Re: Really, Pete ... Doubie as a #3 a failure
posted at 9/25/2012 12:57 PM EDT
In response to SinceYaz's comment:
Why Felix Doubront can't be the No. 3 starter in 2013
Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff
September 25, 2012 08:20 AM
By Peter Abraham, Globe Staff
Felix Doubront pitched very well on Sunday for the Red Sox, allowing one run over seven innings against Baltimore and striking out 11.
A 24-year-old lefthanded starter with swing-and-miss stuff is a nice commodity to have. But if Doubront is the No. 3 starter at the start of next season, the Red Sox will have failed this winter.
The most important duty GM Ben Cherington has this winter is to improve the quality and depth of the rotation. Everything else is secondary.
I have to wonder why the lesson(s) of acquiring high ticket players are lost to Pete Abraham? I mean I love the intrigue and the excitement, but haven't we just gone through the disembowelment of the team so as to get rid of those of a certain ilk?
Don't get me wrong, I loved A-Gon, kept hoping Crawford would shut up his many critics and for Josh to settle down and get on to the task as he had in th past .. and I trul miss Nick Putno. Well, maybe not so much, sorry Nick.
All that said, is PeteAb so enthralled with the former model that nothing is learned?
I'm a big splash fan, but I thought we weren't going that way ... not enough to pick up two or more significant starters. Wouldn't it cost us significantly similarly contracts or commitments to do this?
I'm not saying you overspend for a FA pitching, but right now, Abraham is right in that the Sox can't go into next year with Doubront as the No. 3. He has a 4.91 ERA and while he has shown flashes of potential, he also has been inconsistent and rarely goes deep into a game. He's averaging 5.5 innings per start. Right now, he's a No. 5 pitcher.
And Abraham is saying improve the quality and depth. He's not saying go overspend for big-time FA.
He's young and has potential, so hopefully he makes a dramatic jump forward. If the Sox have a solid 1-2-3 and he makes that jump, that will be a tremendous help to the staff if he's pitching like a No. 2 or No. 3 in the 4 or 5 spot.
There are always "ifs" in talking about pitching, but if Lackey bounces back from Tommy John and pitches like he did in California, and if Lester returns to form and Buchholz continues to pitch like he has in his last 18 starts (2.79 ERA) then Doubront will be fine as a back-of-the-rotation starter.
Right now, the Sox need to fill one spot in the rotation -- a No. 4 at least -- and add depth. Anyone higher would push Lackey to 4 and that will be fine. I know some want the Sox to get an "ace" but that IMO is overrated. The Tigers have an ace and a No. 2 and are still struggling to make the playoffs. To me, it's more important to have depth in the rotation. Lester and Buch might not be aces but if they pitch to their potential, they are ace-like. Even aces can have off years and need run support. Just look at Cliff Lee in Philly.
Where ever he is in the rotation, Doubront needs to take a big step forward next year. Get his ERA down to around 4.00 to 4.20 at least, preferably better, and average better than six innings per start.
I do think Abraham is wrong when he says everything else is secondary. Despite the the pitching problems, the Sox need to solify the line and try to replace A-Gon's bat somehow. Maybe that happens with the development of one of the young players (Brentz) but assuming Ortiz and Middlebrooks are 2/3 of a 3-4-5, the Sox need one more bat and Ross in one of those roles isn't one of them. (I want Ross back but he's a No. 6 or No. 7 hitter).