Re: First honest report out of spring training
posted at 2/16/2013 12:54 PM EST
Doubrant isn't a skinny guy. Neither is Lester. Are you worried about Lester not being in shape? Lackey will pitch 200 innings this year. He has shown he can pitch in tons of pain and he wants to prove something.
As I explained, I was already worried about Doubront being at high risk for injury. This has to do with the % increase of innings pitched between 2011 and 2012. Baseball experts have worked out a safe increase, and pitchers above that (and Doubront is well above that) are at increased risk for injury. Wish I could cite the numbers, but off the top of my head I cannot. So it is unlikely that he will be able to start 30-32 games in 2013.
On top of that, he shows up to ST out of shape for the second time in three years. The first time he did so, he spent the year injured and ineffective. So he rededicated himself, and came into camp in 2012 in shape and ready to go. He had a good year, as a result. Lesson learned? Well, no. He comes to camp in 2013 out of shape, suffers some shoulder weakness and is now set back a week or so from the rest.
He is not the dependable #4 or even #5 that many are counting on, from the looks of it. I hope I am wrong, but history is on my side. As for Lackey, he may pitch 200 innings. I hope he will pitch 200 innings. But is that realistic? He pitched exactly 0 innings in 2012, and had an injury-plagued shortened season the year prior. I think 160 or so innings is a realistic expectation. Buchholz, well again, I hope he finally pitches 200 innings. I think he is capable. But then, he has never been able to do that...ever. So, the Sox have two guys in their rotation that can be counted on (as much as anything can be counted on in sports) to pitch 200 innings.
That is why Ben C has built up his bullpen, rightfully so. But I think the Sox could use a 200 inning guy in their rotation. I would rather it be a guy who has recently been able to pitch with a sub 3.50 era, if one is available, rather than a Joe Blanton type, where his ERA is almost certainly a whole run highger. But even a Blanton type would be useful, IMO. There is such a guy out there. Don't know what his terms would be. To me, a guaranteed 3 or 4-year deal would be too much. But a two-year with 3 and 4 year options would not be. I just think the Sox should be exploring the possiblity if they really want to compete in 2013.