Monday, July 19, 2010

It’s Always the Darkest…

…before 40% of your starting rotation returns from the DL.

Yup. The Sox lost 3 of 4 over the weekend. Yup. They now trail the Yankees by 6.5 games. But is there any good news? Yup. Tons of it.

The most important good news is that there are still 11 weeks of the season left. The Sox still play the Yankees ten times this season. They still play the Rays six more times this season. More good news? The Sox expect to have Beckett and Buchholz back in their proper spots in the rotation when their turns come up. That’s a pretty big deal. Adding an ace and an all-star to the rotation makes everything fall back into place. Wakefield can go back to filling out the bullpen. The Sox don’t need a starter of the week to pitch in games. It just makes everything better. After that, Pedroia should be returning in a couple weeks. The offense is starting to show that they’re in over their heads. A collection of second stringers can only play like stars for so long. Eventually everyone remembers why they’re second stringers. It will be nice to have one more question mark removed from the batting order when Dustin shows his face. After that, the rest of the injuries should start healing themselves. Martinez and Ellsbury are huge pieces of the offense. Varitek is a very useful piece as a back-up. They’ve stayed within shouting distance waiting for reinforcements. You can’t ask for much more than that.

But, the Sox are getting more than that. The Yankees lost two starters over the weekend. Yup. Now it’s their turn. Sure, Burnett hasn’t been blowing the league away or anything. But, when you lose a starter, it naturally means that you need to put in someone who wasn’t already good enough to start. Pettitte was an all-star this year, and a key lefty on the staff. Missing him for a month could be a blow to the team. The Sox play the Yanks for four games in NY Aug 6-9. The Sox should have their full rotation. The Yanks won’t. That’s a nice advantage.

The trade deadline is only a couple weeks away. Plenty of time for the Sox to add a bullpen arm, and an outfielder. Things can only go up from here.


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