Would you rather have the Beckett of 2006 or the Beckett of 2007? Would you rather have an innings horse with an ERA north of 5.00 or an injury prone Cy Young contender? Would you rather have Steve Trachsel or Rich Harden? Rob Neyer blogged about that this morning on ESPN.com (Insider required):
I will always vote for the potential Cy Young pitcher over the crappy pitcher. When that great pitcher puts it all together, even only for 160 innings vs 200 innings, you're getting more quality starts typically.
So it's just coincidental that this particular pitcher with a history of serious blister problems tore some skin off the middle finger of his pitching hand? It's just coincidental that when Beckett finally managed to make more than 30 starts -- last year -- he also gave up 36 homers and posted the worst ERA, by far, of his career? Sure. Anything's possible.As I've written many times, though, I think it's more likely that Beckett simply is not built to pitch effectively and give his team 200 innings. He can do one or the other. Not both. This season, Beckett's apparently decided to pitch effectively. Which was great while it lasted.