After Price, the Red Sox rotation is still a mystery
The Boston Red Sox spent most of the 2015 season in last place in the AL East. One of the biggest reasons for the team’s struggles was the starting rotation. Last month, the team signed free agent pitcher, David Price, with the hope that he could lead the rotation in 2016. The team should, no doubt, have one of the best pitchers in the game taking the ball for them every fifth day. The only issue is that the rest of the starting rotation is still a huge mystery.
The rest of the projected starting rotation is made up of pitchers who have differing reasons of why they cannot be relied upon. Clay Buchholz has the makeup of a top of the line starter, but has been unable to stay healthy for years now. He has a career record of 73-51, with an ERA of 3.85, but has never pitched more than 189.1 innings in a singe season. He has the potential to be a great pitcher, but has only been able to prove it for one year, which was in 2010 when he went 17-7 with a 2.33 ERA.
Rick Porcello was traded to the Red Sox last season and endured a very disappointing year. He finished with a 9-15 record with a 4.92 ERA, which, numbers wise, was the worst year of his career. Porcello has always been an average to good pitcher. His career ERA of 4.39 is not too impressive and doesn’t look like the numbers of a pitcher who can become a top of the line starter. Porcello is not a bad pitcher, but to rely on him to have a great year is a little farfetched given his track record.
Joe Kelly is another pitcher who falls into the inconstant category. Last year with the Red Sox, Kelly was 10-6 with a 4.82 ERA. However he was great in 7 of his last 8 starts, allowing 2 earned runs or less in all starts. Although that was a great stretch for Kelly, he still has not had an ERA under 4.00 since 2013. He might prove that his ending to 2015 was a sign of things to come, but relying on that would not be ideal.
Eduardo Rodriguez is another starter who is an unknown for the team going into 2016. Rodriguez, however, does not fall in the same category as the previous three. Rodriguez was solid in his rookie year last season with a 10-6 record with a 3.85 ERA. He had 21 starts last season and really showed that he has potential to be a really good pitcher. The only issue I see with him is that we don’t know what he will be in his second year. I do feel that Rodriguez has the best chance to be the number 2 starter as the season goes on, but, without a proven track record, predicting what he will do in 2016 will be hard.
As you can see, the Red Sox do not have a proven consistent pitcher behind their ace and, although Price should make the rotation better as a whole, expecting any of the other four projected starters to have great seasons would be unrealistic. Although all of them have the potential to be solid to maybe even really good, we will need to wait until next year to see how they all perform.
All stats provided by Baseball-Reference
Colby Gatz covers the Boston Red Sox for MFST, and you can follow him on Twitter @bostonfan_15