Jon Lester looks to be the Sox ace for the second strait year. (AP Photo)
Now that we're mere days away from the start of the 2011 Red Sox Season, I figured it'd be as good a time as any to evaluate how our starting pitchers have fared during Spring Training. Granted, these stats aren't going to really correlate with how they're actual regular seasons will go, but they could help indicate how they'll start off.
Recently my friends and I had our annual baseball draft and I begrudgingly drafted two Red Sox starters, Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka. The league's a deep one with 14 teams, and I ended up drafting Beckett in the 10th round, and Dice-K with my final pick in the 27th. Of the two I have more hope for Beckett, but I think Dice-K may *gulp* be more reliable. I know what to expect from Dice-K - a high WHIP - 6.0 IP per game - and 12-15 wins - but with Josh I'm at a loss with what to expect as he's been the most manic starter of the bunch. I have a lot of homer hope for the former ace, but his 6.64 Spring Training ERA doesn't help quell my fears.
Lester looks like he's in mid-season form already. I'd like to see his K/BB ratio down some - but he has pitched one less game, and as I already stated - all of this needs to be taken with a grain of salt. From a pure numbers stand point I'd say Buchholz is poised to have the best season in 2011. He's 26 years old (a golden age for ballplayers), is coming off of a superb season (17-7, 2.33 ERA), and has the most control of the bunch. Lackey will give us innings, but I want more from him then he provided last year. He was OK last year, and we're not paying him to be OK.
Jon and Clay will get their work done, and our offense will be putting runs on the board, it's Josh, John, and Dice that have to really step it up this year, and if the below video (part of an excellent new series by the Red Sox) is to hold true - it'll depend on those three.