Sep 14, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Matt Barnes (68) pitches during the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Baltimore Orioles defeated Boston Red Sox 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The Red Sox managed a bullpen that seemly reeks. There is no way to describe the stench emanating from the bullpen. I would strongly have urged the Red Sox to provide HazMat suits to the first few rows of the bleachers.
This is a prime target area for Dave Drombrowski and there is one player – a former first-round pick – who I fully expect to surprise. Enter Matt Barnes and his 5.44 ERA in 2015. OK, I understand, a Barnes entrance into a game was a time for joy if you were the opposition.
Is there absolutely anything I can mine from his statistics that give a glimmer of hope?
Let’s go to the velocity. On his fastball it was a vFA (fastball velocity) of 94.7%. The curve checked in at 81.9 and the change at 86.2. I will avoid all the vC and vCH since it hurts my eyes. Barnes relies on all three pitches with the heat being thrown 62.7%, curve 21.9% and change at 15.2%. Three pitch selection, that is, no doubt, the result of being geared as a starter.
A starter or relief? Barnes has too much of a power arm to give up on. His 8.16 K/9 is decent. His 3.14 BB/9 needs improvement. Barnes can pitch multiple innings and in September Barnes tossed 10.1 innings allowing one run. Look for Barnes to step it up and be among the first called out of the bullpen.