’08 Outlook for Tim Wakefield

’07 Season: Tim Wakefield started the season with numbers typical of his career; he had 9 wins and a 4.39 ERA before the All Star Game. As the season progressed he showed signs of excellence and his knuckle ball continued to work well in domed stadiums where he had a 5-2 record and an ERA in the 2’s. His walks were up this year which hurts him more than other pitchers. With his slow delivery to the plate a walk can often equal a double or triple for speedy runners. Wake missed most of the post season with a shoulder injury. He continued to be a good starter for the Red Sox last season with 17 wins.

’08 Outlook: Boston picked up Wakefield for another year and the longest tenured player on the Sox could be in his last season. He is 41 years old but because he throws the knuckler his career can extend more than average pitchers. The shoulder problems of last season are gone so Wake will be ready for Spring Training. The biggest question is who will be behind the dish when he is on the mound next year. Some of Wake’s past success has to be given to his personal catcher Doug Mirabelli. The Red Sox have yet to sign Mirabelli for ’08 so it is unclear who will catch him. Everyone remembers Josh Bard’s feeble attempt at catching the knuckle ball. With Mirabelli back the Red Sox can count on another workhorse season from Wakefield with around 15 wins and an ERA under 5. If Doug is not back look for more past balls and a higher ERA from Wake. He will continue to be a clubhouse leader and for the fans it will be another year of wondering which Wake is going to pitch tonight?

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