Print and Go Back ESPN.com: SweetSpot [Print without images]

Saturday, June 20, 2009
Boston's SP depth looking good


More from Pinto on the subject that refuses to die: Well, all that pitching depth is about to pay off if the Red Sox idle Matsuzaka for a spell. Which isn't all that easy, since his contract actually prohibits a trip to the minors. If they don't want him to pitch, they'll have to send him to the bullpen or make up some sort of injury. Plus, it's just one lousy game. Granted, there have been other lousy games. But before Friday night, Dice-K had, at the very least, been striking out and walking reasonable numbers of batters. It's probably not quite the time to panic.

And of course there's still Clay Buchholz. Wednesday night in Pawtucket, John Smoltz -- in his "final tune-up" before joining the big club -- started for the PawSox and went four solid innings ... but it's Buchholz who got the victory with four solid innings of his own. In 71 innings, Buchholz is 5-0 with a 1.90 ERA and 65 strikeouts.

I would agree with David that the Red Sox's pitching depth will pay off. It has already, and almost certainly will again. But I still maintain that the Red Sox, right now, have more than they need. And that they might have been better off worrying last winter about their shortstops.

Regarding Kenshin Kawakami, yeah: The good times have been rolling. Since a lousy start in late April, Kawakami's ERA has decreased (or held steady) in nine straight starts, dropping from 7.06 to 4.42. Not bad for a rookie who turns 34 on Monday.