Thursday, November 16, 2006

Papelbon/Beckett/Matsuzaka = Maddux/Glavine/Smoltz?

Don't dismiss me as crazy. Well, at least not for saying this.

Much like the Atlanta Braves in the early '90's, the Red Sox have three young pitchers who are potential aces. Papelbon, Beckett and Matsuzaka haven't proven as much at the same age as the three Braves did. Maddux and Glavine had already won 20 games by the age of 26, and Smoltz won 15 that year. Beckett is the only one with a substantial major league record as a starter, and he had a inconsistent season in his first year in Boston. Papelbon has only had a few starts, spending most of last year as the Sox closer, and of course Matsuzaka has never pitched in the majors.

Glavine and Maddux are certain first ballot hall of famers, and Smoltz has a good chance of getting there as well. Do I think the young Sox trio is going to be this good? Well, I wouldn't suggest that, but they certainly have the potential to form the core of the Sox starting rotation for the next decade.


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