The Red Sox’ 2011 Rotation

The Red Sox have perhaps the most recognizable rotation in baseball. Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Tim Wakefield and Daisuke Matsuzaka have won a combined 545 games, two of them have pitched no-hitters, five have made All-Star teams and all six are under team control for 2011.

There are no guarantees for any big league rotation, no matter how well-established, and the Red Sox are no exception. Lackey's first season in Boston has been a difficult one; no American Leaguer has allowed more hits and Lackey's ERA (4.60) is higher than it has been in years. Beckett told WEEI that the Red Sox are in a "pretty frustrating" situation and fans hoping for an ERA better than 6.21 from the right-hander surely agree (Beckett's peripherals, it must be noted, remain strong). Meanwhile, Lester and Buchholz have been tremendous and Matsuzaka and Wakefield have pitched as expected.

Those six pitchers have started all but four Red Sox games this year, but the team may have to rely on a more diverse collection of arms in 2011. That shouldn't be a problem for Boston, because they have a number of younger starters ready or nearly ready to contribute in the major leagues.

First of all, there's Felix Doubront, the 22-year-old left-hander who is now pitching well out of Boston's bullpen. Before the Red Sox called him up, Doubront posted a 2.81 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 as a starter in the upper minors. And though Doubront is a reliever now, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein told Alex Speier of WEEI that could change.

"We see him long term as a starter, but like a lot of starting pitchers, the first stage of his big league career might be as a reliever, especially in this organization,” Epstein said.

Another Red Sox reliever, Michael Bowden, climbed the minor league ladder as a starter and could return to the rotation if a need arises. While Bowden has proven himself in the minors, a couple other young starters likely need some more seasoning. Junichi Tazawa is returning from Tommy John surgery, but he should be able to contribute in the majors if he can return to his 2009 form. Casey Kelly, another top prospect, has seen his walk rate and ERA jump at AA, so he will likely need more time in the minors. Another AA starter, Kyle Weiland, has pitched well for Portland and could become a consideration for the Red Sox.

These minor leaguers will, in all likelihood, have to wait their turn. Boston has six major league starters under team control for 2011, so their rotation appears set. Don’t expect the Red Sox to bid on free agent starters like they did last year (Lackey) and the year before (John Smoltz, Brad Penny). Unless they offer Buchholz an extension, the Red Sox probably aren’t going to present any starters with proposals this winter. Even though it’s been a frustrating season for the Red Sox, the organization has a strong group of starters and potential starters for 2011.

141 Responses to The Red Sox’ 2011 Rotation Leave a Reply

  1. NYY92 5 years ago

    hate to say it,but the red sox have a great rotation when healthy and pitching up to their potential.good group going into the 2011 season

    • Lester and Buchholz are legit number 1s. Lackey and Becket are overpaid injury risks. Dice BB and Wakefield are washed number 5s at best. Red Sox do have a good rotation gong into 2011 but it’s nothing spectacular.

      • $1529282 5 years ago

        Buchholz with a 4.13 xFIP, 3.64 FIP, and a middling mark of 6.2 K/9 doesn’t have me sold as an ace at all. He doesn’t even have particularly strong control (3.38), and it’s not very likely that he sustains his near-80% strand rate or sub-6% HR/FB (after 14% and 15% the past two years).

        Buchholz is a good pitcher, but he’s not as good as his numbers right now indicate.

      • bjsguess 5 years ago

        Beckett and Lackey are overpaid injury risks for the majority of 2010. However, that is a pretty silly blanket statement to make about their future projections.

        Between 2005 and 2009 Lackey had exactly ONE year where his xFIP was above 4.00. Same goes with Beckett. If you believe in WAR – both players have had several seasons within the last 4 where they exceeded $20m of value.

        I do agree that both earn a little too much but it’s nothing egregious.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        Come on, man. Lester yes, Buchholz no way. He’s having a solid season. That’s about it for the moment. As it currently stands, Buchholz is a solid 3/4.

        • He’s a little better than you give him credit for. On many teams he would be an ace or a number 2 pitcher. It’s only because he is on the Red Sox that he is considered a 3 or 4. He would be a 3 or 4 on like 5 teams in the majors including the Red Sox, Yankees, Cardinals, Phillies, maybe Rangers, and maybe the Braves.

        • Lol a solid #3 or #4? That means there is 90-120 pitchers better than Buchholz. Yeah, his numbers are a bit misleading, but look at the adjustments he has made since the All Star break last year. The guy is learning how to pitch and keeps getting better, there is no reason to think he won’t keep improving…he clearly hasn’t hit his ceiling.

      • NYY92 5 years ago

        wow really?
        lackey and becket are having bad seasons,besides beckets ERA,as indicated in this posting are good,lackey is having a decent season in his first season away from anehiem its gonna take some getting used to. hop off the red sox hatorade dude its ok to admit a team you hate has some good pieces

    • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

      Yeah really.

      Being a huge Baseball fanand not the biggest Red Sox fan, I have to say this…I can’t want until their rotation is Beckett Lester Bucholz Lackey and Kelly! I can’t wait!

      • Lackey and Becket would age by the time Kelly is ready ( 5.31 ERA in AA this year, he would need at least 1 1/2 more year in minors)

        • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

          He will be up some time next season.

          • Guest 5 years ago

            No chance. Guy is still what 17 or something? I’m being sarcastic, but you’re not going to see Kelly probably until late summer 2012, yes 2012, at best.

          • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

            sept call up 11

          • grant77 5 years ago

            Kelly has been horrid this year and his stuff has never been that overwhelming. I’ll eat my hat if we see him in 2011, he’s not ready and may never be.

          • I don’t think you can really call him horrid. He is, I think, one of the 3 youngest who played AA ball this year. He is at a very advanced level for his age. His stuff is much better than you give him credit for. Check out his scouting report at I do agree though that he most likely won’t be on the Sox at all in ’11 but there is a chance he will especially if he figures everything out next year and dominates.

          • I wasn’t going to waste my time, but you hit the nail on the head.

          • woadude 5 years ago

            not is the Mayans are correct about their calendar lol.

          • woadude 5 years ago

            not if the mayans are right about their calendar.

          • woadude 5 years ago

            Tazawa will be in the rotation before Kelly, just my opinion.

          • No chance…Doubront is next in line if anything..Tazawa won’t be more than a 6/7 starter and temporary fill in like he was last year.

          • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

            Maybe. but that’s not the point. Tazawa is recoveing from Tommy John and has ML expirence while Jeft doesn’t.

      • woadude 5 years ago

        your going to have to be patient with Kelly, he is finding it not so easy in AA.

        • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

          I’m aware of that. Mike moustakas had a dreadful 09 and now he is one of the top 5 prospects in Baseball.

      • The Sox are in a great position right now with Ranaudo and Kelly coming up. They can bring in a big bat with one (if necessary) and have the other take over the #5 spot in the rotation once Daisuke leaves. And if they live up to their potentials they could possibly have a #1 or #2 caliber pitcher as their #5.

        • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

          don’t forget about Brandon Workman. Also Kyle Weiland is a nice prospect. Plus, they took some really good position players in this past draft. Sean Cotle’ Garin Checchni, and Kolbrin Vitek.

        • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

          I meant Sean Coyle

    • hawkny1 5 years ago

      Say goodbye to Tim Wakefield and hello to Anthony Ranaudo….

  2. I wonder if there could be a potential trade between the Mets and Sox for Beltran and some SP? Beltran is owed $18M next year, so it’s a substantial amount but I’m sure if the Sox were looking for an OF the Mets would kick the tires and see if they could get some SP from Boston.

    • you’re kidding…right?
      Sox have more important things to deal with…..
      $ coming off the books, current FAs to deal with, etc.
      why waste time on an oft-injured Beltran at $18M

    • $1529282 5 years ago

      Sox will have Ellsbury, Cameron, and Drew healthy next year. Closest match is Dice-K’s $20MM over the next two years, and I’m sure the Sox would rather have him than Beltran at this point. Lackey’s contract looks bad, but again I doubt they’ve given up on him after one season.

      Beltran’s salary is just not going to get unloaded for anything unless New York eats almost all of it.

      • boston3party123 5 years ago

        Ellsberry and cameron are not good they should get rid of both of them

        • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

          They are both very good players but injury prone. I would definetly have them in the Sox’s starting plans next season. Players get injured…What can you do?

          • boston3party123 5 years ago

            ya but cameron is getting old and i guess u can keep ellsberry but he dosent have that much pop in his bat u know what i mean?

          • $1529282 5 years ago

            Cameron is old, so he’s bad? He’s still one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball and slugged at least .450 in five of the past six seasons until this year when he was injured.

            Ellsbury is overrated, but just because he doesn’t hit for power doesn’t make him a bad player either.

          • boston3party123 5 years ago

            No but hes not lived up to the contract they gave him…. in the off season why cant they go out and get jayson werth to play center field instead of cameron

          • $1529282 5 years ago

            Werth will cost Boston their first-round pick and require a 4-year deal. I’d say odds are that he ultimately won’t live up to it either. There’s a far better bet that Cameron lives up to the $7.25MM he’s due next year than Werth living up to the $48MM-$60MM he’s going to get through free agency.

          • Potrzeba 5 years ago

            werth is not worth the contract, we old and he would be adjusting to a new league. he would turn into the jason bay for the mets. i would rather trade for either, kemp.

          • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

            I see what you are saying, but Power isn’t ellsbury’s game. He is expected to get on base, steal bases, and play a good defensive left field…He does all 3 when healthy.

        • NYY92 5 years ago

          ellsburry isnt good!in what world do you live in?id love to be there.
          i hate when people do that for real,the guy turns into one of the best centerfielders defensivley and steals 120 bases in two seasons and turns into your leaoff guy,hits for a good average,everyones calling him god and all and then the guy gets hurt and everyone says oh hes gardbedge,shutup kid you know nothing about baseball im sorry.

          • boston3party123 5 years ago

            No one ever called ellsberry god lol and ya hes such a great center fielder to bad he plays left field with a shitty arm and which limates his outfield abilty because he dosnt as much range in left than he does in center….. if u ever watch the redsox u never see ellsberry get a big hit in the clutch since he just came up in 2008… i mean ellsberry is a protitpical leadoff guy maybe for another team but i think they should make pedroia there leadoff man and in the offseason get jayson werth idk thats just my opinion

      • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

        I wonder if Carlos Beltran would be a good fit in DC actually. After the Nyjer Morgan incidents this season including last night, I’m not sure that Rizzo is exactly happy with where the organization is going. If the Mets were to get a few decent prospects in return and eat some salary, Beltran would fit in great in DC…Zimmenator, Dunn, Beltran, Willingham would be a pretty good 3,4,5,6 if they re-sign the Dunkey. I’m just putting it out there.

        By the way, isn’t it funny how the Nationls traded Milledge for Morgan because they thought Lastings had attitude problems…

        • $1519287 5 years ago

          You know, I think Beltran in D.C. makes some sense.

          – BNS

          • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

            Thanks Barry Nicholas Smith. I think so to. It’s his kind of atmosphere.

          • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

            Wait Ben thats you? What? I thought you never commented!! I just used Barry as making a joke like it’s your twin brother or something! Thats cool the commentmoderator is you Ben I solved the mystery!

          • $1519287 5 years ago

            Yeah, I should just get an account with my name, but this is the one I’m usually logged in on. But yeah, it’s Ben.

            – BNS

          • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

            So all along, All along…its been you! That’s awesome.

      • Sox would trade Dice BB for Beltran in a heartbeat and Mets would hang up. Quality OF >>> Number 4-5 starter. I wonder if Mets would like Bowden if they eat a part of Beltran’s salary.

        • You’re kidding, right? They already have a surplus of outfielders (Kalish, Ellsbury, Cameron, Drew, Reddick) and don’t need any more, especially if Carlos Beltran is going to underachieve like he is right now. Dice-K also has a no-trade clause in his contract (despite the lack of 10-5, he and Boras had it worked in) so him waiving it is unlikely, especially to go to New York where the GM is totally inept.

        • $1529282 5 years ago

          I don’t think many teams would trade for Beltran in a heartbeat. For all his struggles, Dice-K could still go out and post a very solid 2011 campaign… it’s a better bet than Beltran at this point, and Dice-K has a no-trade clause anyway.

        • Daisuke wouldn’t be a 4/5 on the Mets..just because he’s the #4 or #5 guy on the Red Sox doesn’t mean that’s what he is. The guy put up a 5 WAR season the last time he was fully healthy, despite his flaws he is very effective. In the NL he could do great things and be much more aggresive against the shallower lineups.

    • All I can say about that is hahahaha….you are dreamin

    • Tko11 5 years ago

      We will glady give you Cameron and Dice k for Beltran! Dice k =10 mil per year and I cant remember what cameron got but it should equal beltrans 18mil…only thing is dice k’s ntc. Cameron would make his grand return to new york for the player he injured…

    • Potrzeba 5 years ago

      we want david wright!

    • Potrzeba 5 years ago

      we want david wright!

  3. boston3party123 5 years ago

    The redsox should get rid off the disastrous wakefield and while there doing that they should get rid of there horrible GM theo epstein who put together this mess of a team they have right now…… if the redsox were smart they would have traded Ellsbery to the padres when they could’eve for good prospects instead they keep him and he gets hurt for like the 3rd time this year

    • Coreno 5 years ago

      you, sir. are ignorant.

      • boston3party123 5 years ago

        Just stating the truth of an angry redsox fan

        • Coreno 5 years ago

          the team Theo put together this year was better than last year’s in my opinion. Not his fault that his team was never healthy all together on the field at once. and the depth of this team in incredible. the fact that they would be a division winner if they were in most other divisions with the team they are putting out the everyday really says something.

          • boston3party123 5 years ago

            Yeah ur right to some degree but when is it time to get rid of some of the guys that are starters that are not producing like ellsberry and cameron that have been hurt the whole year and have not lived up to there contracts at all

          • So you just drop them without giving them a chance to come back healthy next year? Ellsbury is under team control until at least 2013 (I think) and Cameron still has another year on his contract and after this year, no one is going to take him. If you applied your philosophy to everyone, then Pedroia, Youkilis, Victor Martinez, David Ortiz and Josh Beckett would all be gone.

          • ellisburks 5 years ago

            Look at the people on the Red Sox who have been hurt at least a month this season: Youk, Dustin, V-Mart, Beckett, Dice-K, Jacoby, Cameron and Tek. That is your 1B, 2B, Ca, Ace, #3 starter, LF, CF and back up catcher. Then look at where they are in the W/L column: 17 games over .500. Name another team that could play that well without that many integral players?

        • Big difference between “angry redsox fan” and ignorant red sox fan. You seem like the latter. Theo Epstein makes mistakes, but he is absolutely one of the best GMs in baseball.

        • jwredsox 5 years ago

          I think you are using the term “fan” quite loosely.

  4. moonraker45 5 years ago

    Most overrated rotation in the league… Buchholz and Lester are both awesome, any team in the league would love either of them. But Lackey, Beckett, Dice K, .. too expensive and regressing.

    • boston3party123 5 years ago

      So true there two most expensive pitchers are not even there one and 2 pitchers….. shows what a great front office the redsox have

      • MaineSox 5 years ago

        Wait, so because they drafted and brought two pitchers up through their farm system that are their #1 and #2 pitchers and are under team control for VERY cheap, that means they have a terrible front office? I don’t get it? Or maybe it’s because they have two guys who could be (were) aces on other staffs as their 3rd and 4th best pitchers? And overrated? Every one of their starters (including Wake) has the potential to win 15 to 20 games in any given season if every starter won 15 games in one season (definitely possible) that would be 75 wins just from their starting 5, for comparison both the Yanks and the Rays (as of today) have 66 wins from their starters.

    • johnsilver 5 years ago

      Curious how Beckett has an injury filled season and a third and then he all of a sudden becomes rubbish. Got a feeling fans posting here would love to have him penciled in next season on their own favorite team as a #2 AT LEAST. The guy (when healthy) wins clutch games in post/regular season as a habit and against other teams aces as well.

  5. It_Is_What_It_Is_Ormaybenot 5 years ago

    Gotta Trade Dice K, I hate seeing younger players blocked (Doubront) who have similar or more upside than an expensive veteran. And I would never boot Wakefield into retirement, he actually pitches better with more work, but regardless he is very cheap for a veteran 5 or 6 starter and could fill number 4 if injuries strike..

    • $1529282 5 years ago

      Daisuke has a full no-trade clause and $20MM over the next two years without the performance to even generate interest in him. They won’t be able to trade him.

      • It_Is_What_It_Is_Ormaybenot 5 years ago

        You might be right, but he might be ok in the NL, he might even be a #2 in the NL. 10m yr for a number 2 is good in that league, but you are right we would have to overcome the no-trade. But I suspect he could be enticed if it means not being the number 5 for the Sox, plus better stats in the NL

        • It’s not just the NTC they’d have to overcome. Dice-K’s contract is full of very unique incentives. The Sox pay for multiple flights back to Japan for him & his family(I don’t remember the exact number of flights, but it was a lot…like 600 for the life of the contract if I remember correctly). They also pay for his translator and allow him to be in the clubhouse at all times. They also pay for his massage therapist, car & housing.

          • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

            He gets 8 tickets per year… That’s 48 over 6 years.

          • Is it that low? Where did you find that? I searched but could not find exact numbers.

          • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

            Cot’s Contracts, gotta love that site.

          • Ah, nice..Thanks! That site doesn’t mention the tickets for his family? While my number was still way off, I remember that being a big factor in the contract for him.

          • BoSoXaddict 5 years ago

            Dice-K and his wife also JUST founded a charity organization in Boston so I don’t think him and his family are looking to move to a new city. Also, Dice-K is not the type of player who would desire a move to the NL just to improve his stats. Dice-K is the type of player that wants, and very badly I imagine, to live up to his potential and be the pitcher the Sox thought they were getting when they signed him. The whole honor thing..ya know?

          • Yes, the whole honor thing…if he fails, he shall impale himself with a Samurai sword! 😛

    • jwredsox 5 years ago

      Dice K in 2011 is probably worth more to the team then Doubront learning the majors in 2011. Trading Dice K is a mistake.

  6. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    Beckett has had a bad year and being injured didn’t exactly help, odds are he’ll bounce back. Lackey is a signing I didn’t like from day 1, but a lot of pitchers take time to adjust to a new park, he’s another one I expect to be better next year. Lester is a legitimate ace, hands down. Buchholz does have some deceiving numbers and a lower strikeout rate than expected of most aces but if you actually watch him pitch you’d see he’s the guy you want on the mound in a crucial game. As for Dice K, well he’s doing better this year and face it he’s the best #5 pitcher out there… Wakefield’s just unlucky that he’s the odd man out.

    I say don’t change this rotation next year. Put Doubront back in AAA and have him be the go to guy when the inevitable injury that happens to every pitching staff hits. Keep Kelly in AA for the year… just a friendly reminder to those scoffing at his ERA: He’s 20 and this is his first year pitching a full season. Try out Bowden as a reliever full time and see what Tazawa can do when he comes back.

    The real issue for the Sox this year were injuries, pitching staff can still go toe to toe with any staff… except maybe Oakland, their staff improves more next year and they’ll just be scary.

  7. Dice K and Ells arent going anywhere. Dice K because of the NTC and under performance and Ells because of his speed and defense. He can change a game by just being on the base paths and although he doesnt take the best lines to balls in the field, his speed makees up for it by catching up to the ball anyways. Not to mention the sox are in love with this guy.

    • jwredsox 5 years ago

      under performance? a sub 4 FIP for a guy in the AL East making 10mil and going over 6 innings per start. NTC is the only hurdle, I could see several teams wanting Dice K.

  8. logicx24 5 years ago

    As a Yankee fan, I don’t think the Red Sox’s rotation is overrated. I think that the Red Sox spent way too much on Lackey, just like the Yankees did on Burnett. They both have been terribly inconsistent. Jon Lester is definitely good, but he has struggled at times, and Clay Buchholz’s numbers are deceiving, he is still a little young to be considered a true ace, like Phil Hughes (who has far too many wins than he would on a different team). Sabathia has been very consistent for the Yankees, after his early season skid. And the Yankees other consistent starter, Andy Pettite, has been injured, just like Josh Beckett. Ivan Nova has filled in very well, but he has only had 2 career starts, and he is a rookie. Dustin Moseley has been bad, and that made me wonder why the Yankees didn’t pursue a #2 or #3 starter, like Kuroda off of waivers. But overall, both rotations have been plagued by injury, or inconsistency, it just being the red sox’s bad luck that their entire offense was injured.

    • jgmaynard 5 years ago

      As a Red Sox fan, I have to say that is one of the best posts I have ever read by a Yankees fan. LOL.
      But, seriously… WHY? Watching a baseball game and rooting for The Yankees is like watching a nature show and rooting for the leopard! :O) I’m like “Go, gazelle, go! He doesn’t have the endurance!” LOL. JK.

      • logicx24 5 years ago

        Well its the truth. Its not like I’m going to go up here and say the Yankees rotation has been perfect, because its far from it. I never was for signing A.J Burnett, and I didn’t like the Vazquez trade either, because both pitchers were coming off of career years, making their numbers deceptive. The Yankees rotation has not been fantastic, but its got the job done and thats what matters.

  9. BoSoxSam 5 years ago

    While Lackey and Beckett have been disappointments this year, I really like what Lester/Buchholz/Dice-K (yes, Dice-K) have done this year. Regardless of Buch’s “hidden stats”, I think Lester and Buchholz make a very strong 1-2 punch. Dice-K -looks- much better. I’m not sure how the stats have adjusted, but he’s using his fastball more, he’s not nibbling as much, and because of that, hitters have finally started swinging at his out-of-strike-zone offerings. I predict more improvement from him next year, when he’ll finally prove what kind of pitcher he can be. (Of course now he’ll melt down and give up 15 walks today, but whatever..) And about Lackey and Beckett, others have already mentioned this, but Lackey has had a tough year and -should- bounce back next year, if only a little bit. Even a small improvement, maybe back to a 4.10 ERA instead of 4.60, would make him yet again a decent option for 4th or 5th starter. If he bounces back to something closer to what he used to be, maybe 3.85 ERA (and all those corresponding stats..I’m too lazy to think of anything else :P), he’ll be one of the better 4 or 5 starters in the league. Beckett had a tough year riddled with injuries. While I don’t think of him as the ace of this staff anymore, at all, I see him bouncing back to be an above average pitcher again. Sure, Beckett and Lackey are overpaid. But they’re important cogs of a solid rotation, when they’re playing closer to their actual skill level.

    My prediction for next year’s rotation:


    In a perfect world, though, I would prefer this rotation:


    But I doubt that’ll happen. And personally, I’d like to see Felix Doubront stay in the bullpen. I think his repertoire of pitches is too limited for a starting role, and he’s really fit in with the bullpen well. Same thing for Bowden, he’s a 4th or 5th starter, but can be valuable out of the bullpen. I’d like to see what Tazawa can do on the mound next year, I see him staying in their plans as a starter. And Kelly had an adjustment year this year; if it continues next year I’ll be worried, but I expect him to improve.

    • moonraker45 5 years ago

      Am i crazy or is your prediction for the rotation next year and perfect world rotation the exact same?

      • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

        Yeah, you’re crazy. Oh sorry did you think I meant my second rotation would include different pitchers? Then no, you’re not. But my point was just, using the pitchers we had, what -order- I preferred them in. Are you dyslexic, I suppose? Is that why it was so hard for you to see that they were both in different order?

        • moonraker45 5 years ago

          Lol you’re a tool. so in a perfect world Dice K would start 4th and Lackey 5th.. What are you 12 that you think that besides the ace of the staff that the order matters in anyway shape or form? especially flipping your 4 and 5? its absolutely ridiculous and idiotic. sorry. conversation over.

          • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

            Uh, no, actually. In the “perfect world” rotation, the only slot I -didn’t- change was Lester as the ace. Anyway, you have a point that the rotation order doesn’t matter too much. I guess the only thing I was trying to do with that was show how Boston values each pitcher (meaning, for the ceremonial first five games, there’s no way they pitch Beckett third and Lackey fifth..), and how I valued them. But it didn’t really illustrate a good point, I’ll give you that.

          • moonraker45 5 years ago

            Ok that I can accept.

  10. jwcole22 5 years ago

    Everybody was already well aware of A.J. Burnett’s inconsistent pitching, the fifth spot was still open going into spring training, Vazquez was acquired to be their #4 guy not an ace-like pitcher, and Andy Pettitte had been surpassing all reasonable expectations (ditto Phil Hughes) for this season before his DL trip. Only C.C. has been entirely what has been expected this season for the Yankees. I’d hardly call that overrated, especially in comparison to the Red Sox rotation that was thought to be 6 men deep of quality starters with three of their starters being considered to be ace-like quality pitchers. It’s not to say that the Yankees rotation wasn’t supposed to be better than it has been – and rightfully so – but the media has been much more in love with Boston’s rotation the past few seasons than the Yankees’ rotation. Who had been putting anyone besides C.C. at the head of the pack as an ace on their staff? Boston was being fawned all over because of Lester, Beckett, and Lackey all being co-aces and NESN was running a report back in spring training about how all these guys felt they could coexist as three co-aces.

    I was never in favor of the Yankees signing A.J. Burnett, was pleasantly surprised last year but have been wondering all along why they’d hand out five years to reel him in even in the best of times. Dumb. NTC even dumber. Ditto Dice-K. When teams start becoming more disciplined and avoiding Scott Boras like the plague he is then perhaps they will not just fawn over clients just because they have never pitched in the Major Leagues at all. And any setbacks the Yankees have had in their rotation will be straightened out by next year in all likelihood, especially if they sign Cliff Lee as everybody expects them to. And they still have some time left this season to turn things around in their rotation as well but even if they don’t I still feel very confident about their rotation going into next season if it does in fact project to be C.C., Burnett, Lee, Hughes, and Pettitte/Nova/TBA.

    Both rotations have had disappointments and that’s the bottom line but to think that the Yankees rotation was supposed to be more settled than Boston’s going into the season is just silly.

    • jwredsox 5 years ago

      I don’t think a team signs a guy because Boras is representing him, that just makes them pay more. Avoiding Boras is a bad way to get talent (especially in the draft) and would be a mistake. You can’t just not sign players who belong to a big sports agency company.

  11. dickylarue 5 years ago

    The fact is that if Beckett and Lackey don’t bounce back, their contracts are the kind of team killers that sink an organization for years to come.

    The revenue stream in Boston has dipped this year. Ownership will not be willing to spend to cover up mistakes like they did in the past.

    You’re not going to see Boston pay another team to let Beckett and Lackey pitch for them.

    On one hand it’s smart to lock up the rotation for years to come. On the other hand, it could cripple the team if age, injury and underperformance come into play like it has this season.

    The Red Sox rotation is one of the better one’s in baseball, but that’s only predicated on the idea that Lackey and Beckett pitch to their career norms and aren’t what they were this season.

    Lackey, in the AL East, has evolved into a 5 inning pitcher who burns the pen much like Dice K does. Beckett isn’t Beckett this year. Is it a small sample or is the this the Beckett to expect for the next 4 years here?

    The Red Sox goal for the off season has to be to build the perfect bullpen to rescue these guys should some of them only be able to go 5 most nights.

    They’ll never have problems scoring runs playing half their games in that sardine can of a ballpark.

    But if the starters can’t give them length, they need a bullpen deeper than Bard and Papelbum to survive, although the fact that the Rays are shedding payroll and losing marquee player this off season should make the competition for 2nd place a little easier next year.

    • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

      OMG! No Gammons joke today? I’m so disappointed!

    • jwredsox 5 years ago

      I don’t think a drop in revenue is something to be afraid of. The still sell out, sell tons of merchandise (domestic and overseas), have money coming off the books, and it hasn’t been that long since their payroll was over 200mil so I doubt there is much of a difference. oh and Lackey throws over 6 innings per game.

      • dickylarue 5 years ago

        And he gets lit up like a pinball machine in innings 6 and beyond.

        You can’t honestly defend his performance as good this season.

        Boston has scored a boatload of runs. I think they are 2nd in the league in runs scored and they are in 3rd place 8 games out with a poor run differential.

        Hate to break it to you, but that’s a failure of the starting pitching. If your starting pitching delivered you’d be printing playoff tickets right now.

        The Red Sox are in the same territory the Yankees were in a few years ago when locking people up to big guaranteed deals long term limits your options when things go wrong and injury strikes.

  12. jwredsox 5 years ago

    Can I just rant on these Red Sox “fans” who don’t know anything about baseball.

    They hate Cameron yet the guy got the freakish injury of the year award (Kidney stone that creates an abdominal tear? Come on fate!) yet he still puts himself out there and plays in pain when he team around him drops like flies. He could have just cashed his check for 10mil and called it a day after 10 games but he held out as long as he could. This guy should be cheered and be fully healed after this surgery.

    And Dice-K. “fans” hate him because the Sox paid so much for him yet he has been good this year (outside of 3 of his first 4 starts). He has a 3.36 ERA in that span. Has his overall numbers been great? no. Will he walk people? yes. Will he drive you mad? yes. Does that mean he has no value? no. He is well worth his 10mil contract pitching like this and the Sox know this and won’t trade him.

    So Red Sox “fans”, please hold your breath waiting for Dice K and Cameron to be traded. PLEASE

  13. 0bsessions 5 years ago

    In what alternate reality is Lester NOT good? He’s easily in the top ten pitchers in the MLB right now.

  14. Coreno 5 years ago

    yeah, right. because none of the yankee pitchers are overrated.

  15. 0bsessions 5 years ago

    Yeah, I figured it was a possibility before I replied, but based on it saying “Lackey” when my post actually cropped up, it was kind of a given. I still think people are too quick to judge Beckett and Lackey as flops (I think they’ll genuinely bounce back to at least above average), but the idea that someone MIGHT think Lester is “not very good” was staggering.

  16. I was going to say something similar. Lackey has struggled, but he has also shown signs of life. I think the AL East competition may have been a little shocker for him. I fully expect him to rebound and be the best #3 pitcher in the game.Beckett has been disappointing. I think the thing that is mind boggling is that his stuff is still very good. He hasn’t seemed to regress, he has just been making too many mistakes. You could easily attribute this to the Sox revolving door behind the plate and his injury problems this year. He was never capable of getting in a groove. Maybe I’m being too optimistic, but I would expect him to return to dominance next year when they have a full-time catcher & he’s healthy.I think what the article meant about Wakefield is that the Sox did not expect much from him. They expected him to be, well…bad. He’s 44 years old and should’ve retired last year. Dice-K has been much better than his numbers. I think everyone can agree that he’s no longer considered to have “Ace” potential, but as a #4 or #5 he’s one of the best in the AL. And to address LarryDelcuaNY’s “Boston has one of the most overrated rotations in the game” comment, here’s the WAR comparisons for the Yankees & Red Sox rotations, I’ll let you derive your own conclusions:Sabathia: 3.7 | Beckett: 1.2Burnett: 1.0 | Lester: 4.7Vazquez: .1 | Lackey: 2.8Hughes: 2.1 | Buchholz: 3.1Nova: .3 | Matsuzaka: 2.0Who’s rotation is overrated?

  17. moonraker45 5 years ago

    you’re comparison to the yankees rotation makes no sense because the yankees rotation was never considered to be that good. It’s their offence and defense and average pitching that wins games. When the sox signed lackey, so many people were talking as if they didn’t even need to swing a bat that their rotation would just win them games… You like research, go look up the term ‘overrated’

  18. $1529282 5 years ago

    While I agree with your point that NYY is more overrated than Boston in terms of rotation, it’s pretty unfair to leave off Pettitte and his 1.8 WAR through 115 innings. He’d have wound up as a 3.0+ WAR arm had he stayed healthy.

  19. Nyankss28 5 years ago

    Your forgetting Pettitte he pitched dirty this season when he was healthy and Vazquez got the boot out of the rotation, but to be honest during the post season the Yankees will most likely go with only a 3 man rotation again and will decide between Burnett and Hughes so i think top 3 vs top 3 is isnt as one sided and the atm the Yankees offense makes the difference

  20. dickylarue 5 years ago

    Yet the Yankees are still in 1st place and the Red Sox in 3rd largely because of the failure of their starting pitching considering the Red Sox offense is scoring runs like a slot machine this year.

    You want to make a comparison, look at the standings and look at why Boston failed this year with 5 starters who for the most part were quite healthy and heralded yet could not get the job done at least for a wild card.

    Injuries to Pedroia and Youkilis aren’t why you’re in 3rd place. Lackey, Beckett and Theo’s complete negligence towards the bullpen is why you’re 3rd.

    And how convenient to leave Pettite off your little WAR comparison.

  21. “The Yankees rotation was never considered to be that good.”

    You’re joking, right? So they paid Burnett & gave him a full NTC even though they didn’t think he was that good? And they gave up 3 players for Javier Vazquez, who was coming off a Cy Young contending season, even though they didn’t anticipate him to be very good? You’re obviously delusional.

  22. BoSoxSam 5 years ago

    Looks like somebody decided to forget any Red Sox or Yanks post this offseason. Every post here was a debate about which rotation was good, and there were many Yankee fans giving thoughtful arguments on why their rotation was best. From the beginning the Yankees and Red Sox were projected to have two of the best rotations in baseball. Why won’t you admit it? Just because you were a genius and knew that Burnett and Vasquez would implode doesn’t mean everybody else saw it. There were plenty of people saying this would be Burnett’s year to be consistent, and that Vasquez would definitely keep up his production from last year.

  23. I agree, I couldn’t decide who to use..Nova/Moseley/Pettite….I guess I could come up with an average of the three. I wouldn’t go by potential though (3.0+WAR) because who knows what Beckett would have done if he remained healthy.

  24. 0bsessions 5 years ago

    Going by that standard, Matsuzaka and Beckett could very well be 3.0 WAR arms had they stayed healthy. Becketter missed a huge chunk of the season and Matsuzaka missed a good deal as well.

  25. moonraker45 5 years ago

    you really need to work on your reading comprehension..The yankees rotation was thought to be good, but they signed burnette of a career year and vasquez off one as well. The yankees took the best they could moving forward, but in no way shape or form did most baseball minds think that sabathia, aj, vasquez was going to stack up against lester,beckett, lackey…Going in to the season many fans (ignorant, like yourself) were projecting the bo sox rotation to be one of the best in the league if not the best by far. Well that has not materialized. So you saying well they are better then the yankees rotation isn’t a proper argument for the fact that they didn’t meet the expectations given to them.Your argument makes zero sense, because being overrated means you didn’t meet expectations from your fan base or organization, comparing them to another rotation makes zero sense, especially when the other rotation has their team in first place.

  26. You’re crazy. I think you’re the first person (I’m assuming Yankees fan) that didn’t think the Yankees rotation had a shot at stacking up against Lester, Beckett & Lackey. I remember many conversations about “Who’s rotation is better,” especially once the Yankees responded to the signing of Lackey by acquiring Vazquez a week later.

    You can’t just say “oh well we didn’t expect Burnett to perform well anyways” after he turns out to be a bust. The hype was just as strong for the Yankees rotation as it was for the Red Sox rotation, especially after the Yankees acquired the Cy Young contender in Javier Vazquez.

  27. 0bsessions 5 years ago

    “Going in to the season many fans (ignorant, like yourself) were projecting the bo sox rotation to be one of the best in the league if not the best by far.”

    Do some research yourself. The Sox’ rotation has the second best FIP in the AL. That’s accounting for inconsistent work from Matsuzaka, Lackey and Beckett.

  28. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    You’re the man Larry. But seriously, Beckett has a better chance to come back than Lackey I think.

  29. moonraker45 5 years ago

    Can you show me where I said that they sox rotation was bad? its still very good rotation, i just said its overrated.

  30. 0bsessions 5 years ago

    Look at what I quoted. You said, and again I quote:

    “Going in to the season many fans (ignorant, like yourself) were projecting the bo sox rotation to be one of the best in the league if not the best by far. Well that has not materialized.”

    The fact of the matter is, it HAS materialized. Statistically speaking, their rotation IS one of the best in the league. When did I ever say you were claiming they were bad? I was simply pointing out that your assertation that it was ignorant to project the Sox as having one of the best rotations in the league was ludicrous. The Sox have actually UNDERperformed their statistical capability and they’re STILL putting up some of the best pitching in the AL.

  31. BoSoxSam 5 years ago

    And Obsessions saying that even with the inconsistencies from three of our pitchers this year, we have the second best FIP in the AL, implying that we’d have a FIP much closer to the top if we had a healthy, consistent rotation. What do you mean by overrated then? The fans thought the rotation was going to the best there ever was? Then, yes, thats overrated. Even if that was true, that’s overrated. That’s just an impossible thing to hope for. I’m really not sure what point you’re trying to make here.

  32. 0bsessions 5 years ago

    As I recall, the MLB redid this year’s playoff scheduling to avoid a team being able to pull the 3 man rotation thing. A team shouldn’t be able to make it through the World Series riding on only two quality pitchers.

  33. moonraker45 5 years ago

    #1, I’m not a yankees fan #2 sure if you talk to a yankees fan they are going to say their rotation is better.

    #3. burnette had a mehhhh last year, so it wasn’t like all of a sudden he fell from grace, his regression has been less then becketts thats for sure

    Most baseball minds wouldn’t have even had the discussion of bostons rotation vs yankees rotation, even with the addition of Vasquez. If you remember, people were criticizing that trade even before they had the benefit or hind sight..

    Also what your forgetting is that they yankees have an extremely potent offense, which is more of their bread and butter. Where as the red sox, if they were to be successful this year it was going to be from defense and pitching..

  34. moonraker45 5 years ago

    with how becket has pitched this season its also not unrealistic that his WAR would have decreased rather then increased, the same can not be said of pettite

  35. I acknowledged Pettite’s absence if you read the entire thread.

    And you’re right, injuries to Pedroia and Youk aren’t why we’re in 3rd place. It’s injuries in Pedroia, Youk, Cameron, Ellsbury, Tek, Cash, Beckett, & VMart. While Beckett & VMart have returned, they were all out of the line up at the same time for an extended period of time. NO team can fight through that and I find it interesting that they were still able to (likely) finish the season with over 85 wins.

  36. BoSoxSam 5 years ago

    “Lackey, Beckett and Theo’s complete negligence towards the bullpen is why you’re 3rd.”

    Woah there now, boy! I thought we were talking STARTING PITCHING. You even say “…and the Red Sox in 3rd largely because of the failure of their starting pitching”. Why then has the bullpen suddenly shown up in this post?

    You wanna know why we’re in 3rd place? The offense after the 6th inning has been terrible. Our record when trailing in the 7th is well under .500, while our record after leading for the first 6 is well above. Sure, that’s true for a majority of teams, but to be good like the Yanks are this year, you need to win those comeback games. You need to win extra-inning games. You need to win close or tied games in the late innings. Boston’s offense seems to take the night off 2 or 3 innings early every night, AND the bullpen has been atrocious, as you mentioned. Those are the two factors that explain our third place ranking. The 1-6 inning offense plus the starting pitching has kept us well above water, and heading to a 90+ win season. You want to tell me that the failure was our starting pitching, then don’t immediately also say that it was the bullpen’s fault. The bullpen is -not- the same thing as the rotation. I know it’s hard to believe, but its true.

  37. Wrong once again dickylarue. Yeah, Beckett and Lackey have underperformed and the bullpen has been bad outside of Papelbon and Bard. But if Youk, Pedroia, Ellsbury, Cameron, etc. were healthy that would more than make up the difference. If Cano, Teixeria, Gardner, etc. were all hurt this year, would you take responsibility or blame it on Jeter falling off and Burnett and Vasquez being a disaster? No…truth is the Red Sox offense was scoring more than the Yankees for a good part of the year, and since the injuries the Red Sox offense has been well below league average. I don’t know why I waste time on you, but I do.

  38. Nyankss28 5 years ago

    Seriously? If you have anything backing that up let me know cause that seriously hurts the Yankees in the 7 game series i thought going with the 3 man rotation gave Girardi flexibility with his bench/bullpen but if he has to carry a meh 4 starter in Vazquez because of Hughes’s innings limit, it could be trouble.

  39. moonraker45 5 years ago

    Only based on 1 stat, FIP. which I’m not overly big on, because it factors in Hrs, BB, IBB, HBP, K, IP… Realistically a pitcher that gives up more homeruns, walks more batters, could have a lower era, but have a worse FIP then a pitcher who doesn’t give up HRs, doesnt walk people, but has a higher ERA..

    so if you look at that one stat, sure they are top 3. But there is no other statistical information to back you up.

    Out of all 6 starters, that have started at least 15 games, only 2 have era’s under 4. who cares about anything else? You can’t honestly sit their and believe that the red sox are anywhere near the top of the AL. regardless if they haven’t walked much or given up many homers.

    Yankees, A’s, Mariners, Blue Jays, Rays, Twins and the White Sox have all enjoyed better more complete rotations this year, regardless of the stupid FIP stat.

  40. BoSoxSam 5 years ago

    The Mariners??

  41. moonraker45 5 years ago

    They have 3 starters with ERA’s under 4. and Felix Hernandez who should, but wont, win the cy young this year. So yes, this year they got better starting pitching then the sox did.

  42. Absolutely. Beckett was terrible in 2006 and had a CY Young calibur season the next year. Idk what his deal is, but he’s more than capable of having a great year next season. Lackey should improve, but just slightly. Still, if Beckett returns to form, coupled with Lester and Buchholz, Lackey will be just fine as the #4 guy.

  43. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    Definetly. Beckett when he’s on is as good as any pitcher in Baseball. This season hasn’t been to kind to him but again, he is expriernced and has come back from injury and down seasons before. I’m not trying to hop Kelly, but if the Sox ever get rid of Lackey…imagine a rotation of Beckett, Lester, Bucholz, Ranaudo, and Kelly. Not to mention Workman.

  44. False logic. You suggest the Red Sox rotation is overrated because at the time they signed Lackey people thought they “didn’t even have to swing a bat”. Yet you disregard the Burnett signing and Vasquez aquistion, because “baseball people” thought they were bad pickups…yeah clearly everyone thought those moves were dumb and no one thought Lackey might be overpaid. Oh wait, there were just as many questions about Lackey as there were about Burnett? Once again false logic.

    And one last thing…you can’t call people ignorant when you make blanket statements about an entire rotation being “overrated”. Especially when your method of rating the expectations is anonymous prognosticators at the start of the season. I despise the underrated/overrated term, especially when it’s used by people like you.

  45. BoSoxSam 5 years ago

    Sure Burnett’s regressions been less than Beckett this year, but he hasn’t had any injuries to deal with.

  46. I don’t have a link, but he’s right. This year they’ll need a 4 man rotation, which is the reason I don’t see them as the favorites to win it all.

  47. 0bsessions 5 years ago

    Found it:

    link to

    They’ve ditched one of the off-days, so teams’ll need to operate on a four man rotation again. Additionally, they’re back at that “ALDS best of seven” thing they’ve been on about for a few years. If that one goes through, we could see a shift away from the recent trend of stock piling top of the rotation pitchers and teams leaning towards more complete rotations.

  48. moonraker45 5 years ago

    you’re false logic.. how many times do i have to prove you wrong on this site before you shut up. Explain to me why your bring up burnette? was he a 2010 pick up. no no he wasn’t. Lastly explain to me why i’m wasting my time replying to u? You didn’t bother to read all the posts, you’re attacking one of my posts out of context. good for you good for you

  49. moonraker45 5 years ago

    lol yes, i agree plenty of people said that… yankees fans… but even to this day. a neutral fan, that equally likes,hates or doesnt care about the yankees and red sox, will tell you that red sox’s rotation far exceeds the potential of the yankees rotations potential.

  50. dickylarue 5 years ago

    You’re all gonna pin up on your walls that the gritty gutty 2010 Red Sox were undermined by injuries, like they are the only team in history to have to deal with injuries.

    The Yankees have dealt with the following issues this season; Lost their CF in Granderson to injury early on and got nothing from him performance wise until recently. Nick Johnson their starting DH was quickly injured and on the DL and out for the year. Arod has been on and off the DL and banged up all year. Jeter has either fallen off a cliff as a player having his career worst season or he’s hiding an injury. Texeira didn’t hit for the first 3 months of the season. Andy Pettitte got hurt and is still on the DL. Posada spent time on the DL and can’t catch in back to back games due to a knee problem. The Yankees lost Marte, their #1 LH in the pen to injury and he still hasn’t recovered. Joba completely melted down in his role in the pen and has offered next to nothing. Javy Vasquez suffered from “dead arm” at 2 points in the season. I could keep going if you want to, but all you’ll do is cry “Pedey’s wittle foot!” and pretend that the issues that happened to the Red Sox are the only ones that could possibly matter in the history of baseball. How you’re soooo snakebit.

    I could give you a list that rivals the Red Sox list for just about every team in the league season. The only difference is Boston acts like it only happens to them.

    It doesn’t.

    Good teams persevere and win despite setbacks.

  51. 0bsessions 5 years ago

    Of the opening day starting nine for the Sox, FOUR have been on the DL since the end of July. Literally about HALF of their lineup are missing a full third of the season with a third of the lineup(Ellsbury, Pedroia and Cameron) missing a full half of the season. The Yankees lost a DH who EVERYONE knew was going to spend most of the DL on the season and a CF who EVERYONE knew was going to put up mediocre numbers. Comparing the Yankees’ injuries this season to the Sox’ is just idiotic. You could field a playoff contending team with the Sox players who have missed at least a month this year. They were seriously using a platoon of Kevin Cash and Dusty Brown at the catcher position for about a month.

    Can you tell me, with a straight face, that the the late nineties Yankees would’ve even made the playoffs if Posada, Jeter and Williams ALL went down for a third of a season?

  52. Dickeylarue, step away from the bottle…this was probably the worst post I’ve read in a long time….

    First of all, since when can you equate off years with injuries? Tex didn’t hit for the first 3 months? So what? That’s much different than Ellsbury playing in less than 20 games. Granderson didn’t perform to your standards? How is that remotely close to the same as Pedroia playing in less than 80 games this year? Posada spent time on the DL? He’s played in 98 games this year. He played in 111 games last year. I don’t think his DL stint made a huge difference, you’re delusional if you think otherwise. I’m surprised you didn’t mention how Berkman didn’t pan out and his performance is comparable to Youk’s injury???? Vasquez suffered from a dead arm…really? When did he lose any velocity? I can’t believe you’d fall for that excuse. He can’t pitch in the AL, it’s been proven before and it was proven again this year. There’s no logical way to compare his inability to pitch in the AL to any injury on the Sox. He’s started 23 games this season, which is only 6 less less than CC. He was moved to the bullpen.

    Really, I lost a ton of respect for anything you say with this post. You’re clearly a homer. I would love to hear your “list that rivals the Red Sox list for just about every team in the league.” Just give me one and I’ll let you off the hook. I’ll give you a look at what you have to top, it should be easy…right? The following is a starting line up of players that were all on the DL for an extended period of time this season (more than 15 days).

    1. Jacoby Ellsbury* (18 games played)
    2. Dustin Pedroia* (75 games played)
    3. Jason Varitek (34 games played)
    4. Kevin Youkilis* (102 games played)
    5. Mike Cameron* (48 games played)
    6. Jed Lowrie (30 games played)
    7. Jeremy Hermida (52 games played)
    8. Kevin Cash (41 games played)
    9. Jarrod Saltalamacchia (5 games played since AS break)

    SP: Josh Beckett (Only 16 starts on the season)

    Once again, please try to find a team that has had that many key injuries. Obviously, some are more drastic than others, but they all severely crippled the team. Cash/Tek/Salty, for example, have forced VMart to catch more games than the Sox had hoped. You’re clearly just a Red Sox hater so I’m not expecting much. Your “Pedey’s wittle foot!” comment is just laughable. You’re the difference between a Yankee fan and a baseball fan. Don’t ever tell anyone you’re a baseball fan.

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