That didn't take long: Wakefield to the DL. Clay Buchholz to the rotation. Brad Penny and John Smoltz breathe sighs of relief.
Amazing, isn’t it?
Does that really solve anything though? All it does is delay the inevitable. Smoltz to the pen seems like the best move. Let Masterson be a spot starter until Wakefield comes back. Smoltz just doesn’t have the stamina.
2/5 of the Sox’ opening day rotation now on the DL. Thank goodness for pitching surpluses.
Hopefully Buck excels and pips one of Penny, Smoltz, or Wake, preferably Penny. But as Rob says, Smoltz looks like a five inning pitcher. On the flipside, maybe his shoulder can’t take warming up four times a week and relieving and starting is the only option at this point?
This is annoying. I hope it doesn’t stop them from trading Penny at the deadline. I want him gone.
Smoltz has an FIP below 4.00. If he’s only a five inning pitcher now, so what? Do the Sox not have Justin Masterson, Daniel Bard and Ramon Ramirez each available for six outs potentially? With Beckett, Wakefield and now Buchholz, having one or two starters going five or six innings is no great strain, certainly no greater than when Becektt, Lester and Matsuzaka were all struggling at the same time.
The Sox have usable trade chits in Penny, Saito, Bowden, Delcarmen and others on the farm. The question is: Can Theo leverage some of them into an impact corner-infield bat? That’s what the Sox need, and I predict that’s what they’ll regret most not having come October. We don’t need a repeat of last year’s Lowell to the DL, Kotsay full-time at first travesty.
I think the real problem with Smoltz is that they’re going to keep trying to stretch him out. And that’s where they lose games. If they pull him quickly, however, he’ll never get stretched out, if he’s capable. It’s a chicken and egg with no long-term benefit. Maybe there’s a small chance he can be dominant for seven or eight innings in October. But the man is 42 years old coming off major shoulder surgery and after 4 elbow surgeries. What are the chances of that October dream?
Better to own up to the obvious and use him in the pen. Heck let him throw three or four innings in some games. Talk about a weapon and exactly a guy you want in the pen in big games. What’s there to lose? Then you get a more lively arm into the rotation and one that could be a legitimate Game 3 starter.
I don’t see the issue with being worried about multiple appearances. He has multiple throwing sessions a week and presumably is pain-free. Use him with care, but his workload will be much less than it is now.
Can Theo leverage some of them into an impact corner-infield bat? That’s what the Sox need, and I predict that’s what they’ll regret most not having come October.
You mean like Adam Dunn? ;)
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