Originally written on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 1/20/12
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Every morning we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump...

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said yesterday that he and his staff have been doing “a lot of math’’ to figure out whether the team has enough starting pitching for the coming season.

That must be some creative accounting. Outside of Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester, the Red Sox do not have any healthy major league-ready starters on their 40-man roster with a month to go before pitchers and catchers report for spring training.

“That will come down to decision-making in spring training,’’ Cherington said. “We’re either stronger in the pen, which can help your rotation, or we’re stronger in the rotation and hurting the pen a little bit. We need to balance that out. They both deserve a chance to show they belong in the rotation.’’

“It would be nice, I suppose, to have five perfectly healthy guys you knew for sure would give you 200 innings every year,’’ said Cherington. “I’m not sure we’ve ever had that, and this year is no different.

Globe - Still spinning their wheels on rotation

I've had little confidence in our pitching staff as currently assembled for a while now.  Hearing our GM make statements like "we're doing a lot of math to figure out if we have enough starting pitching" does nothing to calm my fears.  Just the opposite, in fact. 

I like Bard in the rotation, but as we talked about yesterday, his innings are going to have to be severely monitored.  Not that he can't pitch a full season (Smoltz easily jumped from 81 innings to 229 innings transitioning from closer to starter), but Smoltz was a starter for more than a decade before accomplishing this.  This is Bard's first go-round.  You can't expect him to pitch close to 200 innings. 

And that still leaves another spot open.  They'll give Aceves a shot at it, but I think he serves us much better out of the pen.  His ability to come into any situation and pitch well is unique.  We can't afford to lose that.  That leaves us praying that Cook or Silva or Padilla suddenly become serviceable again.  In the AL East.  Possible, sure.  But not very likely.

The only glimmer of hope here, and I can't believe I'm writing this, is that Dice-K should be ready for the second half of the season.  It's too early to know when, or really how strong his arm will be... but he's a proud man with a lot to prove still.  If his arm strength is good, I expect we may see "good Dice-K" more often than not down the stretch.  And that's something we will desperately need.

On Page 2, Cherington talks about Crawford's wrist

Three days after Carl Crawford underwent surgery on his left wrist, likely causing him to miss Opening Day, the question remains: Could the left fielder have had the procedure sooner?

Not likely, according to Red Sox [team stats] general manager Ben Cherington.

Cherington said Crawford’s wrist was “asymptomatic” when the season ended, so there was no reason for the Sox’ medical staff to recommend surgery. It wasn’t until Crawford resumed hitting two weeks ago that he felt more discomfort in his wrist.

“I think whenever something like this happens, we always go back and think about whether we could have found this out earlier,” Cherington said at last night’s Boston Baseball Writers’ Association dinner at the Westin Copley Hotel. “In this particular case, based on research we’ve done, based on the conversations we’ve had, I don’t think there’s anything we could’ve done, practically speaking, sooner."

Herald - Ben Cherington defends Carl Crawford diagnosis

I imagine Carl's wrist was sore at the end of the year, and they told him to give it some rest for a few weeks and see if it got better.  And, with rest it probably did feel better.  Until he started swinging a bat again.

I know some people are upset about this, but I think it's a non-issue.  Assuming his rehab goes well (and, with his reputation I can't see any way it doesn't), he'll miss a week or so of the regular season.  Not the end of the world.

Rest of the links:

CSNNE - Reddick had Crawford's surgery, says he'll be fine | Globe - Sox not spending? We aren’t buying | Herald - Red Sox unfazed by taxing offseason | David Ortiz will be ready to take on Sox in arbitration

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