Red Sox players with the most to gain and lose in Spring Training
Drew Pomeranz: Lose
Since being acquired at the deadline, Pomeranz has failed to live up to his All-Star worthy play in San Diego. After pitching to a 2.47 ERA and 164 ERA+ as a Padre, his arm wore down as a with the Red Sox, posting respective marks of 4.59 and 100. There is a big question mark surrounding his health going into Spring Training, specifically the strength of his pitching elbow. Because of his poor play and health concerns, Pomeranz will battle with Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez for the final two spots in the rotation.
The two pitchers Pomeranz will battle for a spot in the rotation have their own health concerns as well. In an inexplicable decision last season, manager John Farrell pinch-ran Wright during a game against the Dodgers. After diving back to second, he missed two weeks with a shoulder injury before being shut down for the season. As for Rodriguez, he tweaked his right knee playing in the Venezuelan Winter League – the same injury that cost him two months at the beginning of the 2016 season. He appears to be fine and will pitch for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, but it yet to be seen whether the injury will affect his delivery as it did last season.
By his own account, Pomeranz is solely focused on earning a starting job in the rotation. It’s rare that an All-Star pitcher comes into Spring Training battling for a position, but the Red Sox are unusually deep at the major league level. If the stem-cell injection that Pomeranz described as ‘experimental’ doesn’t alleviate the strain put on his elbow from last season, he could see himself sitting on the right field bench come April 3rd.