With how well Reynaldo Lopez is pitching combined with Miguel Gonzalez returning to the rotation, our eyes are on the back end of the rotation to see what will be done. A lot of people have been calling for Mike Pelfrey to be moved to the pen or simply DFA’d. However, I think it is more likely to see a roster move involving Derek Holland.
Mike Pelfrey is making about $535k this year and performing pretty much how you’d expect. He’s not terrible, but he can’t really go past the fifth inning. Derek Holland on the other hand is making $6 million this year, but what you might not know is that he will receive $1 million bonus for hitting 150 innings (an additional for getting to 200 IP, but that ain’t happening). So if you’re the Sox, you pretty much can’t let him get to 150. He’s currently just under 100 and with 70 games left, barring injury, he’ll get there. So it seems clear that the Sox will eventually DFA Holland, unless they do something else.
The Sox should move Holland to the bullpen. And if he’s smart, he should happily accept the role. I know what you’re going to say, that starters make so much more money than relievers, which overall is true. However, look at where Holland is in his career. He’s close to being exactly where Pelfrey is, back of the rotation guy making around the league minimum. And Pelfrey’s agent is Scott Boras. The difference is that Holland is a lefty and on top of that has excellent splits against lefties. We’ve all seen how many home runs Holland has given up this year, but stop and realize that only 2 of those 21 were to lefties. Lefty’s OPS against him this year is .641 while RHBs are mashing .921. While not as exaggerated, he’s always done much better against LHB and that is worth noting. This type of pitcher is worth something on the open market and he’s a free agent after this season. While I doubt the Sox could get anything for him in a trade, they could at least get their money’s worth this year, avoid the bonus payout, and leave Holland’s career in a better place. And maybe if he does well enough, he’s a waiver deal to some team that has an injury.