Friday, February 8, 2008

Schilling's Shoulder

It looks like the sports gods were tired of all this “Boston, the Hub of Sports” talk that was running around. So, in one week they took down the Patriots and knocked off the Sox number three starter. Just how bad this latest news in depends on how wide of an angle you use to look at it. It’s probably safe to assume that Curt won’t be pitching in any sort of useful capacity this season. He may make it back for a late season push, but I don’t know how much I want to expect from a rusty old pitcher late in the season after shoulder problems. So, what does that mean?

Quick view, it puts Buchholz into the forefront. He would appear the front runner for the now vacant number five starter. Assuming the Sox don’t use Coco to grab a starter, that puts the rotation at Beckett-DiceK-Wakefield-Lester-Buchholz. Not a bad rotation. The Sox have made the playoffs with rotations much worse. I have no problem going into opening day with that. After all, Schilling only gave us 9 wins last year. I can feel comfortable with Clay approaching that total. So, narrow view, not a huge deal to part with Curt.
Slightly larger picture. Buchholz was supposed to be the insurance police in case Curt or Wake needed time off during the season. He’s no longer available for that. So, if Wakefield needs some rest or recovery, we’re down to Snyder. We’re also more likely to see Snyder take some starts since the Sox are still going to be careful with Clay. They’ll want to be able to give him extra rest whenever possible to avoid killing his young arm. So, losing whatever starts Curt would have taken, exposes more starts for Snyder. Is that a big deal? Probably not. They'll figure out some way to rest the youngsters, and still throw a starting pitcher out there every day. Frankly, baseball doesn't have enough good teams to worry about and inconsistant fifth starter.

That leaves the playoffs. With Beckett as the ace, that hides a lot of probelms. Curt would have been nice, but he's really not required. The way Lester handled himself in '07 was great.

Basically, it's too bad since the Sox are already paying for him. But, this certainly doesn't crush the Sox chances this year. Nothing that dramatic. It might even be a good thing if Clay can emerge and show us all that he deserves to be in the rotation anyway.

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