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Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Decision time for Theo

Finally, we seem to nearing a conclusion to the Mysterious Case of the Red Sox Rotation. Granted, we don't know what this conclusion's going to look like. But it's close. In the mean time, YFSF's Paul F. thinks he knows what the Red Sox should do: Gee, I dunno. Wakefield's and Dice-K's ERA's are essentially the same, but the latter's strikeouts and walks are significantly better. I don't have any reason to think that Wakefield's at the end of the line or anything; he's probably just going through a little rough patch. But the difference between these two isn't nearly as obvious as Paul suggests.

Frankly, I wonder if there's not some other solution to this Gordian Knot. I wonder if the Red Sox wouldn't be better -- in the short term, at least -- with Smoltz and Buchholz in the rotation ... and Wakefield and Matsuzaka out.

Of course, that would be a tricky thing. Wakefield is beloved by all, and for good reasons. The Red Sox have a huge amount of money invested in Matsuzaka; $103 million, to be roughly exact. Many years ago, Bill James wrote in one of the Baseball Abstracts that it's possible to have too many viable starting pitchers. That you wind up wasting a lot of energy figuring out which five are your best.

I don't know that the Red Sox have too many. But in the process of sorting everything out, they're probably going to wind up losing a few games and hurting a few feelings. I believe that entering a spring -- if not a season -- with seven or eight starters is probably a good idea. I'm not sure that having seven or eight in June is optimal.