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Last time out, I took a look at the Sox position players in regards to who was performing up to expectation versus those who were struggling, and in my estimation, needed to be moved. Well, this time around I’m turning a critical eye to the pitching staff, a staff which at this point, looks like it will definitely need some new blood if they are going to win the division. So, let’s take a closer look at who’s on which side of that “Real, Deal” line.

 

REALLY DEALING:

 

 

As I write this, Boston stands at 39-30, after going 7-10 in June so far, one game back of Baltimore, but only a game and a half ahead of third place Toronto. Of those 39 wins, three pitchers have 24 of them. Knuckleballer Steven Wright is actually the ace of the staff at 8-4, with a 2.01 ERA in 98.1 innings and 3 CG, David Price is also 8-4, currently with an ERA of 4.24 (down from over 6), and Rick Porcello who has once again proven he can throw like an ace as long as it’s not from the front of the rotation, is 8-2, with a 3.76 ERA. Their bullpen, is of course, being anchored by Junichi Tazawa, who is 1-1, 3.04, in 29 appearances holding opponents to a.196 BA, as well as Koji Uehara, who has adapted well to a set role, going 2-2, in 27 appearances with and ERA of 3.86, and .185 BA. Closer Craig Kimbrel, who is 16/18 in saves, with a 2.57 ERA, and .137 BA,  has been very effective as long as he is not called in for a non-save opportunity.

 

READY TO DEAL:

 

 

There was hope going into the 2016 season that Joe Kelly could continue his strong effort from last August when he won something like eight straight before being shut down in September. But Kelly, true to form, could not get very far into the season before he got hurt. Although he did tease everyone, carrying a no hit bid late into his first game back, he, of course, was awful once again, managing to win 2 games, but with an ERA of 8.46, before getting hurt, once again. When he was sent down to AAA, to “work it out”, he managed to go 4.2 innings before pulling a groin muscle.

 

I’m assuming, he is still icing it. Clay Buchholz also continues to drive everyone crazy, as he too manages to do very little with a great deal of talent, going 3-6, 5.86, before being banished to the bullpen. The Sox are desperate enough to give him another start, against the White Sox, and Chris Sale, so I can hardly wait to see how that turns out. Knowing Buchholz, he will be great, but will follow it up with a mediocre performance before getting shelled in the appearance after that. (Do you see a pattern? I do.) As frustrating as those guys have been, the biggest disappointment has clearly been Eduardo Rodriquez. Despite problems with tipping his pitches last season, he still managed to go 10-6, with a 3.85 ERA, and was expected to be the number three starter this year. A knee injury, during a routine fielding drill the first week of Spring training, has caused him problems from which he seems unable to rebound. A reemerging of his pitch tipping problem, has forced him to adopted a no wind-up delivery, and that will hopefully help him improve on his 1-2, 6.97, start. His next start, against the White Sox, will be a big one.

 

RUMOR HAS IT:

 

 

The expectation all along has been that at some point president Dave Dombrowski would likely have to dip into a very rich farm system to pick up at least one more front line starter. It is generally accepted that the injuries to Blake Swihart, minor league slugger Sam Travis, as well as the slow healing of catcher Christian Vazquez from Tommy John surgery, has complicated the process. That has not stopped the rumor mill from churning out potential moves with Miami, Pittsburgh, and the White Sox, as possible partners over the next few weeks.

 

So all we can do at this point is… wait for it… Stay tuned!

Jerry Ballgame

About Jerry Ballgame

The personification of "old school", Jerry Ballgame was born in the shadow of Dr. Naismith's peach basket, and baptized in that "Dirty Water." Designated by his "Uncle" Ted, to keep an eye on things, he's here to tell everyone what his view is like from the Hub of the Universe.

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