Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Curt Schilling did his weekly radio appearance on WEEI in Boston this morning. In it, he said he likely wouldn't be pitching this Sunday against Jake Peavey in San Diego. As much of a shame as that is, I would like to discuss what the Red Sox will and should do going forward.

There are two scenarios at work here. One is if Curt misses only one start. In that case, the Sox would likely bring up one of either Kason Gabbard, who acquitted himself so well in his last start in Boston, or Jon Lester. Schilling would then get his next scheduled start, which would be on June 30th in Boston versus Texas.

However, the more likely scenario is that Schilling is going to miss more than one start. Right now that looks like a good possibility simply based on whats coming out of Boston. If that is the case then its a whole different issue because the Sox will try to find someone who can make multiple starts for them thus minimizing necessary roster moves.

Both Clay Bucholtz and Jon Lester are scheduled to start games this afternoon for AA Portland and AAA Pawtucket, respectively. If they both go as scheduled, then starting again this Sunday would only allow for four days between starts. (Three actual days, but today's day game and Sunday's night game means 96 hours will have elapsed between the starts.) If either are held out or severely limited in the number of pitches they throw, that would be a strong indication as to who the Sox are planning to give the start(s) to, as well as Schilling's health.

Bucholtz is the wild card, so to speak. He has been dominating AA ball, but isn't on the 40 man roster. Bringing him up would require some roster shuffling, and the Red Sox likely don't want to do that. Lester is on the roster, so he would be much easier to give the start to.

Gabbard last pitched on the 16th for Pawtucket. He is likely in line to pitch for Pawtucket at Indianapolis tomorrow (the 21st). There would not be enough rest time between starts for him, so he would also have to work on a severe pitch count, or have his start skipped. If nothing happens to alter today's starts by either Lester or Bucholtz then Gabbard is the likely answer.

To me, and of course depending on his health, Jon Lester should be the first guy they go with to take Schilling's spot in the rotation. If his health isn't where it should be yet then I would love to see Bucholtz get the start, but as previously stated, the Red Sox likely don't want to demote anyone from their 40 man roster. This would mean risking losing some player to another team in exchange for just one start. Only if Schilling will likely be out for a good while (say, at least three starts) and if Lester's stamina/health isn't yet to their liking, could the Sox opt for Bucholtz.

The interesting part for me is that I happen to have tickets to the Red Sox game on the 30th. As of now, Schilling is penciled in to start that game against Texas. But, if he misses his start this Sunday, and it seems he will, it will be interesting to see what the Red Sox do with the opportunity.


Brandon said...

Buchholz is not a real option. As much as he has dominated AA, there is simply no reason to bring him up now.

Your scenario also misses a relevant point... that with an off day on Thursday, the likely replacement starter will not have to go until either Monday or Tuesday in Seattle. Beckett will likely pitch on regular rest on Sunday, and it is possibly Tavarez will pitch on regular rest on Monday.

Which opens up a whole host of possibilities. Not mentioned, but also on the 40 man roster, are Devern Hansack (who last pitched on Monday) and David Pauley (who pitched last night).

mattymatty said...

Bucholtz isn't a real option, but he's fun to think about. I think I mention that in the post (that its highly unlikely that the Sox would bring up Bucholtz).

Good point about the off-day. I should have mentioned that.

Hansack has had a couple shots and not done much with them. I should have mentioned them simply because of their schedules.

Thanks for the comment.