Kuroda to remain in Majors; Red Sox a real option?

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Kuroda to remain in Majors; Red Sox a real option?

When you really think about it, not a lot has changed when it comes to the Red Sox' pitching rotation.

Consider it addition by subtraction that John Lackey won't be around. As of now, same goes for Tim Wakefield.

Josh Beckett will be back, as will Jon Lester -- both hopefully able to look down and see their cleats. Clay Buchholz was dealt an unfortunate injury, and if healthy, could be a superb third starter. Could.

And the Daniel Bard experiment is yet to get underway.

But who's going to round it out? Aaron Cook? We can only be so lucky...

Now, news surfaces that former Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda isn't heading back to Japan after all.

NPB Tracker, which is a website dedicated to "baseball in Japan and around the world", reports that multiple Japanese media outlets report that Kuroda has informed the Hiroshima Carp that he is now planning on pitching in the Majors in 2012.

To sum up 20 different reports: There's an outside chance Kuroda could land with the Sox.

He'll decide on a MLB team in the next couple of days, and the Sox, among a few other teams including the Yankees, have expressed interest.

Kuroda is 41-46 in his four-year career with the Dodgers, posting a career 1.19 WHIP and 3.45 ERA while striking out 523 batters in 699 innings.

Last season, Kuroda went 13-16 in 32 games (202 IP) with a 1.21 ERA and 3.07 ERA.

The kicker? He wants 13 million per year, reportedly, over one or two years.

13 million, Hiroki? That's almost one billion Japanese Yen. So unnecessary.

Are the Sox willing to increase their salary in the range of 13M for this guy? They've forked over a lot more money for other Japanese pitchers in the past with, um, mixed results ("Dude, he throws a Gyroball!"), but the need to improve pitching is still there.

The Sox have also been reportedly interested in the Cubs' Matt Garza and free agent Roy Oswalt.

Price asks Red Sox fans for support: 'We will get through this'

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Price asks Red Sox fans for support: 'We will get through this'

If you're upset with the way the Red Sox have played recently, well, David Price understands.

But things, he vows, will get better. And he adds that it's only when you've been in the deepest valley that you can appreciate the highest mountain.

Or something like that . . .

Rodriguez shipped back to PawSox as Sox seek rotation answers

Rodriguez shipped back to PawSox as Sox seek rotation answers

After Eduardo Rodriguez's horrific performance Monday night against the Rays -- 11 hits and 9 earned runs allowed in 2 2/3 innings, leading to a 13-7 Red Sox loss to a team that entered the game riding an 11-game losing streak -- the Sox succumbed to the obvious and shipped him back to Pawtucket.  

And they got no argument from Sean McAdam.

"I think this is the right move," CSN's Red Sox Insider told Dalen Cuff on Monday night's SportsNet Central. "Because, clearly, the step forward that [Rodriguez] took, however small, last week was more than wiped out and (he) regressed this evening the way he pitched. And things have to be worked out, both in terms of execution and his approach . . . "

In six starts this season covering 29 1/3 innings -- less than five innings a start -- Rodriguez has been, in a word, awful. His 1-3 record is bad enough, but couple that with an 8.59 ERA, an opponents' batting average of .315, a WHIP of 1.74 and nine home runs allowed (a rate that projects out to about 45 homers allowed in a 150-inning season), and you can see why a change had to be made.

“The bottom line is, [Rodriguez] is capable of more," said manager John Farrell.

But now comes the next question: Who replaces him? And that, noted McAdam, has no easy answer.

"What it means for the rotation going forward is completely uncertain," McAdam told Cuff. "In fact, (Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski) told us that there was no corresponding move. Of course, because this turn doesn't come up in the rotation for another five days with the off-day Thursday, it's not anything they need to address (immediately). And in all likelihood, they'll probably get somebody to pitch out of the bullpen here until that turn comes up."

So the Sox get five days to ponder a problem that seems, in many ways unsolvable.

"[There] aren't a lot of good candidates internally," McAdam noted, "and it's unlikely there's going to be any sort of trade . . . in the next four days to fill that spot