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Boston Red Sox

By Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The Sports Hub

When you add it all up – past, present and future – the Red Sox have over a half-billion dollars invested in their starting rotation, $531.8 million to be exact. Those five pitchers are and always have been the foundation in Dave Dombrowski’s formula for success. And when they perform like they’re performing now, there’s really no need for analysis of any kind.

You just have no chance.

So, celebrate David Price if you want to, but let’s get real. He didn’t exactly get the job done, either. Price went six innings and gave up four runs in the Red Sox’ 7-0 loss to the Oakland A’s last night, and there was an inclination to celebrate the performance because, well, it wasn’t a complete disaster.

So that’s where we are right now with the Red Sox: comparing degrees of complete ineptitude.

Here’s the point: let’s not waste time analyzing this team in area right now because their starting pitchers simply aren’t giving them a chance. Entering the games of today, April 2, the Red Sox rank dead last in the majors in starting pitching, which is way beyond inexcusable for a club that has built its entire formula for success on the quality start.

Here is how the 30 major league rotations currently sit based on ERA:

What’s the ultimate conclusion here? Red Sox pitchers weren’t ready to start the season. Not one of them. Manager Alex Cora can defend the approach in spring training all he wants, but the results across the board suggest a problem with the system. If two or three Sox starters had gone bad, fine. But we’re talking about stink bombs all across the board so far, which speaks to lack of intensity or overall malaise far more than it does the absence of Sandy Leon.

Will the Sox get better? Of course. Nobody is this bad. But at some point, we have to start wondering when the Red Sox have dug themselves a hole that is just a little too big for comfort, particularly following a postseason in which Cora leaned on his starters extensively.

Couldn’t that be the reason the Sox are where they are right now?

You can hear Tony Massarotti weekdays from 2-6 p.m. EST on the Felger & Massarotti program. Follow him on Twitter @TonyMassarotti.