Red Sox: Who’s the odd man out in the rotation?

Apr 17, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Steven Wright (35) pitches during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 17, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Steven Wright (35) pitches during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

When Eduardo Rodriguez comes back from the DL, someone’s getting the boot from the Red Sox rotation. Who will it be?

With the season in full swing now, the Boston Red Sox pitching rotation has been inconsistent. This was to be expected, but in the past couple games, much thanks to Christian Vazquez, the rotation has kept the team in games, and pitchers like Rick Porcello and Clay Buchholz have thrown quality starts.

I personally think that Vazquez makes every pitcher in the rotation better. He has the ability to frame pitches and make balls off the plate look like strikes, which we did not see from Blake Swihart. Also, his cannon of an arm gives pitchers the confidence they need to compete against teams.

So when the young stud, Eduardo Rodriguez, returns from his knee injury, who will get kicked out of the rotation?

I won’t even put David Price in this conversation due to the fact that he is without a doubt our ace.

So the next man on the list is Buchholz, who had his best start of the season so far, throwing 6.2 innings of shutout ball Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays. Unfortunately, the bullpen couldn’t hold on to the lead. But with his stellar performance on Marathon Monday, I don’t see Buchholz getting the boot simply because manager John Farrell is still a believer that he can still be the Clay Buchholz from 2013. Never going to happen, in my opinion. Let’s be serious here, later on in the season there is going to be a big game where we really need Buchholz to show up and preform well. Then all of a sudden, he will trip, fall, stub his toe, and head to the 60-day DL. Will Buchholz be the odd man out? Not yet.

More from Red Sox News

We go to Porcello, who everyone has mixed feelings about. Porcello is the type of guy who will give up home runs. You’re just going to have to accept that. He will never blow anyone away. That’s not how he pitches. If he wants to be successful, he needs to locate all of his pitches, and like we’ve seen before, he hasn’t been able to do that. But going back to what I said earlier, having Vazquez behind the plate gives Porcello the confidence he needs to keep his job. Last week, Porcello had a great outing against the Toronto Blue Jays, earning his second win of the season. I wouldn’t want Porcello out of the rotation just yet because he might be getting into the groove we’ve been waiting to see for over a year now. Besides, we’re paying him over $20 million a year, so we might as play a guy who “deserves” that type of money.

Joe Kelly, what can I say about him regarding his start to the 2016 season? Well, it’s kind of what we expected, or what I expected at least. When he’s on his game, he’s arguably one of the best pitchers in the league, but when he’s off his game, it’s tough to watch. Kelly has had 2 starts so far. His first start wasn’t pretty when Toronto beat him up for 7 runs in just 3 innings of work. In his next start against the Baltimore Orioles, he threw 5 innings, giving up only 2 runs. Like Porcello, you hope Kelly gets into a groove and begins to give quality starts consistently. Which is why I want to keep him in the rotation, for now at least. But if he goes back to the Joe Kelly who can’t locate anything, he may become the newest starting pitcher for the Pawtucket Paw Sox.

Last but not least, we have Steven Wright. Your 5th guy in the rotation but as of late, pitching like he’s our number 1. Wright, so far, is the only pitcher in the rotation who hasn’t gotten blown out in a start so far. And it’s not like he’s playing bad teams. In both of his starts, he faced the heavy hitting Toronto Blue Jays, and held them to 2 runs both times. Unfortunately, we may need to start a petition for run support for Wright because the offense hasn’t helped him out in either of his starts. He has 2 losses in both games, but he definitely hasn’t pitched like he’s 0-2.

More from BoSox Injection

When Rodriguez comes back from the DL, many fans will assume that Wright will be the chosen one to leave the rotation since he was the guy replacing E-Rod when he got injured.

But why?

Like I said before, Wright has been one of the best, if not, the best pitcher in the rotation. I understand he’s a knuckleball pitcher, but he gets hitters out, which is a lot easier to say than do regarding some of the other pitchers in the rotation.

But let’s say Red Sox Nation is right and Wright is the chosen one. Farrell should, in my opinion, put him in the bullpen at least. With flamethrowers in the ‘pen like Matt Barnes, Junichi Tazawa, and Craig Kimbrel throwing the ball in between 95-100 mph, Wright’s 70 mph knuckler could mess with the hitters timing on the ball if he were to go in after either one of those three pitchers.

Next: Red Sox Rankings: Top 5 Surprises of 2016 season

When the times comes and Rodriguez is ready to pitch, I hope Farrell has a tough decision to make because that just means everyone in the Red Sox pitching rotation is doing well.