Dave Dombrowksi ‘Not Concerned’ About Bullpen After Opening Day Meltdown


Mar 30, 2018

The Boston Red Sox bullpen didn’t get the 2018 campaign off to a great start.

Sox relievers Joe Kelly and Carson Smith combined to allow six runs in the eighth inning, squandering a 4-0 lead in the Opening Day loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

But Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski certainly isn’t panicking yet. He made that clear Friday afternoon during an appearance on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria,” while also giving a promising update on injured reliever Tyler Thornburg.

“I’m not concerned about it,” Dombrowski said, via WEEI.com. “We didn’t do the job yesterday, there’s no question about it. That was not a good performance by Joe Kelly. He’s the first to admit it. He’s capable of doing that job. I also think Carson Smith is very capable of doing that job. Carson has been a closer in the past, and his stuff is close to where it used to be — maybe not quite the same velocity, but he’s got movement and a good slider.  We didn’t see that yesterday, so neither one of them pitched up to their capabilities.

“I think they’re capable of doing that. It wouldn’t surprise me if Matt Barnes jumped up and did it. And we’re maybe a month from having Tyler Thornburg back, too. I do think we have the capabilities of handling it in-house. We just didn’t get the job done yesterday.”

Some were perplexed at manager Alex Cora’s decision to not bring in closer Craig Kimbrel to mitigate some of the damage, but Dombrowski voiced his support of the new skipper.

“I think he’s going to be a fine manager. I’m very happy he’s with us. I think he brings a lot to the table,” Dombrowski said. “He has the qualities you’re looking for. He’s a smart individual, he knows the game, he has a passion for it, he’s played it, he understands players, he’s a good communicator.”

The Red Sox will have a chance to redeem themselves against the Rays, as they’ll battle Tampa on Friday night in the second contest of the four-game series.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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