Red Sox: Free agency could provide solution to bullpen problems

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 18: Wade Davis
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 18: Wade Davis /
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DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 17: Pat Neshek (Photo by Russell Lansford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 17: Pat Neshek (Photo by Russell Lansford/Getty Images) /


2017: 2.8 WAR, 1 Save, 1.59 ERA, 62.2 IP, 10 K/9

If the Rockies can’t re-sign any of their bullpen departures on this list, they’re in big trouble.

Pat Neshek is coming off of a year few saw coming. In time split between Philadelphia and Colorado, he posted a career-best strikeout-to-walk ratio (11.5 SO/W,) and 1.86 FIP, a career-low. He has enjoyed success against both righties and lefties, holding RHB’s to a .187 batting average against; LHB’s have a .236 career BA against Neshek.

The 37-year-old journeyman reliever has found far more success as a middle reliever than he has a setup man. His most comfortable inning is the seventh, sporting a career 1.83 ERA in 113 seventh innings pitched.

But is Neshek’s 2017 more of a deterrent than it is a reason to sign him?

His age, compounded with his stellar 2017 are the classic case of “regression waiting to happen.” Over the course of his career, he has only ever posted consecutive stellar seasons one: 2006 and 2007 in Minnesota. Outside of that Neshek has had an extremely turbulent career, following seasons like 2017 with ERAs in the threes or fours, and low strikeout numbers.

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I’m not trying to imply that Neshek will have a complete falling off. I’m merely trying to say that if the Red Sox do end up signing Neshek, it would behoove them to pair him with another reliever, preferably one of a left-handed persuasion.