Red Sox: Mr. Negativity sees a potential rotation nightmare
The Boston Red Sox starting rotation is thin with an extended injury or underperformance enough to put the season in jeopardy.
I will be in full “Debbie Downer” mode on the Boston Red Sox pitching, but this is a glass half full situation. The glass in this instance is full but divided between the bullpen and the rotation. My target of ill feelings is the part that has the rotation. The bullpen? A brief positive view before I go all depressive.
Carson Smith is back and based on his late season performance I expect a solid contribution in 2018. Smith can close, set-up, and give you the occasional extra inning or least an extra bit as in one-third. Smith’s partner on the disabled list is Tyler Thornburg who is “progressing” in his surgical recovery. I’ll go out on the optimistic limb and say Thornburg will provide some solid pitching sustenance for 2018.
The bullpen still ranked high with a third-place ribbon in the American League relief pitching category. The bullpen did have a statistical ringer in Craig Kimbrel who treated the AL hitters like how a hunger tiger would treat a lame antelope. The rest of the ‘pen was generally solid. I expect big things from Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, Heath Hembree and the rest. Too bad no shining star lefty was acquired – yet.
Now the main topic of my lack of faith – the rotation. On top of the concern list – just above a Tsunami hitting Fenway Park – is David Price. Price looked spectacular in limited playoff duty, but a long season is another tale. Something is just not right about that elbow.
Speaking of right is Steven Wright who is returning from knee surgery and a domestic brouhaha. With a missed season – sans a handful of April beat downs – Wright may or may not be ready to go. As Howard Cosell would say: “It’s always the knee.” And the next on the knee parade is a seasonal representative from your DL list – Eduardo Rodriguez. Based on historical data I do not expect 30 starts or even 20 starts from the enigmatic E-Rod.
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That alone is enough to make me hyperventilate – Price, Wight, and Rodriguez. Maybe that should be a medical malpractice firm? But ventilate continues with Rick Porcello. Porcello is Mr. Generous to the hitters. Need a long ball? Want a fat one right down Broadway? Why Mr. Porcello is here to supply you’re hitting wishes with a depressing league-leading 38 home runs allowed.
Did I forget someone? Ah – yes. Drew Pomeranz! Pomeranz won 17 games and that alone has some personal shock value. One can dig into the metrics manure pile and construct a reasonable argument that his season was in the category affectionally deemed “misleading.” I will remain a Pomeranz skeptic until 2018 is in the books. Another 17 wins and I will have to grovel.
The Red Sox have done little to provide a supporting cast in case one or more of the rotation stalwarts decides to have the physical integrity of a recalled Ford Pinto. Even the Doug Fister’s of the baseball world has been rejected so far. Maybe a big free agent signing is in the works? Maybe unicorns really exist?
Next: Mookie Betts wins arbitration case
The Red Sox are going into baseball battle with little in the starting pitching reserve. This has caused Mr. Negativity consternation, concern and avoidance of any ticket expenditures. Maybe this will all evaporate, and my Red Sox outlook will be all rainbows?