2009 ALDS: More info and analysis

Unsurprisingly, the New York Yankees have elected to start their Divisional Series tomorrow, so that means the Red Sox will play game 1 against the Angels on Thursday. Here’s what the schedule looks like:

Game 1: Thu @ LAA, 9:37PM
Game 2: Fri @ LAA, 9:37 PM
Game 3: Sun @ BOS, 12:07 PM
Game 4: Mon @ BOS afternoon (if needed)
Game 5: Wed @ LAA

Red Sox roster

Pitchers (10)
Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz
Jonathan Papelbon, Billy Wagner, Hideki Okajima, Daniel Bard, Takashi Saito, Ramon Ramirez, Manny Delcarmen

Positional (14)
Victor Martinez, Jason Varitek, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Alex Gonzalez, Mike Lowell, Casey Kotchman, Jed Lowrie
J.D. Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jason Bay, David Ortiz, Rocco Baldelli/Josh Reddick, Joey Gathright]

That leaves one spot up for grabs. The Sox could add Daisuke Matsuzaka to avoid pitching Lester on short rest in Game 4, or add another middle infielder, given the shaky status of Lowrie.

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Smoltz, Lowrie and rehabbing pitchers

John Smoltz has been DFA’d and cleared waivers; he has also refused a bullpen or minor-league assignment. If the Sox can not find a trade partner by Sunday, they will have to release him outright. This may be what happens, despite interest by a few teams, as explained by Sean McAdam. Basically, Smoltz’s salary requirements fall drastically after he is released by Boston, so unless someone REALLY wants him, they will let him become a free agent, then sign him for the league minimum. Unless the Braves step up (unlikely), that is what will happen. Some in the sabermetric community still believe that Smoltz has some useful innings left in him.

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Wakefield to the DL; who loses their roster spot?

Clay Buchholz made the start last night in place of Tim Wakefield, who is battling minor back issues on the DL. In his second attempt, Buch didn’t exactly wow us, lasting only four innings against the Rangers. I’m not panicking, but you see why the Sox weren’t quite committed to go with him the whole season. A few of those short starts, and that bullpen starts getting taxed very quickly.

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