So much for the best rotation in the American League, then.
You use Tavarez or Snyder for the first 6 weeks of the season while they build up Lester and then insert him into the rotation in the middle of May. What good was the rotation if they were blowing leads in the 8th and 9th innings every night while performing Community Auditions? The way the American League appears to be this season, mid 90's is going to be necessary to make the post-season, and 4 or 5 Tavarez or Piniero blowups in the 9th could sink the season before May.
Four or five Pineiro blow-ups in the closer's spot could sink the Sox, sure, but who's to say that giving Tavarez six starts (the bare minimum for a #5 starter through the end of May [and if Tavarez is skipped with every off day, the cycle falls with two of those six starts being against the Yankees]) wouldn't accomplish the same thing? Plus, Lester was okay last year, but he wasn't Cy Young, and he doesn't have the potential value that Papelbon has as a starter. Best case scenario is that some combination of Tavarez, Snyder (who's out of options and has to make the team) and Lester can hold the fort down until the end of June, by which time we'll have signed Roger Clemens and he'll be ready to go for the stretch run.
Realistically, though, Roger's going to Houston no matter what and the one definite advantage we held over the Yankees is gone.
Just because Tavarez starts a game doesn't necessarily mean the BoSox will lose it. And Papelbon is roughly a million times better than Pineiro in the closer role. Folks, Joel Pineiro is AWFUL. Just awful. I did a fantasy draft the other day, and Yahoo had him ranked second from the bottom among all starters in baseball. He is brutal.
I don't know what is more disquieting -- the fact that the rest of the statue is missing, or that it has four toes.
Props to Papelbon for putting team well-being above career - while this is a bit more than moving your #5 starter to the pen (I would say Papelbon was thought to be #2 over an aging Schilling?) So you marginally weaken four rotation spots as #3 through #6 all move up one spot. That said, nothing can screw up a season for a team more than a substandard closer, as they are extremely hard to find a replacement for mid-season.
If it comes to that, I think finding another starter in June or July is much more feasible.
Originally posted by piemanPineiro is attracting attention in the trade market and I expect him to be traded.
You can not be serious. Joel Pineiro is horrible and any team that would trade for him deserves to finish in last place. It was truly shocking that when the Red Sox signed him it was for $4 million.
Joel Pineiro is indeed horrible as a starter.
However, look at his numbers as a reliever. In 70 career relief IP, he has a 3.21 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Those aren't spectacular numbers, but they're solid, and it's reasonable to expect that he would improve upon them in his first season fully focusing on pitching in relief. Also, if you give credence to Spring Training numbers, he's put up 8 consecutive scoreless innings since getting comfortable with his new arm angle.
The bottom line here is that Pineiro probably would have been a decent closer, and he definitely has value out of the bullpen. I'd be surprised if the Red Sox moved him due to the turmoil in their own pen (Timlin being hurt, Papelbon an injury risk), but if they did he would be a welcome contributor virtually anywhere in the league.
In a related story, there's a new movie being made starring Bernie Mac as a ballplayer who has three of his hits disallowed, so he has to come out of retirement to get his total back up to 3000. Apropos of nothing...