When in early July of 2016, the Red Sox traded heralded pitching prospect, Anderson Espinosa to the Padres for All-Star lefty Drew Pomeranz there was much shock at the high cost of acquiring a pitcher who had gone 8-7 prior to the trade. He pitched decently up until September when he was put on the DL due to arm fatigue and in the post-season was shifted to the bullpen.

It was announced during the offseason that he underwent a stem cell treatment to help rejuvenate his ailing forearm in hopes that he could avoid any further arm issues.  He reported to Ft. Myers on time, but it was quickly figured out that he would be behind most pitchers in their progressions towards Opening Day.

The new season didn’t treat Pomeranz too kindly, as he struggled to reach 5 innings in his starts. Despite his struggles on the mound, he was also involved in an altercation with John Farrell in Oakland. Soon after the incident, Pomeranz began his remarkable run of dominance that has led to a 16-5 record, a 3.15 ERA and 9.3 K/9 inning ratio.

Video Courtesy of NESN / MLB.com

At the beginning of the season and into the mid part of it, few fans, including myself would have expected Pomeranz to be a top tier pitcher in this rotation. To begin the season, there was Chris Sale, the reigning Cy Young winner, Rick Porcello, and even David Price. Many would have classified him as the #4 starter in this rotation, but now he has solidified the number two position in the rotation behind Sale. He has earned the right to start game two in the postseason.

Drew Pomeranz, or recently deemed “Big Smooth”, has been vital to the Red Sox quest for a division title.

Imagine where the Red Sox would be without Pomeranz? I sure don’t want to.