Red Sox Midseason Report Card (Pitchers Edition)
If you ask me to describe this year’s Red Sox team in one word I’d use average. Halfway through the season the Red Sox find themselves in fourth place of the AL East with a 42-40 record. That in itself is an accomplishment seeing as it took them a while just to get over .500. Injuries have weighed them down since the beginning of the year, but in retrospect this season has been pretty ugly for the most part. Now that the All-Star break is approaching it's time to analyze and grade some of the Red Sox pitchers.
Jon Lester | C: Lester has been an All-Star pitcher for the past two years but that certainly isn’t the case this season. The biggest problem with the Red Sox ace – and most of their pitchers – is consistency on the mound. In May he pitched a complete game against Seattle but just two outings after he was chased after giving up seven runs in four innings against the Rays. Lester is 5-5 with a 4.33 ERA, fitting right into the Sox mediocre season.
Josh Beckett | C-: Let’s just start by saying that Beckett has only won four of his 13 starts this season. Sure he has the lowest ERA of all Sox pitchers but that doesn’t offset the horrible year he is having, on and off the field. The whole golfing incident really raised a lot of speculation about his attitude as a player and his dedication to the organization. Also, don’t forget that he was one of the pitchers allegedly involved in last year’s chicken-and-beer drama. Maybe he doesn’t care, maybe he does – either way he is supposed to be one of the better pitchers in Boston’s banged up rotation and he surely isn’t showing that.
Clay Buchholz | A-: If it weren’t for injuries, Buchholz might already have ten wins this year. But despite being on the 15-day disabled list, he still leads the team with eight wins. Buchholz has been the only consistent pitcher in the rotation but he struggles with giving up runs, yet he still puts together wins. He’s simply doing what Beckett and Lester need to be doing.
Daisuke Matsuzaka | F: Daisuke has allowed 23 hits in 23 innings pitched this season. There’s absolutely nothing positive to be said about him at this point when it comes to his value. Ever since he came to Boston he has been on-and-off the disabled list more times than LeBron James said the Heat would win championships. Just imagine if Matsuzaka would have actually been as good as advertised? Wishful thinking. And that, my friends, is what you call an experiment gone bad. Real bad.
Felix Doubront | B+: Doubront has done a fine job filling the voids in the Sox pitching rotation and is reliable for a solid five or six innings which has been good enough for him to win eight games so far. He’s exceeded expectations and also leads the team in strikeouts.
Alfredo Aceves | B: When the Red Sox parted ways with Jonathon Papelbon it wasn’t clear who would be the new closer. Due to injuries and many different roster moves Aceves has stepped up to that role and done a fairly decent job, stringing together 19 saves. With some more improvement throughout the season Aceves could excel to being one of the better closers in the league this year.