Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Schilling back in 2008?

So the story to follow today is whether or not Curt Schilling will be back for another season with the Red Sox in 2008. Personally, I'm surprised that the Red Sox front office is even considering a deal with Schilling. Not that I don't support it, because I do, but because Epstein & Co. have established themselves as firmly opposed to keeping players on just because of their popularity when they become less of an athletic asset to the team. Pedro Martinez is the primary example of this, followed by Johnny Damon and Derek Lowe. (And soon, probably, Coco Crisp.)

I mean, Schilling does still have a 3.46 career ERA, and his career post-season ERA over 5 appearances is 2.23. I guess if you're a GM with his eye on Yankees-like Series domination over the next few years, that stat is going to grab your eye. The other thing is, of course, that to re-sign Curt Schilling right now is
not to re-sign an aging fastballer whose dwindling velocity makes him a liability on the mound (see Clemens, Roger). After losing a month and half to a shoulder injury in the middle of this season, Schilling has very much reinvented the way he pitches, relying on creativity and reading the batter much more heavily than he has done in the past. He can still shred the strike zone with fastballs for a couple of innings a game, but it's his ability to move the ball and draw swinging strikes, particularly with his changeup, that has become his signature in later months. Consider the rest of the Boston rotation for next year: Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, and Matsuzaka, all speedy young throwers who, with the exception of Beckett, have a great deal of maturing to do if they want to become 20-game winners. Suddenly, it makes a lot of sense to bring a shrewd, grizzled veteran who is less reliant on his fastball like Schilling in for the #3 or even the #2 spot.

Like I said, I'm for it. I guess the trade will be announced at some point today.

/tries to come up with witty commentary


No comments: