For the most part of this years spring training the Boston Red Sox pitching has been outstanding. Four of the expected five pitchers in the teams rotation have an ERA lower than 2.25 and then there is John Lackey. Lester, the starting day pitcher and ace of the staff has had a magnificent spring and has a 0.90 ERA to show for it. Clay Buchholz has also performed better than expectations and has an even lower 0.68 ERA. Ryan Dempster who is expected to be a strong number three pitcher for the team has a 2.13. Felix Doubront, who struggled early on has taken great strides and has an ERA of 2.08. Then there is John Lackey, what can be said for Lackey is that he hasn't met any of the expectations that anyone had for him this spring. He has been the worst pitcher on staff with the exception of Alfredo Aceves (a story for another time). This spring Lackey has a 8.10 ERA and is awful. The team has optioned pitchers to AAA and even AA that would help the team more than Lackey has so far this spring. With this aside management must be staring to realize that the pitching on this team may not cut it and might start looking for help elsewhere.
The team does have the option of having a sixth and seventh starter on staff but they would most likely spend most of the season in the bullpen. These starters are Aceves, referenced above for my thoughts of him, and Franklin Morales. Morales currently is injured with a bulging disk in his back and has just begun to throw the ball from the mound to the plate. The most likely place to look to improve the pitching staff with this team would be the AAA affiliate down in Pawtucket. The Sox have already optioned Ruby De La Rosa and Allen Webster to Pawtucket. De La Rosa and Webster are on the teams 40 man roster and will be September call ups if not needed earlier. Webster pitched extremely well this spring in his shortened time at spring training, he most certainly made a name for himself and could be a great pitcher in 2 or 3 years, potentially our 2nd or 3rd best starter. To call him up early to the major leagues and have him face major league hitting too soon could just cause trouble. De La Rosa seems more ready for the call up if needed by the big club. De La Rosa pitched well as a starter in 2011 for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 10 starts he had a 4-5 record with an ERA of 3.71. While it is still early to decide what to do about this pitching staff it is my opinion that to make a trade instead of giving our prospects a chance is the wrong decision right now. Give the prospects a chance if we need them and if they do not perform well then make the trade. Its time to trust in our farm system, time to trust that the players we developed are the players we want them to be.
Have an interesting trade idea for the sox to make, put it in the comments or tell me on twitter @ryanthahawaiian