Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Time To Admit A Mistake

The Red Sox did a valiant job coming back from a 6-0 deficit last night in Toronto to tie it at 6, only to see the Blue Jays get a run back in the eighth and win it 7-6. Homers by Manny Ramirez, Jason Varitek, and Coco Crisp (his first in a Red Sox uniform) got them back after yet another disasterous outing by Matt Clement (who's ERA is now 6.91).

More and more it looks like signing Clement was a big mistake. The Sox are still on the hook for him to the tune of two more years and $18 million. Clement seems to get rattled whenever things get rough. He constanttly nibbles around the plate, and when he's finally forced to challenge hitters, he leaves pitches in the middle of the plate and gets whacked (Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay last night). If he's hurt, he should go on the DL and get better. The liner he took off his ankle by Bernie Williams last week may still be giving him trouble. He's not doing anyone any good by trying to pitch through it.

To his credit, Clement is a stand-up guy and a good citizen and teammate. He points no fingers, makes no excuses and takes the heat from the media. But he has all kinds of trouble getting major league hitters out. If it's not an injury, could it be from the time last season he got hit by the liner in the head by Carl Crawford? The Red Sox are just not getting what they expected from a guy they signed to a $36 million contract. But as of now, Clement and the Red Sox are stuck with each other. I would bet they will make a more concerted effort to move him after this season than they did last winter. (They had already moved Edgar Renteria, and moving Clement also would have been too much money for the Sox FO to eat.)

At least by trading Renteria, the Red Sox managed to land Coco Crisp. Clement more and more looks like Theo Epstein's biggest mistake.

If Clement's struggles weren't bad enough, David Wells has been scratched from his scheduled start on Wednesday, due to his sore knee. Another DL visit is a possibility. Who replaces him? That's not yet known.

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