Sox, it's a win-win on all fronts. They get a playoff-tested, veteran presence who should give them somewhere in the vicinity of 140 solid innings and not only improve the rotation but bolster the bullpen, as well.
The Sox have a lot of issues that need ironing out, and Oswalt won't clean up all the wrinkles. But his acquisition would certainly be a good start toward moving in the right direction.
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