Red Sox need depth, health, and a world of luck
The optimum word to describe this rotation is if. If Sale is back to good health. If Whitlock is suffering, no recovery issues. If Bello can make all of 2023 his September of 2022. If Pivetta can make 33 productive starts. If Houck can start as well as he demonstrated his ability to relieve?
This rotation lacks depth, and that depth provides a comfort zone. Chaim Bloom may wait out the market and get either Eovaldi or Wacha on a short deal – now a Boston specialty. But, alas, Eovaldi is gone to the Rangers. Will Kluber be that depth?
The depth could be Bryan Mata, whose Tommy John Surgery tossed a wrench into his development. Mata is back and will get his reps in Worcester, awaiting a Boston failure or physical breakdown. After Mata, there is a slide on possible developmental talent that could impact 2023. All the more important is to add depth.
Depth also brings into play Paxton. Paxton had an extensive recovery and should be all set (hopefully) for 2023. So here comes another “if,” and that is having Paxton come in with a 2017-2019 performance. Paxton could be the most critical piece in the rotation, and Paxton could be the security blanket or make it a six-man and an excellent rotation, especially if Houck or Whitlock are needed elsewhere.