Now Boston has a problem like really no other in baseball which is that they really have too much pitching depth on their roster. This is obviously a good problem for Boston and today I will analyze who really deserves to be in their starting rotation. I will give a short synopsis of each pitcher and see if they deserve a spot in the rotation. I will also see if they deserve to be where they are today.
Josh Beckett and Jon Lester
The reason I put them together is due to the fact that they deserve the spot in the rotation. Though they went through a rough patch in the beginning of the season, they have been very consistent as of late.
Beckett's numbers show for themselves as he has had a dramatic drop in his ERA, as for Lester he has been very solid, but he is still a little inconsistent, but do not judge him by his 5-5 record as the bullpen has not been on his side for most of his starts as Lester should really be somewhere between 7-4.
Both men are Boston's "one-two punch" and deserve to be in the rotation.
There is really not much to say about Wakefield either.
Earlier in his Red Sox career either he gained no run support or his bullpen blew his win. This year is a different story as he has gained quite enough run support and the best bullpen in baseball has helped him win some games as well.
Wakefield has been so consistent and solid this season that I would not be surprised to see him on the All Star team, though there are many solid pitchers standing in front of him.
He was Boston's true ace earlier this season when Beckett and Lester were struggling, but he has cooled down quite a bit. At the price Boston paid him this season, they sure got a great deal when they resigned Wakefield.
With all of his early season troubles, I doubt he will pitch much this season with Clay Buccholz waiting. Dice-K has been, well abysmal this season and has recently been placed on the 15 Day Disabled List due to "arm fatigue" or some other nonsense.
I think this really is showing how Daisuke really pitches in MLB because last season, he garnered much run support after only pitching 5.8 innings per game last season. Daisuke has given up many more earned runs and the offense has not been a help either.
I'm sure Daisuke will return to old form, but with the World Baseball Classic being the initial blame to his mishaps this season, I find that ridiculous. He received extended Spring Training and was given all the time in the world to recover.
We do not need Daisuke if Buchholz and Bowden are dominating Triple-A. I highly doubt he is trade bait either after all, he is a $100 million dollar investment by Boston. He does not deserve a spot right now and I do hope he can recover and return in full health and pitch like he did the past two seasons.
This is certainly not over for Daisuke's career success.
Since signing to Boston this offseason, he has been looked at like Boston spent half a billion dollars on two franchise pitchers and a powerhouse first baseman by the media.
Everyone says how much he'll help Boston and with all due respect, he does not deserve a spot in the rotation. Now let us forget about his game last night in D.C. because this was one of the biggest games in his career and he was obviously nervous.
But if we see that happen two or three more times, Smoltz would be a great addition to the bullpen. Let's look at the facts here, the man is nowhere near what he once was and that is understandable, but we have to potential aces in Triple-A in Buchholz and Bowden.
Does Smoltz really mean more to Boston then their two top pitching prospects? Both have proved themselves and are ready to be given another shot in Boston, but they are being held back by Smoltz who will liekly finish the season with a 6-4 record with a 2.70 ERA.
Not saying that is bad, but the two kids in Triple-A can produce so much more. Will Smoltz prove me wrong? I don't think he will win over 7 games and have an ERA below 2.50, but he is a valuable speaker on the team and a grear leader, but do we need that?
We do have Lowell, Varitek, and even younger players such as Justin Masterson who are leaders in the clubhouse. Boston already has experience and are very successful in the postseason (8-0 in the World Series this season).
With all respect due to the first ballot Hall of Famer, I think it is time for the kids to shine.
The cheap star for the Red Sox seems to have found a good place in Boston's heart because it looks like he will be in Boston for the long haul this season and why shouldn't he?
Penny has been a very valuable asset in the back of the rotation and I give props to the Boston pitching staff for making him more motivated since it was notable that he had slacked off to some extent in Los Angeles.
He has pitched very consistently and has earned the spot in the rotation as long as he stays consistent. He may never be the ace he once was, but he is certainly a solid piece to the Red Sox pitching puzzle this season.
This is a very good problem for Boston because if Smoltz, Matsuzaka, Penny or Wakefied start to struggle again sometime this season, we have Buccholz, Bowden and even Justin Masterson who could be very suitable replacements in the rotation.
In all essence, I do think by the season's end that Buccholz will find himself up in Boston, I think Penny will remain in Boston, and I doubt we will see a whole lot from Daisuke if the rotation becomes a bigger force to be reckoned with then it was with Dice K.
I also really doubt they will go for the six man rotation because it makes Beckett and Lester wait an extra day because when either of them pitch, you expect a solid outing.
In conclusion, I see great things for this pitching staff and I do ponder about what are more possibilities which is always a good thing.
DJ Rallo is a writer who specializes in Major League Baseball as well as World Wrestling Entertainment. He is open to interviews, questions, and criticism. He is also hoping to start a MLB Mailbag, so if you have a question then email him at firstname.lastname@example.org