White Hat Sports Headlines

Monday, June 15, 2009

What to do about pitching.

The Red Sox have a surplus of pitching that no other team has. The old saying goes, "you can never have enough pitching," but the Red Sox right now need to figure out the best way to use all that they have for their greatest advantage. Clay Buchholz is dominating Triple-A right now and is starting to get the itch down there. Smoltz is going to be ready to start in the majors this week and that Brad Penny that we thought was the best case scenario when the Red Sox signed him seems to be waiting simply to make his next start. The question is now, what should the Red Sox do to maximize their output from all of this talent that they have.
The rotation right now is Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka, Penny and Wakefield.
The closest thing to a hole in that rotation right now is Matsuzaka who probably won't be back to what he was for this entire season (just another casualty of the WBC). Lester and Beckett are starting to turn into the pitchers that people hoped that they would be this season while Penny isn't far behind them and Wakefield actually carried the Red Sox for the first month and a half of the season. So where does Smoltz break in? Do you trade Penny? My dad said today he wouldn't trade Penny for anybody less than Hanley Ramirez. Where I don't agree with that, I do believe that his price tag is a lot higher than teams thought or perhaps his price tag has risen since teams started negotiating with the Red Sox. When his name was first being thrown out there in trade talks, Buster Olney said that the Red Sox might get an okay prospect and that's about it. Right now where I haven't heard anything about where he might end up or what for, I would have to imagine that the Red Sox could get the shortstop upgrade that they have been seeking.
Here's what makes sense to me, as good as Brad Penny has been, he has been injured a lot in his career and that could derail the chances of getting anything in return for him. So it might be smart to trade high with him now.
So now with an opening in the rotation it only seems natural that John Smoltz would come in and take that spot, right? Sort of. I think you bring him AND Buchholz into the rotation. Yes, I said it, a 6 man rotation. Where Beckett and Lester have been fantastic, Daisuke could use some rest and I'm sure Smoltz and Wakefield could as well, and it probably wouldn't hurt Buchholz either. I wouldn't use the 6 man rotation too long however, I would use it until the beginning of August and then move either Tim Wakefield or John Smoltz to the bullpen as the long man. Because right now the only long man is Justin Masterson and either Wakefield or Smoltz could be invaluable with the young guys in the bullpen. Though right now the bullpen has been pretty much lights out, the question becomes who do you move out if you move in Smoltz or Wake. I think it's an easy choice (and not because he didn't have a good outing yesterday), I think Bard has to be sent back down. He has shown flashes of absolute brilliance, at times he has lost his command and still looks like a young pitcher. He could use some more seasoning in Pawtuckett until he can be called up again in September 1.
Will any of this happen? Yes, it has to.
Will all of this happen? Not a chance, because for everything I know, there has to be more that I don't. Though this all makes sense right?

Sterling Pingree

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