The Red Sox have had their share ups and downs this season, from their historic 17-2 start or the more-frequent-than-not bullpen meltdowns.
The Red Sox haven’t been known to have much of a farm system when it comes to pitchers. The most pro-ready pitcher, Jalen Beeks, had many Sox fans hopeful that a young arm could get this team’s prospect development back on track.
Being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on June 7th to make his MLB debut versus the Detroit Tigers, Beeks’ exited the game after four innings with four K’s, seven hits, six runs and three walks. After the game, he was sent back down to Pawtucket for more seasoning.
Steven Wright has given many Red Sox fans hope when it comes to the starting rotation, in three starts he has a commanding 1.23 ERA with 29 strikeouts and a 1.04 WHIP. The knuckleballer has filled in admirably in the starting position of Drew Pomeranz; however the Red Sox bullpen is still bumpy.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets nervous when I see Heath Hembree or Brian Johnson jogging in from the bullpen in a close game. Of course, the Red Sox have Tyler Thornburg and Carson Smith on the DL, but Hembree & Johnson appear to be the only options when Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes and Craig Kimbrel are unavailable to pitch.
No Need to Trade for Reliever
There is one name in Pawtucket that stands out, Ryan Brasier.
Brasier was drafted in 2007 in the 6th round by the Angels and has been shuffling around the baseball world ever since, even playing in Japan for the 2017 season. He played for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, posting a 2-1 record with 3.00 ERA.
The 30 year-old has appeared in 7 games at the Major League level, only pitching a total of 9 innings with 7 hits, 2 earned runs and 7 K’s. Brasier’s 95 MPH plus fastball, reliable slider and ability to work in stressful situations has made him standout in the minors. The Red Sox may choose to give the Pawtucket arm a shot.
He has posted a 1.59 ERA in AAA this season over the course of 34 innings. If he gets his chance, the Pawtucket reliever may provide the Red Sox with valuable depth and save their prospects for more critical Trade Deadline needs.