Who's in or out of Red Sox starting rotation?

Who's in or out of Red Sox starting rotation?
August 13, 2013, 1:30 am
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The Red Sox will have to make not one but two decisions regarding the starting rotation, assuming they make the playoffs.

The first one is what to do with the rotation when Clay Buchholz returns. Chris Gasper, speaking on CSNNE's The Show, has his answer - and it doesn't bring up any debate.

"The guy to me that automatically comes out is [Ryan] Dempster. In his last five starts his ERA is 7.27, he's been getting knocked around a little bit. Way more hits obviously than innings pitched for him. That's an easy choice. I think it gets much harder when you get to the playoffs if you want to go down to four."

If the Sox go to a four-man rotation in the postseason, things will get trickier though. There's some divide on the panel as to who the other pitcher sent to the pen should be. Gasper believes that Felix Doubront's job should be safe as a starter, but Rich Levine doesn't agree.

"So my thing is that I think you can have Doubront pitch out of the bullpen [in the playoffs]," Levine said. "You're not going to have Lester pitch out of the bullpen. The other guys you're not going to have pitch out of the bullpen. And listen you're at a point right now, Drake Britton has done really well. He had a rough go the other night, but you don't know how he's going to be down the stretch. [Matt] Thornton has not been great since coming on, he's hurt right now. And you have [Craig] Breslow. You need another left hander. And you're not going to have Lester do it. Maybe Doubront deserves it, but the situation with the team, the big picture, I think that maybe he's best suited [for the bullpen]."

Marc Bertrand is not with Levine on this one. He thinks Lester should head to the bullpen because he hasn't pitched well enough to earn a spot in the rotation.

What do you think? Should it be Doubront to the bullpen? Or has Lester pitched his way into the pen? Let us know in the comments section.