Monday, October 01, 2007
The Sox appear to have everyone rested, healthy , lined up and ready to go on Wednesday. For the position players, only Julio Lugo has sucked this past week. Even the players with questionable health of late have hit. As for the pitchers, the question marks - Dice-K, Schilling, Gagne and Okajima - all looked better this past week. The Sox decision to rest the best got the perfect outcome and they made the right choice again. With Wake on a bad streak, the possibly of using Papelbon in all five games and Buchholz unavailable, it was a no brainer to select the three starter series versus LAA.
The Sox mishandled Buchholz which eliminated him being on the postseason roster. By Epstein’s own account, Buchholz first had his current health issue - shoulder fatigue - after his relief outing on Sept. 6. But the Sox did not take the route of treatment that could have had him pitching this October.
According to Epstein, this current level of shoulder fatigue during the season would be treated by having “…Buchholz not throw for 10 days to two weeks, then follow with a two-week throwing progression…” instead of shutting him down as they have done. If this course of treatment was undertaken on Sept. 6th when it started, Buchholz could have been ready to pitch in the ALDS. The Sox waited and it likely cost them the pitcher with the third best stuff in the organization.
Two spots appear to be up in the air. The Sox will likely carry fourteen position players, the three starters, Wake, Papelbon, Delcarmen, Timlin, Okjima, and Gagne. (If Wake got a start, Kevin Cash might have been on the roster.) Two of the Lester, Lopez, Tavarez and Synder foursome will be available out of the pen. Unfortunately, Lester and Lopez will probably make the postseason roster to balance out (lefty-righty) the pen ,which will prompt Tito to make the mistake of using Lopez against Garrett Anderson and Casey Kotchman. Lopez is not Mike Myers. He does not kill southpaws.