Depending on how things shape up in the next six weeks PawSox manager Kevin Boles and pitching coach Ralph Treuel could very well see both Owens and Johnson at the top of their rotation and new comer Roenis Elias putting in some time in a lefty tilted rotation. That would leave a potential scrum among a collection of hoping for a shot to running out of time pitchers.
Keith Couch faded rapidly in Pawtucket in 2015 (4-10, 6.14) and the right-hander is on borrowed time. Sean O’Sullivan – a great name for Boston baseball – didn’t dazzle anyone in Philadelphia (1-6, 6.08), but at least, it was MLB and not Triple-A for the bulky 28-year-old right-hander. William Cuevas (11-7, 3.17) is another right-hander that will not bring back memories of Roger Clemens or even John Wasdin. Cuevas has a four-pitch selection and keeps the hits down. He could be a surprise.
Looking for another lefty? Robby Scott (2-2, 4.42) will certainly be in the mix to spot start and work out of the bullpen, but when you give up 47 hits in 31.2 innings don’t expect much. Expect Jhonny Polanco – picked up from the Cards organization – to get some reps in. The good news is the right-hander is only 23-years-old. The bad news? A career 4.8 BB/9. Intriguing 27-year-old right-hander Jorge Marban finished off 2015 with the PawSox (3-0, 0.69) and looked like a bullpen keeper. The downside (drum roll, please) – a BB/9 of 4.8 in his world-traveling career.
The real growth meter will be centered on Noe Ramirez, Pat Light, Heath Hembree, Edwin Escobar and Matt Barnes. All had varying degrees of positive and negative impressions for 2015 and do hold the Golden Ticket – a roster spot. Collectively, they still have a decent “shot” be it in Boston or elsewhere. The options game is always in play and that could mean the difference between a spot, a trade or a DFA.
The rest of the bullpen will have the usual suspects of varying degrees of MLB experience that runs the gamut from once promising (Carlos Marmol) to injury plagued (Anthony Varvaro) to pure roster filler (Roman Mendez and Mitch Atkins).