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As Daisuke Matsuzaka exits, what options do the Red Sox have to replace him?

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  June 2, 2011 11:45 AM

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It's all over but the press release when it comes to Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Red Sox will issue a statement saying something and eventually the righthander will get Tommy John surgery.

Whether it's tomorrow or next month doesn't much matter. The odds of his pitching again for the Red Sox this season are pretty much zero.

At this point, rehashing all things Dice-K is pointless. He was a good solid starter for two years, borderline useless for two years and now he's hurt. Good luck to him. Enjoy the insurance money, John Henry.

A better question is how do the Red Sox fill the hole in their rotation. Let's look at the options:

Tim Wakefield: Wake is like baseball's version of Jason Voorhees. Every time you think he's really dead, he spring back to life and pitches well. The knuckleballer is 2-0 with a 3.20 ERA in three starts since joining the rotation. At 44, can he keep that up? It's his job to lose right now and he seems determined to hold it.

Alfredo Aceves: He has started three games. Two gems and one stinker. That's not enough to pass judgment and he seems headed back to the bullpen with John Lackey coming off the disabled list on Sunday. If nothing else, Aceves is a good option if Wakefield stumbles.

Kyle Weiland: He was a closer at Notre Dame who the Sox have tried to make a starter since drafting him in the third round in 2008. It seems to be working. Weiland is 4-4, 3.46 in 10 starts for Pawtucket. Over 52 innings, he has allowed only 42 hits and struck out 57. He has a 2.35 ERA in his last four starts.

Andrew Miller: Hey, he has a 2.47 ERA in 10 appearances for Pawtucket! Hey, he has allowed only 26 hits in 47.1 innings! Hey, he has 39 strikeouts! But he also has waked 34 and if that's a problem in the International League, imagine the AL East. Miller was nails in his last start (7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K), but he still needs some refining. This was a long-term project from the start.

Felix Doubront: The lefty is back off the disabled list for Pawtucket and threw 3.1 scoreless innings on Monday. He has yet to throw more than 4.1 innings this season and needs some building up.

Kevin Millwood: His stats in three Class AAA games this season (11.2 IP, 19 H, 12 ER) are not promising. Scouts are blunt in saying his stuff just isn't there.

Fantasy trade: The e-mails have already started. People think Lars Anderson, Mike Cameron, Marco Scutaro and, if you really, really have to, Josh Reddick, will bring back Felix Hernandez. It won't. B-level prospects and bench-riding veterans have no trade value in the real world.

The Sox dealt away three prime-time kids for Adrian Gonzalez. They're not going to trade three or four more now. That's organizational suicide.

An actual trade: The Sox could try and pick up a guy like Jason Marquis, Kevin Correia, Ryan Dempster or Brett Myers. They have enough spare parts for a move like that. But there is a reason those types of pitchers are available in the first place. They're not very good.


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