Boston has a solid one-two punch with Jon Lester and the revived Josh Beckett. But with Clay Buchholz unlikely to return this season, it leaves a major hole in a possible three-man rotation come playoff time.
Let's take a look at some possibilities:
Andrew Miller—Miller has been a bust so far in his career, but he is showing signs of potential with Boston.
However, Miller has not pitched past six innings of baseball all year long. Throw in the fact that he shows an inability to strikeout batters and he would be a shaky option for the Sox.
Miller has walked the exact same amount of batters as he has struck out at 25, which will be a concern as far as giving up easy runs.
Look for Miller to provide some bullpen help.
Tim Wakefield—Being one of the most serviceable starters in Red Sox history, Wakefield could receive the nod to pitch a pivotal game.
Statistically he is terrible, having only seven quality starts out of 24 appearances. After turning 45 this week, Wakefield could be a valuable reliever, bringing his knuckleball out of the bullpen for a change of pace.
John Lackey—What can I say about Lackey to sum up his tenure in Boston? I think the correct term would be failure.
He was a questionable signing in the first place, but game by game he continues to be a liability to the team's success.
Posting an ERA above 6.00 should be a major sign of concern, but if they want to get their money's worth from the overpaid Lackey, they may let him toe the rubber in Game 3.
Erik Bedard—Boston traded for Bedard in hopes that he can fill this role. If he can get comfortable in a Sox uniform he will be the odds-on favorite.
Bedard's 4-7 record in Seattle is deceiving, considering he was surrounded by one of the worst offenses in the MLB. With Boston's sluggers backing him up, Erik Bedard can easily turn his luck around.
Bedard is posting an ERA well under 4.00 and has the potential to be an asset as a third starter come playoff time. Consider him the best option.