Boston has recalled Clay Buchholz and is sending Justin Masterson back to Pawtucket to prepare for his return to the Big Leagues as a reliever. This is something of a double-edged sword as I see it. That Buchholz is back in the rotation is a fantastic thing for Red Sox fans. His peripheral numbers (3.34 FIP, 8.6 K/G) for Boston while he was up should do much to allay concerns that this may be a premature move back to the rotation. Also, check out his numbers in Pawtucket this year.
IP H BB SO ERA
Buchholz 43.2 36 17 43 2.47
What should perhaps be more concerning to Sox fans is the prospect of Masterson returning as some sort of bullpen savior. Boston's relief pitching struggles are well known and given last year's Eric Gagne disaster, there could be some reluctance to aggressively pursue outside help. Would you want to give up Michael Bowden for Brian Fuentes or Damaso Marte? Neither would I.
Still, Masterson's peripherals leave a bit to be desired and his .832 OPS yielded to left-handed batters makes one wonder if he could be any more than a low-leverage guy or a ROOGY at this point. His performance out of the pen at AAA will be something to monitor, and will probably be the main determinant for whether or not (or how aggressively) Boston decides to pursue outside help.