Jun 23, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly (56) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Prediction: Joe Kelly returns and Red Sox trade for bullpen help.
The Red Sox bullpen is Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara. That’s it. The rest is pitching flotsam and jetsam. A collection of baseball white flags signaling the Red Sox are about to allow the opposition the pleasure of padding their batting statistics.
There are two potential solutions and the best path is to combine both under the old adage “You never have enough pitching.”
Step one is to get Kelly into the bullpen. Based on his performance as a starter this is comparable to handing a loaded gun to a three-year-old, but Kelly has a history of professional and nonprofessional (college) bullpen duty. In MLB service the 52.2 innings had a .333 BABIP, a WHIP of 1.35 and 3.25 ERA attached. Compared to what we have seen dance out of the bullpen this is actually enough to do a Beau Jangles dance.
The Red Sox are stuffed with promising talent in the minors and that means trade potential. Time to move a few pieces to shore up the ‘pen and hope this does not end up as Jeff Bagwell for Larry Anderson.