A Brief Look at the Future of the Red Sox Pitching Staff

Yesterday, ‘Jacobyluvr’ posted a comment with some great questions regarding the future some of the Red Sox’s young pitching stars. Here’s my take on them:

Jon Lester 2.jpg
Where might Jon Lester be in the starting rotation? 
Lester really stepped it up last year, and pretty much established himself as the ace of our staff. I think that he would do great in the number one slot. He had great success in the post season as the ace of our staff (besides Game 3 of the ’08 ALCS) and I think that success will carry over into next year. In 2008, Beckett was plagued with injuries so his stats declined a bit, but this could also come from the amount of pressure that came from being the runner up to winning the Cy Young. Since Lester wasn’t in the running for the Cy Young, I think he’ll be okay. If he doesn’t start in the first slot, I can see him in the third slot. For some reason Dice-K seems like a second slot guy to me. 
Clay Buchholz 2.jpg
What are your thoughts on Clay Buchholz, is he still with us?
Yes, Clay is still with us. The Red Sox were smart to keep him in Double AA Portland after starting the season out 2-9. There is no doubt that Buchholz has talent, after all he did throw a no hitter against the Orioles on September 1, 2007. It was noted by various reporters that Buchholz’s stuff improved in Double AA, as well as in the AFL (Arizona Fall League). Seeing that Smoltz and Penny are only one year deals, I think that 2008 will be a year that Buchholz can really develop and fine tune his techniques so that he is ready to start in 2009. 
Justin Masterson 2.jpg
What about Masterson?
The great thing about Masterson is that he is very flexible. Smoltz won’t be coming back until about June, so Penny could either be starting, or in the bullpen. If Penny is in the bullpen, than I think Masterson could serve as a great temporary fifth starter. We know that Masterson can handle pressure, and for such a young guy, that’s impressive, and reassuring to know. In Game 5 of the 2008 ALCS Terry Francona and John Farrell put him in the bottom of the ninth with a one run lead and he put two men on– but after being briefly talked to by Varitek and Farrell, he was able to settle down and close it out. He is also training as a starter so that he can go wherever the Red Sox need him to go. In the long run, depending on how Buchholz turns out, he could be a starter. For now, I see him as a reliever though. 
A-Rod shortstop.jpg
Did you see MLB Network’s Prime 9 on short stops? If so, what did you think of A-Rod being ranked second? 
I am definitely one that gives credit where credit is due, but I honestly don’t think that A-Rod deserved to be ranked the second greatest short stop of all time. I think that he can be ranked up there in the top nine, but just not second. Personally, the top three shortstop for me are:
Honus Wagner.jpg
Honus Wagner
Ozzie Smith.jpg
Ozzie Smith “The Wizard of Oz”
Cal Ripken Jr.jpg
Cal Ripken Jr. 
I know that A-Rod has accomplished some incredible feats, he is probably one of the greatest baseball players of our time, but just not the SECOND best, perhaps the fifth best.
As we all know, it looks like the Ricketts family is going to be purchasing the Cubs. What I didn’t know until today was how Cubs fans feel about this. Cubs bloggers if you’re out there, please leave your URL because I would love to read your opinions on this. Anyway, I decided to investigate and find out what one Cubs fan thinks about this. Jen, I’m sure you hate him already.
I found William Hector today actually wearing Cubs colors, I wondered if it was intentional but he classified it as a coincidence. William doesn’t keep up with all the names of players and what not, but he loves watching the games. 
Me: William, how do you feel about the Cubs new ownership?
William: I like it! I like it better than Hank Steinbrenner. 
Now Yankee fans this does seem like a low blow to the Yankees, but William is actually a Yankee fan! I neglected to ask him how he felt about Jake Peavy when we got onto the topic of Joe Torre’s new book. He asked me if I was reading it, but I told him I was reading my friend, Jane’s book first. 
Confessions of a She Fan.png
Speaking of Jane’s book, I’ve come up with a few reasons why I’ll be reading hers first as oppose to Torre’s. 
Joe Torre bashes A-Rod a lot in his book. Don’t I already know that I don’t like A-Rod? Does Joe Torre have to convince me to continue not liking A-Rod? Absolutely not! I know Jane is a Yankee fan and all, but she’s still a baseball fan right? Torre is a manager, Jane is a fan (and wicked author). I think I can relate to Jane a bit more than I can relate to Torre. Plus, after reading an excerpt from it on Amazon, I laughed! Torre’s book just reaffirmed my hatred for the Yankees.
I’m not looking to have my beliefs changed AT ALL, I’m fine with hating the Yankees but that doesn’t mean I hate ALL Yankee fans. The Yankee fans here actually are quite smart, and make it easy to actually co-exist with them! 
Fantasy Baseball.gif
I’ve decided to be a conformist and join the fantasy
baseball craze. From what I’ve heard, I have to rally up some friends and start a league on either Yahoo or ESPN. So, here’s an open call to all who would like to start a fantasy baseball team with me. 
Varitek, your deadline is Friday. Funny how Scott Boras was quoted saying that “he has nothing to say”. This is good, as long as he keeps his mouth shut, we’re all better off!
-Elizabeth

13 Comments

Yikes! Two invites for fantasy baseball – cofb put a call out also. Maybe we can join together. I’ve never played but I’ll try. I agree with your take on our pitchers – but I think I would like to see Masterson stay in the pen. Do you not see Wakefield as being a part of the rotation this season? While I might not like it – I think we might see Buchholz being traded. Especially for some more catching. And I echo your sentiment – Tek, just get it down already! Sign the contract!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Do your league on ESPN and call it something like MLBlogs league or something that shows we are from MLBlogs. As for Lester he should start 2 or 3. We shouldn’t rush him. Clay ahould start the season in the bullpen and as for Masterson I like him in the bullpen right now.

Bob, http://bostonsports.mlblogs.com/

Very nice guys you have there! John Lester’s no hitter was amazing and I can remember it clearly. Lester deserves to be in the starting rotation.
I really want to read Jane’s book. It looks very interesting!
http://hyunyoung.mlblogs.com

I gave my take on the Torre book drama in my new post. Honestly, I don’t see the big deal, but w/e..
And I styll haven’t joined the craziness of Fantasy Baseball.. but I might come around one of these days.. or not, lolz.
- V [ http://flairforthedramatic.mlblogs.com ]

I can’t wait for Jane’s book! I went online and ordered some of her other books too. I don’t know when I will have time to read them but I can’t wait.
I might like to join your league but I am just not sure how much time I have this semester. It is super busy!
Melissa
http://clemsongirlbaseball.mlblogs.com

Julia: We’ll have to see what happens with the Varitek situation to know what will happen with Buchholz.

Bob: I think COB is starting one up that’ll be called MLBlogs or something.

Hyun Young: At least we won’t have to wait long for Jane’s book!! Jon Lester’s no-no was beautiful

V: I’ll check out the post now. MLB Network said the Blogosphere was buzzing with Torre’s book.

Lissi: I’ve heard it’s quite time consuming. Hopefully we can do it!!

-Elizabeth

LOL, Elizabeth. I understand your hating the Yankees, but I’m so glad you don’t hate me! Just remember that I grew up loving them and they’re in my DNA. I’m a slave to my addiction.

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Jane: Don’t worry, I think I’ll be able to get past the Red Sox bashing and what not. After all, if I wrote a book there would be some Yankee bashing in there.
-Elizabeth

Don’t forget…Joe Torre is a Dodger.
http://imbringingdiamondback.mlblogs.com

Great anaysis on your pitchers! I really like those three guys, they are great pitchers. When are you going to find the time for fantasy baseball? I don’t think I could ever do it because I would get addicted and I don’t really have the time!! I read the except from Amazon, too, and Jane’s book looks really funny!
http://kaybee.mlblogs.com

Elizabeth,

Wow, so cool! I really didn’t expect such an awesome response!

Elizabeth,
I liked your article, but I think Cal is too high on your list. He always seemed to recieve a pass because of the streak. In no way am I downplaying that accomplishment, but he was not better than A-Rod. I think they placed him right where he belongs.
Second, you are really set with pitching and I think Lester will become an ace for you guys. I know that no hitter showed the potential this guy has (I’m still waiting on that Mets no hitter)
Lastly, if you want to join a fanatsy league I can help you out. I was the league champ two years ago and finished third last year.
-Mike
http://mikeandhismets.mlblogs.com

Caroline: So naturally you hate Joe Torre. I’m sure you won’t even touch his book!

Kaybee: I have no idea where I’m going to find the time for fantasy baseball. I barely have enough time to blog (then again, that’s probably because I procrastinate a lot).

Jacobyluvr: Glad you enjoyed it!!

Mike: I think you’re right in the sense that he may be a bit overrated because of that incredible feat of consecutive games. The thing that bothers me about A-Rod is that he always chokes in the clutch. And I’d greatly appreciate the help!!

-Elizabeth

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