Another Red Sox spring training loss came yesterday. This time, the Red Sox were beat by the Rays, 8-1. The pitching, especially the bullpen arms, continue to get rocked. I was holding off on writing a piece like this, because I understand that spring training games do not matter, but at this point, it’s a bit concerning.
As a team, the Red Sox have been outscored 40-7 over the past five games. That’s not ideal. I am not concerned as much about the hitting as I am the pitching. Sure, there have been some bright spots — Darwinzon Hernandez‘s spring, E-Rod’s latest performance. But, for the most part, the pitching has been atrocious. I am going to give Rick Porcello a pass since today was his first start, but the others are just getting hammered.
Competition in Red Sox pen:— Jason Mastrodonato (@JMastrodonato) March 10, 2019
Barnes: 1 IP, 4 ER
Thornburg: 4 IP, 7 ER
Workman: 5 IP, 4 ER
Velazquez: 6.2 IP, 8 ER
Johnson: 3.1 IP, 4 ER
Brewer: 5 IP, 4 ER
Poyner: 6 IP, 2 ER
Walden: 7 IP, 1 ER
Mejia: 3 IP, 2 ER
41 IP, 36 ER
Brasier & Hembree have yet to pitch
Once I saw this tweet, that’s when I started to panic a bit. These are guys that are all supposed to be competing for a spot in the bullpen this year.
Brandon Workman is throwing his fastball in the high 80s for the second straight outing and it’s not going well. Two well-struck homers thus far today.— Jason Mastrodonato (@JMastrodonato) March 10, 2019
Here’s another tweet that doesn’t make things any better for me. This is pretty concerning from my point of view.
Another thing that is starting to jump out at me is the fact that Ryan Brasier has yet to pitch in a game. I have no idea what the time table for his return looks like since the toe infection, but if he’s competing for the closer role, I would like to see him get a significant amount of innings this spring.
I have been starting to wonder if the bullpen’s performance so far changes the Red Sox front office’s stance on bringing back Craig Kimbrel. As much as I would like to see that happen, I think Dombrowski and company will continue to downplay the need for bullpen arms and a closer.
It’s definitely going to be interesting to see how the rest of spring plays out for these relievers. I get it’s still Spring Training and that there is time for these guys to figure it out, but as we get closer and closer to Opening Day, the more I start to question this Red Sox bullpen. I am praying they can prove me wrong.
Photo Credit: Picture of Tyler Thornburg / Boston Herald