Joel Pineiro has been designated for assignment. The Red Sox will be forced to eat his $4 million salary unless he is picked up by another team. Pineiro was essentially used only for mop up, or in emergencies. He had an ERA of 5.03 and a WHIP of 1.62. He will not be missed.
With the open roster spot, the Red Sox have called up Jon Lester from AAA Pawtucket. The Sox have also shifted the rotation, moving Julian Tavarez to the bullpen, and replacing him with Lester in tonight's game. Lester will be matched up against Jake Westbrook in his first MLB start since August 23rd of 2006.
Julian Tavarez was 0-4 with a 7.71 ERA in his last 5 starts. He has failed to pitch 5 innings in 4 of his last 5 starts. He hasn't had a Quality Start since June 20th.
This move isn't about making Lester a starter, it's more about making Tavarez a reliever. Lester has not been that great in AAA. He was 4-5 with a 3.89 ERA. He's pitched 71.2 innings in 14 starts. Now, many of those were shortened by pitch counts. However, he's still only averaged a little bit above 5 innings per start. And these numbers are against AAA hitters.
Last season, Lester was 7-2, but with an unimpressive 4.76 ERA. He only averaged 5.4 innings per start. He got a lot of run support, and got some great assists from the bullpen.
He isn't the savior of this team. He isn't The Answer. He is a replacement for Tavarez while Schilling is still on the DL. Do you really think the Sox want to make his first MLB start in 11 months be against the Cleveland Indians and on the road?
Speaking of Schilling, he threw 3 scoreless innings for AAA Pawtucket on Saturday, allowing only 2 hits and striking out 6. This is a major step forward for Curt in his efforts to return from his dead arm type of injury.
Speaking of Pawtucket, Clay Bucholz had a solid start yesterday for the PawSox. He went 5 innings, allowing 2 runs off three hits. He struck out 10 batters. He got the loss as Louisville was able to outscore Pawtucket 6-5. Nevertheless, a very good outing for Bucholz in AAA.