This is part two of my two part series of what the 2010 roster might look like for the Boston Red Sox. If you would like to read part one, you can find it here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/236857-the-potential-2010-boston-red-sox-roster-position-players.
This article highlights the pitchers of the 2010 Boston Red Sox. Since it seems every offseason the Red Sox add new relievers, this prediction will likely be very different than the 2010 pitching staff.
Josh Beckett has been the ace of the Red Sox since 2006, and I don't think that will change in 2010. Jon Lester might give him a run for his money, but Beckett will still be the best pitcher on the squad.
Jon Lester has to be my favorite pitcher on the Red Sox. I love the lefty. He's sort of overshadowed by Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka, but Lester has the stuff to become the ace of the Red Sox if (and when) Beckett leaves Boston.
Dice-K has been completely erratic since Boston spent $101 million on him during the 2006-2007 offseason.
Hopefully, by 2010, Dice-K will have the big leagues all figured out, and not give Red Sox fans heart attacks every time he pitches.
Clay Buchholz has been a phenom starter, and a no-luck pitcher. By 2010, Buchholz should be on the pitching staff full-time.
Wakefield has been on the Red Sox roster since 1995, and I don't expect that to change in 2010.
Wakefield should fill out the starting rotation unless the Red Sox sign another starting pitcher (Jason Marquis?). Until then, Wake is in the projected starting rotation.
Pap's WHIP is way up this season, going from 0.95 (a career high) in 2008 to 1.31 this season. Papelbon, hopefully, will be back to his normal self in 2010.
Okajima has been lights-out for the Red Sox since coming over in 2007. I wouldn't expect that to change in 2010.
Bard has given up a number of giant home runs against rival teams in clutch situations, but he should settle down for his first full season in the big leagues in 2010.
Ram-Ram has been great for Boston this season. The 28-year-old is on pace to set career marks for WHIP, batting average against, and ERA. The righty is entering his prime, and should be great for Boston in 2010.
Delcarmen has been a great pitcher for the Red Sox since he made his debut back in 2005. The 27-year-old is entering his prime for Boston, just like Ramirez, and should be a staple for the bullpen for years to come.
Bowden has always been among the Red Sox top prospects, but has been up and down between AAA and the MLB. Down in AAA, Bowden, working as a starter, has gone 4-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 22 games. His opponents batting average is .233.
Saito was signed this offseason to help solidify the bullpen. His age, 39, scares me. There are younger relievers on the market (Juan Rincon, Joaquin Benoit, Chad Cordero, Jon Grabow, Rafael Soriano) that could be viable options for Boston to replace Saito.
With the Red Sox acquisition of Billy Wagner, the Red Sox will enter an Eric Gagne-in-2007 type situation: Keep him if he's good, grant him free agency if he's bad.
If the latter happens, the Red Sox should sign someone like I mentioned in the previous slide (Grabow, Rincon, Benoit or Soriano) to come in and take Wagner's spot on the roster.
Without any acquisitions, the Red Sox pitching staff will be very strong. But that's not even considering potential acquisitions the Red Sox could get: Jason Marquis, Rafael Soriano, Jon Grabow, Juan Rincon, Brandon Lyon, Luis Ayala, Joaquin Benoit, Chad Bradford, Todd Wellemeyer, Brett Myers, or Tim Hudson if his contract is bought out. All those guys are possibilities for Boston.
Either way, the Red Sox are looking strong all around in 2010.