I don't like how Tito set up the rotation after the ASB, for many, many reasons. There were obviously a number of factors to consider: Lester at ASG, Buch's projected return, Beckett's schedule, rotation prior to ASG. I understand that Tito just decided to consider "maximum time off," but it could have been done differently. In order, here are the factors that should have been considered when setting up the rotation.
Lester --- Because of the uncertainty of the ASG, you have to give him 5 days off. So, he pitches on Sunday.
Beckett's return -- They knew that Beckett was starting at Pawtucket on Saturday, so the 22nd and 27th are his slots. Who does he replace? How about the 65 year old crapshoot knuckleballer? Thus, Wake goes on Saturday.
Buchholz -- They also knew that Buch was going on Friday, somewhere. That's fine, Doubrount could chip in if needed.
So, now the question is who goes Thursday? Do you want more second half starts from Lackey or Dice K? That Thursday night game was important for momentum and for picking up a 1/2 game on TB/NYY while they were watching. Lackey would have been on his fifth day on Thursday.
What's it matter? Well, hopefully this week, we see Dice, Wake, Buch, Beckett, Lackey, Lester. That's Lackey and Lester on an extra days rest, maybe that's a good thing, but I'm thinking it's better to have Lester start as many games as possible. If managed the other way, we would have seen one less Wake start and Lackey and Lester on regular rest. Now, we're faced with Dice K and Wake starting off a 10 game road trip. If there was ever a way to have that start poorly, here is the recipe. Let's give the A's 8 runs a game to start the series, that should help.
Actually, it's even worse if Beckett needs another rehab start. Then, he starts the 27th, again, we get Wake having another off-slot start, Lackey gets pushed back a day and Lester gets pushed two days!
So, hope for the best, that Beckett is back next week, that Wake and Dice K dominate that pathetic Oakland lineup and that the extra days rest for Lackey and Lester next week pay off with a strong August/September/October. But, it could have been done differently.