Following Up the Big Three
Acquired after an All-Star first half of 2016 with the San Diego Padres, Pomeranz was slightly disappointing in his time with Boston. His ERA ballooned over two full runs to land at 4.59, and while his K/9 rate remained an elite 9.3, his H/9 rate nearly doubled and his HR/9 rate more than doubled. In short, he could still miss bats, but when he didn’t, he was getting pounded.
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There are a lot of red flags surrounding the tall lefty going into 2017, but all indications still point to him getting a coveted rotation spot over one of Eduardo Rodriguez and Steven Wright. He gives up plenty of fly balls, not suited for Fenway Park, and he has never surpassed 170.2 innings in his career. Many attributed his second half decline to his rising inning count, but even if true, it doesn’t bode well for Pomeranz’s ability to pitch effectively over a full season.
If Pomeranz does end up making the Red Sox rotation, he’s the biggest question mark in the pitching staff – one that carries high reward but even higher risk.
Once a top pitching prospect in all of baseball, Trevor Bauer has somewhat settled in as a back-of-the-rotation wild card. And I mean “wild” literally.
Bauer seems to have little control of where his pitches go, resulting in a sky-high 3.9 BB/9 but also an 8.3 K/9. With a blazing fastball with a devastating splitter to complement, the 26-year old can be nearly untouchable when he’s on. But patience is a virtue when facing a pitcher like Bauer: wait him out and runs will score. Thus, Bauer can have games where he pitches like an ace and others where he’s watching from the dugout in the third inning. These inconsistencies can be frustrating on a per-game basis, but over the course of a season, Bauer has actually been pretty consistent with his results.
Hovering around a mid-to-low 4 ERA, Bauer’s innings have increased every year, culminating at 190 in 2016. Looking to challenge the 200 mark for the first time, Bauer’s occasional dominance and overall effectiveness makes him a quality #4 starter.