Thursday, April 14, 2011
Reshuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic
OK, maybe it isn't quite that bad, but the Red Sox have decided to use their unexpected off day thanks to the postponement of the Red Sox Rays game on Wednesday, and have reshuffled their rotation. John Lackey, who was scheduled to pitch on Wednesday, was bumped back to Tuesday, Daisuke was pushed back from Saturday to Sunday, and Jon Lester will pitch on Saturday on four days rest. Both Daisuke and Lackey have struggled mightily, posting WHIPs that would be good ERAs (2.71 and 2.42, respectively) and K:BB ratios right around 1. Giving them time off is definitely a good idea, but I'm not sure one start is going to make a difference. Given Daisuke's ineffectiveness over the last year and a half, you have to wonder if this is his last shot to stay in the Red Sox rotation. Both Alfredo Aceves and Tim Wakefield have pitched relatively well, have started in the past, and were stretched out as starters to begin the season. Aceves, in particular, has been sharp, with 5 strikeouts in 5 2/3 IP and no walks. If I had to pick the guy I expect to be 5th starter in a month, I'd put my money on Aceves. Daisuke could probably be traded, potentially to the NL, but the Sox would probably have to eat about $15 million of the $20.67 owed over the next two years. Shuffling the starting pitchers around isn't going to make a huge difference - the hitters need to start hitting with runners on, and the pitchers need to cut down on the walks and home runs.