Red Sox Strut: Catcher Christian Vazquez, LHP Drew Pomeranz
By Sean Penney
Eduardo Rodriguez had been a bit shaky since his return from the disabled list, but his latest outing showed promising signs. He picked up a quality start, going six innings and allowing only two runs on four hits and a pair of walks. Granted it came against the lowly White Sox, but Rodriguez sure looked more like the pitcher who owned a 2.77 ERA through his first 10 starts before hurting his knee in Baltimore.
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After he was nearly run out of town for his dismal performances, Doug Fister if finally settling down at the back end of the rotation. He earned the win in both of his starts last week, posting a 3.21 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. Fister struck out 12 and only walked two over 14 innings in those starts. He’ll certainly never be mistaken for a healthy David Price, but he’s proving to be a capable option to hold down the fort until the lefty returns.
Addison Reed‘s Red Sox tenure got off to a rocky start as he coughed up a home run to the first batter he faced since being acquired at the trade deadline. Since then he’s been as good as advertised, tossing 2 2/3 scoreless innings in his last three appearances. While Reed was acquired to be the new setup man, it’s clear Farrell intends to use him similar to how Cleveland uses Andrew Miller. If the heart of the order is coming up in the 7th inning of a tight game, that’s when we’ll see Reed.
The rest of the bullpen has been solid of late, aside from the hiccup from Kimbrel. Matt Barnes, Brandon Workman, Blaine Boyer, Heath Hembree and Fernando Abad combined for 11 2/3 scoreless innings of relief last week. With Joe Kelly being activated from the disabled list and Carson Smith starting a rehab assignment over the weekend, Boston’s bullpen is shaping up to be one of the team’s greatest strengths.