The Red Sox announced today that Drew Pomeranz is being moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen.
Now, on the one hand, this is great for the starting rotation, which is already quite formidable. Their 3.46 ERA is second in MLB; only the Astros 3.00 ERA is better.
On the other hand, our bullpen is undoubtedly our greatest weakness, and this probably won’t help.
Or, in some weird twist, it will make us more confident in the current bullpen, because most of them will look better in comparison to Pomeranz.
Then again, it’s not hard to look good compared to Drew Pomeranz.
Amidst two DL stints this season, Pomeranz is 1-5 in 11 starts. His 6.31 ERA is actually lower than I thought, but still terrible, the second-highest on the Red Sox roster (Robby Scott has a 15.43 ERA over two appearances). Batters are hitting .299 against Pomeranz. He’s a shell of his 2017 self, the pitcher with a 3.32 ERA who won 17 games and started 32 games. This season, he’s barely averaging 4.0 innings per start and who’s only lasted longer than 5.0 innings in two of his eleven starts. He also pitched the night before Sean Manaea and the Oakland A’s no-hit the Red Sox for the first time in 24 years and 364 days. I’m not saying there’s a connection, but I’m not not saying it.
Look, getting back into a groove after an injury like biceps tendinitis is difficult. Manager Alex Cora maintains Pomeranz “is an important piece of this team,” and says that the pitcher understands the move.
It’s definitely not personal; the stakes are simply too high. The Red Sox have won nine of their last ten, and are 81-34, the best record in the Majors by a mile. The franchise has never had this many wins through 115 games. People are predicting they could overtake the 2001 Seattle Mariners for single-season win record. Baseball Prospectus has Boston at a 100% likelihood of making the postseason, and they just swept the Yankees in four games.
In short: big things are happening for this team, and we can’t risk Big Smooth messing that up.
Photo: Boston Herald