Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sox get Byrd, apparently just in time.

I have no idea why Theo thought the Sox needed any help with the pitching staff. They managed to hold the Rangers offense to just under 18 runs last night. That should be just fine going forward.

The trade for Paul Byrd was a good one, but it does pose as many questions as answers. Off the bat, it looks like a slam-dunk. Naturally, since this was a waiver trade, you can’t expect monumental deals being done. You’re not going to land Johan Santana in a waiver deal. But, Byrd is a good catch. He’s a veteran pitcher, not afraid of pressure pitching. So, to grab him for the stretch run is a good move. Plus, considering how the Sox fared against him in the ALCS last year, it’s nice that he didn’t go to Tampa. (And how, exactly, did he not end up in pinstripes?) I like the style of pitcher Byrd is for this team too. He throws strikes. With a great defensive team behind you, that’s what you want. Let the players in the field make the plays. Plus, the Sox have a pretty good line-up, as you may have noticed. Throwing strikes but giving up a run or two shouldn’t be an issue at all.

Beyond that, the plans for him get a little fuzzy. Since Francona wanted to talk to Buchholz directly about the trade, and Byrd will be taking Clay’s spot on Friday, it appears clear that Byrd is Clay’s replacement. The powers that be must have decided that a pennant chase isn’t the best time to break in a young pitcher. I can respect that. If you’re not in a race, you can allow the learning curve. When every game counts, it’s time to let him work it out in the minors. I imagine Clay will be back in September when the rosters expand. Until then, the Sox don’t need to give away any games to let someone work on their fastball.

The odd part is Wakefield’s spot. You could assume, that a new pitcher would take the spot of the pitcher currently on the DL. But, the Sox don’t appear to be doing that. Does this mean they expect Wake to be back after the 15 days are up? They can piece together another start or two, and go on from there. That would be good news if that’s what happens. I like the idea that the Sox are expecting his eventual return, as opposed to fearing a season-ending situation. Are the Sox thinking playoff rotation for Byrd? Is he the safety net in case Wake can’t go again? I like the idea of Beckett-Dice-Lester-Byrd in a series just fine. It will be interesting to see how it all works out.

Sometimes, it’s the little deals that make or break a season. This looks like a good one. Now, if we can just get an extra bullpen arm it would be great.

1 comment:

  1. Ummm, maybe Wake will be that bullpen help. He has done it before. I think they are going to go delcarmen (7) Oki (8) and Pap (9) and an earlier... here comes wake. Clearly Masterson should be a starter and not a reliever.


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