Avoiding Problems With the Rotation

The Red Sox have the deepest rotation in baseball but it seems that most of the teams’ starters has their “achillies heal” that could derail Theo’s defense and pitching plan for 2010.

Jon Lackey is now the highest paid player on the Red Sox and a proven front of the rotation guy, but he does have a history of injuries. Lackey started last season on the DL with inflammation is his elbow.  He also experienced shoulder trouble in the 2006 season.

Josh Beckett had a history of blister injuries before joining the Red Sox but those seemed to have disappeared.  He has had a problem in the last two seasons with fatigue that has caused him to lose some zip on his fastball later in the season.  Unfortunately this new injury came on quickly during the stretch run last season and during the playoffs in 2008.

Dice-K had a thigh injury that he did now share with team officials, this led to a forgettable season in 2009.  Prior to last year his problem mostly came from too many base-runners and a high pitch count not allowing him to go deep into games.

Tim Wakefield has landed on the DL during the last two seasons with shoulder and back problems.  Both of these injuries came in the second half of the season when the team needed him most.

Clay Buchholz had issues with base-runners last season where he lost focus, the pace of his delivery would become painfully slow and his command would suffer.

Jon Lester was the most durable pitcher on the Red Sox last season.  After his recovery from lymphoma he has grown into a reliable starter and is possibly the best pitcher on the staff.

With six good starters the Red Sox could get back to the promised land in ’10 if they can avoid the late season injuries.  Terry Francona can help the team avoid those injuries by giving time off when needed and keeping all six guys in the mix with spot starts.  Dice-K looks to be doing well in his offseason preparation and Wake’s surgery went well.  The outlook is cautiously optimistic for the rotation in 2010.

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