clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Red Sox set ALDS rotation; Buchholz third, Rodriguez fourth

New, comments

The Red Sox have set their pitching order for the ALDS.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Red Sox have set their rotation for the 2016 ALDS against the Indians, with the real news being that Clay Buchholz will pitch Game 3 and Eduardo Rodriguez Game 4.

The full order is, of course, Porcello - Price - Buchholz - Rodriguez, but the first two were already set in stone after David Price’s mediocre start against New York. Drew Pomeranz, meanwhile, had clearly been deemed unable to continue starting given his innings total and pushed into the bullpen, where he’s shown immediate improvements in velocity.

The ordering of Rodriguez and Buchholz might seem a bit suspect at first. The two have very similar stories, both coming on strong in the second half after total disaster starts to the season. The difference is that Rodriguez has a better excuse, a longer stretch of recent success, and more dramatic numbers during that positive period. If you’re looking for one start, Rodriguez is probably your man.

But the difference between the third and fourth starter only comes into play in a very few circumstances involving ALCS scheduling, and the bigger difference is how quickly the Sox can get Buchholz back on the mound. Rodriguez had a final start against the Jays, but Clay Buchholz last pitched on September 28th. It’s just one day’s difference, but earlier is earlier, and the only circumstances where the Sox don’t get to see their game four starter are ones where they’ll either need to win with Buchholz regardless of where he pitches (down 0-2 entering game three) or where they sweep, in which case there’s no problem.

So with everything else being almost completely equal, they’ll get Buchholz the earlier outing and Rodriguez the later one, with Porcello ready to go again in Game 5 if necessary.