The Boston Red Sox have two underperformers in Drew Pomeranz and Joe Kelly. The impact is two-fold with the team being one and their fiscal future the other.
Baseball performance can be a “what have you done for me lately” game, especially with players who have been given multiple opportunities. Where has Boston Red Sox lefty Drew Pomeranz gone? If there was a depth chart for lefty pitchers on the staff, Pomeranz would be below the Marianas Trench.
Pomeranz last appeared against Atlanta and the results were a microcosm of his lost season – just 0.1 innings and five runs allowed. Is it just a continuation of his noted arm problems? Can a pitcher sink that dramatically in just one season? Apparently, for the soon to be 30-year-old, it has.
Pomeranz has pitched himself off the team for the postseason and the remaining games for the regular season will be a mop-up duty for Pomeranz. Undoubtedly, Pomeranz has lost the confidence of his manager, pitching coach, fans and probably himself. As a budding free agent, Pomeranz has lost a fortune by his dismal performance this season.
A reasonable facsimile of 2017 (17-6, 3.32) would have resulted in a contract that would have secured the Pomeranz clan for generations. Now? Pomeranz may get a one-year deal somewhere with Boston probably being on the potential list right after Korea or Germany – the Germans do have a league.
Fans are frustrated with Pomeranz, but walk in his cleats and attempt to fathom the level of frustration when your skills deteriorate either via injury or eroding skills – maybe a combination of both? Failure at the MLB level for someone who has achieved a certain degree of noted success must be off the charts on the frustration index.
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The term applied in baseball is inconsistency, but I choose to use unreliable. I have a friend – a great guy, but unreliable with scheduling. I have been picked up at the commuter rail station on time with even a beverage. Another time I was left standing a midnight in zero degrees weather with a dead cell phone. That is Joe Kelly with his relief pitching. Unreliable.
At the end of May, Kelly had pitched 25 innings allowing just five runs. A stalwart for the bridge to Craig Kimbrel had been found. Since then, Kelly has become Freddie Kruger and it culminated against Toronto when a walk, a single, and two hit batters tied the game up and Kelly exited to a chorus of boos.
As with Pomeranz, Kelly is a free agent and his crash and burn since the end of May will cost him dearly at contract time. As far as this season Kelly still has what Pomeranz does not – opportunity. But to get opportunity Kelly has to rehabilitate himself in the eyes of management and fans the next few weeks. A 100+ on the radar gun is just trivial if you don’t produce with some level of reliability.
Pomeranz will not be on the playoff roster unless the rotation is capture by disgruntled New York Yankee fans and hustled off to an unknown location. Kelly is playing for it and with his ability to be a nightmare – either positive or negative – and may just get the opportunity to make the first round.
Kelly is in the same situation as Pomeranz with having a bad season or a bad half season when least needed both for professional reasons and fiscal reasons. Kelly will get employment for 2019 either in Boston or elsewhere since the good is equally as hard to ignore as the bad.