The Boston Red Sox have the chance to break one of baseball’s long held traditions: the five-man rotation. Headed by Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey and backed up by Clay Buchholtz, Tim Wakefield, and when he returns from the disabled list, Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Sox have possibly the deepest pitching staff in the game. While similar speculation existed last year, that rotation would have counted on rebounds by both John Smoltz and Brad Penny. This year the Sox have three legitimate aces and a young pitcher with a no-hitter on his resume. Those top four guys are almost guaranteed to have good seasons (as far as pitchers can be a guaranteed to do anything).
When the Red Sox entertained signing Roger Clemens in 2007 they looked at offering him a Sunday pitching schedule where Clemens could have the week to work out and prepare for that start each week. If the Red Sox implement a six-man rotation this year I think they would look at a similar strategy with either Daisuke or Wakefield taking the Sunday (or whatever day they choose) start every week and the rest of the rotation working on regular rest around them.
Wakefield’s back would surely benefit from a little bit of extra rest and by starting once a week he would still be on a schedule. Matsuzaka has pitched once a week in Japan and enjoyed success there so he would also be a logical choice for the specialized sixth man.