The Boston Red Sox don’t have many areas of concern as the postseason draws near, but that doesn’t mean they’re totally free of issues.
Arguably the biggest question mark for the Sox is their bullpen. Though mostly stable, they’ve had some topsy-turviness over the course of the campaign, with some struggles ramping up a bit of late.
So where does Boston rank among other bullpens?
MLB.com’s Mike Petriello ranked and put together an interesting analysis of the bullpens from the 13 teams between the American and National League that are in postseason contention. In it, the Red Sox landed eighth overall, and fourth out of five AL teams.
Here’s what Petriello had to say about the Red Sox relief group.
“Ryan Brasier (1.50 ERA in 23 games) may be the best reliever you don’t know, while Joe Kelly and Brandon Workman have quietly been very good in the second half, and Drew Pomeranz has been interesting since moving to relief. While it’s easy to worry about Craig Kimbrel’s career-high home run rate, he’s still piling up strikeouts (18 in nine innings since Aug. 1), and the larger concern here may Matt Barnes. After a 2.36 ERA in the first half, he entered Sunday with a 6.46 second-half mark.”
Though the Sox bullpen has its flaws, seeing them lined up against other sides also shows what a mess some other teams (See: Cleveland Indians) are dealing with, just as much as it shows the room they have to grow.
Boston president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski didn’t add anyone in relief at the July nor August trade deadlines, but is adamant that some improvements internally is all the Red Sox need.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images