|1998 New York Yankees|
|2001 Seattle Mariners|
|2018 Boston Red Sox|
I will start by reiterating that I am assuming Pomeranz is the odd man out when E-Rod returns.
It’s interesting that the narrative around the Red Sox this season has been that their bullpen is their biggest weakness. Craig Kimbrel has not been nearly as good as he was in a historically great campaign last season but he’s still 74% better than league average. Matt Barnes and Hector Velazquez (even if he looks very lucky) have also been elite this season.
Yes, the bullpen did a bad job last night, but Pomeranz just shouldn’t be pitching. They are the only unit here without a below average reliever (from the six we’d expect the Sox to keep in the pen when everyone’s healthy) and their back end looks as solid as those of both of these other pens.
The Yankees bullpen largely revolved around Mariano Rivera with the only other truly great reliever that season being Graeme Lloyd who only tossed 37.2 innings. Their bullpen also featured two pitchers with ERAs over 5.00. The ’98 Yankees were world beaters, but not necessarily because of their relief pitching.
The Mariners had Arthur Rhodes in the midst of an utterly fantastic season, but their pen also featured Jeff Nelson, Norm Charlton, and Kazuhiro Sasaki as true weapons. Ryan Franklin was also very solid and ate up a good amount of innings. The 2001 Mariners topped these two teams in nearly every category listed above and had a solid edge over the 2018 Sox and 1998 Yanks.