If you follow baseball you know. If you follow me on Twitter, you definitely know: Chris Sale is on the Boston Red Sox, alongside the 2016 Cy Young winner, Rick Porcello, and of course, David Price. Pretty good is an understatement.
As great as it is to not know who your ace is because you have so many candidates, there’s a bigger question that isn’t being asked nearly enough: Who comes next? Sale, Porcello and Price will be the first three guys in the rotation, it’s just a matter of what order. That leaves a couple spots left in the rotation, and I’m not incredibly confident in the guys that have to fill them. As of now, the fight for the bottom of the rotation is between Steven Wright, Drew Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez. A potentially dangerous first half of the rotation, and a disappointing second half.
One of the biggest concerns with the first two guys is injury. Both Wright and Pomeranz threw off the mound for the first time in months earlier this week. Wright is coming back from a shoulder injury he suffered in early August last year. In case you aren’t familiar, let’s talk about that injury. Wright was arguably one of their best pitchers midway through last summer. Combine that with the fact he hadn’t run bases in roughly 13 years, and you have to wonder why John Farrell would ever choose the righty to pinch run in a meaningless game in August. That decision is a whole other story, but the point is Wright made terrible judgment as a runner and ended up severely injuring his shoulder on a dive.
Pomeranz is coming off a forearm/elbow injury. After being injected with stem cells in the offseason, the lefty seemed to get through the first bullpen session comfortably. So there are two of the three contenders for the rotation, both slowly easing back into a comfortable pitching regime after being out for some time. That’s already a red flag. Also factor in Wright’s need for weather that’s not too hot, not too cold, not too rainy and the fact that Pomeranz has yet to go deep into a game with the Sox.
Rodriguez is another guy plagued by injury; for him it’s usually his right knee. He’s gotten a couple bullpen sessions in, and Farrell seems to be confident in how he’s looked. It’s been weeks since the last scare with his knee, and he’ll hopefully keep up the training and be ready to go for Opening Day. With Wright being the only other right-handed guy along with Porcello, I have to think he gets a spot as long as his shoulder is 100 percent.
While I don’t have the strongest confidence in the complete rotation, I’d be foolish to complain about the guys we do have. Three Cy Young-caliber pitchers and three guys who are All-Star material (if they can remain healthy) make up a rotation that I’m dying to see. Less than 50 days, everyone.
Molly Burkhardt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.