Theo On The Rotation And On The Tek Slump
Theo Epstein spoke out about his club as the team packed up and went to Philadelphia, stop one of a three stop journey that ends back at Fenway for the home opener. I'd like to touch and comment on two of the things he mentioned. First up, the rotation. This is from the Courant....
"On paper, it's got as high a ceiling as any rotation we've had," said Epstein, in his fifth season as general manager. "We had it going pretty good in 2004. Those guys made all their starts, which was an important thing. Oftentimes ... the team that's won the pennant is the team that had their rotation make the most starts and stay the healthiest. If all five guys can take the ball and not miss starts, that's a good sign."
Peter here, and he's exactly right-we have to stay away from injuries, injuries like the ones that doomed our '06 club. If the rotation can remain healthy and the pitchers can make all their starts, we'll be the team to beat in the AL. And I'm taking into consideration the fact that we really don't know who the number five starter will be for the entire seson. Tavarez, Lester, even Roger Clemens. We just don't know right now. But the rotation sure looks mighty, if it stays healthy. And we have no reason to expect it NOT to.
Theo also commented on Jason Varitek's slump, again from the Courant.......
"Varitek, who turns 35 on April 11, has acknowledged struggling to get his swing mechanics down. But Epstein said all that could change with one at-bat.
"I remember 2003, I think he hit .190 or something like that and had a pretty feeble spring from an offensive standpoint," Epstein said. "His first game of the year in Tampa Bay, it might have been his first at-bat, he put a great swing on a pitch from Joe Kennedy and lined it off the wall and got locked in right after that."
Peter here. I'm not worried about Tek. His hitting will come around. Right now he is most important to the club for establishing communication with the pitchers and for his ability to call the game, the sequence of pitches, depending on exactly who is at the plate and what the game situation might be. Important stuff. As Theo said, one great swing might "lock" him in and start him on a hot streak. But the captain behind the plate, quarterbacking the games? Thats vital.
The entire Hartford Courant article is linked when you click on the title of this post, and I wish you all a great Friday, the start of a wonderful weekend, the last weekend we have without baseball. MMMM, that sounds good!
Do you have any areas of concern about the '07 Boston Red Sox. Leave me a comment, and I'll respond. And I'll be back with something else a little later. Bet on it, or as Pete Rose would say, "Count on it."