There is no going around the fact the Boston Red Sox had a huge starting rotation issue in 2012. The team’s starters earned run average was 5.19, which was good for 27th out of the 30 Major League Baseball teams. Only the Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins and Colorado Rockies had a worse ERA than the Red Sox.
The team answered the question marks in the starting rotation by adding Ryan Dempster to the fold. In addition, the Red Sox will get John Lackey back. The coaching staff and front office must not think the team has enough starting pitching depth because they had serious interest in free agent starting pitcher, Javier Vazquez.
Vazquez last pitched in the major leagues in 2011 for the Florida Marlins. In 32 games for the Marlins, the right handed pitcher went 13-11 with a 3.69 ERA, 1.183 WHIP and 162 strikeouts over 192.2 innings. Vazquez ended the 2011 season on a 29 inning scoreless streak, longest in Marlins history, during which he struck out 24 and only walked four.
Vazquez didn’t play during the 2012, however, during winter ball in Puerto Rico, the 36-year-old was clocked at 95 MPH on the radar gun. This is hard to believe since in 2010, his fastball had topped out at 89 MPH, but it was true. The Red Sox, among other teams, even sent scouts down to check him out.
Although the Red Sox had serious interest in Vazquez, it looks like the starting pitcher will not pitch in 2013 due to a knee injury. The injury could potentially even end his career, before he could make his comeback.
Of course, the Red Sox won’t be making any offers to Vazquez after he suffered his knee inujury, but they never should’ve in the first place. Vazquez is 36 years old and hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2011. In addition, the last time Vazquez pitched in the AL was for the New York Yankees in 2010. While with the Bronx Bombers, Vazquez went 10-10 with a 5.32 ERA and walking 65 over 26 starts and 157.1 innings. Even if he could hit 95 on the radar, he would get pummeled at Fenway Park.
Now that Vazquez won’t be pitching in 2013, Red Sox Nation can breath easier knowing that he won’t be dawning a Red Sox uniform anytime soon. If the Red Sox want to improve their starting five, call up Allen Webster or move Franklin Morales from the bullpen to the rotation.
Justin Soderberg is a Boston Red Sox writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google. To read more articles from Justin Soderberg, click here. In addition, Justin covers the Boston Red Sox minor league affiliate, Lowell Spinners at DownontheYarn.com.