Examining potential Red Sox rotation for the 2019 World Series
By Rick McNair
I have returned to the Boston Red Sox bandwagon and now it is time to look ahead to October. Just how will the Red Sox align their World Series rotation?
Planning for the future is why we have and (hopefully) contribute to investment accounts. And baseball for the 2019 season will have a future for the Boston Red Sox and that is a revisit to the World Series and part II with the trolley Dodgers of Los Angeles.
Too early? Never too early with the Red Sox who will most certainly be in the playoffs. No more wavering from me as I am firmly latched into the bandwagon with chains that even Houdini could not extricate himself from. Wild Card is the most likely, but never rule out the division title.
The beauty of the World Series is the ability to minimize pitching deficits and the Red Sox have them in the bullpen and the rotation. Expect a few arms to be on the outside looking in as mere cheerleaders waiting for their World Series share and a ring. Just how do you align your rotation?
The most obvious is the only arm – left or right – that has the qualifications and that is Chris Sale. Sale has not had his typical season with a start that brought back sordid memories of Red Sox pitchers that registered flat line on my fan confidence scale. The reality is Sale – even on a bad day or night – can be devastating. Sale goes in Game One.
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Conventional wisdom would frown on a lefty followed by a lefty and – alas – followed by another lefty. A Red Sox staff where your three best are all portsiders or southpaws or any other euphemism to describe those genetically gifted or cursed with throwing left-handed. The big issue for manager Alex Cora will be David Price or Eduardo Rodriguez in Game Two.
In the 2018 playoff rounds, Price managed to – and using another euphemism – toss the playoff monkey off his back. I have never had a monkey on my back and I doubt Mr. Price has ever experienced that, but he proved himself in 2018 so let’s keep that train rolling to go further down the tracks with euphemisms.
E-Rod somehow manages to win games as Rodriguez did last season going 12-4 in 23 starts. This season is more of the same with occasional perilous situations created by walks, but eventually, the results are going deep into the game and garnering a win. So that comes down to two righties for Game Four and either Rick Porcello or Andrew Cashner. One will end up in the bullpen.
The either or with Cashner and Porcello is the result of Nathan Eovaldi having a checkup orthopedic service on his $68 MM right arm. Eovaldi is now sequestered in the bullpen so you have two veterans vying for the ball or running and hiding from the ball. I go with Porcello.
The logic from my perspective for Porcello is the Big Stage for a free agent to be is a nice incentive and that translates to money – it worked for Eovaldi. Cashner in the bullpen along with Eovaldi can translate to multiple innings if the need arises and that was demonstrated in the 2018 World Series.
The bullpen has been – rightfully so – much maligned with the issue being inconsistency and that means inconsistency as individuals up and down the line. A great appearance followed by a Heathcliff Slocumb appearance. That will be limited in the next matchup with the Dodgers as Cora separates the wheat from the chaff.
Now the only issue to resolve in the next two months is the schedule as the Red Sox eventually work or better yet – slug their way into the playoffs and make another excursion to where they rightfully belong. The last question – which I will skip over – is just who will be the MVP for the ALCS and World Series?