The Boston Red Sox’s starting rotation is unlikely to undergo any significant changes before Opening Day despite several questions surrounding the unit.
Dave Dombrowski basically admitted as much while discussing Boston’s depth as starters Eduardo Rodriguez, Steven Wright and Drew Pomeranz deal with injuries during spring training.
“We’re comfortable,” the Red Sox president of baseball operations recently told The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. “We’re talking short-term (disabled list stints). You’re not going to sign somebody for an outing. An outing or two is really what we’re talking about. … We’re going to have six starters very soon after the start of the season. That’s what we anticipate.”
Rodriguez underwent knee surgery in October and almost certainly won’t be available for the start of the season. Wright, who underwent season-ending knee surgery last May, also might not be ready for Opening Day, although Red Sox manager Alex Cora didn’t rule out a return earlier this week. Pomeranz exited his only spring start with forearm tightness, and his status is relatively unknown.
That leaves the Red Sox with question marks beyond their top three of Chris Sale, David Price and Rick Porcello, but Dombrowski is in no rush to break the bank for another pitcher, like, say, Alex Cobb, who’s the best available starter now that Jake Arrieta has signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. Instead, Boston likely will rely on its internal options, like Brian Johnson and/or Hector Velazquez, knowing the short-term need isn’t enough to justify a lucrative long-term investment.
“We’re trying to develop our own starters,” Dombrowski told The Boston Globe. “We think we can do that.
“Of course you always like to promote from within as much as you possibly can, but you’re not just giving positions to people. (Johnson) did a nice job for us last year. We think he’s ready to contribute here.”
Even if Rodriguez, Wright and Pomeranz all begin the season on the disabled list, it might not be long before they’re all healthy and ready to contribute, at which point the conversation will shift to which hurler should be the odd man out.