Wade Miley an ERA of 8.62, the worst among Red Sox starters. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Red Sox pregame notes: Why John Farrell isn't panicking with starting rotation just yet

Ryan Hannable
April 27, 2015 - 12:35 pm
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There's no denying the Red Sox' starting rotation has got off to a poor start this year. Through the first 19 games of the season, the rotation has a collective ERA of 5.75, the worst in baseball. There have been 32 starts in baseball this season where a starter has allowed seven or more runs, and the Red Sox are responsible for five of them. Three of the five Red Sox starters have ERA's over 5.16 -- Justin Masterson (5.16), Rick Porcello (6.48) and Wade Miley (8.62). Although it's been a difficult four turns through the rotation, it's roughly only 8 percent of the season. Prior to Monday's game, manager John Farrell hinted he won't be making changes to the rotation just yet. "To me you're probably into that 6-8 starts gives you a pretty good snap shot of not only where you've been, but where you're going," Farrell said when asked about when the results stop being considered a small sample size. "Hopefully by that time you're north of 40 innings for a given starter if you're in that eight start mark," he added. "That's roughly 20 percent of the season, so it's starting to give you a little bit of a gauge of where you are." The starters are struggling to go deep into games, as four times over the first 19 games the starter has not lasted five innings. They've also had issues within the game, failing to make key pitches when they need to. Opposing hitters against Red Sox starters this year are hitting .337 with runners in scoring position. "I don't think there is any added emphasis that we can place or a pitcher can place on how we feed off each other," said Farrell. "Those things sort of evolve naturally. It goes back to what is that particular starter doing tonight and that might call for some key pitches, three or four times during a game to get through a tough spot, but they can't look beyond anything they don't have control over and that is executing this pitch this time." After winning seven of their first 10 games to open the year, the Red Sox have lost two straight, four of their last five and six of their last nine games. They currently are in third place in the AL East, a game behind both the Yankees and Rays. In order to get things back on track, Farrell said it all starts with the rotation. "Any time or any team that I've been associated with, a team to get on a prolonged string of success or to stop not having success comes from pitching," he said. "That is where it has to start and that is where it has to be led by. Then you point more specifically to the starters. That's common thread in the game. That is not just with us. A team to have consistent success has to look to upon that rotation as a main reason for it." OTHER RED SOX NOTES -- Outfielder Rusney Castillo, currently on the minor league disabled list, is scheduled to participate in full batting practice on Monday and is on schedule to serve as the designated hitter for Pawtucket on Wednesday. He suffered a shoulder injury diving for a ball the first weekend of the season with Pawtucket. -- Brandon Workman, who received a PRP injection after a visit with Dr. James Andrews on April 15 is still in the "early phases" of his recovery. "Brandon Workman is still in the early phases following that injection," Farrell said. "He's not put a ball in his hands yet. It's more range of motion strengthening, letting that calm down."

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