Down: Heath Hembree
While Heath Hembree has never been an elite reliever, he’s historically been an important piece out of Boston’s bullpen. He can often go multiple innings and do so on successive nights and served as a quality setup man last season. In 2017, Hembree totaled 14 holds and 70 strikeouts in 62 innings and took a good deal of pressure off closer Craig Kimbrel.
This season, so far, he’s been harder to trust. He put up a 4.50 ERA in April and isn’t off to a great start in May. Though five of the six runs he allowed last month came in just two games, he’s allowed an earned run in each of his last three appearances, spanning 4.1 innings. On the plus side, he’s fanned 16 batters in 15.1 total innings.
His numbers will likely improve as the year goes on and he’ll surely be a key reliever yet again, but Hembree’s performance has so far left much to be desired.