By Jeff Horrigan/ Red Sox Notebook
Saturday, March 5, 2005
Arroyo gets started
Bronson Arroyo will make his spring debut tonight, when he starts for the Sox against the Reds in Sarasota. With Wade Miller expected to be ready to pitch by late April or early May, the possibility exists that Arroyo could end up in the bullpen.
``He can do both,'' Francona said. ``I'm sure he wants to start. I don't think we've seen the best of Bronson as a starter yet. How much better can he get? How do you know? The flip side of that is, if I had to choose one guy out of our rotation to go to the bullpen and be a star (like) Ramiro Mendoza three years ago and pitch 100 innings, it's him. It's interesting. When we start the season, he's going to be in the rotation but he gives us a lot of flexibility.''
Miller, who was limited to 14 games last season with the Houston Astros due to fraying within the rotator cuff, threw his second bullpen session yesterday.
As one of the many proponents of Bronson Arroyo this year, I'm not sure what to make of this.
On one hand, it's bad news. What's really weird to me is that he's not even saying that it's between Wakefield and Arroyo. I know relief pitchers have value, but I have no room on my staff for pitchers that don't regularly have an opportunity to win or save - the best they could then be is a 3-category pitcher.
On the other hand, those who see the season as a marathon might be able to get him for a lot cheaper now. What are the chances the old and decrepit guys on the Sox staff all stay healthy? Not only that, but if Arroyo gets time to show his stuff BEFORE Miller comes back, maybe he can force Francona's hand to leave him in. My league doesn't have a taxi squad, but this might be a smart choice for one.
Then again, Francona could just be blowing smoke so as not to tip his hand
How do you guys see this working out?