Red Sox first half player and management grades

KANSAS CITY, MO -JUNE 20: John Farrell
KANSAS CITY, MO -JUNE 20: John Farrell /
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BALTIMORE, MD – JUNE 03: Craig Kimbrel
BALTIMORE, MD – JUNE 03: Craig Kimbrel /

Bullpen

Craig Kimbrel – A+

In 2016 a Kimbrel appearance would result in a spike of Jack Daniels sales.  The 5.1 BB/9 made comparisons to Heathcliff Slocumb possible, but Kimbrel still could not be hit with a .151 average against him. What a difference a year makes. The numbers are historic.

Joe Kelly – B

Great theater when he starts to go three digits on the speed gun. Kelly still has the wobbles as he continues to walk far too many with a 4.01 BB/9.  Kelly’s 89 LOB% is third best in the American League. Danger point?  Kelly’s FIP is close to two higher than his ERA.

Matt Barnes – C+

Who shows up?  The Barnes with a 4.7 BB/9 or the Barnes that tosses a clutch 11 pitch three K performance?  When on you have a guy that gives up very few hits (6.6 H/9).

Heath Hembree B-

The bad news is Hembree has a 10.9 H/9.  The good news is a 1.7 BB/9. Like Barnes, he can bring the heat.  ERA (3.65) and FIP (3.85) almost identical.

Robby Scott – B

Cost Robbie Ross his job. Classic lefty specialist with left-handed hitters batting an anemic .094 against Scott.

Fernando Abad – B

Surprise that Abad made the team, but has performed better than expected.  Got a very rare three-inning save against Toronto. Very effective against lefties at .176.