Friar: Dombrowski already has Red Sox rotation in mind, but is it the best combination?

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Friar: Dombrowski already has Red Sox rotation in mind, but is it the best combination?

With Clay Buchholz finally gone -- although somehow there were still people who complained about him leaving, many of whom wanted him traded for a bag of balls not so long ago -- the Red Sox find themselves with six starting pitchers on the major-league roster.

Chris Sale, Rick Porcello and David Price fill the first three slots in the rotation, leaving Steven Wright, Eduardo Rodriguez and Drew Pomeranz fighting for the final two spots.

While there’s still plenty of time for each to separate himself from the others, Dave Dombrowski already has two starters in mind. He told ESPN's Buster Olney in his most recent podcast that Pomeranz and Wright are penciled in.

That being said, there may be a better pairing. Let's look at each potential combination at 4 and 5:

Wright-Pomeranz

These two were All-Stars in 2016. So, in some ways, it seems like a no-brainer for Dombrowski and John Farrell.

Wright offers a different feel from everyone else on the staff with his knuckleball, and is more than just an innings-eater. After his midseason acquisition Pomeranz showed he has something to offer. Plus, Dave Dombrowski sent the organization’s top pitching prospect, Anderson Espinoza, to San Diego for him, so he has more room for error that he should.

By leaving E-Rod out, that gives him a chance to gain more confidence at Triple-A. And it can serve as a wake-up call, too.

Rodriguez-Wright

Twelve months ago, Rodriguez was slated to be the Red Sox' No. 2 arm in the starting rotation. While injuries and maturity issues created issues throughout the year, he seemed to rise above it all that towards the seasons’ end.

Pomeranz has shown he can be a strong arm in relief and could work well with the newly energized bullpen.

Pomeranz-Rodriguez

This would give the staff four lefty starters. That’s great for lefty-dominant lineups (though if you face one like the Toronto lineups of recent years, you could be in big trouble). Additionally, you’ll have two younger left-handed arms learning from two of the best left-handed starting pitchers this century.

Wright’s also the most flexible pitcher of the three. He needs time to build his stamina back up, but just by nature knuckleballers can make adjustments like that on the fly quicker.

Best Pair

With all due respect to Dombrowski, it's Wright and Rodriguez.

Pomeranz can serve well in the bullpen. And as a starter, Rodriguez has an unbelievable chance to learn from three very different aces ahead of him. 

Plus, if E-Rod can’t pitch in Boston with those three ahead of him, then the Sox will know he’s never going to be successful here. So this could serve as a safe and easy measuring stick for Dombrowski.

Judge, Severino carry Yankees past Red Sox, 3-1

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Judge, Severino carry Yankees past Red Sox, 3-1

BOSTON - Luis Severino pitched seven innings of three-hit, shutout ball and Aaron Judge celebrated his 25th birthday with a two-run homer and spectacular catch, carrying the surging New York Yankees to a 3-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night in the longtime rivals' first meeting this season.

It was the 11th win in 14 games for the Yankees after they opened the season 1-4.

Severino (2-1) struck out six and walked two, posting his third straight strong start. In his previous two, the 23-year-old righty became just the third Yankee ever to post double-digit strikeouts without more than one walk in consecutive games.

Reigning AL Cy Young winner Rick Porcello (1-3) lost his third straight start, giving up three runs - two earned - in 6 2/3 innings. He didn't lose consecutive starts last season.

Buchholz apologizes to Phillies for injury, hopes he can return this season

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Buchholz apologizes to Phillies for injury, hopes he can return this season

While it appeared Clay Buchholz would be out for the season after having surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon, the former Red Sox starter still hopes to return to the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies this season.

"My goal right now is to let this heal," Buchholz said, according to CSN Philly. "Get it well and if this team keeps playing like they're playing right now, we'll be playing in September, October, so that's my goal."

Buchholz, 32, told the media that he apologized to Phillies teammates and GM Matt Klentak for the injury.

"I told [Matt Klentak] that I was sorry, and the guys in here," Buchholz said. "I was brought here for a reason. I wanted to pitch, I wanted to be good. I guess it's a good thing we have a good farm system here because they've been able to step up and fill in."

Buchholz allowed 10 runs in 7 1/3 innings in his two starts with the Phillies this season.