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The '08 Boston Red Sox Pitching Rotation

Mar 31, 2008
In Bean Town, even coming off a World Series triumph with another awesome pitching rotation (the second World Series victory in four years after their excruciating drought) there will always be anxiety about what lies ahead in 2008.

Are the Red Sox the favorite again for the new year; and equally - if not more - important, did the Red Sox do more in the off season than the New York Yankees did to maintain their advantage in the constant arms-race? Truth be told, neither of those teams succeeded in landing the most coveted of those arms, pitcher Johan Santana. But in the broader spectrum, both did prevent each other from getting him by raising the stakes too high.

Even without Johan Santana, the Red Sox present a very formidable pitching rotation entering the 2008 campaign. At the top of the heap is Josh Beckett, coming off a stellar regular and postseason effort in 2007. While he will likely miss the opener, he should be good to go for the rest of the season. His initial move to the American League provided some doubts about whether he could hang with the long ball hitters of the power league, but last year squashed any lingering uneasiness. Josh Beckett is an ace that any team would love to have.

Red Sox Pitching Veteran The Big Schill

Pitcher Curt Schilling will miss a significant chunk of the season; he has already been placed on the 60 day DL. There is no specific timetable for his return to the Red Sox pitching rotation; however, it is likely that he will be out at least through the All-Star break. The question for him will be if, at 41 years old, he can rehab successfully enough to perform at his potential after his return. If there is one thing everybody knows about Curt Schilling though, it is to never count him out.

With Curt Schilling out of the Red Sox pitching rotation for the time being, Daisuke Matsuzaka should be the clear number 2 starter. His first year pitching for the Red Sox showed that a lot of the hype was called for, there is certainly some great potential to Dice-k's game. However there were also inconsistencies that will need to be improved upon.

It should be expected that his sophomore run with the Red Sox pitching rotation should prove even more successful as he is more familiar with the more grueling MLB schedule and the quality of opposition.

Red Sox lifer Tim Wakefield will be returning to the mound once again offering up his swerving floaters for any that dare to hit - or catch - them. Jon Lester is healthy and will be ready for a full season of work after his battles off the mound with cancer. Clay Buchholz - he of the no-hitter in his first ever start in the majors - is expected to be the 5th man in the Red Sox pitching rotation.

However, in the interest of protecting his young arm, as well as a performance-level that will not always be no-hitter worthy, the 5th spot in the rotation will be up for grabs.

Red Sox Pitching Gets a New Man

The Red Sox acquired former Cy Young winner Bartolo Colon and thus far he has exceeded expectations. His arm seems strong and he is dealing his stuff at a high level. His fastball will no longer top out close to 100, but if it can reliably stay where it has been thus far, in the low to mid 90s, then he could certainly fill a void the Red Sox will have in the pitching rotation with injuries to Schilling and a host of young arms filling out the staff in Lester and Buchholz.

Depending on who is healthy, pitching well and ready to go, the Red Sox could deploy a six man rotation at times during the season or have Colon ready for long relief or the occasional start as needed.

However that last spot in the Red Sox pitching rotation fills out, the defending World Series champs are presenting a strong front in their quest to repeat. Of course, the Red Sox will also be aided by having some great fielders behind them, such as standout Jacoby Ellsbury covering every inch of centerfield (and helping out with Manny Ramirez's leftfield, no doubt). The Red Sox pitching rotation are saying No Johan, no problem, and with their bevy of great arms you can see why.

So when healthy, you can expect the Red Sox pitching rotation to be Josh Beckett, Curt Schilling, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield and Jon Lester, with Clay Buchholz and Bartolo Colon in the mix as well.
About the Author
Jason OConnor writes for www.BestShowTicketsLasVegas.com.
Red Sox Baseball Tickets
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