The Red Sox placed left-handed pitcher, Drew Pomeranz on the disabled list last Tuesday with bicep tendinitis in his throwing arm. Before being placed on the DL, Pomeranz was off to the worst start of his career at 1-3 with a 6.81 ERA and 1.838 WHIP. In the eight game he has started this season, Pomeranz has only thrown 37 innings, showing that he hasn’t possessed the ability to work deep into games. Control has been a major issue for Pomeranz as well, as he has not made a start without walking at least two batters and his K:BB is at a horrid 36:21. Pomeranz also allowed at least four earned runs in three straight starts before landing on the DL.
I don’t believe in Drew Pomeranz right now. His pitch counts are high and he is unable to work deep into games. Alex Cora has been lucky they have long relievers in Steven Wright, Brian Johnson, and Hector Velazquez to turn to in the pen with Pomeranz having trouble getting through the fifth inning. Between the way Pomeranz has pitched and how miserable his body language has looked on the mound, I would prefer that he does not rejoin the Sox rotation when he comes back from the DL. The Red Sox have better options to turn to, as they are very deep at the starting pitcher position and that has shown during Pomeranz’s two stints on the disabled list. Steven Wright and Hector Velazquez have stepped up and proven they can get the job done.
In Pomeranz’s absence, the Red Sox turned to Steven Wright for a start against the Tigers. Prior to getting his number called for the start, Wright had been dominant in the bullpen after returning to the team from injury/suspension. Coming into his start against Detroit, Wright had tossed nine innings straight without allowing a run (four appearances). That streak continued against the Tigers as Wright cruised through seven innings of shutout ball. His final pitching line in the game was 7 IP, 2 hits, 3 BB, and 5 K’s as he got the win for the Sox. Wright pitched so well that he earned another start on Monday against Baltimore. The Orioles currently rank 28th in the MLB in run differential at -97 on the year, so look for Wright to have another strong showing against Baltimore, who are just 2-8 in their last 10 games and 23 games back of the Sox in the AL East. If Steven Wright does have another solid outing in his start against Baltimore, then he should stay in the rotation, he has earned that spot.
Another option who could replace Pomeranz in the rotation is Hector Velazquez. Velazquez has been awesome for the Red Sox this season. He has appeared in 16 games this year (two starts) and has compiled a 5-0 record with a 1.99 ERA. Both as a starter and a reliever, Velazquez has done amazing for the Sox when called upon, working in different situations. Velazquez appeared in eight games (three starts) last year for the Red Sox and was 3-1 with a 2.92 ERA. He pitches well and seems like he has a knack for winning ballgames. And at this point, I’d rather see him on the bump than Pom.
I think with how poor Pomeranz has pitched this year, and with the depth the Red Sox have at the starting pitcher position, they should send Pomeranz to the bullpen and allow either Wright or Velazquez to take his spot in the rotation. With Pomeranz beginning the season on the DL, he never really settled in. He has just two quality starts in eight outings thus far and has shown a lack of control with the 1.838 WHIP he owns (21 walks and 47 hits in just 37 innings). At this point, the Red Sox simply have better options they can fill the rotation spot with. I think that if Wright pitches well against Baltimore on Monday, Alex Cora will have to keep him in the rotation. Drew Pomeranz does not deserve to be welcomed back to the rotation and I believe Cora should put him into the bullpen and allow him to work through his struggles in a long relief role and earn his spot back.
Pomeranz is first eligible to return from the DL on the 12th. If he is able to get back after the minimum of 10 days, we’ll see what Alex Cora decides to do with the Red Sox rotation upon his return to action.