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The Red Sox acquired Elias in one of Dombrowski’s first trades. Two years later, he’s fighting for his roster spot.
2017 was one to forget for Roenis Elias. Marred by an oblique injury, it messed with his mechanics when he was able to be on the mound. In ten starts spread out from Salem to Pawtucket he compiled a brutal 1-6 record with a 6.96 ERA.
The Red Sox acquired the south paw from the Seattle Mariners in 2015. The deal sent Wade Miley to Seattle in exchange for Elias and Carson Smith.
This particular deal is one that often neglected in the analysis of Dombrowski’s aggressiveness. At the time, Elias was seen as a young, promising arm while Smith was coming off of a breakout season in the bullpen.
Obviously, Smith suffered a torn UCL while Elias has never been able to find success in Boston.
There is promise with this arm in the system. His first 2 seasons in the majors came with good results. In 51 games (49 starts) he went 15-21, but as always, don’t let the W-L record fool you. He had a 3.97 ERA in those 279.1 innings pitched. In his young career in the majors, his ERA after the All Star Break is 2.99, while allowing just 6 HRs in 90.1 innings.
The Red Sox have a real hole in the bullpen with the left-handed reliever position. Bobby Poyner and Brian Johnson are emerging, while Robby Scott continues to struggle.
Could Elias be that guy?
In Fort Myers, he’s doing what he can to try & secure a spot in the Opening Day bullpen. The Red Sox have altered his delivery when it comes to facing left handers – now doing sidearm. This subtle change might help him keep his spot in Fenway. He’s had a great Spring Training thus far.
In 10.2 innings of work, he’s allowed 6 hits, 4 earned runs, while striking out 8.
A glaring area of improvement is with his control as he’s walked 9 batters.
Fans often forget about Elias and his real promise; however it remains to be seen if his value will be seen in Boston, or as a potential trade chip in the future.