Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The starting rotation, glaringly, did not live up to expectations in 2012. Red Sox starters finished 12th in American League with a 5.19 ERA, 10th with 928 1/3 innings pitched, with the second-most runs allowed (575), fourth-most home runs allowed (135), third-most in walks allowed (336), the fourth-highest opponents’ average (.272), and tied for the fourth-highest WHIP (1.42).
“I think just generally it needs to improve,” Cherington said. “The performance of the rotation wasn’t good enough last year. So I think we need to get improved performance out of them. And as I said before I think that will mostly come from the guys that are already here. That’s going to make a bigger difference than anyone else we add, likely. In terms of the order, once – I guess the way I see it – once the season starts and you get into the schedule, someone’s taking the ball every day and I’m not sure the order matters as much. We’re looking for guys, we need guys who every time they take the ball give us a chance to win. And that didn’t happen enough in 2012.
“We have guys in [Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz] who we think can pitch like top-of-the-rotation starters. They have in the past and have done that for consistent periods of time in the past and we’re counting on them to do that going forward.”
This has been on my mind ever since there were rumors of sending Lester to Kansas City. It was also the first time I have seen myself actually mulling over a trade that involved Lester since he was rumored to be in a package for Johan Santana.
While his stats over the past two season hint that Lester could be declining, there's just no one out on the free agent market, that is worth bringing in to replace him, especially when Zack Grienke is trying to land a $150 million contract. Also, I'll willing to bet that Lester could have a bounce back year and re-emerge as the ace of the staff.
In fact, I would say that about this entire rotation. The Sox have pitching talent, the issue is whether or not they could all stay healthy. For the sake of these guys,maybe putting in a six man rotation could do everyone on this staff a favor. By giving them that extra day of rest, they could go longer into games and be extra ready. It's not the conventional way, but it might be crazy enough to work.
Globe: Long ball needed | Herald: Waiting for Napoli | Hamilton may be ripe for plucking | New place same wait as Sox mull | CSNNE: Loney to sign with Rays | Market for Youk is heating up | Salty doesn't see Ross as his ticket out of town | Cherington won't rule out a big move | WEEI: Ranaudo (groin) shut down