If there is one word that could describe the Boston Red Sox starting pitcher thus far, the word that comes to mind could be atrocious.
Many knew that the starting pitching coming into the season for the Sox was the weakest link on the team, but with a combined ERA of 5.75, worst in MLB, it might be time for the Red Sox to make a move.
You could argue that it’s still early and the pitchers might come around. Perhaps they might. But if they don’t, they’re not only hurting the scoreboard and the record, but also the bullpen.
If the Red Sox starters can’t get deep into games, this will affect the bullpen by needing them to come in earlier thus tiring the relievers out. Signs of this have already been apparent with the recent call-ups of pitchers Matt Barnes and Heath Hembree.
Manager John Farrell said yesterday, after a 18-7 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, that the team needs to get better in all areas. Maybe so, but on most days, seven runs wins you a baseball game. If your starting pitcher, Wade Miley in this case, gives up six earned runs in 2 1/3 innings, you’re already playing from behind.
According to reports this past week, the Philadelphia Phillies have not received a call about ace Cole Hamels since the end of March. The Phillies have been asking for the world in return for Hamels, and rightfully so. He’s an ace pitcher under contract and has quality playoff and World Series experience. The one thing going against them is that many around the league know that Hamels could want out of Philadelphia.
This could work to the advantage of the Red Sox. Philadelphia originally wanted one of Mookie Betts or Blake Swihart, which the Red Sox balked at. The Phillies are in a rebuilding phase so trading for the likes of Allen Craig or Daniel Nava just won’t cut it. But maybe B-tier prospects could.
The Red Sox need a formidable ace at the top of their rotation. A month into the season, nothing has never been more clear. Clay Buchholz isn’t the ace, Rick Porcello isn’t the ace. Miley and Justin Masterson sure aren’t the ace, and neither is Joe Kelly. Throughout the 19 games they’ve played, the starters have not been consistent enough for the Red Sox to win.
Adding an ace like Hamels adds consistency and allows the Red Sox to be more flexible with an extra starting pitcher and slots guys into where they should be. Buchholz as a two, Porcello a three, Kelly a four and Miley a five. Masterson could come out of the bullpen and add a solid arm to help out from there.
It is only April. It is early, but it’s time to pull the trigger for an ace.