Who needs John Burkett?
July 22nd, 2007 by czar

Jon Lester is starting for the Red Sox tomorrow evening in Cleveland in place of Julian Tavarez (who has been bumped to the bullpen, taking the freshly DFAed Joel Pineiro’s spot)  As I discussed in a previous post, I had seen Lester in person a couple starts ago and he didn’t look major league ready then.  I hope something’s changed, or maybe the mere fact he’s in a big league ballpark will light a fire under his ass, but I don’t know if he’ll be crazy effective.  I’m a big Lester guy too.  Admittedtly, he is a better option than Tavarez has been lately, poor pitching in AAA or not, but if this is truly just a two-off deal until Schilling comes back (assuming Kason “Lights out with my 86 mph fastball” Gabbard sticks around) I would have much rather seen Hansack.  Of course, the possibility exists that the Sox also saw it that way, but are auditioning Lester for some kind of move– not that pitching Lester in the bigs right now will assuredly help his trade value if his command doesn’t improve.

Kason Gabbard continues to impress at the big league level with another phenomenal start Saturday, this time vs. the White Sox.  While I have my doubts he can continue in the vicinity of this stratosphere (4.3 BB/9, .248 BABIP), he has indeed been a pleasant surprise, and unless Lester completely blows everyone out of the water in his next couple starts, I think Kason’ll still be here when Schilling (3 IP, 0 ER, 6 K for Pawtucket on Saturday) gets back.

Clay Buchholz flat out put on a whiff parade in Pawtucket today.  10 strikeouts, in 5 IP– his final line also included 2 ER, 2 BB, and 3 H; 74 total pitches, 53 (72%) for strikes .  He actually picked up the loss, since the PawSox could only scratch one run across all game vs. Louisville.  Word out of McCoy is that he worked in the 93-94 mph range (touched 95-96 a few times), didn’t have fantastic command over his curveball, but got plenty of swings and misses on the offspeed stuff.

Justin Masterson has been phenomenal so far for the Portland Sea Dogs.  Since his callup from Lancaster on July 9th, he has tossed 19.1 IP, allowed 7 H and 5 BB (0.62 WHIP, 3.25 H/9, 2.33 BB/9), only allowed 1 ER (0.47 ERA), and struck out 22 (10.24 K/9, 4.40 K/BB) in three starts.

Posted in Observations


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  • Traversing the land that is known as Red Sox Nation, The Czar Who Wears Red Sox is an attempt at compiling a repertoire of my ever-so-sexy forum posts (when I'm too lazy to write my own damn entry) and other random baseball thoughts that strike. For those whose posts serve as the inspiration of my epiphanies and rants, do not be angry, but merely, be honored that you have achieved such status. Names will never be revealed. Feedback appreciated, as this is a work in progress.

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