Boston Red Sox Team President Dave Dombrowski Plays Down Need For Bullpen Help In Press Conference
One apparent area of need for the Boston Red Sox is adding a late inning reliever.
But according to Team President Dave Dombrowski, the need for a setup type of reliever is over rated by fans.
Dombrowski explained as much in a press conference ahead of Friday nights game against the New York Yankees.
“Well, I mean, I was having a conversation with somebody the other day,” Dombrowski said. “Actually, I’ll tell you, we were sitting there on Monday, no Tuesday. My parents are in town. So, they’re sitting there and my dad’s a big baseball fan, he follows us, and he said, ‘Gosh, it looks like you really need a setup guy, right?’ And I said, ‘I’m not sure why we need a setup man.’ I said, ‘Dad, Joe Kelly hasn’t given up a run in 2 1/2 months. It’s the first run he’s given up in 2 1/2 months, and now all of a sudden, we need a setup guy.’ Again, can you get better? Yes. I don’t think it’s a glaring need for us. I think we’ll keep an open mind again.
“For example, I don’t think we’re going to get starting pitching. I think our starting pitching is set. There’s a couple of other places that you could be open-minded to, but I don’t feel it’s a glaring need in the sense that we do have, I think it’s the second-best bullpen in the American League. Kelly’s thrown well, Barnes has thrown well. We need a little more consistency from him. And [Heath] Hembree’s done a good job. Again, I think it’s an area to keep an open mind to.”
While he doesn’t see the bullpen as a glaring need, he certainly has an “open mind” to it as the July 31st MLB trade deadline approaches. But as Dombrowski says, the Boston Red Sox bullpen has been one of the best in baseball this season.
The bullpen has an ERA of 3.08, second-best in the AL and third-best in the majors. One of the issues with the bullpen is betting on Joe Kely and Heath Hembree continuing their overall first half success going forward. But for the Boston Red Sox, they have several options from within.
Carson Smith is still working his way back from Tommy John Surgery and could throw off a mound within the next week. While he isn’t one to be relied on after such a long time off, he is an option for Boston. Other options in the organization include Brandon Workman.
This season Workman owns a 3.38 ERA in 2 appearances for the Red Sox with 5.1 IP. But with Workman, the idea is recapturing his success from the 2013 playoffs. A World Series run that saw the then rookie throw 8.2 IP over 7 games giving up 7 hits and zero earned runs. Workman suffered an elbow injury and his career was derailed by undergoing Tommy John Surgery in June of 2015. He was out for over a year with the right-handed reliever only starting his rehab assignment on July 5th, 2016.
Other than two appearances this season for Boston, Workman has been delegated to pitch for the Pawtucket Red Sox. Down in Triple-A he has done his job pitching 29 innings while striking out 35 batters and possessing a 1.55 ERA.
For Workman, the waiting game has become increasingly frustrated, with the trade deadline on July 31st, the time for Workman to get a real look is now. If Boston decides that from within is not an option, the trade market for them seems to be All-Star Pat Neshek.