Question of the Day, 16 January 2007.

So most of these have been pretty short lately.  Whether it's me being lazy or me being lazy, that's simply been the case.  

A little bigger question for you to ponder today.  First, the candidates.

Runelvys Hernandez

For Runelvys

He's started in the past.  Could be stashed at Pawtucket given his MiL contract.  His fastball and curve have both been described as "plus" pitches.

Against Runelvys

He's started poorly in the past.  His splits are not altogether promising.  Decent against division opponents Toronto and Tampa Bay over his career, pretty horrid against the Orioles and Yankees.

Kason Gabbard

For Kason

He's young, and has some potential upside to fulfill.  He's LH, which is almost always considered a positive for some reason.  Aside from his stint at Pawtucket last season, he's always been pretty good at keeping the ball in the park.

Against Kason

His WHIP of 1.74 as a starter last season is downright scary.  How he managed a 3.10 ERA as a starter is the bad kind of amazing.  His control has never been a strong point.

Kyle Snyder

For Snyder

Had that excellent effort against Cleveland last season in relief.  One good start against the Blue Jays and Yankees.  (View these non-made up facts here)  Also working in Snyder's favor is that he has a ML contract, so he's got a better shot than some others at making the roster.  Also, as Randy has pointed out to me, his curve is great.  Hard to argue with that, I suppose.

Against Snyder

Like Runelvys, he was flushed out of the Royals system.  Also has (or had, more correctly) potential, but will probably never realize it.

David Pauley

For Pauley

Who doesn't love ground balls?  I'll always remember the sight of Pauley leaving the mound at Yankee Stadium.  He put in a heroic effort at one of the toughest places to play in any sport.  Pauley also improved his control significantly upon moving up to AA Portland in 2005.  He's also not allergic to striking batters out, unlike some ground-ballers I could name.

Against Pauley

His numbers in Pawtucket after the call-up show a pitcher who has lost some confidence in himself.  I personally think Pauley could use a change of scenery.

Julian Tavarez

For Tavarez

Is there a more exciting starter to watch (I mean, as in to watch HIM) in all of baseball?  Answer:  No.  Tavarez entertained us all in the last part of the season with his antics as a starter.  He also proved surprisingly effective.

Against Tavarez

Everything I've read points to him resuming his middle relief role and forgetting about starting anymore games for the Sox.  I was impressed with him last season, but his overall splits as a starter are not terribly inspiring.  Also, he'll probably be one of the better options out of the pen as currently constructed.

Joel Pineiro

For Pineiro

Like Snyder and Runelyvs, he's been a starter at the ML level.  He even had a couple decent seasons which made him a oft-rumored name in trade discussions a few years ago.  Also, he's going to try and probably fail at closing anyway.

Against Pineiro

He was an exceptionally poor starter in 2006, probably only better than Josh Towers.  He's been rumored to have been on steroids, which means he might just BE bad now.

Devern Hansack

For Hansack

Great name.  That "no-hitter" against the Orioles at the end of last year.  His record and peripherals for AA Portland last season, all of which could at least be described as decent.  Has good "mound presence".

Against Hansack

For what I'm thinking about, not sure.  Hadn't pitched professional ball since '03 until last season.  Seems like (6'2" 175 lbs) he could be well-served to add a bit of bulk.

All right.  Here's the question.  Lester is obviously #6 when he gets healthy.  Who gets the spot starts when he's unavailable to take them as our #7 starter?          

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