I know that this FanPost may not make sense to some, and it may be out of left field. I've kind of had this opinion for a while now, and I've yet to get it down on paper/laptop screen. If anyone has heard some of my comments so far on threads, I'm clearly not Daisuke's biggest fan. The news and rumor mills over spring training had a lot of rumors debating the possibility of a Daisuke trade, and I'm just wondering if Matsuzaka is really our fifth best starting pitcher. It's not just a bias anymore, but in my opinion a blatant waste of money. Sure, he could go out tomorrow and pitch a gem and win in a hell of a way. I, however, think that this team should have shopped him harder over the spring. At the very least there should have been a competition for the #5 spot between Wakefield, Dice, Aceves(preferred in the pen), and Doubront (still not ready for him yet). All four of these pitchers have proven strengths and weaknesses, and at the end of the day I would think that Wakefield, above all others, should have the #5 spot. Before you crucify me, let me explain.
Yes, Wake had a very, very, very bad year last year. No, his "stuff" did not change. We're not seeing his 70 mph Fastball changing at all, and the knuckler still dances all over the place when the time is right. What I'm saying is a pitcher with a 4.37 career ERA, a devastating knuckler (when it's on) and an innings eater seems to be what Wake guarantees. I also would make the argument that an average of 6/7 innings per start from Wake, with limited walks and around four runs, would be preferable to one eight inning start from Dice-K, with 0-2 runs, followed by three starts where he fails to get out of the fourth or fifth inning and gets pounded. Also, Wake has 193 wins, and 179 with the Sox. Clemens and Young had 192 while they were here. I would rather shout and curse at a bad Wake start that would give the old man a chance to get that last fourteen, than watch Dice-KK run up a 3-2 count on every batter 1-9.
I also think money would be key in this decision. If Dice was shopped and traded, or is traded, then money would clearly be saved. Daisuke has a salary of 10.3 million in 2011, and IMO that money could be used towards a solid righty bench bat, or yet another BP arm. Wake's 2011 salary for comparison is two million. What happened to wake from his All Star campaign, to last year, seems to be more than an injury. His back did seem to give him trouble, but if he is over it and given consistency he could be very serviceable. With consistency, and a shot at the rotation, I think there's no doubt he can bring 180-200 innings, 9-15 wins, and an ERA hovering 4. With Aceves in the bullpen (where he belongs) and Daisuke in the NL somewhere, this team could support Wake as he rides off in the sunset. I'd really prefer that than having to watch Matsuzaka walk five guys per start. The two pitchers are really comparable in their career stats, even with Matsuzaka's moster (lucky) 2008 18-3 campaign.
Some of Wake's career #'s : 4.37 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 172 IP averaged (deflated from BP years), 36 GP per season (slightly inflated from BP years), K/BB 1.78**
Some of Dices's career #'s : 4.19 ERA (heavily helped by 08), 1.40 WHIP, 144 IP (there's the killer....), 25 GP per season K/BB 1.94**
**I'd trade K's for IP and some cash in pocket.
All numbers came from ESPN's stat trackers and screwed a bit because of this years stats (so I averaged out the GP per season and IP myself) Might be slightly off but they're close enough to explain my point.
Once again, this is just my opinion. I know that people will call Daisuke the best #5 starter in baseball, but I really don't see what he provides that is eight million more than what Wake provides. I also don't think there's a single Red Sox fan out there that openly supports Matsuzaka over Wakefield. I think that what is true for Wake is true for Dice. One bad season (last year, Wake) does not a career make, and neither does one good season(08, Dice-K). At this point we have to stick with it, but I would like to see what Red Sox Nation's opinion on this is. First fanpost, something I wanted to get off the chest, go easy on me!