|Chris O'Meara/Associated Press|
The 2014 Red Sox have a lot of problems. I mean, A LOT of problems. But of all of these problems, perhaps the most obvious is pitching, specifically the starting rotation. The only remaining starter from the start of the year is Clay Buchholz. Every other starter has been traded elsewhere. And going into the off season, it's the biggest need for the Sox if they want to get back into contention for a playoff spot in 2015. They need to get an ace to anchor a very young and struggling rotation. In August, the starting rotation has a 5.28 ERA and has given up a line of .274/.359/.459, according to Bleacher Report. Not pretty.
Here's the breakdown by pitcher as it stands, per Bleacher Report:
IP ERA FIP K% BB%
Clay Buchholz 131 5.77 4.27 17.4 7.9
Rubby De La Rosa 78 3.69 4.34 17.4 8.7
Joe Kelly 22 4.09 5.36 14.9 17.9
Allen Webster 31 5.81 4.62 13.0 14.5
Brandon Workman 66.2 5.13 4.68 17.1 9.4
Whether it's re-signing Jon Lester or going after another ace, that rotation needs someone desperately to be the ace of the staff and anchor it in 2015 if the team wants to be true contenders next year. I'm sure most Sox fans would like to see Lester back, and that's still a very distinct possibility from all the snippets that have been dropped since the move.
Another option would be to promote from within. Minor leaguer Henry Owens has been solid in Portland and Pawtucket and could be a possible 2 or 3 starter, Bleacher Report projects, behind someone like a Lester or Cole Hamels, who was linked to the Red Sox during the trade deadline frenzy. If Owens does slot into the #2 or #3 slot like Bleacher Report projects, Rubby de la Rosa or Joe Kelly will likely slot into the other spot followed by by Buchholz in the 5 spot.
Speculation doesn't change the fact that the Sox still need to add an ace (or two would be even better) in the off-season to anchor the rotation if they want to be competitive in 2015. The rotation is still relatively young and needs a veteran ace to anchor the rotation next year.
Thoughts? Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter (@C_Frederick1016).