The more I think about it the more I think this might be a good idea for the Sox. If they can change Sergio Santos from a short stop to a successful closer then I think moving Chris Sale from the bullpen to the rotation shouldn’t be that big of an issue. With Mark Buehrle now in Miami the Sox have a primarily right-handed rotation (John Danks being the only lefty). Chris Sale, even through two years, has limited experience. That will be good for the first couple months of 2012 but teams will begin to adjust to him quickly after that – it happens to everyone. What the Sox offense will have to do is take advantage of the time when opposing teams can’t figure out Sale as a starter. I’ll give it until early June when the league gets the scouting report on Sale so from April until then the Sox need to capitalize. I’ll stop there because I realized I’m basically telling you baseball common sense.
With Sale our rotation could look like this:
1. Jake Peavy
2. John Danks
3. Gavin Floyd
4. Chris Sale
5. Phil Humber/Zach Stewart
That’s a good righty-lefty mix, something you always want to have in a starting rotation. I’m not sold on whether Humber and Stewart are legitimate but I guess we’ll find out in a few weeks. Gavin Floyd and John Danks were rumored to be on the trading block a couple of weeks ago but nothing (yet) has materialized, or even come close. By February uur rotation could be what I just wrote or it could be something completely different.
Sale to the rotation removes an effective lefty from the bullpen which is a hole that isn’t that easy to fill. We all got frustrated with Sale a few times last season but looking at his stats he actually had a solid year. A 2.79 ERA in 71 innings pitched, 79 strikeouts against 27 walks for an even 10 K/9. Those are solid stats out of a Sox bullpen that kinda sucked for a long time. Sale leaves Matt Thornton and Will Ohman as the only left-handers in the bullpen and since Ohman is bad he really just leaves Thornton.
I’m going to be talking with Nathaniel Stoltz of Seedlings to Stars about some possible in-house additions to the Sox bullpen so be on the lookout for that. Well, you know, if you’re interested in that.