Red Sox Thoughts: A move for a reliever is needed before it’s too late

Dave Dombrowski needs to make a move for a reliever sooner rather than later.

Yesterday’s bullpen disaster was just another reason that should lead Red Sox President Baseball of Operations, Dave Dombrowksi, to make a move to add a bullpen arm. There is one major flaw in this Red Sox team right now, and that is a lack of bullpen depth. If this team wants to succeed at all the rest of this season, another arm is desperately needed.

We’ve said it time and time again during the winter, during spring training, and all of this season. Cody and I have mentioned it on almost every podcast episode since Dave Dombrowski refused to add a reliever at the Winter Meetings. But MassLive’s Christopher Smith and yesterday’s game was the tipping point for me.

Let me throw out these two stats that are really mind-boggling: The Red Sox bullpen has the 10th best bullpen ERA (4.00) in the majors. Yet this bullpen is 2nd in the majors in blown saves with 15 behind the Tampa Bay Rays. That basically shows that when the 8th or 9th inning comes, these guys can’t hold it together.

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I’ve seen many people go after manager Alex Cora on how he has managed this bullpen. As a few people have already mentioned, it’s not his fault whatsoever – it’s the lack of relief pitching that hurts this team. Cora has tried to rest guys, but he eventually is forced to use them when either the Red Sox starter doesn’t go deep into games or when another reliever can’t get the job done.

When is enough, enough? It’s clear that the Red Sox need another couple arms in the bullpen to help out. They don’t necessarily have to be star-studded guys – just guys that can give you an inning here and there.

Matt Barnes is getting used a ton and I honestly feel bad for the guy. Barnes has been pretty solid all year for the Red Sox and one of the bright spots in the bullpen. But, he has been struggling lately and it seems to be just a usage issue to me. Barnes has been used the most out of any MLB pitcher in June. Here is a visual on how much he has pitched this month:

The Red Sox can’t afford to continue to lose games like this. If they want to attempt to make a run for the division or even earn a Wild Card spot, they have to start winning a lot of ball games. And they can’t do that when the bullpen is blowing games. Like Christopher Smith mentions in his latest piece, Dombrowski can’t wait until July 31st to make a move, something needs to be done now.

Photo Credit: Associated Press, Michael Dwyer

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About Gabe Faulkner

Red Sox die-hard. Founder of Sox Sphere. Follow me on Twitter @SoxSphereGabe.
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