You know what would be a relief? If the Boston Red Sox went out and got some help in relief before the trade deadline this season.
Right now, the Red Sox are in the thick of a playoff race and from the looks of it, they are pretty set. They seem to like the lineup they have and rightfully so, it’s one of the best in baseball, if not the absolute best. In terms of the rotation, they’re kind of stuck with what they have — for better or for worse.
They have to live with David Price’s mediocrity this year because of his massive contract. Steven Wright was an All-Star, as was Drew Pomeranz. Rick Porcello has been solid and Eddie Rodriguez has shown promise in his first two starts back up with the big league club. So what do they need? Bullpen help.
Injuries have killed this team’s bullpen to the point where Joe Kelly and Clay Buchholz are in it, two failed starting pitchers.
Based off speaking with Kelly after one of his rehab outings in Lowell, his mindset on the mound is a little skewed. He spoke of throwing more “junk pitches” and said he was going to start throwing harder. But yes, he still does see himself as a starter. It didn’t work last night though. 101 MPH and flat just results in base hits up the middle.
And Buchholz is Buchholz. He hasn’t been bad as a long man, but few teams pay a guy $13 million to be their long man. There’s also little trust in his ability to do anything in any sort of leverage situation.
Does this team even have a lefty reliever they can trust? Robbie Ross Jr. has a 4.04 ERA this season and Tommy Layne has a 3.95 ERA. Those are their left-handed relievers. Layne has allowed 21 baserunners in 14.2 innings against left-handed hitters and they’re hitting .269 off him with a .713 OPS. It’s not bad, but to be great the Red Sox would need great.
While they might be able to solve the right-handed relief crisis internally, especially if Heath Hembree regains form, they might need to find a better lefty outside the system.
Your move Boston.