The necessity of the Red Sox finding a fifth starter is almost more than the necessity that George felt to shoot Lennie in Of Mice and Men.
Maybe that was a bit extreme.
At any rate, the Sox need a fifth starter. The team and farm-system is chuck-full of candidates, yet no one seems to be able to perform in that role. Joe Kelly has an ERA of 8.46 in 22.1 innings of work as a starter. Clay Buchholz is 2-5 in 56.2 innings as a starter, while also boasting an ERA of 6.35. The Irishman himself, Sean O'Sullivan, has a 7.94 ERA in 11.1 innings. Henry Owens has an ERA of 5.11 in 12.1 innings.
All possible candidates for the number 5 spot have auditioned and been promptly shown the door.
The one guy who hasn't been given the chance is Roenis Elias. You know: the other guy who the Sox acquired in the Wade Miley deal?
Anyways, Elias has been tearing it up in Triple-A. In his most recent start on Sunday, Elias went the distance to earn the complete game victory, allowing just one run, six hits and two walks while striking out eight.
In 51 career outings (49 over the past two seasons with the Seattle Mariners), he's gone 15-20 with an ERA of 3.97 and a WHIP of 1.31. In his past four outings, he's had two acceptable 7-inning starts.
With him being 27 years old, I think it's time the Red Sox give him the shot he most definitely deserves. He has the experience and has been pitching well of late. All the Red Sox want is someone to come in and pitch consistently every fifth day. That just means that they want a guy who can go 5+ innings and hold a lead: something some current Sox pitchers haven't been able to do of late (cough, cough, anyone of your choosing).
The offense is good enough to provide run-support which would take some pressure off of Elias.
The Red Sox won't need a fifth starter until June 18, so until then, the Red Sox can monitor his progress in Pawtucket before making the decision to call him up.
Nevertheless, Elias deserves it. And in some ways, so do the Red Sox.
Continue the Conversation on Twitter with Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky).