Photo Credit: Matt West / Boston Herald
The Red Sox starting pitching has been a point of strength for most of the season. However, it appears that they may be developing a Pomeranz-sized problem.
From the moment the Red Sox acquired Drew Pomeranz, he was under immediate scrutiny.
Dave Dombrowski addressed a need by shipping one of the Red Sox top prospects, Anderson Espinoza, out of Boston in exchange for an unproven lefty in San Diego. In addition, the Padres left out important medical information that revealed lingering elbow trouble.
Pomeranz career in Boston has been largely inconsistent. The lefty compiled a 4.78 ERA after being traded and began the 2017 season with injury concern and more inconsistency. He managed to finish with a 3.32 ERA while collecting 17 wins in an impressive bounce-back season.
Now, in 2018, the inconsistency has returned. The lefty has flashed high 80’s velocity on occasion, while teasing a 94 mph fastball in a separate outing. At times, Drew has struggled to make it through five innings – in fact he’s only made it to the sixth inning in 2 of his 7 starts this season.
The pitch count is high, the walks are present, and he’s being hit quite hard. Thankfully, the performances by Chris Sale, David Price, and Rick Porcello have largely masked the trouble of the former Ole Miss ace; however Pomeranz has had a brutal season.
It’s possible that the Red Sox could send Pomeranz to the DL, or merely demote him to the bullpen. He found success in 2016 out of the ‘pen and clearly a 6.75 ERA in the starting rotation won’t get the job done. Dana Levangie must find a way to get Pomeranz late into games, otherwise he may be out of a job.
Steven Wright and Brian Johnson are both formidable options to take over a spot in the rotation. Both of these options have proven to be valuable assets in the starting rotation and are truly not relievers.
At this point, it’s hard to imagine Drew Pomeranz returning next season in a Red Sox uniform – as he’s set to hit free agency. Dave Dombrowski would be unwise to invest money in a continual source of question marks and high pitch counts.