A Six Man Rotation In 2008?
Good morning on this Wednesday, the day after Kevin Youkilis' Gold Glove award and Curt Schilling's signing were announced. With Schill, there are six men ready to slide into the starting rotation, seven if you include Julian Tavarez, who will be used in long relief. Would a six man rotation benefit the club? Theo Epstein had some thoughts on this very subject, and here they are, from the Hartford Courant....
".....a rotation that goes six deep with Tim Wakefield (re-signed last week), Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. Epstein said there would be discussions about using a six-man rotation next season, although that remains theoretical.
"We've tried to build as much starting depth as possible, realizing that the free agent market was pretty thin," Epstein said. "We feel pretty good about all the starters we have, and if you add [Julian] Tavarez, we have seven guys that we feel pretty good about. It usually takes that many to get through a whole year.
"We've discussed the concept of the six-man rotation. I think it's premature to commit to any usage pattern. But certainly we're in a unique situation where a number of our starters might benefit from something like that. It's an interesting concept, but not something we've fully explored yet."
Peter here. and this concept needs a lot of thought. On one hand, the wear and tear on the Red Sox starters would be lessened along with the number of innings pitched over the course of a baseball season. Yet some pitchers, Josh Beckett in particular, thrive on pitching every fifth day, and if it ain't broke, don't fix it, especially in Josh's case (Cy Young Award winner-he HAS to be!) Guys like Daisuke Matsuzaka, however, would benefit from that extra day of rest between starts. And Curt Schilling, who has an incentive in his new contract, among others, that rewards him for each extra ten innings he pitches over a set minimum, might frown on this whole discussion. Theo and company have to think of the starting rotation as a "unit," and do what is right for that "unit." And it will not be an easy decision to make. I hope they can concentrate, for now, on one thing....RE-SIGN MIKE LOWELL, and then worry about the makeup of our talented pitching staff later. Remember, all the pitching pieces are there, it's the assembly and usage that remain question marks. And that's NOT true of most clubs in MLB. The Red Sox are in better shape because their pitching staff, except for two additions to the bullpen (more on that in another post) is all set and roaring to go!
In free agents doings, Mike Timlin and the aforementioned Mike Lowell have filed, and they did it yesterday. My feelings are known about Mikey Lowell. As for Timlin, if the price is right and the club uses him the right way, not overburdening him with innings, he would be a nice addition to the 'pen. Time will tell, I guess.
Click on the title of this post for the Herald's Mike Silverman's look at the latest in the quest for Mike, OUR third baseman.....who is so needed to be a big part of the 2008 Boston Red Sox, baseball's best. And you, my Constant Readers, are the best too. I don't know what I'd do without you. Your comments are welcome, and will be answered. Thanks, and stay well.