Were you surprised when Drew Pomeranz landed on the World Series roster? So was he.
The Boston Red Sox southpaw has had a pretty bumpy year. After a tremendous 17-6 campaign in 2017, he was expected to be a big part of the rotation in 2018. Instead, he got hurt during spring training and never really regained his form. Since appearing in the regular season finale against the New York Yankees, he was omitted from the American League Division Series and AL Championship Series rosters.
But when the Red Sox released their World Series roster Tuesday ahead of Game 1, Pomeranz was on it, replacing Brandon Workman. Given the makeup of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ lineup, Pomeranz is a good matchup guy, and by all accounts he’s been rebounding nicely, with the velocity on his fastball climbing back up.
The southpaw told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford how he learned of the news. After spending Monday trying to imitate Clayton Kershaw to help Red Sox hitters, he went home all but certain he’d be left off the roster again. Instead, he got a text that night from manager Alex Cora saying he’d made the cut.
“(Pitching coach Dana LeVangie) had said something to me, just saying, ‘Stay ready,’” Pomeranz told Bradford. “I went home and AC called me (Monday). I thought Dana was just telling me to stay ready but then the phone rang and I was like, ‘Oh (expletive). …’ It was awesome. I was just about to pick my parents from the airport and I found out right before. They were surprised. They were so happy. It’s pretty cool. I didn’t expect it, definitely.”
Pomeranz didn’t get into action during Game 1, but there’s plenty of upside in having him around. When it’s on, his breaking ball is devastating and a great put-away pitch to compliment his fastball. He also spent considerable time in the National League West — including in 2016 when he was an All-Star with the San Diego Padres prior to getting traded to the Red Sox — so his knowledge of the Dodgers also could be an important factor.