The signing of Chris Sales give the Boston Red Sox an elite trio at the top of their starting rotation, but who gets the final two spots?
It seemed like Christmas came early for Red Sox Nation as President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski seemed to check off everything on his “Offseason To-Do List”.
The Boston Red Sox needed to get another good bullpen arm, a corner infielder and another starting pitcher to put this team over the top. After those goals were set, Dombrowski reached all of those accolades in less than 24 hours.
After trading for All-Star pitcher Chris Sale, people are saying that the Red Sox are the “Golden State Warriors of baseball”. Although that has a nice ring to it if you are a Red Sox fan, it all comes down to how they preform once the season begins.
Now if I were in charge, this would be an easy decision on who to choose. Personally, Dombrowski should try to trade Buchholz. The 32-year old right-hander is being paid $13 million this upcoming year, so if we were to trade him it would clear up some much needed space to sign a potential big bat or another shut down reliever. But if Dombrowski fails to trade him, send him to the bullpen, where he showed success last season.
With Pomeranz, manager John Farrell should send him straight to the bullpen. After a spectacular first half of the season with the San Diego Padres in 2016, he was the complete opposite when he was traded to Beantown. When you now have arguably the best starting rotation in all of baseball, it makes sense to try to fill the give spots with the five best pitchers you have. Pomeranz is not one of those five pitchers. But he could definitely be put into great use as a long reliever or a spot starter if someone gets hurt or has a bad game.
So now the two winners are Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez.
After the season that Wright put together in 2016, it would be silly if Farrell didn’t decide to put him back in the starting rotation. Also, if it wasn’t for John Farrell deciding to have Wright pinch run, hurting his shoulder and eventually ending his season, then this wouldn’t even be a discussion on whether or not he should be in the rotation.
Throughout the first half and a little bit into the second half of the season, Wright was one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. It almost seemed like a guarantee that he was going to go 8 to 9 innings of shut out baseball. Hitters couldn’t hit the knuckleball even when they knew it was coming. Wright saves the bullpen by going deep into games and if he can come back to his 2016 self, than he makes this rotation 10 times more dangerous.
With Rodriguez, it’s almost unfortunate how he hasn’t reached his full potential yet due to his extensive injury history. In 2016, we all witnessed glimpses of a great pitcher, coupled by moments of straight humiliation. Throughout the two years of Rodriguez’s career, he has shown a lot of inconsistency. But he is also very young and if pitching coach Carl Willis finds a way to make Rodriguez stay consistent, then we have a lethal No. five starter.
The Boston Red Sox really made a step forward in the span of one day. Which is crazy to think because all of the deals came as a surprise to most fans. Time will only tell if Dombrowski has anything else up his sleeve.