Red Sox starting rotation
By Bob Hohler, Globe Staff, 3/29/2002
P Pedro Martinez (45)
Age: 30 Bats - throws: R-R
Height: 5-11 Weight: 170
Wins - Losses: 7-3 ERA: 2.39 K: 163
Fast stat: Since he joined Sox, opponents have hit .133 in two-strike counts.
The lowdown: A year later than they hoped, Martinez, Ramirez, and Garciaparra will appear in a game together for the first time Opening Day. But none of the three is more crucial than Martinez, who yet again will be asked to carry the club on his aging shoulder. After the fraying in his rotator cuff last year, he is a new pitcher, more dependent on his control and finesse since he has vowed to resist trying to overthrow his fastball.
SP Derek Lowe (32)
Age: 28 Bats - throws: R-R
Height: 6-6 Weight: 205
Wins - Losses: 5-10 ERA: 3.53 K: 82
Fast stat: Had 1.48 ERA when retiring first batter of inning in 2001, 7.80 when not.
The lowdown: When he went 0-7 in his debut as a Sox starter in 1998, Lowe had only two pitches. He has since added a changeup and a cutter. He also has gained confidence and knowledge. If he puts it all together, he could join the few pitchers who have gone from making an All-Star team as a closer (2000) to making one as a starter. If he fails, he faces the prospect of returning to the pen as a set-up man.
SP John Burkett (19) *
Age: 37 Bats - throws: R-R
Height: 6-2 Weight: 211
Wins - Losses: 12-12 ERA: 3.04 K: 187
Fast stat: In nine daytime starts last season, went 4-1 with 3.21 ERA.
The lowdown: It's an inglorious start for the righthander who is coming off an All-Star year with Braves in which he posted the third-best ERA (3.04) in the National League. He was pitching masterfully in spring training, too, with an 0.90 ERA. The trouble was, the more he pitched, the more he was troubled by tendinitis in his right shoulder. He will enter the starting rotation as soon as he is well, which could be mid to late April.
SP Dustin Hermanson (31)
Age: 29 Bats - throws: R-R
Height: 6-2 Weight: 200
Wins - Losses: 14-13 ERA: 4.45 K: 123
Fast stat: Has career record of 14-7 and 3.65 ERA in month of August.
The lowdown: A workhorse, Hermanson has averaged 31 starts over the last five years. The only Sox pitcher who managed more than 26 starts last year was Hideo Nomo (33). The hard-throwing Hermanson can raise his game substantially if he develops a better changeup. He also needs to control his emotions to keep from rushing into jams.
SP Frank Castillo (37)
Age: 33 Bats - throws: R-R
Height: 6-1 Weight: 190
Wins - Losses: 10-9 ERA: 4.21 K: 59
Fast stat: Went 7-2 with 3.38 ERA on road last year; 3-7, 5.01 at home.
The lowdown: At 10-9, he won more games for the Sox last year than anyone but Nomo (13-10). He also killed the Yankees, going 2-0 with a no-decision (he left that game in the seventh inning with a 1-0 lead). But Castillo went a combined 0-6 against the Mariners, A's, Blue Jays, and Indians. He is in the final year of a two-year deal.