Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Buchholz, Lester: You're Going to Japan

So what the hell is going on with our starters? Are they really that terrified of pitching two games in Japan to start the season? How else do we explain the random injuries and other nonsense (a baby? Really? What kind of excuse is that, Dice-K?) that may have removed the top three options from the rotation to start the season? Beckett says not to count him out, but any time I hear "back," "MRI," and "not sure where the pain is coming from" in the same sentence, I'm inclined to a little doubt and a lot of concern.

Anyway, let's assume the worst (isn't that fun?) and say the choice is coming down to Wake, Buchholz, and Lester for the choice of the two slots of who's going to go to Japan. All things being equal, who do you choose?

I'm inclined to go with Lester and Buchholz, despite their combined 13 runs in two games, for one reason: Tim Wakefield is elderly. Not in a bad way, since he's still pitching and pitching effectively, but remember this is the guy who finally succumbed to injury in September of last year after what seemed like years of stress-free pitching. Do you really want Wakefield flying 13 hours to Japan and twisting something in his sleep, only to land on the DL for the month of April while the Sox flail like a drunk guy in a bar fight? I'd rather take two somewhat shaky younger guys than risk the first part of the season on two games.