Julian and Lester
Don’t look for the Tavarez/Lester shuffle to take place just yet. Lester struggled tonight at Pawtucket, throwing 70 pitches in 2 2/3 innings. At a time when the Sox are looking for Lester to start working deep into games, this was definitely a short-term setback.
Then again, what’s the rush? Tavarez is doing just fine. Every start, it seems like he goes five or six innings and gives up three runs. For a No. 5 starter pitching behind an offense like the Red Sox have, that’s more than adequate.
And once Lester returns, the Red Sox will have yet another tough roster move to make, so there’s no reason to rush it. More development in the Minor Leagues can only help Lester and get him stronger by the time he does re-join the Red Sox.
You know that isn’t what Lester wants to hear right now. He’s a true competitor and I’m sure he just wants to pitch at the highest level. But he has a long career in front of him.
Once Lester is cleared to come back, Tavarez should become a key factor in the bullpen. He can be the guy Francona leans on to get double plays. Okajima can use all the help he can get in the seventh and eighth inning and I wouldn’t be surprised if Julian turns into a key guy out there.
The roof is open here in the desert. Nice night for baseball. But the Red Sox can’t get anything going with the bats against Micah Owings.
Everyone ready for Sunday’s Dice-K-Unit showdown?