Red Sox manager John Farrell acknowledged this week that Boston is looking outside the organization for additional starting pitching depth. According to the skipper, the search has little to do with Boston’s recent injury developments but rather the inconsistency shown in camp by Henry Owens and Brian Johnson, either of whom could be called upon if the Red Sox have a setback in their big league rotation.
The Red Sox’s rotation, which looked stacked following the acquisition of Chris Sale, suddenly seems vulnerable. David Price’s availability to start the season is in question due to an elbow issue that cropped up earlier this spring, and Drew Pomeranz dealt with triceps tightness over the weekend.
Even if Pomeranz is ready out of the gate, his exit from Sunday’s start still offered a reminder the Red Sox are one hiccup away from having to start the season with an unheralded veteran like Kyle Kendrick in their rotation. It’s an especially troubling reality when one considers the setbacks Eduardo Rodriguez and Steven Wright also battled through earlier in camp.
Now, Kendrick has pitched well this spring, so if he’s the next man up, it might not be the end of the world. The 32-year-old didn’t pitch in the majors least season, though, so he comes with almost as much uncertainty as Boston’s younger options.
Hence the Red Sox’s interest in adding another Kendrick-type pitcher, which actually is easier said than done. It might be difficult for president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski to lure a veteran free agent to Boston given that there might not be a major league opportunity available — at least to start the season — if everyone is healthy come the first week of April.
All told, there are several free-agent starting pitchers who could pique the Red Sox’s interest under certain circumstances. We’re, of course, just speculating here, but they represent a few names worth monitoring as Boston looks to add to its organizational depth.
Thumbnail photo via Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports Images
Photo above via Lance Iversen/USA TODAY Sports Images
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