Depth Saves Us

So you’ve probably heard the news by now – Curt Schilling is going on the DL with a bone bruise – near the ankle in which he was hurt with all postseason long last year. Color me skeptical – this sounds like some saving grace by the organization. I have a feeling his ankle isn’t very top-notch yet but they don’t want anyone to get hysterical. The one thing I hate about this organization that the old organization did very well was leak what exactly was wrong with their players. While the current methodology is better, it’s no less annoying. So I have a feeling that while Schill is on the 15-day, he won’t return for about a month. That’s not really a bad thing, in my opinion.
Schilling has been striking out people and continuing his impeccable control. His only issue is giving up a high number of hits. David Wells reports were that his sprained ankle was not severe, and he might make his next start. Wells was on his way to a good outing before aggravating his foot, and Schilling just needed to start missing more bats. So I think this is more precautionary than anything. I would much rather Schilling and Wells take off a month now and come back top-notch for the rest of the year than struggle all year long. People are starting to get freaked out, but I’m not. Whether or not the afterglow of the World Series win has tainted me, I’m not kicking and screaming like last year. Last year proved one can roll with the punches and pull it out in the end.
On a tangent for a second: can we please stop freaking out about Keith Foulke? Foulke in 2002 had an era of 3.55 in April and 8.10 in May. He finished the season with a 2.90 ERA. Tangent over.
So John Halama is going to start, and it looks like he’ll nail 3-5 starts in the rotation before Schilling/Wells come back. Curt Schilling has not been placed on the DL yet, he will be Friday. With the off-day tomorrow (AAAAAUUUUUUUUGH, I HATE OFF-DAYS!) they don’t need to make a move yet. Some theorizing why they don’t want to do the DL move until Friday: 1) The 25-man roster must be complete at all times, so DLing Schill now would necessitate them to call someone up and 2) DLing Schilling just to call someone up, meaning Pawtucket would be a player short when the Red Sox don’t need a player – and they can further evaluate who they should call up.
So who WILL come up? The popular consensus on message boards is former Devil Ray Jeremi Gonzalez, who has always had the stuff (and translated that in AAA) but never the makeup for the majors. So far he has started 4 games for Pawtucket, 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 24 IP. Maybe he can become good now, you never know. Maybe Halama and Gonzalez can become Cy Young winners. I’ve had a computer baseball game since 2002 – High Heat Baseball 2003 that I love simming and acting as GM. No matter how recent the rosters are, Jeremi Gonzalez always ends up being a stud, a perennial Cy Young winner. I am also a fanatic about Out of the Park Baseball (a MUCH more in-depth GM simulation game with online leagues), and in the 2005 season I had once, John Halama went 22-3 – NO editing at all! Works for me! If Halama has a 2.something ERA as a reliever, maybe one day he can translate it to starting. If Jeremi has the stuff, maybe one day it will all click for him. The chances are slim, but having Gonzalez for two starts before Wade Miller returns (apparently, they want to exercise care with Wade – good for them) is not horrible. Halama is an experienced starter and we got him for depth, so I’m not concerned about Halama as well.
We could also see Abe Alvarez, perhaps. You never know. He’s 1-1 with a 4.79 ERA, so I’m pretty sure Jeremi would get the call over him right now – better year so far, and more MLB experience for Jeremi. Plus, yanking Abe up for two starts then sending him back down … let’s keep him consistent. We could also slot DiNardo into the rotation and call up a reliever, but first of all, DiNardo took Halama’s place in the bullpen. Second of all, who would we call up? Mark Malaska? That’s overload. Tim Bausher? Maybe, but Jeremi has had the best year so far. And Jeremi is a starter, not reliever.
Anyways, what I’m trying to say is to all those Sox fans freaking out – calm down. Calm down. Better now than September. We have depth, so we’ll work through it. It’s not the end of the world. I think the Red Sox have earned our patience and trust so far, haven’t you? Let’s just kick back and watch Red Sox baseball.