Oh, no, there’s nothing wrong with Lester himself. It’s this pursuit of him. It’s such a minute by minute stresser that I sometime forget that he won’t actually improve the team.
He’ll just get it back to where it was.
Oh, sure. It’ll be a better team than the one that played game 162 in 2014. But, that team didn’t count. The Sox gave away a couple months there to help prepare for the future. No, I’m talking about the one that finished 2013. Or, even the one that was supposed to start 2014. Those teams had Lester as a main piece of the puzzle. So, signing him would just keep that piece where it always was. All that work and angst, just to get back to where we were. It’s a little depressing sometimes.
Now, of course I know that signing Lester won’t be their last move. Remember, Ben Cherington’s not stupid. It’s just a little bit tricky to mentally prepare to keep the status quo after so much work.
It helps to know that the Sox are already improved in several areas. I think Hanley Ramirez has to be better than the Gomes/Nava combo in left. And, while I’m sure many of us hoped for more out of Middlebrooks than what Sandoval will actually give, I think it’s safe to say that’s an improvement.
So, take a look at the team that started (or was supposed to start) 2014. Ramirez-Castillo-Victorino vs Gomes-Sizemore-Victorino. I think that’s better. Sandoval-Bogaerts-Pedroia-Napoli vs Middlebrooks-Bogaerts-Pedroia-Napoli. I’m good with that switch too. At catcher? I’ll take Vazquez over either of the last two catchers…if for no other reason than it’s easier to spell his name.
Which means that while saying put in the rotation is a little disheartening, it’s really the way to go. Replace Lester, Lackey, and Peavy with similar pitchers (or, the exact same pitcher) should be just enough.
It just starts with Lester.