Friday, April 13, 2007

Can't we skip this?

His Craziness

Yesterday's rain-out (not featuring snow!) was an opportunity for the Red Sox, that I'm proud to say they seized. The Sox rotation at this point runs four deep. Julian Tavarez is a place holder in the fifth slot, primarily because he just isn't very good (note: nothing against Julian personally; he seems like a terrific guy). The best way to handle this situation is to limit the number of innings that the fifth starter throws until the fifth starter becomes someone better (like a Lester or a Clemens). Yesterday's missed game, which would have featured His Craziness on the mound, provides a perfect opportunity to skip the fifth slot and keep everyone on regular rest. The Sox opted to do just that.

Why do we need to severely curtain Tavarez's innings? PECOTA (the projection system for Baseball Prospectus) pegs Tavarez for a 4.43 ERA on the season, but that is expecting him to pitch from the bullpen. Add about a run on to that projection and you get something resembling a fair expectation of what Tavarez can provide you in the starter role. If Tavarez pitches 5 innings and gives up about four runs, thats about all we can legitimately ask of him, and thats not very good. Basically, unless the Sox offense breaks out each time he pitches, starting Tavarez is pretty close to going into a game with one hand tied behind your back.

So, it stands to reason that you would want to miss his starts if given the opportunity to do so without forcing the rest of the starters to work on a sub-optimal amount of rest. Also of note, this way we get Diasuke Matsuzaka facing the Yankees twice in nine days, on the 20th of April, and then again on the 29th.

Tonight: The Sox start a four game series with the Los Angeles California Anaheim Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Angels of Coconut Cream Pie. Tim Wakefield The Aged goes for the Sox, to be followed by Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett (who has no blog for me to link to), and then fittingly His Craziness gets the call for Monday's semi-insane 10am Patriots Day start. He will be opposed on that day by Jared "The Better" Weaver, who will be making his first start of the season having begun it on the Disabled List.

Next: I compare the Yankees with ooze I found underneath my toilet seat! Stay tuned!

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