2015 Red Sox starting pitching rotation predictions

4 of 5

Oct 21, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher James Shields (33) throws a pitch against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning during game one of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Victor Barbosa:

Shields – Francisco Liriano – Buchholz – Kelly – De La Rosa

Big Game” James may have had a subpar World Series for Kansas City in 2014, but I’ve been a fan of Shields since his early days in Tampa Bay. His ability to eat innings and his experience pitching in the AL East, I think, would make for a great signing by Ben Cherington. Shields is a great alternative to more expensive options like Max Scherzer and Lester.

Liriano would surely be a very risky signing for Cherington and company, but given the way I have the rest of the rotation shaping up, a lefty will be needed in the rotation. Liriano’s injury history and the fact that he’s pitched in significantly smaller markets than Boston (Minnesota and Pittsburgh) worry me. Liriano did have a fantastic season as recently as 2013 and given his drop-off last season, he may be one of the cheaper options.

The inconsistency and injury troubles for Buchholz have been very frustrating and there is no way he should be higher than a number three starter at this point in his career.

Still a youngster at 26, Kelly showed definite glimpses of being a valuable member of the Sox rotation during the second half of the 2014 season. Kelly also has playoff and World Series experience, which could prove valuable should the Sox make a return to the postseason in 2015.

De La Rosa was one of the prize prospects during the monumental Sox/Dodgers trade involving Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and friends. He also showed some signs of being a solid Major League starter a season ago and his potential warrants him a spot in the starting rotation next season.