First, they have to get to October right… Let’s just say that they get there, now the question is how far can they go?
The pitching of Sale, Pomeranz and Fister have provided stability that has enabled the Red Sox to maintain a sometimes small lead in the division. Take those three pitchers out of the equation and sadly the Red Sox are left with Porcello, Rodriguez. Neither of whom create much confidence if they are to proceed deep into October.
Now, this is where David Price, yes the $217 million dollar arm, that’s been on the DL twice this season, comes into play.
Price’s potential has been pointed out by other journalists including ESPN Boston’s Scott Lauber who penned an article on titled, “Don’t laugh but David Price can be this year’s, Andrew Miller.”
Price is going to be pitching out of the bullpen as a “multi-inning” pitcher. This means that if a pitcher struggles to get out of the fourth inning, he could come in and bridge the gap to the setup core of Addison Reed, Brandon Workman, Joe Kelly, or Austin Maddux, to get to Craig Kimbrel.
This strategy worked wonders for the 2016 Indians who had their weapon, Andrew Miller enter the game as early as the 5th inning and as late as the 8th inning.
When Dave Dombrowski acquired Addison Reed from the New York Mets, many Red Sox fans, including myself, finally felt that we had acquired the infamous “8th inning guy.”
The set up man has been elusive as Carson Smith and Tyler Thornburg may have assumed that role if injuries hadn’t prevented it.
Throughout the 2017 season, they had tried numerous pitchers including Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes, and Brandon Workman in the 8th inning, but finally, with Reed, he had gotten himself his 8th inning pitcher. While Reed has struggled at times since coming to Boston he’s a pitcher with postseason experience and has the ability to get both right-handed and left-handed batters out.
Finally, we get to Kimbrel. So far he has had a dominating season including such video game stats such as 16.82 K/9innings and a walk rate of only 3.3/ 9innings. He had his uneasy moments throughout the season, but his ability to shut down opposing teams makes when he takes a mound with a lead as secure as any in baseball.
If John Farrell can figure out how to best use his relievers to get to Kimbrel than the Red Sox can go far. If not it could be a quick exit and possibly lead to the end of his tenure.