The Boston Red Sox have one of those problems that teams love to have — too many pitchers. They currently have seven starters and five rotation spots. One could even say eight starters counting Joe Kelly, but he’s locked in as a reliever already.
That leaves it down to Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello, Steven Wright, Eduardo Rodriguez, Clay Buchholz, and Drew Pomeranz for the five rotation spots. Sale, Price, and Porcello are already locked into the top three spots. Wright should be number four, and Rodriguez should be number five.
Due to that, Pomeranz and Buchholz are left out in the cold. One of them could serve well as a bullpen arm who can spot start when needed. Two pitchers like that in the bullpen seems highly unnecessary, however. With that in mind, it seems likely that one pitcher will be traded, and the other will get the relief rotation spot.
Here’s the case for Pomeranz getting that spot.
When the Red Sox traded for Pomeranz in July, fans probably expected way too much from him. The Red Sox gave up one of the best pitching prospects in baseball (Anderson Espinoza) to get him. Due to that, fans in Boston probably wanted a lights-out ace in return but that’s not what they got.
Pomeranz struggled during his time in Boston in 2016. He posted a 4.59 earned run average with the team and ended the year in the bullpen.
In fact, before last year, Pomeranz spent most of his career in the bullpen. This could work to his favor. While Buchholz did perform admirably out of the bullpen in 2016, it’s the left-hander that has more experience in the role.
And speaking of left-handers, the Red Sox may not be willing to get rid of the always valuable left-handed arm out of the bullpen. Pomeranz has that going for him. It helps his case even more when noticing that the Red Sox only have one other lefty in the bullpen (Robbie Ross Jr.).
If the Red Sox are looking for a proven reliever, why not go Pomeranz? He’s already shown what he can do in that role, and his track record as a starter isn’t bad either. He’s the best of both worlds.