It has been a bleak few weeks for the Boston Red Sox, but there are definitely bright spots looking ahead to 2015.
Since trading ace Jon Lester to the Oakland Athletics just a few weeks ago, the Red Sox have gotten the opportunity to take a closer look at some potential candidates for the starting rotation for the following season, and for the most part, these fresh faces have not disappointed.
Rubby De La Rosa, who made several starts prior to the Lester trade, is showing why Boston needed to have him as part of the Adrian Gonzalez trade. He has tossed three-straight quality starts and at times has shown top-of-the-rotation stuff while on the mound. It is clear the Red Sox have something here in De La Rosa, and it seems like only a matter of time before people are showing up in droves to watch him at Fenway.
Lester’s departure also opened the door for Anthony Ranaudo to take his turn as part of the Sox rotation. The tall-righty has not shied away from big-league competition, going 2-0 and continuing his success he was having at the Triple-A level. Allen Webster has been somewhat inconsistent with his performance, but appears to be settling in by getting consistent starts every five days for Boston.
Two starters who may or may not be part of next year’s rotation are also making their impressions in different ways for the Red Sox. Joe Kelly, who was acquired for John Lackey, was no lock to be a starter in 2015 for Boston, but so far since the trade, Kelly has looked excellent, and more importantly, comfortable on the mound for this Red Sox club. He may be forcing management to keep him around, whether it be in the rotation or the bullpen.
Henry Owens is a name that is being talked about all throughout Boston’s farm system. The lefty has the ability to be a front-end starter, but perhaps not by next season. If the offseason doesn’t find Boston acquiring, or keeping, some veteran starting pitching, Owens may get his chance if he has a stand-out spring training next year.
All-in-all the rotation has turned into a bright spot for Boston, even though it looks much different since Boston took the field on opening day. While the club isn’t making any type of playoff-push, Red Sox Nation should tune in to see what these young arms can do and to see what type of product will be back on the field in 2015 to get another World Series title.