Javy Vazquez Makes Sense
Kyle Lohse may not be receiving any play this offseason but seemingly from nowhere, 36-year old Javier Vazquez is enjoying quite a surge in the baseball headlines.
On hand to watch Vazquez’ Friday start for his Puerto Rican Winter League team are scouts from both Boston and Washington. What we’re hearing is Javy’s fastball remains consistently at 92-93 mph and because he didn’t play in 2012, he’s healthy and well rested. As we’ve all seen before, Javy is creative with the strike zone and he’s capable of many quality starts. All that said, Vazquez actually makes a ton of sense for the Sox, even with the five to six names we’ve already got on the penciled into the rotation.
Of all the ’naysayers’ I argue with (in regards to our immediate future), night in and night out, it’s always the rotation my fellow Nation members lack confidence in. Despite my optimism, I do understand such concerns and I am of the belief Mr. Lohse is on the first plane to Boston, if he didn’t come with that pesky first round pick to forfeit for his signing. What this all boils down to is a great need for a rock in the middle of the roto; some consistency.
On the surface Vazquez’ career seems to lack consistency but the reality is he’s a proven innings-eater that will excel when in the right situation. We all remember first hand how bad Vazquez was during his pair of Yankee stints but let us not forget his 15-win year with the 2007 White Sox. Javy never emerged as the No. 1 or 2 starting pitcher many projected but he’s got 200 innings and a 3.50-4.00 ERA written all over him.
Add Vazquez and suddenly we don’t have to push Lackey back onto the bump so fast, post Tommy John, nor do we have to rely that much on Doubront and/or Morales to solidify the back end. Actually, depending on where Lackey is at coming out of Spring Training, we may be able to give Doubront and Morales some quality time with Pawtucket to start the season. It’s unrealistic to think we won’t lose an arm or two during the season, as it is to expect both Lester and Buchholz to rebound…on top of Dempster actually working out in the AL East.
Its nothing supernatural and I’ve said it like a broken record, this 2013 season will depend on the rotation…to which we are looking at feast or famine. With so much to rebound from and the several questions which linger, a guy with Javy Vazquez consistency is nothing short of a wise addition…even despite the crowds in both Boston and Pawtucket.
Vazquez has logged over 2,800 innings pitched during his career, which includes stops with six teams. In his last season, 2011 with Florida, Javy posted an ERA of 3.69 and FIP of 2.57 over 192 and 2/3 innings. No one can say for sure why Javy didn’t play last season but he never officially retired and all indications are he’s willing to comeback to MLB for 2013. Javy is expected to play in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
UPDATE: The Rays and Royals were also on hand to watch Javier’s Friday start, in which he reportedly clocked 93 mph. Just checked out the game’s box score and I’m happy to report Javy gave up only three hits in six innings, with five strikeouts. That is pretty close to what I think is a reasonable good start from him at this point in his career.