The Pawtucket Red Sox season is over and outfielder Bryce Brentz is still not on the Boston Red Sox roster. Should we be okay with that?
I’ve written about Bryce Brentz once already this year, so check out that article if you need a refresher on why I think he’s earned another chance with the Boston Red Sox. If hitting .271/.334/.529 with a league-leading 31 home runs in Triple-A doesn’t earn you a call up, I don’t know what will.
Despite his career season in Pawtucket, the 28-year-old outfielder was told that he didn’t fit the need for a call up this year. Didn’t fit the need. I find that hard to believe.
Sure, Brentz might not have the same success against big league pitching as he did in the minors. And sure, the Red Sox won’t have room for him to play every day. But that’s not why you would call Brentz up.
Bryce Brentz should be in Boston to start against lefties.
The Red Sox have a serious problem with left handed pitching. “But wait, they have Chris Young! The best fourth outfielder in baseball!”
Yes, Young is on the team to hit lefties. Last season he was one of the best in the business at it. He had a .329/.410/.589 line against LHP. Over his career, he’s got a very solid .261/.361/.466 line against lefties.
But this is a “what have you done for me recently” league, and this season Young is hitting just .180/.298/.258 in over 100 PAs. How does John Farrell justify starting Young when he’s posting numbers like that?
There’s one spot that it would be wise to see if Brentz can upgrade. The other place Brentz could slide into is replacing Hanley Ramirez at DH against lefties. For a player with a career .297/.378/.524 line against LHP he has been brutally awful this year.
Ramirez is slashing a mere .196/.315/.424 in over 100 PAs. He’s been just slightly less bad than Young, and yet Farrell still trots them both out on the regular. Does John Farrell not look at their numbers?
If you missed Monday’s game, lucky you. The Red Sox lost 10-4 and Hanley and Young combined to go 1-for-8 with two strike outs and a walk. Not really the type of offense you want to anchor your lineup against LHP.
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The real problem here is that Brentz was out righted off the 40-man roster last season. He wasn’t claimed by anyone and stayed in the Red Sox minor league system. So in order for the Red Sox to even bring him up to Boston, they would need to clear a space on their 40-man. That’s the real reason he’s not on the team.
But for Dave Dombrowski to not be willing to open a spot for a guy with 31 home runs in Triple-A this season is beyond ridiculous. The Red Sox have ways to make room for the young outfielder.
Chris Hatfield of SoxProspects.com thinks that the Red Sox could easily pass a middle reliever, in this case, Kyle Martin, through waivers and not risk losing the pitcher. If he’s on your 40-man and not being called up, why not use that spot one someone who could help your team?
Many people are clamoring for the Red Sox to cut ties with the struggling Henry Owens to open a spot for Brentz, but Owens is a former first-round draft pick/top prospect. The Red Sox are wise to not risk another team claiming him if they truly believe there is a chance he can figure his stuff out.
Maybe the Red Sox brass have decided they’ve seen enough of Brentz over the years. After all, he’s gotten chances in the big leagues before and has only hit .287/.311/.379 with 1 HR over 34 games. However, even in that limited sample size, he still owns a career .327/.365/.449 line in 27 games against LHP.
Perhaps the Red Sox believe that his success is a fluke, but according to the guys at SoxProspects.com, he’s made some mechanical changes that have paid off big time.
Chris said it perfectly there. Why would you not even give him a chance? Especially for a team that’s quickly losing ground in a very competitive pennant race. What do you have to lose? The Red Sox have one of the best bullpens in the majors. They can afford to lose a middle relief prospect. They can’t hit lefties. Why leave a lefty hitter off the roster?
Seems like Dave Dombroswki owes us more of an answer than saying there’s no fit for Brentz. He offers the Red Sox a great chance to fill a serious weakness for this team. Every time Boston struggles against LHP this season (CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, Wade Miley, Blake Snell, etc) I’ll be thinking about how Bryce Brentz could be helping this team.