It shouldn’t come as a major surprise that the Red Sox will seek to hide their lack of starting depth.
The Boston Red Sox have a lack of proven starting depth. Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez, Martin Perez, and Nathan Eovaldi represent those that have multiple seasons under their belt as Major League starters; however the club could seek to go in a variety of different avenues.
One avenue is a fad that was started by none other than Chaim Bloom’s Tampa Bay Rays. It was reported Saturday morning that the Red Sox would hold an open meeting to educate and discuss the possibility of deploying the opener in 2020.
One interesting thing to come out of this morning: Chaim Bloom is basically going to give Ron Roenicke and the coaching staff a primer on the opener tomorrow. I wonder if it will be a power point presentation?— Ian Browne (@IanMBrowne) February 29, 2020
Ron Roenicke has expressed interest in the opener; however it merely is disguising the fact that the Red Sox have a severe lack of starting depth. Chris Sale will miss a couple of weeks due to his delayed start to Spring Training, yielding two vacancies in the starting rotation. While the club could turn to its youth, there are only a small amount of arms that would be considered ready to make the jump to the Major League level. Tanner Houck and Kyle Hart will each get an opportunity to start, while they’ll compete with the likes of journeymen, Ryan Weber, Matt Hall, and Chris Mazza.
The opener would provide an interesting element to the Red Sox that do have arms that have started before, but struggle as they get deeper into the game. Hector Velazquez and Ryan Weber each made starts for the club last season, but proved an inability to consistently get outs as the lineup turned over. Allowing them to serve as the “long men” behind a Marcus Walden, Josh Taylor, or Darwinzon Hernandez may prove to be a solid short term solution.
It’s not an ideal solution, by any means. The Tampa Bay Rays utilized it for multiple seasons; however even the pioneers may opt for a traditional five man rotation this season. Chaim Bloom will continue to explore upgrades for the current roster; however being into Sprint Training doesn’t yield a variety of quality options. At some point the club will hope to have that traditional rotation, but don’t be surprised to see the opener deployed multiple times in late March, or early April.