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Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Peavy creates dilemma if Sox are healthy

By ESPNBoston.com

The acquisition of Jake Peavy unquestionably improves the Red Sox rotation, in fact creating a bit of a dilemma once Clay Buchholz returns.

If the team’s top six starters -- Buchholz, Peavy, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Ryan Dempster and Felix Doubront -- are all healthy, one of them will be left out of the rotation.

It’s a good problem to have, for sure, but also a tough one. And it’s one the Red Sox will have not only for part of this season (again, assuming Buchholz comes back healthy) but next year as well, as all six pitchers are returning for 2014. It also gives the Red Sox the flexibility to trade one of them in the offseason to upgrade in another area.

Who gets left out? The simple answer is Doubront, who doesn’t have the track record of the other five. But he’s currently in the midst of a streak of 14 straight starts in which he has allowed three earned runs or fewer.

You can’t leave out Lester (10-6, 4.27 ERA), Lackey (12-7, 3.19 ERA) or Buchholz (9-0, 1.71 ERA), so the only other option is Dempster (6-8, 4.24 ERA), but the Sox aren’t paying him $13 million to pitch out of the bullpen.

Chances are the problem will take care of itself due to an injury to one or more of the pitchers.

But, we ask, who would you leave out if you were John Farrell and all six were healthy? Vote in our poll.