Boston Pitching Surplus

ESPN's Buster Olney speculates on Boston's pitching surplus:

Eventually, it figures that Justin Masterson will go back to the Boston bullpen, and that will create the spot in the rotation for Daisuke Matsuzaka. If the Red Sox want to create another for Clay Buchholz, they would always have the option of taking offers for a veteran pitcher who has had quality starts in four of his six outings. That guy is Brad Penny, who might be a nice fit for a team like the Milwaukee Brewers or the Mets. That's all speculation at this point.

Even if Buchholz can't supplant Penny, how about John Smoltz?  He's back on track and may even pitch an extended spring training game on Friday.  The surplus also includes 22 year-old Michael Bowden, he of the 1.01 ERA in five Triple A starts.

The best bet for the Sox may be to just hoard this depth in the event of an injury.  Even though most expect Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, and Penny to pitch much better from here on out, the fact is that Boston's rotation ranks dead last in the AL with a collective 5.81 ERA.  They're 20-12 despite that stat.

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