- Tim Burke
What Do The Red Sox Do With Their Pitching
The Red Sox offense scored the fourth most runs in all of baseball in 2019. Their pitching is what cost them the 2019 World Series. Not just the bullpen but the starting rotation as well. What does the future hold for the Red Sox pitching?
Will Sale and Price be healthy?
Chris Sale's first two seasons in Boston were electric. That being said they were also filled with shoulder fatigue. It appeared that he often burnt himself out by mid August. Sale signed a five year 145 million dollar extension in March. This season was the worst of his career with a 4.40 Earned Run Average and ended early due to an elbow injury. Is Tommy John in his future? Will he pitch at all in 2020?
I am actually a big David Price fan. I believe he is greatly misunderstood. David Price was the pitcher that lead the Red Sox to a World Series victory not Chris Sale. Price beat Verlander on the road to clinch the American League Pennant and then beat Clayton Kershaw on the road to win the World Series. When at his best Price is still one of the best. His injuries definitely hurt the Red Sox in 2019. They need him to stay healthy in 2020.
With the health of the Red Sox top two pitchers the Red Sox cannot simply rely on Eduardo Rodriguez. Here are some options.
This is an extreme unpopular opinion but the Red Sox should bring back Rick Porcello for 2020. There is no doubt he was one of the worst pitchers in baseball this year. A 5.52 Earned Run Average is abysmal. The thing is though the Red Sox could still use him 2020. Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi's health is a massive concern for the rest of their contracts. Andrew Cashner is almost guaranteed to not resign. My guy, David Price struggled with injuries in 2019. Eduardo Rodriguez needs support. The last four seasons Rick Porcello is second in games started and third in innings pitched. There is no Red Sox pitcher more reliable the last five seasons than Rick Porcello. Give him an opportunity to prove himself next year. He is a lot better pitcher than he was in 2019 and there is no doubt in my mind he will be better in 2020. The Red Sox could use a durable innings eater in 2020. Who knows what they will have for pitching. The Red Sox should sign Porcello to a cheap one year deal in 2020. This benefits both parties, in my opinion.
The Red Sox usually run away from long term contracts from pitchers thirty or older, just ask Jon Lester, but Bumgarner may be a good investment. Bumgarner seemed to have recovered from his shoulder injury as he led the National League in starts and innings pitched in 2019. In my opinion, he is a more intriguing option than Cole and Ryu as he is not going to be the highest paid free agent. After building up his arm strength back to normal this year maybe he can return back to the elite form he had prior to his shoulder injury.
The Red Sox do not have a lot of trade chips in their farm system but we saw the Mets acquire Marcus Stroman for not a whole lot. We saw trade rumors this year about pitchers such as Syndegaard. A promising young pitcher who is looking to bounce back from a down year. Maybe the Red Sox try to get an elite arm if they do end up trading Mookie Betts. Maybe Sale and Price are healthy and back to form in 2020. Only time will tell.