Drew Pomeranz is slated to make his season debut on Friday in Oakland, finally giving the Boston Red Sox all five of their top starters.
The Boston Red Sox are about to have their starting rotation at full strength for the first time this season. Drew Pomeranz will make his 2018 debut on Friday to kick off a weekend series in Oakland.
The left-hander has been deemed ready to return following a rehab start with Double-A Portland. Pomeranz allowed two earned runs over 5 1/3 innings. He gave up four hits, including a home run, walked three and struck out four.
Pomeranz tossed 86 pitches, suggesting he should be ready for close to a full workload when he’s activated from the disabled list.
Boston was missing two members of their starting rotation when the season opened nearly three weeks ago. Pomeranz was sidelined with a flexor strain that he suffered in his first spring training start. Eduardo Rodriguez needed a bit of extra time to recover from offseason knee surgery. Steven Wright is dealing with his own knee issue, plus a looming suspension. That took their top spot starter option off the table.
The Red Sox had to dig deep into their starting pitcher depth chart to navigate the first few weeks of the schedule. Brian Johnson and Hector Velazquez combined to go 3-0 without giving up more than two runs in any of the three starts between them. Both performed admirably when called upon but weren’t ideal long-term solutions.
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Rodriguez returned on April 8 to bump Johson to the bullpen. He got off to a rocky start against the Tampa Bay Rays but bounced back with a strong outing against the Baltimore Orioles. Most encouraging is that he’s struck out 15 batters in 9 2/3 innings this season.
Now the Red Sox will get Pomeranz back to wrap up this turn through the rotation, giving the team all five of their preferred starting pitchers. He’ll slot in at the back of the rotation, followed by Chris Sale and David Price to complete the weekend series.
The short-handed Red Sox have had the best rotation in baseball this season with a collective 2.05 ERA. Boston’s rotation leads the American League with a 4.13 K/BB ratio and they are tied for third with a .214 batting average against. The Red Sox are also tied for first with 2.7 fWAR from their rotation.
Imagine how much better they can be with a pitcher of Pomeranz’ caliber. The lefty was 17-6 with a 3.32 ERA and 9.0 K/9 last season.
If the Red Sox get anywhere near that production from their No. 5 starter then their rotation can stack up against anyone.