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Red Sox set rotation for the rest of the year

Chris Sale will get a break before the postseason

New York Mets v Boston Red Sox Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The Red Sox have just ten games left on the year, and they need some combination of two wins for themselves and/or losses for the Yankees to wrap up the division. They needed just one win in this series in New York, and they have won more chance to clinch in the Bronx. Either way, it seems all but certain they will get the division wrapped up at some point, and now they are preparing for the American League Division Series. With that in mind, they have set their rotation (mostly) for the rest of the year. You can see it in full below, courtesy of a report from Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic.

For the most part, this is pretty straight forward and exactly what you’d expect from a team getting ready for a postseason berth. There are a couple of TBA’s thrown in here, and I’d just assume those are going to be Hector Velazquez and/or Brian Johnson starts, but they don’t want to announce it in case they need either of them out of the bullpen in the games preceding it.

There are a couple of notes I would like to make here, though. The first I’ll expand upon tomorrow, but I’m a little surprised they aren’t moving Nathan Eovaldi to the bullpen yet. They have enough starters and relievers to make it work with one less starter in the rotation for a couple of turns, and it seems logical to get the transition done with a couple weeks left. Alex Cora is playing coy with the idea that Eovaldi is definitely heading to the bullpen in October, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

The other point is that the top two starters are going to be on a lot of rest for the ALDS. Sale is presumably starting Game One of that series, with Price taking the mound for Game Two. Those games are scheduled for October 5 and October 6, meaning Sale will have eight days of rest before his postseason start and Price will have ten. I’m not going to pretend to know whether this is a good or bad thing — there are fair arguments on both sides of that —but it is an interesting decision.

The final part of this I’ve seen people mention is that they are sending out two potential playoff starters in that final Yankees series. The worry is that Boston shouldn’t give New York a look at pitchers they could see in the ALDS. I understand the issue, but it’s not a real problem. The Red Sox and Yankees play each other all year. New York knows Porcello and Rodriguez, and one more start isn’t going to make a difference with that familiarity.

So, what do you think. This rotation to close out the year make sense?