Thursday, May 8, 2008

Is Lester More?

The 2008 Sox pitching staff may be looked upon 10 years from now as one of the best pitching staffs ever. Sure, it might not seem that way right now, but give it some time. Buchholz and Lester are both gaining experience on the major league stage. They could both easily blossom into 1st ballot Hall of Fame pitchers. Neither pitcher has had the debilitating outing that Yankee rookie pitcher Chase Wright had when he gave up four home runs in a row last year to the Sox. That sort of thing can really effect a young hurler's confidence.

Lester’s last two perfomances have been close to stellar: a near complete game against Halladay and 1 run performance against the Rays. Given these last 2 outings, I find it extremely difficult to recommend Lester be designated to AAA. In fact based on major league experience alone, I would rather see Lester remain a starter and Buchholz be sent to the bullpen to aid Bat Shit as a long reliever/spot starter. Lester can be a big game pitcher. Look at his performance against Halladay last week and also in game 4 of the 2007 World Series. He comes up big when it is on the line. I do feel however that his growth was stunted a bit in 2006 after Varitek went on the DL followed shortly thereafter by Lester’s diagnosis with cancer. I think Varitek catching these young pitchers can make all the difference in the world in their confidence levels to throw certain pitches to a good hitter. For these youngsters, pitching in the major leagues is about confidence in their abilities. I think Lester has this already.

Who knows what will happen if and when they bring up Fat Boy Colon. Let’s see how he does in his first start. If he sucks, drop his ass like a fantasy dud . I can’t see Colon going to the bullpen. Basically, the Sox are going to have to make a move with either Buchholz or Lester if they plan on bringing Colon up. What would be the big deal if you moved Buchholz to the bullpen? Yeah, they talk about pitcher’s rhythm and routine every 5th day, but come on already. Last year Brett Myers of the Phillies moved to the closer role midway through the season and then moved back to being a starter. It’s no big deal. Teams have to stop babying these pitchers, but at the same time the pitchers themselves have to know what their limits are. Is the net effect of adding Colon to the rotation going to benefit the Sox? Will it fuck up the rhythm these young pitchers have established? I don’t know. However, I feel that if they send Colon to the bullpen he will become the 2008 version of Eric Gagne.

No comments: