Curt Schilling has been set back more than anyone originally thought, so the ace of the Sox rotation will miss at least the first two weeks of the season.
With Schilling gone, that means fellow senior citizen (in the baseball world) David Wells will be the opening day starter in New York.
What interests me the most is that Terry Francona has decided to go with a four-man rotation to start the season while Schilling progresses to return to the mound. Francona feels comfortable with all the off days in the first two weeks that a four-man rotation won't tire out.
Francona's rotation to start this season will look like this:
LHP David Wells
RHP Matt Clement
RHP Tim Wakefield
RHP Bronson Arroyo
Not too bad. The odd-man out in this equation, though, is John Halama. I don't blame Francona for leaving him out, because Halama will rarely see a start this season unless the Sox lose a couple starting pitchers throughout the season. So why have our long/middle-relief pitcher begin the season as a starter, only to be a relief pitcher for 90% of the rest of the season?
I'm happy to see Wells getting the opening day start, though I think Matt Clement will have a better season than him this year. The Wells vs Yankees matchup, in New York, is just as exciting as a Schilling versus Randy Johnson matchup. Wells is clutch, too. And I'm sure he'd love to face his former team on opening day. Not to mention the team that refused to even sign him, when he wanted to go back to New York.
I'm also happy that Bronson Arroyo is atleast in the rotation at this point in time. Arroyo has enough time to show Francona that he deserves to be a starter, and not rotting in the bullpen. It would be a shame if Arroyo pitched out of the bullpen for the majority of this season.