The Boston Red Sox starting rotation has gone from a major asset to a source of anxiety over the last month.
The Red Sox entered camp with six starters and five spots, headlined by the trio of Rick Porcello, Chris Sale, and David Price. Alongside all-stars Drew Pomeranz and Steven Wright, as well as the emerging Eduardo Rodriguez, they were supposed to have the best rotation in baseball. With less than two weeks left until the start of the regular season, the outlook has changed completely.
They still have Porcello and Sale anchoring the rotation, but Price is expected to miss the first month of the season and Pomeranz left his most recent start with triceps tightness in his throwing arm. Manager John Farrell has acknowledged that the team is at least slightly concerned that they have just four totally healthy starters this close to Opening Day.
His admission that the Red Sox are looking for help was framed as a response to the inconsistency displayed by Henry Owens and Brian Johnson, the next in line to receive a call-up. That argument only carries so much weight, though. The team could turn to Kyle Kendrick, a 32-year old reclamation project that his enjoyed a stellar spring. He has a 1.96 ERA with 20 strikeouts and 4 walks in 23 innings pitched.
But Kendrick hasn’t thrown a pitch in a big league uniform since 2015 and carries a career 4.63 ERA in 1,281 innings pitched. Expecting a 23 inning, Spring Training, sample size to counter-act a career’s worth of evidence would be foolish.
Hence, it’s no stretch of the imagination suspect that the Red Sox are interested in acquiring some help with their rotation. They don’t have any trustworthy replacement options at AAA and even if Pomeranz is healthy to start the year, they’re just one injury away from facing a real crisis.
This is, of course, pure speculation, but there are a number of veteran starters, whether available through trade or free agency, that could prove intriguing to Dave Dombrowski and co. The following is a list of players that are worth keeping an eye on as Spring Training progresses.