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Josh Beckett (13-7, 2.89 ERA, 193 IP, 175 K, 52 BB): What constitutes an ace? While an ace is typically a dominant starting pitcher, there is oftentimes more responsibility tied to the unofficial title. An ace is the leader, the guy everyone else looks up to. For most teams, Josh Beckett would indisputably be the ace, yet no one invested in the Red Sox is speaking of him like that these days.
Don’t let the win total deceive you–Josh Beckett had an outstanding 2011. His ERA was a career low. So was his WHIP (1.026). He also made his third All-Star game. So why is everyone so concerned? Beckett bombed in September with a 1-2 record and 5.48 ERA (Still better than the rest of the Sox’ starters September ERA of 7.08). Beckett was linked to beergate, which fairly or unfairly, has been deemed the major factor in Boston’s collapse last season. Furthermore, the anything-but-cuddly Beckett hasn’t exactly been apologetic for.
Regardless of your opinion of Beckett, if the Red Sox hope to compete, they’re going to need Beckett the ace. Adding to the list of worries concerning Beckett is his performance in even numbered years. Fans of Red Sox nation would love to forget the Beckett of 2006, 2008, and 2010. If Beckett can replicate his 2011 season minus September, the Red Sox should be poised for the playoffs and perhaps Beckett can shake off his critics once and for all.
2012 Red Sox Starting Rotation Previews:
Josh Beckett | Jon Lester | Clay Buchholz | Daniel Bard | Mystery Pitcher #5