Boston Red Sox: 5 Reasons They Should Go Hard After Ubaldo Jimenez
This needs to happen.
The Red Sox pitching staff always seems to get struck by the injury bug, and this year is no different. Daisuke Matsuzaka is toast. Clay Buchholz hasn't pitched in over a month. John Lackey isn't injured, but I think most Boston fans wish he was.
Luckily, the Red Sox have a deep farm system. Despite trading two of their top prospects, Casey Kelly and Anthony Rizzo, for hitting machine Adrian Gonzalez, the Sox still have plenty of talent to offer.
Boston should pull the trigger on a deal for prospects, and cruise into the playoffs with a pitching staff that rivals the Philadelphia Phillies' legendary rotation.
Here are five reasons why.
5. Daisuke Matsuzaka
Daisuke's career in Boston is most likely over after having Tommy John surgery last month.
What perfect timing.
After one of the most inconsistent and perplexing careers of any pitcher in recent memory, Matsuzaka left the United States as a broken man. It really is impressive how a player with as much talent as Daisuke could be so bad.
His BAA (batting average against) this season was a measly .224, but he still managed to have an ERA north of five. One night he would give you a no-hitter, and the next he wouldn't get out of the first inning.
Overall, the feeling is that he just wasn't ready to play in the US.
Either way, he is gone now. He came into the season as the fifth starter, and now he's gone and he's not coming back. Coincidentally, Jimenez is an uber-talented starting pitcher.
He could give Red Sox fans what they expected from Daisuke all those years, and more.
4. Andrew Miller
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Listen. If he keeps on winning games (he's 4-1), by all means, leave him in the rotation.
Call me a pessimist if you want, but I'm sorry, I just don't see that happening. The statistic that stands out most is his K:BB. You aren't going to believe me, but his K:BB is currently sitting at 16:22. He has six more walks than strikeouts, yet, he has compiled the most wins by a Red Sox pitcher in the month of July.
The kid had potential. He came into the league as a sixth overall pick in the 2006 MLB draft. A lefty, Miller stands at 6'7" tall and has all the attributes of an ace. Unfortunately, he has not been able to fulfill all the promise he displayed in high school.
I'm all for second chances, and if Miller continues to win games in bunches he should remain on the staff.
But would you rather have a shaky Miller as your fourth starter, or a rock-solid ace as your fourth starter?
Obviously you would rather the ace, regardless of the prospects lost in a deal. By the way, in case you were wondering what Jimenez's K:BB numbers were. Here they are: 108:45. Filthy.
3. John Lackey
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Where do I even begin?
Can I say that John Lackey was one of the worst decisions of Theo Epstein's career? Can I say that Lackey is the lone reason why the Sox are not shoo-ins for the playoffs? Can I say that Lackey has been a complete and utter failure in his time in Boston?
I've had enough of this guy, and I think every other Boston fan has too.
Last season, he stunk, and this year, he has gotten even worse. And yes, there are still three more years left on his $82.5 million deal.
His BAA is an unsightly .299, and he seems to only have one good game per month. Out of all of Theo's mistakes over the years (Renteria, Lugo, Clement, Matsuzaka), I think he might regret this one the most. And I can't blame him.
Lackey is so lousy that after allowing 10 hits in just 5.2 innings, we congratulated him on only allowing three runs. His presence in Boston's rotation could be short-lived, in which case, Boston would need a fourth starter.
Ubaldo, step right up!
2. The Playoffs
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If the Red Sox want to even think of lifting a World Series trophy this October, then they need to strongly consider the righthander from Colorado.
In the playoffs, you need a dominant pitching staff, and right now Boston falls just short. With injuries crippling John Lester and Chris Buchholz, the Sox front office needs to be extremely careful with how the starters are utilized for the remainder of the season.
Adding Jimenez will give the Sox a fourth ace in an already loaded Red Sox stable.
His career BAA is a superb .227, to go along with a career ERA of 3.59 and WHIP of 1.27.
While we can assume those numbers will rise in the volatile AL East, his 99 MPH fastball will put fans at ease. Just 27 years old, Jimenez is right in his prime.
It's now or never for the Sox to make a move that will put them over the top in the playoffs, and Ubaldo is that move.
1. The Sox Need to Win Now
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We all remember Hanley Ramirez in the Red Sox system. He was described as a hitter touched by God who could just about do it all.
And then, the Sox traded him in the Josh Beckett/Mike Lowell deal.
How did that work out for Boston?
So they lost a great player, who cares? The goal is to win championships, and we needed Beckett to win one, so we swung the deal. The same logic applies here.
Whomever it may be, whether it's Anthony Ranaudo, a supposed "potential ace," or Kolbrin Vitek, Kevin Youkilis' eventual replacement at third, the Sox should not hesitate to part ways with their prospects.
If Colorado starts asking for Jacoby Ellsbury, we have a different story.
But if the Rockies keep their demands within only the Sox Farm System, I think it would be wise to pull the trigger. Can you even imagine how terrifying it would be to face Boston?
Not only would you have to worry about the league's No. 1 offense, but you would be facing four aces every time you played them in a series. Seems unfair to me.
I hope you enjoyed! Let me know what you think in the comments section below. Does Boston have a legitimate chance, or is it just trade deadline banter? Should the Sox give up a couple of "Five Star" prospects for the ace from Colorado? Please share your thoughts!