By Aaron Jackson
With the David Price scare this past week came the realization that, while the Red Sox may be top heavy as the top of the rotation goes with Sale, Price and Porcello, but the starters near the bottom of the roster leave a little something to be desired. Any major injury will force Eduardo Rodriguez, Stephen Wright and Drew Pomeranz to all be vital members of the Major League rotation, while leaving only Brian Johnson or Henry Owens as the top starters in the minors. (Scary thought isn’t it?) While that’s typical of most teams, the high aspirations of Boston lead me to believe that they could use a little something extra. Think of these as the “break glass in case of emergency” pitchers.
Kyle Kendrick: Kendrick is actually already with the Red Sox this spring, and this past Sunday he looked good, throwing 4 hitless and scoreless innings. He did this against a watered down Atlanta Braves lineup that is already bad, but still, he showed signs of still being a productive major leaguer. He could potentially fit as the “Clay Buchholz” of this team.
Doug Fister: This guy has been an ace for a couple of contenders, so certainly the pedigree is there. He pitched last year with the Houston Astros, touting a 4.64 ERA that was largely due to a really bad September. At 33, you would assume he would have some innings left, though getting him to join the team without a major league deal in hand could be an issue.
Colby Lewis: Lewis and Fister are both said to be options considered by the Yankees for the back of their rotation right now. The former Ranger is significantly older than Fister, at 37, but he also had a much more successful 2016 with an ERA under 4. Injuries derailed part of his season, but he’s a proven American League pitcher that could add some depth. Likely another guy that might be tough to bring on board without a major league deal.
Edwin Jackson: Jackson has been all over baseball for years, (11 teams in 14 big league seasons) and at times looks like a Cy Young candidate. He typically comes back to earth after a couple of months on the mound, but that’s likely all the Sox would need out of him to begin with. Texas just had him in for a workout and are said to be very interested. Last season saw him pitch to an ERA in the mid 5’s, but you only have to go back to 2015 to find an ERA under 3 for the 33 year old. You’ll also remember he threw a no hitter that required 149 pitches for Arizona in 2010.
Jarrod Parker: The youngest guy of this group, Parker looked to be yet another Cy Young candidate in the making for Oakland back in 2012. He followed that up with an almost as good 2013 for the A’s but hasn’t been heard of in the majors since. Still, the 28 year old is said to be considering a comeback, and was the 9th overall pick back in 2007. He could be a nice reclamation project for a team like the Red Sox as a low end spot starter.
Aaron Jackson (@AaronRJackson on Twitter) is a co-host on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.