Re: Lester: club option or qualifying offer?
posted at 8/13/2013 7:27 AM EDT
In response to ctredsoxfanhugh's comment:
In response to pumpsie-green's comment:
In response to ctredsoxfanhugh's comment:
What is a true #1 or a true #2 or a #3 or #4 $5 pitcher.
Do you have specific number in my mind; stats that a guy must reach to be considered a certain slot of a pitcher. You can make an argument that the top 30 pitchers are #1 and 31-60 are #2 etc etc etc.
In terms of ERA, IP, WHIP, K Lester ranks 70th 25th 68th 32th now why those don't scream top of the rotation starter I think you can make an argument that Lester is a fringe #2 solid #3 starter.
A guy like Doubront ranks 47th 73 81 and 46th respectively on those stats. Which would Make Doubront a fringe #2 or the best #3 in baseball.
Of course these numbers are subjective and there are other stats that can be thrown in there but I think it would make for good conversation. Personally If I were to go more in depth I'd like to look at some stats that measure control (although whip does cover that a bit) Also Doubront has been much better the second half of the season so far so I'd make a strong argument that he is at least one grade better than his numbers show (a solid #2).
MY POINT IS!!!! most of us, and I'm sure I'm guilty of this at times as well, tend to vastly underrate and overrate pitchers on this team because of our own personal convictions. Some people think Lester is a #5 that is absolultey absurd. Others try to say that Doubront has pitched like a top of the rotation starter, which is also absurd.
Whatever you assign Lester (I see him as a #4 SP, but he is, in fact, our sixth SP on the payroll next year) is subjective. Do you want him as our sixth SP on the payroll, assuming we cannot get rid of Dempster, at $13M? I don't.
I would get rid of Dempster before Lester but the point I'm trying to make is that yes what you view a guy is subjective but there also has to be substance to it. If a guy leads the league in ERA, K's and WHIP and IP then it would be by an overwhelming consensus that he is the #1 pitcher in the league. So if a guy has numbers better than 32 or 33 guys in the league then I think you can make a strong argument that if that guy is the 33 best pitcher then he is a very strong #2 pitcher etc etc etc.
So if there are 30 teams in the league and all things considered each have 5 SP then there are 150 starters in the league, give or take. So in my opinion there should be 30 #1's 30 #2's etc etc etc and so forth. The numbers don't suggest that Jon Lester is a #5 or a #6. They suggest he is a #2 or a #3.
You can make the argument that he is a #4 or #5 on this team....BUT if his overall contract is substantially lower than what the market value is for a starting pitcher of his caliber then it makes ZERO sense to cut him lose, if anything he should be traded.
Every team in the big leagues has five man rotation. The best of the bunch carries the designation of #1 and then based on ability and which arm they throw with the rest fall into the remaining 4 slots. During the grind of a 162 game schedule sometimes the guy that started the season in the #1 slot pitches himself out of that role. Or in the case of Buccholz injuries prevent him from seizing the role. Lester entered this season as our #1 and needs to finish the year strong to keep that designation. Based on ability and results over the coarse of the year I'd probably slot Lackey over Lester. If the playoffs started today I would give Lackey the ball in game one. With a month and a half to go Peavy and Doubront will also have a chance to show that they're capable of taking the other slots. IMHO Lester needs to finish strong as in circa 2010 Lester to give the Sox a shot at winning the division and matching up in a short series with the Verlanders of the world.
Therein lyes the rub. Come postseason the Sox current staff lacks a true top of the rotation guy that matches up against the best of the best. While I get that Lester is a work in progress and certainly worth the cost of picking up his option. The question that begs to be asked and answered is could those money's be better spent in acquiring a true top of the rotation starter. A role that was supposed to be Lester's but it's been two years and a lot of water under the bridge since he's pitched well enough to even have his name in that conversation. Add to that the unknown of Buccholz and his ability to stay healthy. Our rotation while it's not by any means horrid, it is not among the best and short of that it'll be hard to raise another banner. If indeed that is the goal.