Enough is enough: Bring in a new starter

Red Sox-Rangers
With John Smoltz's debacle in New York (granted, the stadium didn't do him any favors) behind us, it's time to look ahead and figure out how exactly we're going to make the playoffs with exactly two reliable pitchers in the rotation.

The biggest question I have right now is: how long do we wait? Daisuke Matsuzaka will not return for a month. Tim Wakefield... from what I'm hearing, I wouldn't be surprised if we've seen the last of him.

Do we really want to rely on Smoltz, Penny and Buchholz for the next month?

I can't even go on anymore. I'm too demoralized about the state of the pitching staff.
Red Sox-Rangers

With John Smoltz’s debacle in New York (granted, the stadium didn’t do him any favors) behind us, it’s time to look ahead and figure out how exactly we’re going to make the playoffs with exactly two reliable pitchers in the rotation.
Look, Clay Buchholz has a future, I believe that. But his indecision and lack of fastball command are still flaring up.
Brad Penny has never been of tremendous value to the Sox besides being just a body in the No. 5 spot. But he can’t even eat innings, as he has yet to crack the seventh inning barrier.
And we’re familiar with Smoltz: he actually has a friendly FIP but even excluding last night’s game, there is a clear trend in how much worse he fares the “deeper” he gets into the game.
I think he could succeed in a Justin Masterson role out of the bullpen, and I think last night’s start was enough to look ahead and move on. Quite simply: we need a pitcher that can go deep and eat innings. I don’t care how you find it: waiver wire or Pawtucket. But it needs to be found.
Barring someone who can eat innings, at least bring someone aboard that can pitch.
In Triple-A, that’s Michael Bowden, posting a 3.40 ERA in 20 starts over 103.1 innings.
The waiver wire has Jon Garland, Doug Davis and other middling starters that could at least post an ERA around 4.50, something Smoltz and Penny are incapable of doing.
The biggest question I have right now is: how long do we wait? Daisuke Matsuzaka will not return for a month. Tim Wakefield… from what I’m hearing, I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ve seen the last of him.
Do we really want to rely on Smoltz, Penny and Buchholz for the next month? Can we really wait around for Paul Byrd? Should we even pretend that Byrd is the answer?
I can’t even go on anymore. I’m too demoralized about the state of the pitching staff.
Let me turn it over to you: WHAT can we do? What options do we have? Do we even have any?
Paging Curt Schilling…

Categories: Brad Penny Clay Buchholz Daisuke Matsuzaka Doug Davis John Smoltz Jon Garland Michael Bowden Tim Wakefield

Born on the 37th anniversary of the the day Babe Ruth died (1985) which later became the day Jimy Williams was fired in 2001 (a monumental event at the time), Evan was too young to experience the pain 1986 brought, but a deep wound was sowed in 2003. Since then, Fire Brand has become a blog that Red Sox “club officials read,” as per Peter Gammons. Evan enjoys working out, writing, reading, quality television, science fiction and history and being newly married. He is a professional baseball journalist as well as president of a state non-profit and member of the Board of Directors for a national profit. (Twitter.)

13 Responses to “Enough is enough: Bring in a new starter” Subscribe

  1. Sean O August 7, 2009 at 5:19 AM #

    "Paging Curt Schilling…"
    Curt gets a massive boner at the mere thought of being the Red Sox savior of 2009. Is there any concept that would possibly make him happier: rising from the dead to once again lead the nation to the promised land, solely due to him.

  2. Matthew August 7, 2009 at 5:25 AM #

    Wasn't the possibility of a Doc trade highly criticized? It doesn't seem like it would have been such a bad idea after all. A Curt reunion would be nostalgically amazing, though the lack of pitching for over a year may yield similar results as Smoltz.

  3. Hoffman August 7, 2009 at 5:38 AM #

    BRING UP MICHAEL BOWDEN ITS SO F-ING OBVIOUS

  4. Shane August 7, 2009 at 6:27 AM #

    For the reclamation nostalgia rout the answer is clear. Trade for Pedro from the Phillies. He struck out 11 batters in his last start, and their rotation is full.
    (Ok… So his last start was in AA…)

  5. Sean O August 7, 2009 at 7:39 AM #

    Can you imagine the simultaneous facepalm if we had signed Pedro and brought back Schilling?

  6. Shane August 7, 2009 at 7:56 AM #

    I wonder who would win the fight over being considered the 4th or 5th starter…

  7. Matthew August 7, 2009 at 8:51 AM #

    The memories would haunt the Yankees and force them to cry in a corner whilst wearing dunce caps.

  8. Ben Zobrist August 7, 2009 at 9:21 AM #

    Hey Evan check out the new set up for MLB insights on MVN.com Ryan's got some good insights especially his article on Ricciardi. Check it out, I think you'll like it.

  9. David August 7, 2009 at 9:29 AM #

    I think it's a no brainer that we bring Bowden up, send Traber down, and possibly move Smoltz into the Masterson type role. What we need for the playoffs (assuming we make the playoffs) is a very good top three. Lester and Beckett easily make a great top 2, but we can't win without a solid third guy. The first thing we should do is exhaust all our in-house options, and Bowden is one that we have not yet tried. I know this is pretty optimistic, but who says Bowden couldn't come in and be that guy for us? It seems unlikely now but he is a great prospect that should be tried. Smoltz was a good signing at the time, but he has not panned out and it is time to once again try out options and hope to find a hot hand.

  10. Shane August 7, 2009 at 9:41 AM #

    Smoltz was a low risk option to go with, a good move at the time, but no one could have seen Matsuzaka being out for the majority of the season. The middle of our rotation has been weak for a while and it needs to be addressed somehow.

  11. M.A.G. August 7, 2009 at 1:50 PM #

    I’m so demoralized about our pitching too.
    I think Smoltz can be valuable from the bullpen, but we need another starter. The situation is desperate, so I think we are gonna see Bowden soon. But I want to be very carefull with this kid. I think we have to give him a couple of starts and see how he fares. If he shows problems adjusting, we send him back to the minors, because I don’t want to ruin his development asking too much from him at this point.

  12. Anonymous August 7, 2009 at 2:29 PM #

    It's obvious we missed an opportunity with the passing of the trade deadline. Should have traded for a Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay. Then the pitching problems wouldn't seem so bad especially once Byrd and Dice-K return.

  13. M.A.G. August 7, 2009 at 3:53 PM #

    By the way, I just have read the last outing of Bowden has being a rocky one. Bowden lasted only 3.0 innings and allowed 6 runs in 6 hits and 3 walks.
    When it rains, it pours.