Red Sox Bullpen
Ok, I’ll admit I’m cheating a bit with this choice, but with good reason. At times during the 2019 season, the Boston bullpen was one of the best in the league and at others they were atrocious. They finished towards the top of the league in blown saves by the time the season concluded. But they were heavily relied upon early in the year when the starters just didn’t have the gas to go deep into ballgames.
We did get some bright spots though in Marcus Walden, Brandon Workman, Matt Barnes, and Josh Taylor. As it stands right now for 2020, Taylor is a ways away to returning to action after testing positive for COVID, but it shouldn’t be a long wait. Walden will likely be used heavily on days when the opener is applied as he has the ability to go multiple innings without flinching.
The big two in the bullpen are going to be Barnes and Workman, Boston’s setup -man and closer, or so we thought. During the exhibition game against Toronto the other night Roenicke used Barnes and Workman but far earlier in the game than any of us would’ve expected.
He then gave the ball over to Ryan Brasier who collapsed before our eyes and blew the game. Luckily, it didn’t count, but with just 60 games, that kind of performance can’t happen.
In the perfect scenario, Taylor and Braiser are middle relievers and will get the game to the later innings where Barnes and Workman can do what they do best. How Ron Roenicke manages this bullpen will be what carries him to the promised land or buries the season quickly.
With the new rule that pitchers must face at least three batters before being relieved, he has to make his moves wisely. As we saw the other night, putting the wrong pitcher in at the wrong time and lead to a loss real fast.