The Red Sox Pitchers Now & the Future
posted at 4/22/2012 10:33 AM EDT
There is no position on the Sox in higher need than our pitching staff. Some clowns have been arguing that our bats are the problem, or that our lack of timely hitting and consistency of the offense is our biggest need. It's always about the pitching... always.
I was going to break this down into starters and bullpen, but with Bard and Doubront as "tweeners", I'll just lump the whole sorry bunch into one analysis.
All winter long, I argued for making a deal to get at least a top quality 3rd starter. I mentioned a few names, most notably, Gavin Floyd and to some extent the Wandy Rodriguez and Jeremy Guthrie types. This would have allowed Bard to stay in the pen and lessen the blow of losing Papelbon.
The gain of Bailey, Melancon, and others along with full seasons by Morales, Tazawa and others could have helped make up for Papelbon, but injuries and ineffectiveness has not made that happen thus far.
Here's a breakdown of what we have now and what our near and distant future looks like:
(Salary based on avg of contract)
Beckett 32 ($17M '12-'14)
Lester 28 ($6M '12-'13 & club option for '14 at $13M/ $0.25M buyout)
Matsusaka 31 ($8M '12 then FA)
Lackey (Inj) 33 ($16.5M '12-'14 and club option at min wage '15)
Doubront 24 ($484K then 2 pre-arb & 3 Arbs to '17)
D. Bard 27 ($1.6M then 3 Arb years '13-'15)
Aceves 29 ($1.2M then 2 Arb years '13-'14)
Bailey 28 ($3.9M then 2 Arb years '13-'14)
Morales 26 ($850K then 2 Arbs '13-'14)
Melancon 27 ($521K then pre-arb, then 3 Arbs '14-'16)
B Jenks 31 ($6M '12 then FA)
Padilla 34 ($1.5M then FA)
A Cook 33 ($minor league deal and FA in '13)
M Albers 29 ($1.08M then Arb '13)
A Miller 27 ($1.04M then Arb '13-'14)
Tazawa 26 ($920K then 4 Arbs '13-'16)
R Hill 32 ($725K then Arb '13)
Thomas 28 ($516K then FA)
Atchison 36 ($510K then 2 Arbs '13-'14)
Mortensen 27 (487K then 2 pre-arb and 3 ARbs to '17)
Ohlendorf 29 (minor league deal then FA in '13)
Duckworth 36 (minor league deal then FA in '13)
G Mock 28
J Carlson 31
T Pena 31
B. Buckner 28
J Maine 30
Saying we need a quality 3rd starter type and a closer is an understatement. We should all know by now, that this is and has been our highest need area for years. The future isn't too bright either, beyond maybe 2-3 propsects.
(ranking and grades based on soxprospects.com)
3) Anthony Ranaudo 22 (5-9)
4) Matt Barnes 21 (5-9)
(13 is Doubront & Tazawa 19... see "Now")
14) Alex Wilson 25 (5-7) Perhaps the only prospect that could help now.
17) Stolmy Pimentel 22(3-8)
20) Henry Owens 19 (3-8)
21) Drake Britton 22 (3-9)
24) Brandon Workman 23 ( 3-8)
31) Cody Kukuk 19 (3-8)
34) Noe Ramirez 22 (3-8)
35) Frank Montas 19 (3-8)
39) Madison Younginer 21 (3-8)
41) Chris Hernandez (3-6)
42) Chris Balcom-Miller (3-6)
43) Aaron Kurcz (3-5)
45) Keith Couch (3-7)
46) Miguel Celstino (2-6)
48) Chris Carpenter (3-6)
50) Josh Fields (2-6)
Not a very promising bunch here, but maybe a couple of guys will rise to occasion.
Looking beyond 2012, we are losing Dice-K and Jenks and a few of the projects. We need some pitching help from the outside or we will be left with this:
Not pretty, but not so bad that 2 nice pick-ups couldn't make this a formidable staff.