1) Is it time for Daniel Bard?
2) Should Justin Masterson go back to the pen?
Bard Now? With his last outing, Daniel Bard's K/BFP is back up to .500 (for comparison, Papelbon's career high is .375). His stats, and a nearly complete game log (his first outing was 4/9, 2 perfect IP, fanning 4) can be found here, his splits can be looked up at Minor League Splits dot com, and some extra numbers follow (HRC is HR per Contact; see this thread for an explanation of the last columns of the second table):
Masterson to the Pen? Justin Masterson's next scheduled start is an off day on May 11. He could stay in the rotation and pitch May 12, giving everyone an extra day of rest. Or he could be skipped, in which case he could return to the bullpen as soon as his arm is recovered from last night's start. The Sox could then monitor the next outings by Clay Buchholz on May 8 and Michael Bowden on May 11 and then recall one of them to fill the temporary hole in the rotation. Buchholz could go on his regular turn on the 13th (pushing everyone but Wakefield back a day) and then be skipped on the off day on the 18th and sent back to the minors if Dice-K has a successful final rehab start on the 20th. Or Bowden could be called up when they need a fifth starter on the 16th; again, because of the off-day on the 18th he would only need to make one start. (They could also keep either youngster and deal Brad Penny when Dice-K returns, but that's another topic.)
The two moves are related because if they both happen, then both Hunter Jones and Javier Lopez are squeezed from the staff ASAP, removing any need to decide between them (although they would have to decide who goes first. And note that if Bard is not recalled but Masterson is skipped, the decision on whether to keep Jones over Lopez isn't made for another week or so, which is why I haven't asked about it now).
Edited by Eric Van, 07 May 2009 - 06:23 AM.