Rise of the starting rotation
This staff is absolutely loaded and it starts with a rotation that is, on paper, the best I have ever seen in Boston – and I go back a long way. The staff has two Cy Young Award winners in tow and in Chris Sale a possible third. The remaining parts of the rotation have a potential rising star in Eduardo Rodriguez and a returning surprise in Steven Wright.
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Management felt comfortable enough to jettison Clay Buchholz and that leaves a disappointing Drew Pomeranz looking to battle it out for a rotation slot. The good news is the Red Sox staff was ranked second in fWAR (13.8) in the American League in 2016. The team also finished second in road performance. The fresh breath of consistency.
The rotation survived some dysfunction in 2016 to still post those rather commendable numbers and the expectation is that will improve with the acquisition of Sale and the full slate of starts for Wright. Pomeranz provides some stability in case on a tweak or two.
What the Red Sox will need is the top five in the rotation to collectively provide 140 starts. The less starts among the class of the rotation the more likely that a Henry Owens will be called into the fray. That happens the Red Sox will be in deep trouble.