The Boston Red Sox have placed left-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz on the 10-day disabled list and recalled right-hander Brandon Workman.
The Boston Red Sox announced on Tuesday that Drew Pomeranz has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with biceps tendinitis.
The left-hander was expected to start Thursday’s series finale against the Detroit Tigers. A replacement has yet to be announced. Right-hander Brandon Workman has been recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket but doesn’t seem likely to jump into the rotation given that he’s spent the year in a relief role. Workman can provide bullpen depth, at least until the Red Sox figure out what to do with that empty rotation spot.
Steven Wright will get the start on Tuesday against the Tigers. The Red Sox planned to temporarily move to a six-man rotation this turn through the order to give their starters an extra day of rest. That plan might now be scrapped. Chris Sale could move up a day to start Thursday on his regular schedule, with Wright sticking in the rotation until Pomeranz returns.
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If the team is intent on giving Sale that extra day of rest, we could see Hector Velazquez of Brian Johnson get another spot start. Or the Red Sox could call on promising prospect Jalen Beeks, who is tearing up Triple-A with a 2.56 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 80 strikeouts in 56 1/3 innings this season.
It’s been a brutal year for Pomeranz. He started the season the DL with a forearm strain suffered during spring training. He came back in April but has been brutal in his eight starts. The lefty owns a 6.81 ERA, 1.84 WHIP and -0.3 WAR.
That’s not what you want when free agency is on the horizon. Pomeranz is coming off a career season in which he won 17 games and posted a 3.32 ERA. He was an All-Star with the San Diego Padres in 2016. Everything was lining up for him to cash in after this season. His health woes and mound meltdowns may cost him millions.
Pomeranz remains a talented pitcher, we simply haven’t seen that version of him this year. He’s struggled to locate his curveball, a pitch vital to setting up everything else he does. It’s possible he’s been battling injury all along, which would explain his lack of effectiveness. It’s more likely that the tendinitis is an excuse to give him a mental break and work on his mechanics.
The Red Sox are in first place with the most wins in the majors and their pitching staff owns the league’s second-best ERA. Imagine how dominant they could be if they had the Pomeranz of 2017 in their rotation. They are going to need that version of Pomeranz to fend off the New York Yankees and make a strong postseason run.
This DL stint is another setback in what has been a discouraging season for Pomeranz but it’s for the best. Either the time off allows him to regain his previous form or the Red Sox stick with another option in the rotation who isn’t the liability Pomeranz has been this year.