Re: Pitching Depth?
posted at 3/28/2012 4:46 PM EDT
Moon - The first quote is a bit disingenuous. It's factually true that Lester, Beckett and Buch haven't all had 27+ starts in the same season. It is also true that Buch has only 2 seasons as a full-time MLB starter ... so that's a bit limiting. Never mind that Lester has only 4 seasons as a full-time starter ... though he has 31+ GS in each of those. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't take an even money bet on all at 27+ GS ... that's a suckers bet for any team you might choose. I would take even money on 80+ GS from those three though.
Beckett and Lester have only had 28+ startsat the same time 2 times in the last 4 years. Buch's record is spotty in 2008 and 2009, because he stunk or wasn'tm given a chance to pitch 28 starts. I get that, but once Buch became a regular starter in 2010, we've gotten 81 and 75 starts from the "big 3". I have been projecting the Sox to win close to 100 games the past two years based on these top 3 starters and a pretty deep 4-7 slots. I'm tired of being wrong and wishful thinking. I'm not saying we can't get 90 starts from the three, but I would bet it is closer to 75 or 80 than 90. I'd even bet on 65 over 85.
Re: the second quote, I too would be much happier with a proven #4 starter (and filling out the theoretical starter list with 2 at the 5/6 slot). But in terms of depth, I think allocating ~80GS to 6 guys who can put up 100+ IP of 5/sub-5 ERA pitching is not a terrible way to cover the other half of the team's starts. I think the work you have done showing the number of starters a team typically uses bolsters this point of view. IMHO, our starting pitching is deeper than last year, should be better in the median projection and has much more upside potential.
[insert obv comment that last year is a really low benchmark.]
I totally disagree. Last spring we had Lester, Beckett, Buch, Dice and Lackey as our top 5. They all seemed healthy and there was no reason to think they'd be hurt or get worse from 2010 to 2011. We had a very capable 6th starter in Wakefield (who proved to be one of the best 6th starters in MLB last year.) We then had a very promising Doubront, a gifted Aceves, and projects such as Miller giving us what looked like a nice 9 deep starting staff.
The only reason this staff has more :"upside potential" is because they are starting much lower than we've had in years.
BTW, these are the starts we got from our 6 and lower starters...
6) Wake 23
7) Doub 0
8) Aceves 4
9) Miller 12
10) Weiland 5
That's 52 starts from the 6 to 11 starters.
6) Wake 19
7) Doub 3
8) Atch 1
Not bad with just 23 starts.
54 from our 6-11 slots.
That's an average of 43 starts from our 6 or worse starters over the past 3 years.
If we get anywhere near that this year and have to use Cook, Padilla and Miller for 40+ starts, we're in deep doo doo.