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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Post Mortem Contines - The Bullpen

Continuing with probably the most interesting part of the off-season.  While it is likely that the Sox are going to make some moves elsewhere I would argue the one place they HAVE to make some moves is in the bullpen.

General Thoughts

Having said what I said above I like the raw materials here.  I expect Kimbrel to be better and I am hopeful/optimistic about Barnes.  I don’t trust Kelly but I do believe Scott will be a solid LOOGY.

The Return Certainties – Craig Kimbrel, Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross

Ross is probably expendable though Farrell seems to like his ability to go multiple innings.  Every bullpen needs an “uh oh” guy and Ross is a pretty good option as that goes.  Kimbrel, man when it went wrong it went really wrong for him but he went 31 for 35 in save situations which is about what you would expect and want.

Barnes I like a lot, Kelly scares me but he looked like a different guy in September.  Both guys can get wild and Kelly seems to give up a surprising number of hard hit balls.  I thought the Teixeira grand slam/Sox clinch game was the classic Joe Kelly game.  Weak pop up, strikeout, mammoth home run.  He needs to limit the last of those things.

The Questions - Koji Uehara, Noe Ramirez, Robby Scott, Fernando Abad

I would not be surprised if Scott and Abad were competing for a spot next March.  My guess is that Scott is on the shuttle as he has options remaining and Abad does not appear to.  Likewise Ramirez has one option left so he will be hanging around.  I hope he spent some time with Brad Ziegler this year and got some tips on being a ROOGY.

Koji I think will be back on a one year deal unless he retires.  Obviously you worry about his reliability and he is a highwire act as this can only work so long but I think it’s here or retirement for him.  That said even if he only gives the Sox 25/30 appearances that can have value.  A scenario where Koji is your first half 8th inning guy and Carson Smith is your second half 8th inning guy doesn’t sound outrageous to me.

The Free Agents - Brad Ziegler, Junichi Tazawa

Ziegler should have a chance to do well in the free agent market.  I’d like him back but I suspect someone will spend money and/or years on him that I would not be a fan of.  Junichi, thanks for the memories.  If you want an NRI you can have it but he’ll probably be the Cardinals 8th inning guy with a 1.75 ERA next year.

The Walking Wounded - Carson Smith, Brian Johnson, Brandon Workman

Workman is a forgotten man but I am a huge fan of the guy.  He was back pitching (ineffectively) this year but that is not uncommon among Tommy John recoverers.  I wouldn’t be shocked if he was a big part of the bullpen in 2017.  I would describe myself as irrationally optimistic about what Workman can give.  I’m probably just too hung up on this fact but HE PITCHED THE EIGHTH INNING OF A CLINCHING WORLD SERIES GAME.

Johnson dealt with both off field health concerns and on field performance issues.  2017 is his last option so I think the Sox will keep him around to see what can happen.  Smith is probably not a viable option until after the All Star break next year while recovering from May Tommy John surgery.

The Mid-Season Call Ups – Chandler Shepherd, Michael Kopech

Just a couple of interesting names to lob out there.  Shepherd has been an “impress at every level” guy.  He is a guy I am eager to see at Spring Training next year.  Kopech blew everyone away in both the literal and figurative sense in 2016 but he was in Single A this year so there is some distance.  Control remains an area of development but the dude is hitting triple digits so the potential to advance rapidly is there.

Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: October 19, 2016 at 08:56 AM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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