In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t belong?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from -EdithBunker-. Show -EdithBunker-'s posts

    In Red Sox rotatio...

    Clay Buchholz is a week away, assuming no further setbacks, and so the ticks of the clock are now clear and crisp. Jon Lester is in. Josh Beckett is in. And once Buchholz returns, presumably for an Independence Day outing against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park, that leaves three men for two spots.

    In alphabetical order: John Lackey, Andrew Miller, and Tim Wakefield.

    Which one of these doesn’t belong?

    Me? I’d go with Wakefield and Miller in this scenario, but let’s try to be as fair as possible about this. After all, we all have our biases. (Ahem.) On some level, Lackey, Miller, and Wakefield all deserve the right to remain in the starting rotation when Buchholz returns, leaving manager Terry Francona with a difficult decision when Buchholz returns.

    One way or another, someone is either going to feel slighted, albeit for different reasons.

    Here are the cases for and against each pitcher.

    JOHN LACKEY
    Season: 5-6, 7.36 ERA.
    Team record in 11 starts: 5-6.
    Last start: 3.1 IP, 4H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 4K, 1 HR, 2 HBP.
    Last four starts: 3-1, 6.26 ERA.

    The case for: Lackey is in the second year of a five-year, $82.5 million contract and sending him to the bullpen could destroy any chance of salvaging his season. Before arriving in Boston for the start of last season, Lackey was 102-71 in his career and averaged 13 wins a season for the Los Angeles Angels. He won 14 last year. For as poorly as Lackey has performed this season, he is a far better pitcher than what he has demonstrated.

    The point? If the Red Sox are going to get anything out of this guy, it will have to be as a starter. Lackey has made just one relief appearance in his career – that coming with the Angels in 2004. He is a proud man who was the staff ace with the Angels. Fans in Boston have no emotional attachment to Lackey for a lot of reasons, but try to take that out of it. If you move him to the pen, you may lose him.

    The case against: Based purely on performance, Lackey has been the club’s worst starter all year. Minus a three-game stretch in late April – all against three of the worst offensive teams in the league – the A’s, Angels, and Mariners – Lackey has a 10.20 ERA in eight starts. He’s been better since coming off the disabled list, but he still hasn’t been good.

    At this point, the simple fact of the matter is that Miller and Wakefield have pitched better than Lackey has. If manager Terry Francona keeps Lackey in the rotation despite that, what kind of message does that send in an organization that generally puts the emphasis on winning?

    ANDREW MILLER
    Season: 1-0, 3.09 ERA.
    Team record in two starts: 2-0.
    Last start: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR, 1 HBP.

    The case for: Retained by the Red Sox during the offseason, Miller is a former first-round pick (No. 6 overall) who has had control problems for much of his career. Now, however, Miller seems to be around the strike zone far more consistently, particularly with his off-speed pitches, and he has the stuff that scouts dream about in a left-handed pitcher, beginning with a fastball in the mid 90s.

    Albeit in starts against San Diego and Pittsburgh – two of the worst offensive teams in baseball – Miller has handled himself quite well in his two outings. Lackey, for instance, made his last start against San Diego and was utterly inept, suggesting that nothing should be taken for granted. Miller has done nothing to warrant a demotion to the bullpen. He is scheduled to start again over the weekend in Houston.

    The case against: Is this fool’s gold? Miller turned 26 last month and he’s not a kid anymore. If he can throw strikes consistently – and there is still some doubt about that – he can also help the Sox out of the bullpen, something Lackey and Wakefield are less positioned to do. In fact, putting Miller in the pen might be the best utilization of resources.

    Regardless of Lackey’s performance against San Diego, Miller hasn’t faced a real lineup yet; whether Houston qualifies is debatable. Even since he joined the Red Sox, Miller has walked five in 11.2 innings, a rate that translates into almost four walks per nine innings. That is still on the high side. As intriguing as Miller is, he is also the low-man on the totem pole in terms of service time and would likely handle the demotion better than Lackey or Wakefield.

    TIM WAKEFIELD
    Season: 4-3, 4.54 ERA.
    Team record in nine starts: 5-4.
    Last start: 6 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 0 HBP.
    Last three starts: 1-2 3.86 ERA.

    The case for: When are we going to learn our lesson with this guy? As a knuckleballer, Wakefield has the most value when consistently utilized as a starter. Since the Red Sox began giving him a regular turn in the rotation, he is 4-3 with a 4.11 ERA. That performance is completely consistently with what Wakefield has given the Sox over the majority of his career, making him a perfect fit for the end of the rotation.

    Before his last outing at Pittsburgh, Wakefield allowed four earned runs in 15 innings – a 2.40 ERA. He has made a major contribution since the Sox lost Daisuke Matsuzaka for the season and has pitched into the sixth inning or better in all seven starts since being moved to the rotation. Based on performance, Wakefield deserves to remain a starter.

    The case against: Miller has better raw stuff and Lackey counts for roughly six times as much against the payroll. Meanwhile, the knuckleball remains as fickle as ever. Baseball people like certainties – namely, velocity – and Wakefield’s “fastball” is clocked in the low 70s. Knuckleballers are generally .500 pitchers, leaving Lackey and Miller with better upside.

    At Wakefield’s age – he’ll be 45 in August -- durability is seemingly a question. He has pitched 69.1 innings this year and has not exceeded 140 innings since 2008. Moving him to the bullpen would help lessen the workload and allow him to continue serving as a de facto sixth starter, giving the Red Sox an emergency alternative at any moment’s notice.

    So, is Wakefield the odd man out?

    And if he is not, who is?

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from betterredthandead. Show betterredthandead's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    The paunched 45 year old does not belong.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Diamondtalk. Show Diamondtalk's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    There's still time to show if Andrew Miller is the real deal.    If it gets to it, he can be used as a bullpen piece.   Lackey's contract completely handcuffs the team from moving him.    Wakefield is a favorite of Theo and Francona.    Like him ot not, he manages to throw just enough good games to keep him around.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    Much ado about nothing.  We already know that Francona will use a six man rotation now and then. 

    I think Lackey and Miller (and not Wakefield) keep starting if it gets down to rotating just five guys.  But I also think Wakefield will continue to start because of the very real possibility of more injuries.  Plus Lackey could start crashing and burning again, or Miller's control could disappear. 
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from dannycater. Show dannycater's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    If John Lackey threw a knuckleball and had the exact same results that he has now...he'd be released.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from betterredthandead. Show betterredthandead's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    If John Lackey threw a knuckleball and had the exact same results that he has now...he'd be released.

    If his name was Tim Wakefield, he wouldn't. Wastefield's ERA is over 5 since the last half of 2009. If Lackey does that over that length of time, he will be gone. Wastefield is being kept around for reasons that have nothing to do with baseball performance.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from soxmeister. Show soxmeister's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    Miller stays as long as he doesn't throw a stinker.  Lackey and Wake duel in a head to head cage match, the winner gets an occasional start.  Wake gives Lackey the pile driver, and takes the majority of those spots.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hetchinspete. Show Hetchinspete's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    I don't care to go into a long disertation but with the way Lackey has been pitching I'd much rather give the ball to Tim Wakefield.

    Hetchinspete.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hetchinspete. Show Hetchinspete's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    In Response to Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t belong?:
    If John Lackey threw a knuckleball and had the exact same results that he has now...he'd be released. If his name was Tim Wakefield, he wouldn't. Wastefield's ERA is over 5 since the last half of 2009. If Lackey does that over that length of time, he will be gone. Wastefield is being kept around for reasons that have nothing to do with baseball performance.
    Posted by betterredthandead


    Hi Waste Head !!

    As usual you insult Tim Wakefield which is uncalled for, but coming from the troll you are, I guess one can't expect much better. If you hadn't noticed,Wakefield has given the Red Sox a number of quality starts recently, but as usual you always ignore the obvious and blather on endlessly like you actually know something about baseball, which you do not.

    If a team is in need of a reliable #5-6 starter Wakefield is as good as one can count on, namely keep his team in the game through 5-6 innings which Wakefield has done fairly well while filling in for Dice-K. If you hadn't noticed the Red Sox are 5-4 in games Tim Wakefield has started recently. Forget the ERA Stat

    Hetchinspete.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from betterredthandead. Show betterredthandead's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    No, Wastefield is not "as good as one can count on". The Red Sox would be 5-4 in games Millwood started.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from --the--yazzer. Show --the--yazzer's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    well, right now neither wake nor slackey belongs in anyone's rotation; but using the 'lesser of two evils' formula, i'd remove wakefield.

    and as always, thank you theo!

    "bad signings never go unpunished."
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from dannycater. Show dannycater's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    so let me get this straight yazzer, you are making your opinion on Wakefield based on what? He threw 119 pitches in a win, threw another 100 pitches the next start, and then got through 6 innings of the next start and would have gone longer if the DH rule was in effect. So let's see, as one guy wrote, the team is 5-4 in his starts, he's had shoddy defense behind him, inherited runs have affected his ERA (as throwing as a reliever for several early outings), and he's in line with pretty much most 4th and 5th starters in baseball rotations...How the hell can you say he shouldn't be in "anyone's rotation."......It's a typical blowhard, not looking at the actual picture, just following someone else's fact-less, baseless attempt to criticize a guy who keeps chugging along at mid-40s..It's not just a a young man's game, never has been.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from dannycater. Show dannycater's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    so let me get this straight yazzer, you are making your opinion on Wakefield based on what? He threw 119 pitches in a win, threw another 100 pitches the next start, and then got through 6 innings of the next start and would have gone longer if the DH rule was in effect. So let's see, as one guy wrote, the team is 5-4 in his starts, he's had shoddy defense behind him, inherited runs have affected his ERA (as throwing as a reliever for several early outings), and he's in line with pretty much most 4th and 5th starters in baseball rotations...How the hell can you say he shouldn't be in "anyone's rotation."......It's a typical blowhard, not looking at the actual picture, just following someone else's fact-less, baseless attempt to criticize a guy who keeps chugging along at mid-40s..It's not just a a young man's game, never has been.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from jcjcjcjc. Show jcjcjcjc's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    tim wakefield's last 56 games played... Boston Red Sox team record ( including 35 starts.. of which only 15 were quality starts ) 16 wins... 40 losses! Lackey has 25 quality starts in his last 44 starts.. Anywhere else... other than Boston Red Sox Organization.. this guy would be flippin' pancakes at IHOP! END OF DEBATE!
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from Beantowne. Show Beantowne's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    If it was purely based on results to date the answer is Wake & Miller (for now)...

    All thing being equal, of the three Wake is the guy that is better suited for the pen. Though he's earned the right to stay in the rotation...He's been there done that and his abiltiy to pitch in any and all situations, spot start and give us innings is invaluable. He may not like it but it might be in the best interest of the team...

    Miller is still on the bubble and could be used out of the pen, but that's not what the Sox envisioned when they kept him stretched out down in Pawtucket. Not sure that he has options so his value to the team short and long term is in the rotation. They have to see what he has becasue he's auditioning for a spot in the 2012 rotation....

    As for Lackey, his results to date have been well below expectations. Frankly he's been awful, alibiet injured with some pretty serious off the field problems...The question I have is just how bad is Lackey's elbow injury and would he benefit from another 2 weeks on the DL? Or does he simply need to see the doctor and have his elbow surgically repaired? John Lackey circa 2002-2009 used his breaking ball to keep hitters honet, If he can't snap of his once formitable curve-slider combo and command it in the zone, he'll be a batting practice pitcher the rest of the season...

    The easy thing to do is activate Buchholz and then place Lackey on the 15 day DL and that'll give them plenty of time to see exactly what they have in Miller...
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from betterredthandead. Show betterredthandead's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    DL Wastefield and get Lackey looked at. If Lackey needs a long term DL, call up Doubrant. Keep Wastefield on the DL as long as possible.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from jcjcjcjc. Show jcjcjcjc's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    In Response to Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t belong?:
    If it was purely based on results to date the answer is Wake & Miller (for now)... All thing being equal, of the three Wake is the guy that is better suited for the pen. Though he's earned the right to stay in the rotation...He's been there done that and his abiltiy to pitch in any and all situations, spot start and give us innings is invaluable. He may not like it but it might be in the best interest of the team... Miller is still on the bubble and could be used out of the pen, but that's not what the Sox envisioned when they kept him stretched out down in Pawtucket. Not sure that he has options so his value to the team short and long term is in the rotation. They have to see what he has becasue he's auditioning for a spot in the 2012 rotation.... As for Lackey, his results to date have been well below expectations. Frankly he's been awful, alibiet injured with some pretty serious off the field problems...The question I have is just how bad is Lackey's elbow injury and would he benefit from another 2 weeks on the DL? Or does he simply need to see the doctor and have his elbow surgically repaired? John Lackey circa 2002-2009 used his breaking ball to keep hitters honet, If he can't snap of his once formitable curve-slider combo and command it in the zone, he'll be a batting practice pitcher the rest of the season... The easy thing to do is activate Buchholz and then place Lackey on the 15 day DL and that'll give them plenty of time to see exactly what they have in Miller...
    Posted by Beantowne


    wakefield pitching in any & all situations? what planet are you living on? wakefield is #1 in giving up stolen bases since 2000! ( not #2... not #3, #4, #5... #1 ). throw in wild pitches... passed balls... runners moving up 90' on screwy knucle-head-balls in the dirt! I have some land for sale on Long Island, N.Y.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from --the--yazzer. Show --the--yazzer's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    wakefield should only throw 3 innings; more than that may well turn into a gasoline explosion. definitely put him in the bullpen.

    slackey has to pitch only because 'boy genius' paid him 86 million dollars.
    if he does have a bad elbow, maybe the SOX can impart the 'lemon law' and get some of their money back.


    "no bad signing goes unpunished."
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from jcjcjcjc. Show jcjcjcjc's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    Toronto, Tampa Bay & Baltimore are teams wakefield has been in games with... these teams are next on the Red Sox schedule in the next couple of weeks.  A good barometer is.. if wakefield gets " lit up " against teams that have already faced wakefield once this season. Professional MLB hitters make adjustments.. if wakefield's knuckle-head-ball is " a slow shuffle " instead of " dancing to the hits " we'll find out soon!

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    slackey has to pitch only because 'boy genius' paid him 86 million dollars.

    If I could do away with just one of the many old tired paradigms, it would be this one: players are chosen to play based on their salaries.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    Sox starts since Wake joined the rotation on May 22nd (35 days):
    Dice-K:  0
    Miller:     2 - 3.09 ERA  (11.2 IP/4 ER)
    Aceves: 3 - 6.19 ERA  (16IP/11 ER)
    Lackey:  4 - 6.26 ERA  (23IP/16ER)
    Buch:      5 - 3.60 ERA  (30 IP/12 ER)
    Beck:      5 - 2.08 ERA (34.2/8 ER)
    Lester:   6  - 3.63 ERA (39.2/16 ER)
    Wake:     7  - 4.17 ERA (45.1/21 ER)


    Wake's ERA could easily be under 3.00 without the dropped balls, misjudged routes to balls and several inherited runs allowed.

    Wake has the second best WHIP on the team as a starter.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from betterredthandead. Show betterredthandead's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    Given Wake's WHIP for the few months of 2011, he should be the #2 starter in the rotation and the Playoffs. Wakefield is a top of the rotation guy, trapped in #9 starter's body.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from jcjcjcjc. Show jcjcjcjc's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    wakefield's ERA could easily be under 3.00 if not for the 36 homeruns allowed, stolen bases allowed, wild pitches, hit batters, walks allowed, in his last 250 innings pitched!

    Hellooooo! Errors & unearned runs don't count against ERA! your dillusional!
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from -EdithBunker-. Show -EdithBunker-'s posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...

    I'd go with Beckett/Lester/Buchholz/Miller/Lackey.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from Modano09. Show Modano09's posts

    Re: In Red Sox rotation, the squeeze is on:three men for two spots-Lackey,Miller, Wakefield;Which one of these doesn’t ...


    Seeing Lee last night frustrated me. It's entirely possible he wouldn't be interested in Boston anyway, but he's just the type of established, high priced free agent you expect the Sox to shy away from...yet they sink $86 million into Lackey.
     
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