Jump to content


Yo! You're not logged in. Why am I seeing this ad?

SOSH

Happy Patriots Day.  I expect some heavy usage today so please if there are any problems just let me know via twitter @sonsofsamhorn.  thanks folks.  nip

Photo

Lester Named Opening Day Starter


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
50 replies to this topic

#1 pokey_reese

  • 4366 posts

Posted 16 March 2011 - 10:38 AM

Per ESPN: http://sports.espn.g...tory?id=6223637

He certainly deserves it. Aside from Lester 1 and Matsuzaka 5, how does the rest of the rotation shape up?

#2 ean611

  • 494 posts

Posted 16 March 2011 - 10:45 AM

Per ESPN: http://sports.espn.g...tory?id=6223637

He certainly deserves it. Aside from Lester 1 and Matsuzaka 5, how does the rest of the rotation shape up?


If I had to slot starters, I would do this:

1. Lester
2. Buchholz
3. Lackey
4. Beckett
5. Matsuzaka

The one issue is with personality, Beckett may not like being a #4 starter, and knowing Tito, we may see him higher.

#3 pokey_reese

  • 4366 posts

Posted 16 March 2011 - 10:49 AM

If I had to slot starters, I would do this:

1. Lester
2. Buchholz
3. Lackey
4. Beckett
5. Matsuzaka

The one issue is with personality, Beckett may not like being a #4 starter, and knowing Tito, we may see him higher.


Yeah, I have a hard time seeing a guy like Beckett dropping from opening day starter to #4 that quickly. I figure that Buchholz still has one more year to prove himself and gets the #4 slot, even if he deserves to be higher. While I think that the rotation would probably be different come playoff time, I foresee Lester just leap-frogging Beckett and Lackey.

#4 Billy R Ford


  • douchebag q momfingerer


  • 625 posts

Posted 16 March 2011 - 10:49 AM

Opening Day Starters:

2001 - Pedro Martinez
2002 - Pedro Martinez
2003 - Pedro Martinez
2004 - Pedro Martinez
2005 - David Wells
2006 - Curt Schilling
2007 - Curt Schilling
2008 - Daisuke Matsuzaka
2009 - Josh Beckett
2010 - Josh Beckett
2011 - Jon Lester

Good company.

#5 Corsi


  • Wes Chamberlain's Sasha Rockets


  • 8331 posts

Posted 16 March 2011 - 10:50 AM

If I had to slot starters, I would do this:

1. Lester
2. Buchholz
3. Lackey
4. Beckett
5. Matsuzaka

The one issue is with personality, Beckett may not like being a #4 starter, and knowing Tito, we may see him higher.


Beckett ain't gonna be the #4 starter. He'll be the #2. You gotta show some confidence in the guy.

Assuming we start the season with a 5-man rotation, Beckett will, in all likelihood, start the home opener on April 8th.

#6 JimBoSox9


  • will you be my friend?


  • 11646 posts

Posted 16 March 2011 - 10:54 AM

Assuming health, I'd bet my last dollar that the initial rotation is

1) Lester
2) Beckett
3) Buchholz
4) Lackey
5) Matsuzaka

#7 24JoshuaPoint


  • Grand Theft Duvet


  • 3136 posts

Posted 16 March 2011 - 10:58 AM

1) Lester
2) Beckett
3) Buchholz
4) Lackey
5) Matsuzaka


Yepp. As I think Lester said before it really doesn't mean much aside from the PR standpoint but I'm glad this seemed like an easy decision for Francona to make.

#8 Soxy Brown

  • 2360 posts

Posted 16 March 2011 - 11:28 AM

Saw this on Sunday in the Providence Journal:

The Red Sox will shuffle their rotation over the next week, with Clay Buchholz and Tim Wakefield throwing an in-camp game Monday before each starts a split-squad game Friday.


This move slots Buchholz behind [Lester] as the No. 2 starter, so long as the Red Sox stay in rotation the rest of the spring.



That leads me to assume this:

1 - Lester
2 - Buchholz
3 - Beckett
4 - Lackey
5 - Matsuzaka

#9 JimD

  • 4414 posts

Posted 16 March 2011 - 11:42 AM

Slotting Beckett at the number 3 behind Buchholz might just be kick in the ass he needs.

#10 Buzzkill Pauley

  • 4944 posts

Posted 16 March 2011 - 11:48 AM

There's a tactical advantage for the bullpen, as well as giving Lester the credit he richly deserves.

2009-10 starts at least 6.0 IP:
81.25% - Lester
75.47% - Beckett
63.64% - Buchholz
80.00% - Lackey
48.65% - Matsuzaka

Sandwiching Matsuzaka between Lester and Lackey buttresses DiceK's obvious weakness going deep into games -- allowing Francona to have an early hook without Proctor-izing Bard or Wheeler with daily pitching.


Regarding the #2 and #3, I expect both Beckett and Buchholz to be around 75% next season, so who pitches when is not particularly important except for playoff series. That is, assuming good health. And frankly, even where a miracle run of uninterrupted turns of the rotation occurs, the slots end up a mess anyway due to rainouts and rescheduled games.

#11 TheoShmeo


  • made johnny damon think long and hard


  • 7757 posts

Posted 16 March 2011 - 11:53 AM

I'd rather separate Lester and Buchholz in the roation than worry about mythical starter ratings. Said differently, it would be nice to reduce the risk that good hitting line-ups could miss both of the top starters in a three-game series.

#12 Savin Hillbilly


  • SoSH Member


  • 10442 posts

Posted 16 March 2011 - 12:04 PM

I'd rather separate Lester and Buchholz in the roation than worry about mythical starter ratings. Said differently, it would be nice to reduce the risk that good hitting line-ups could miss both of the top starters in a three-game series.

I agree in principle, though I think there's enough uncertainty about how the righthanders will shake out that it may be a bit early to make that call. A rebounding Beckett or Lackey could quite plausibly be better than Buchholz this year (and an argument could even be made for adding Dice-K to that list).

#13 TomRicardo


  • rusty cohlebone


  • 17530 posts

Posted 16 March 2011 - 01:58 PM

Lester
Beckett
Buchholz
Lackey
Matzusaka

I really expect Beckett to bounce back and Buchholz to back to Earth a bit.

I also preferring separating Lackey and Beckett who both are workhorses. Beckett generally will give you 6+ IP if the team is in bullpen hell.

#14 RedOctober3829


  • SoSH Member


  • 14483 posts

Posted 16 March 2011 - 03:34 PM

Slotting Beckett at the number 3 behind Buchholz might just be kick in the ass he needs.

Or slotting him behind Buchholz is due to the fact that Buchholz is a better pitcher at this point than Beckett. Lester/Buchholz are your 2 best pitchers and should be slotted 1-2 in the rotation.

#15 donutogre

  • 1048 posts

Posted 16 March 2011 - 03:49 PM

Or slotting him behind Buchholz is due to the fact that Buchholz is a better pitcher at this point than Beckett. Lester/Buchholz are your 2 best pitchers and should be slotted 1-2 in the rotation.


In the last two seasons, each guy has had one atrocious season and one pretty excellent season. Beckett has a longer track record of success, obviously. While I think Clay could be great next year, some regression wouldn't surprise me (or a lot of people on this board I think). I don't think that it is a given that he is yet a better pitcher than Beckett.

#16 donutogre

  • 1048 posts

Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:48 AM

Edes just tweeted: "Lester Lackey Buchholz Beckett matsuzaka"
http://twitter.com/G...378235708387328

No context, no link, no idea if Francona said that or if its just the way things are lined up right now, but interesting for sure to see Lackey slotted second (and Beckett 4th!)

#17 donutogre

  • 1048 posts

Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:58 AM

Here's a bit more detail, courtesy of Pete Abraham:
http://www.boston.co...ox_set_rot.html

FORT MYERS, Fla. The Red Sox have set their rotation behind Jon Lester. Here's how it will line up:

April 1 at Texas: Jon Lester
April 2 at Texas: John Lackey
April 3 at Texas: Clay Buchholz
April 5 at Cleveland: Josh Beckett
April 6 at Cleveland: Daisuke Matsuzaka
April 7 at Cleveland: Lester
April 8: New York: Lackey
April 9 New York: Buchholz
April 10 New York: Beckett


Interesting that they're not skipping the 5th starter as they usually do at the beginning of the season.

#18 Al Zarilla


  • SoSH Member


  • 18781 posts

Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:27 AM

Here's a bit more detail, courtesy of Pete Abraham:
http://www.boston.co...ox_set_rot.html



Interesting that they're not skipping the 5th starter as they usually do at the beginning of the season.

Saves all five guys' arms for the long run. You're going to need them all, all season long (and hopefully a deep playoff run) anyway. Why put off one of them, say, Matsuzaka, and not know what he has until later in April?

#19 Saints Rest

  • 3560 posts

Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:29 AM

Here's a bit more detail, courtesy of Pete Abraham:
http://www.boston.co...ox_set_rot.html



Interesting that they're not skipping the 5th starter as they usually do at the beginning of the season.

Odd, since the #2 man lines up, with a 5-man rotation out of the box, to pitch the Home opener. It seems like a natural way to reward Beckett (for career) or Buchholz (for last year). I don't get the Lackey love there.

#20 Lefty on the Mound


  • SoSH Member


  • 1301 posts

Posted 17 March 2011 - 10:42 AM

Odd, since the #2 man lines up, with a 5-man rotation out of the box, to pitch the Home opener. It seems like a natural way to reward Beckett (for career) or Buchholz (for last year). I don't get the Lackey love there.


An explanation of the love for Lackey in the article

That Lackey took the ball every five days impressed the Sox, particularly given that he was helping his wife through some health issues.

"Regardless of what was going on, and believe me there were some things going on," Francona said. "He's very accountable and he does his job and he doesn't care who he's pitching to, he doesn't care who he's pitching against. He just takes the ball and stays out there until you take it away."



#21 Jnai


  • is not worried about sex with goats


  • 9185 posts

Posted 17 March 2011 - 01:25 PM

Odd, since the #2 man lines up, with a 5-man rotation out of the box, to pitch the Home opener. It seems like a natural way to reward Beckett (for career) or Buchholz (for last year). I don't get the Lackey love there.


I think the idea is that opening day will definitely sell out, so they don't need to start a pitcher who will draw a crowd. The next two games are a little more iffy though and so they want to make sure they fill the stands.

#22 ookami7m

  • 4036 posts

Posted 17 March 2011 - 01:43 PM

You really think a home opening series bs the MFY isn't going to sell out?

#23 Buzzkill Pauley

  • 4944 posts

Posted 17 March 2011 - 02:01 PM

An explanation of the love for Lackey in the article

That Lackey took the ball every five days impressed the Sox, particularly given that he was helping his wife through some health issues.

"Regardless of what was going on, and believe me there were some things going on," Francona said. "He's very accountable and he does his job and he doesn't care who he's pitching to, he doesn't care who he's pitching against. He just takes the ball and stays out there until you take it away."


In honor of Tito's quote, this season Lackey shall be known as the Honey Badger. Because Honey Badger don't care!

#24 loshjott

  • 3700 posts

Posted 17 March 2011 - 02:14 PM

Here's a bit more detail, courtesy of Pete Abraham:
http://www.boston.co...ox_set_rot.html



Interesting that they're not skipping the 5th starter as they usually do at the beginning of the season.


It's unusual that there's only one off day in the first 10 days of the season. Usually the opening series has a game, then an off day, then 2 more games. This year, neither the opening series in Texas nor the home opener features an off day, just the usual travel day off.

#25 SoxFanSince57


  • Carrie Nation


  • 10048 posts

Posted 17 March 2011 - 03:10 PM

IMO, Tito said volumes in that Globe article. Would like to have been a fly on the wall when Tito spoke to Beckett.

#26 chrisfont9

  • 1277 posts

Posted 17 March 2011 - 03:17 PM

Seems to me the only question besides opening day ceremonial honors is how you array the 1-4 to get the most value (5 is in a different category, thanks to occasional missed starts). So, is there any evidence that one pitcher can be made more effective by the identity of the previous day's pitcher? Does it create discomfort in opposing teams to have a lefty, then a righty, then a lefty (for example)? Does it help a flamethrower to follow Wakefield? Changes of this type might throw guys off in-game, but I am skeptical that there's some carry-over effect the next day.

Which is a long way of saying, after opening day the concept of an order doesn't matter at all.

#27 phrenile


  • SoSH Member


  • 5812 posts

Posted 17 March 2011 - 04:01 PM

Which is a long way of saying, after opening day the concept of an order doesn't matter at all.

Are you discounting bullpen rest or merely overlooking it?

#28 Buzzkill Pauley

  • 4944 posts

Posted 17 March 2011 - 04:01 PM

IMO, Tito said volumes in that Globe article. Would like to have been a fly on the wall when Tito spoke to Beckett.


Really? I read it and thought it was Tito's usual, innocuous answer that emphasized the positive -- in this case, about Lackey earning the #2 role with his durability and offseason preparation.

What did you take as the implication?

#29 Al Zarilla


  • SoSH Member


  • 18781 posts

Posted 17 March 2011 - 04:20 PM

So, is there any evidence that one pitcher can be made more effective by the identity of the previous day's pitcher? Does it create discomfort in opposing teams to have a lefty, then a righty, then a lefty (for example)?

Some managers think alternating lefties and righties is good strategy, like the Giants. They go with Lincecum®, Jonathan Sanchez(L) and Matt Cain®, even though it's pretty obvious Cain is 1 - 2 with Lincecum. They did that all through the playoffs last year also. Can't deny success, although the sample size isn't great. Of course, their other two starters are also lefties, whereas the Sox only have one lefty starter.

#30 TomRicardo


  • rusty cohlebone


  • 17530 posts

Posted 17 March 2011 - 04:24 PM

IMO, Tito said volumes in that Globe article. Would like to have been a fly on the wall when Tito spoke to Beckett.


You really think Beckett was upset? This is a team that has been together for a bit and is the deepest rotation in the AL by a long shot. There isn't a rotation that is close the Red Sox. Last year this was the best rotation in all of baseball despite the injuries and underperforming. If the bullpen was not a replacement level pitching this team would have made the playoffs despite being decimated by injuries.

I think people underestimate how awesome our rotation is and how horrible the bullpen was last year.

#31 chrisfont9

  • 1277 posts

Posted 17 March 2011 - 04:42 PM

Are you discounting bullpen rest or merely overlooking it?


I'll go with "overlooking." Or, fishing for things to think about, so thanks. In that case, you'd probably not want Lester and Lackey back-to-back? Unless you need two innings-eaters to follow Matsuzaka.

#32 SoxFanSince57


  • Carrie Nation


  • 10048 posts

Posted 17 March 2011 - 05:18 PM

Really? I read it and thought it was Tito's usual, innocuous answer that emphasized the positive -- in this case, about Lackey earning the #2 role with his durability and offseason preparation.

What did you take as the implication?


I thought Tito presented his case very well for 1-3 in the starting rotation.

IMO, his silence about Beckett's performance, where he fits, etc... was noteworthy.

I am not saying that he should have given false praise or anything. To me, Tito's silence indicates how far Beckett's stock has fallen.

He didn't say anything about Dice-K because we all know that he is the 5th starter. Seems to me that we all know Beckett's new ranking in the pecking order. Sure it is obvious to SoSH, but to the RSN (and perhaps to Beckett) it is somewhat akin to damning with faint (in this case no) praise. Your right that it was vintage Tito. A manager with less tact might have said that "Josh is our 4th starter to begin the season".

Edited by SoxFanSince57, 17 March 2011 - 05:19 PM.


#33 Rough Carrigan


  • reasons within Reason


  • 16322 posts

Posted 17 March 2011 - 07:54 PM

I think the idea is that opening day will definitely sell out, so they don't need to start a pitcher who will draw a crowd. The next two games are a little more iffy though and so they want to make sure they fill the stands.

I'm completely skeptical of the idea that they plan pitchers' starts with an eye to attendance.

First of all, they've sold out everyone's starts for a few years now.

Second of all, it doesn't work. Years ago, back in the early 80's, this bullshit idea got around that the Angels then Astros drew huge crowds when Nolan Ryan started. Ole Nolo Contendre, the Ryan Express puts people in the seats, so signing him as a free agent paid for itself for the Astros went the thinking. Only Bill James showed, after about 30 seconds' research, that the Astros' attendance was just as high on days their other starters pitched.

Edited by Rough Carrigan, 17 March 2011 - 07:56 PM.


#34 Jnai


  • is not worried about sex with goats


  • 9185 posts

Posted 18 March 2011 - 08:48 AM

Guys, the Red Sox have sold out 12983719283791827312 straight games. Obviously the opening day starter was not chosen because they want to sell out on other days. It was a joke. =(

#35 Mike Greenwall

  • 1288 posts

Posted 18 March 2011 - 09:45 AM

Lackey is named #2.

Surprised, but I understand the rationale. Will Beckett?

#36 RingoOSU


  • okie misanthrope


  • 13145 posts

Posted 18 March 2011 - 09:47 AM

Lackey is named #2.

Surprised, but I understand the rationale. Will Beckett?

You're the only one surprised since we've been discussing the decision to put Lackey 2 for 2 pages now.

#37 Mike Greenwall

  • 1288 posts

Posted 18 March 2011 - 09:56 AM

You're the only one surprised since we've been discussing the decision to put Lackey 2 for 2 pages now.


Just came to post my stupidity.

#38 Rudy Pemberton


  • just plum doesn't understand


  • 27094 posts

Posted 18 March 2011 - 10:15 AM

Honestly, who gives a damn about the order? It's pretty meaningless after the first time around. The kind of players who give a damn about this kind of thing are not the guys you want on your team, anyways. These guys are all good and accomplished major league pitchers, you could toss names in a hat and come out with a great 1-5 rotation.

#39 joe dokes

  • 2482 posts

Posted 18 March 2011 - 01:57 PM

Honestly, who gives a damn about the order? It's pretty meaningless after the first time around. The kind of players who give a damn about this kind of thing are not the guys you want on your team, anyways. These guys are all good and accomplished major league pitchers, you could toss names in a hat and come out with a great 1-5 rotation.


Exactly. The ONLY real impact is if everyone is healthy, the first two guys make 33 starts, the other 3 make 32. And since that actually happens about once every 10 years . . . .

If at the end of the season, Dice K is 24-4 with a 2.26 ERA and a 1.1 WHIP, while Lester is 9-12 with a 4.92ERA and a 1.6 WHIP, is anyone going to case who "the number one starter" is. The whole construct is a result of meaningless labels. Its the next target of destruction for those that brought you, "He's got the tools for being a 6th inning guy, but not an 8th inning guy, but if he's lucky, he might 'elevate' himself to be a 7th inning guy." "Well, he looks to have the makeup of a #3 or maybe #4 but not a #2."

Edited by joe dokes, 18 March 2011 - 01:57 PM.


#40 trekfan55


  • SoSH Member


  • 5235 posts

Posted 18 March 2011 - 02:15 PM

Other than lining up the rotation for an important series, who starts after the 1st game is not really meaningful. And BTW Tito has been reluctant to do even that, he had a chance to do that and make sure Lester pitched against the Rays in a key series and he didn't. The rotation spots become more important in the playoffs and we have no idea how things will turn up then.

#41 Lose Remerswaal


  • Leaves after the 8th inning


  • 21622 posts

Posted 18 March 2011 - 04:35 PM

I don't like having Lester first, and then having the 4 Righthanders all in a row.

#42 Al Zarilla


  • SoSH Member


  • 18781 posts

Posted 18 March 2011 - 04:45 PM

I don't like having Lester first, and then having the 4 Righthanders all in a row.

You're going to get that once the season gets rolling no matter what you do.

#43 Lose Remerswaal


  • Leaves after the 8th inning


  • 21622 posts

Posted 19 March 2011 - 08:26 AM

You're going to get that once the season gets rolling no matter what you do.

Really?

#44 Al Zarilla


  • SoSH Member


  • 18781 posts

Posted 19 March 2011 - 09:37 AM

Really?

Well, yes. You only have one lefthander, so, after Lester pitches, it's four righthanders in a row. What else is there in this?

#45 joe dokes

  • 2482 posts

Posted 19 March 2011 - 09:49 AM

For me the only consideration in setting up a rotation is to ensure that in every three-game series (which make up the majority of series) the Sox have at least their second-best starter pitching (whoever that may be). With that in mind, I like having the second-best pitcher as the so-called "third starter" to avoid series where the team has their 3rd, 4th, & 5th best starters going. Flip the 2nd and 3rd, and every three game series has either 1st, 3rd, 2nd best; 3rd, 2nd, 4th; 2nd 4th, 5th; 4th, 5th, 1st; or 5th, 1st, 3rd.

While I have no trouble with Francona's consistent method of not skipping a starter to match teams with pitchers, I think a rotation that, in theory, has them always having at least the second-best starter pitching (and never having the bottom 3 only) is a good fit with that metodology.

All this of course is on paper. And not just any paper, but pre-season paper. But for now, splitting up Lester and Buchholz -- currently the team's two best starters -- makes perfect sense in that we wont get any 3-game series started by the 3 question marks -- Lackey, Beckett, Matsuzaka.

#46 Rudy Pemberton


  • just plum doesn't understand


  • 27094 posts

Posted 19 March 2011 - 12:46 PM

That seems kind of subjective. It's not really clear to me that Buchholz will have a better year than Lackey, although he might. Just looking at the peripherals for last year's starters.

Lester: 0.6 HR, 3.6 BB, 9.7 K

Buchholz: 0.5 HR, 3.5 BB, 6.2 K
Lackey: 0.8 HR, 3.0 BB, 6.5 K
Beckett: 1.4 HR, 3.2 BB, 8.2 K
Matsuzaka: 0.8 HR, 4.3 BB, 7.8 K

Knowing that HR rate can be vary a lot year to year, and looking at the HR / FB, it seems pretty clear that Clay had some good karma while Beckett had some poor karma. Lackey and Buchholz had fairly similar peripherals last year; if that happens again I certainly wouldn't expect to see such a dramatic difference in ERA (Buchholz 2.33, Lackey 4.40).

Hell, looking at xFIP

Lester 3.29
Beckett 4.01
Buchholz 4.20
Lackey 4.32
Matsuzaka 4.73

Lester is clearly the #1 starter on this team. Matsuzaka is probably the #5 (although I think he has the potential to be as high as #2); the other three guys are all fairly similar in terms of expected performance and I don't think it matters where they fall. There's not a clear seperation in talent among those three, IMO.

#47 Al Zarilla


  • SoSH Member


  • 18781 posts

Posted 19 March 2011 - 02:16 PM

For me the only consideration in setting up a rotation is to ensure that in every three-game series (which make up the majority of series) the Sox have at least their second-best starter pitching (whoever that may be). With that in mind, I like having the second-best pitcher as the so-called "third starter" to avoid series where the team has their 3rd, 4th, & 5th best starters going. Flip the 2nd and 3rd, and every three game series has either 1st, 3rd, 2nd best; 3rd, 2nd, 4th; 2nd 4th, 5th; 4th, 5th, 1st; or 5th, 1st, 3rd.

While I have no trouble with Francona's consistent method of not skipping a starter to match teams with pitchers, I think a rotation that, in theory, has them always having at least the second-best starter pitching (and never having the bottom 3 only) is a good fit with that metodology.

All this of course is on paper. And not just any paper, but pre-season paper. But for now, splitting up Lester and Buchholz -- currently the team's two best starters -- makes perfect sense in that we wont get any 3-game series started by the 3 question marks -- Lackey, Beckett, Matsuzaka.

Well, there is some significance in being #5 in the rotation: if you're there because you're the fifth best, or fifth most reliable, etc., starter, you're most likely to be lopped off if things go bad for you and there's a new kid waiting in the wings. Beckett needs to get his act together, although, heaven forbid, if he did hit bottom, he'd be another Zito (what other team would take him and his salary)?

#48 redsahx

  • 1247 posts

Posted 19 March 2011 - 02:35 PM

I don't like having Lester first, and then having the 4 Righthanders all in a row.


I am guessing this is sarcasm. If so, well played.

In any event I haven't had a chance to listen to WEEI or 985 much the last week or so. Please tell me no host has actually entertained the idea that this actually matters. As soon as one caller phones in to talk about how the Sox need to line up their rotation so that our #1 is lined up with other teams #1 etc. etc., I'd blow a gasket.

#49 joe dokes

  • 2482 posts

Posted 19 March 2011 - 07:16 PM

Well, there is some significance in being #5 in the rotation: if you're there because you're the fifth best, or fifth most reliable, etc., starter, you're most likely to be lopped off if things go bad for you and there's a new kid waiting in the wings. Beckett needs to get his act together, although, heaven forbid, if he did hit bottom, he'd be another Zito (what other team would take him and his salary)?


True enough. But I suppose if Dice K is mediocre, but Lackey (for example) is worse, it wouldn't be Dice that got bumped. (Interesting question...how much worse than DiceK would Lackey have to be before *he* got bumped?)

And Rudy P's point is very true. The 2-3-4 are very close when you take the peripherals into account. But that was what my "pre-season/on paper caveat was about. Buchholz was 2nd best last year in terms of results. I know that analysts are in pretty wide agreement that his peripherals didn't support the results. Is Francona lining them up to separate 1 & 2 based on last year's results? Who knows. Maybe its all about letting Beckett go in Cleveland, and not Texas. But if the rotation supports a theory that I endorse (splitting 1 & 2), then I'll run with it. :)

#50 SoxScout


  • Maalox Territory


  • 30160 posts

Posted 21 March 2011 - 01:46 AM

The signature moments of the afternoon came during each of the three times Matsuzaka went head-to-head with Albert Pujols. The Sox' fifth starter needed to pump in a fastball against a hitter who has hit a mind-blowing .370 against heaters over the past three seasons. But unlike in seasons past, the righty didn't hesitate.

"To have Pujols waiting for a fastball and still be able to throw a fastball and either get a strike or a foul ball," he said through translator Kenta Yamada. "I felt lucky to be able to throw to such a strong hitter to check my condition and what level I am at."

Suddenly, the fastball -- a pitch he had only managed to get up to 96 mph two times since the outset of 2008 -- was his friend.

"Just like last outing I was able to throw strikes using the breaking ball, and also I had great life on my fastball," Matsuzaka said. "It was not necessary to throw to the corners because my fastball was strong enough to throw down the middle."

http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/rob-bradford/2011/03/21/least-one-day-daisuke-matsuzaka-found-his-way

New and improved Dice, or one of those flashes that make us wonder what again, what could have been?




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users