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Game 67: What do the Sox do with Dice-K?

Final - 6.19.2009 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Atlanta Braves 2 0 0 2 2 0 1 0 1 8 11 1
Boston Red Sox 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 2 1
WP: Kenshin Kawakami (4 - 6)
LP: Daisuke Matsuzaka (1 - 5)

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Let's not talk about Friday night's 8-2 loss to the Braves. It's in the books. Let's just change the subject straight to Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Here's what his line looked like from the loss: four innings pitched, eight hits, six runs, four walks, two strikeouts and one home run.

Just ugly. No way around that one.

Here's what Dice-K said after the game:

"If I keep going like this, I have no right to be a part of this rotation."

Let's hand it to Dice-K: at least he admits it when he's bad. But he's really on to something. What are the Red Sox going to do? The Sox have a surplus of extra arms just chomping at the bit to get to the bigs in John Smoltz, Clay Buchholz and Michael Bowden. Smoltz will be making his 2009 debut soon (June 25) but he's still just the sixth man in the rotation.

So with Smoltz, Buchholz and Bowden looking in (Smoltz may be in, but not fully) and the idea of a six-man rotation not being able to sustain (really not possible, right?), we look at the weaknesses of the current rotation.

Dice-K, obviously, stands out the most. Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Tim Wakefield, however, are not going anywhere. Brad Penny has pitched well for the Sox and his future is uncertain: do the Sox hold on to him and use the depth or trade him and get something in return?

Essentially, there are two spots -- at the most -- for Smoltz, Buchholz and Bowden to work their way into the rotation. Penny is still on the fence, but Dice-K ... oh, boy, Dice-K.

Here are the facts regarding the Red Sox and Dice-K:

  • The Sox can't trade Dice-K.
  • The Sox can't cut Dice-K.
  • The Sox can't demote Dice-K.

Two options: place Dice-K on the disabled list for some mysterious reason or put him in the bullpen. Personally, I think the DL is the most likely option at this point. However, I would not be surprised if we see Dice-K in the bullpen come October if the Sox make the playoffs. But before that I just don't really see it happening. A demotion to the bullpen for Dice-K would be a huge slap in the face, although it seems like he understands that.

Do I have a point to all of this? Not exactly. But go ahead and vent and let us know what you would do with Dice-K.