Early Innings: Grading the Red Sox starting rotation


Friday’s game against the Tampa Bays Rays was the 54th of the 2014 MLB season, which is exactly one-third of the way through the 162-game schedule. The campaign has had its share of highs, lows and head-scratchers so far. The BSI team will look back on the first two months by evaluating the team’s performance, position-by-position.

Previously: Outfield

Starting Rotation

Jon Lester– Lester has been a fairly steady presence as the Sox number one starter. He’s struck out more than six in 10 of his 11 outings and his ERA (3.45) and WHIP (1.23) are both slightly better than his career averages. His 5-6 record is definitely not reflective of his overall performance.

John Lackey-Lackey has allowed two earned runs or fewer in eight of his 11 outings. Unfortunately, the other three games were clunkers, as he allowed six runs in two of those and five in the other. If you take away those outings, he’s been the Sox most dominant pitcher.

Jake Peavy– Early in the season Peavy was plagued by control problems, but wasn’t allowing a lot of runs. Lately, he’s not walking many, but he’s getting lit up. He’s going to have to limit the home runs if he’s going to be effective. His latest start in Atlanta was an encouraging sign.

Felix Doubront– Doubront struggled through most of April, before finally showing some positive things early in May. Then, of course, he ended up on the DL after his latest start with a shoulder strain, stopping any progress he was making. If Brandon Workman pitches well during Doubront’s absence, Doubront could find himself out of the rotation.

Clay Buchholz– Oh, Clay. What’s happened to you? The Sox recently placed Buchholz on the DL with the diagnosis of a hyper-extended left knee, which I think is just a polite way of saying there’s nothing physically wrong with him but he needs some time off because he’s been terrible. His spot in the rotation is probably in even more danger than Doubront’s.

Brandon Workman– Workman has only made two starts, but he’s looked decent in both of them. He’s been better than Doubront or Buchholz, which could be enough to keep him around for a while.

Overall Grade: C-

Lester and Lackey have been good (not great), Buchholz is failing, Doubront is on academic probation and Peavy is just doing enough to get by. Workman hasn’t been around long enough to affect the class average.