Everyone knew going into the World Series that Alex Cora likely would be carrying 11 pitchers.
Many believed Steven Wright would be the 11th man, but when the roster was released Tuesday ahead of Game 1 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Boston Red Sox knuckleballer was left off for a surprise addition.
Enter: Drew Pomeranz.
The Red Sox southpaw struggled this season, posting a 5.56 ERA out of the bullpen. Still, Cora elected to go with Pomeranz, who took Brandon Workman’s spot on the roster. And in the manager’s weekly appearance on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria”, he shared how he plans to utilize the lefty.
“This is a team that mixes and matches a lot,” Cora said. “They pinch-hit in the second inning, fourth inning. We saw it against Milwaukee. They’ve got Pederson, Bellinger, (Yasmani) Grandal isn’t that good from the right side, Puig is a reverse split guy.
“I’m not saying we’re going to use (Pomeranz) in high-leverage situations, because with us, it’s pretty straightforward. If you give us 5, 5.2 innings, we’re going to (Ryan) Brasier, we’re going to (Matt) Barnes, we’re going to the available starter, and then we’re going to (Craig) Kimbrel.”
Cora recalled a time last season in a similar situation when he was the bench coach of the Houston Astros.
“But in the National League game, last year we lived it with (Francisco Liriano). He didn’t pitch in the first five games of the World Series, then all of a sudden we had to use him in Game 6,” Cora said. “He got Bellinger out, and then we used him in Game 7, and he got Bellinger out again. We’re not talking about 12 outs, 15 outs, but I do feel there’s going to be a hitter where Drew comes in, whether it’s one of these reverse split guys from the right side or one of those lefties, and he’s going to throw that breaking ball and fastball up and he’s going to get him out.”
There’s no telling when we will see Pomeranz on the mound. But all eyes certainly will be on him if that time comes.
Thumbnail photo via Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports Images
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