Clay Buchholz, Rick Porcello, Joe Kelly, Wade Miley and Justin Masterson -- this will be the 2015 Red Sox starting rotation when the season starts in just over a month, with the glaring "issue" of there being no ace.
Unlike in past years with Jon Lester, Josh Beckett (in his prime), Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez, and all the way back to Roger Clemens, the Red Sox do not have a true No. 1 starter on their roster,Instead of having a dominant guy at the top of their rotation, they are valuing durability, as while none of the five are true aces, the one commonality they share is that they are innings eaters.
Last season, three of the five current Red Sox starters pitched at least 170 innings, while Kelly and Masterson dealt with injuries. Of the three "iron men," Miley and Porcello each threw 200 or more innings, signaling that the Sox could have one of the more durable staffs in MLB.Porcello has thrown at least 176 innings in four straight seasons, while in his three years in the league, Miley has thrown at least 194 innings -- eclipsing the 200-inning mark twice.
"The best predictor of future durability and performance is past durability and performance,'' Boston general manager Ben Cherington said when the Sox announced the signing of Miley to a three-year, $19.25 million deal. ''When we traded for him, our full expectation was that he could be here for a while.''
Between the five Red Sox starters, they own a combined 10 seasons of 180 or more innings thrown.Along with being durable, as a group they’ve also been consistent. The five starters have a lifetime ERA of 3.93, which is pretty respectable, all things considered.
Clearly, the strength of this year's club will be its lineup, with powerful bats in David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, to go along with quality hitters in Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli and up-and-coming starsMookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts.
Having a lineup as strong as the Red Sox have, to go along with five starters that can be counted on to go six or seven innings every time they take to the mound, should be able to translate into wins.
No ace? No problem.