thejusman1 wrote:No, I think Bucholz is going to spend the entire season in AAA this year. I'll bet he doesn't make a single start again this year.
I'm honestly mystified by the whole situation, but I'm pretty sure this is wrong.
It was weird; I checked all of my regular sources (Boston Globe, Cafe, Sons of Sam Horn) and really nothing in the way of conversation as to when Buchholz is coming back. Which leaves me with my own gut feelings, which are (barring new injuries)...
Beckett is not going anywhere, obviously. One spot in the rotation taken.
Daisuke will reclaim his spot once he's back up to health, which is supposed to be soon. Two spots down.
Lester is going to stay up; he was brought up in 2006 and if not for his fight with cancer, would have about 2 years of experience by now. And he's a pretty solid leftie. Three spots taken.
Now you have two spots for: Colon, Wakefield, Buchholz, and Masterson.
Let's deal with the easy question: if Buchholz gets himself sharp (which has been happening in the minors) he gets the spot over Masterson. I don't care about YTD numbers; Buchholz has the stuff, he has more experience, Masterson will get his spot in the rotation permanently, but it won't be this year.
Ok, so what about Colon? Colon is very difficult for the Sox, both because he has been pitching very well and because he has an expectation of pitching in the majors. His contract with the Sox included an opt out clause for him if he wasn't pitching in the majors by May 1st (subsequently pushed back to June 1st). Now that date has passed, but clearly he would be more disgruntled than some other guys if he got sent down or sent to the pen. I'll say he has the fourth spot unless and until he completely blows up and agrees with the club that he needs further work.
So.... Wakefield? Wakefield is a guy who could easily fill the role Julian Tavarez played until he was DFA'ed. He has a rubber arm since he's basically playing catch and has been a starter, a closer, and middle relief in his 84 years or whatever it is with the Sox. Tito seems to have a little bit of a crush on him, but I think moving Wakefield to the pen would be very possible (and it wouldn't tick him off too much).
So you have Wakefield or Buchholz... in my mind, you promote Buchholz when he's ready, send Materson down to the minors, and put Wake in the pen. At least until Schilling looks like he's actually ready to start in which case you run through this whole thing again and I think Buchholz does end up in the minors or someone ends up getting traded or, as it always happens, someone gets injured.
The upshot of all of this is that I think Buchholz comes back up in the next couple of weeks. They really aren't interested in keeping him in AAA if he's on his game.
0-3 to 4-3. Worst choke in the history of baseball. Enough said.