With Spring Training coming to a close, it’s time for Manager John Farrell and GM Ben Cherington to sit down and hash out who will be in the pen this year for our Red Sox.
Some seasons it’s a no-brainer who will be on the staff, others not so much. Having a great bullpen is no easy task, especially when Relievers can be good one season and bad the next.
Since you can’t put a ton of stock in a players Spring Training stats, how will they decide who makes the team and who doesn’t? There are certain things the Manager and pitching coach look for when said pitcher is pitching, regardless of the meaning behind the game.
Does that pitcher repeat his delivery, does he have good command and or control of his pitches. Even something as simple as “Does he communicate with his Catcher?” can come into account.
As Spring Training goes along you should see steady improvement, more life on a Fastball, better Command…
For now, let’s assume there are “automatics” to make the team and those players should be: Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Craig Breslow, Chris Capuano and Edward Mujica. (5)
In my opinion both Brandon Workman and Drake Britton should go to Pawtucket.
On the bubble are: Burke Badenhop, Francisco Cordero, Tommy Layne and Andrew Miller. (4)
Let’s take a look at their Spring stats (As of 3/23/14).
Burke Badenhop- 6.00ERA, 1.67WHIP, .400AVG, 1 S.O.,0 BB, in 5 Games.
Francisco Cordero- 0.00ERA, .75WHIP, .185AVG, 8 S.O.’s, 1BB, in 8 Games.
Tommy Layne- 0.00ERA, .63WHIP, .083AVG, 7 S.O.’s, 3BB, in 7 Games.
Andrew Miller- 10.38ERA, 2.31WHIP, .250AVG, 7 S.O.’s, 6BB, in 7 Games.
I have liked everything I’ve seen from both Cordero and Layne, the complete opposite from Badenhop and Miller. To be fair and how I would hope the Sox would look at things, I will now list the four players Career stats as a gauge.
Burke Badenhop- 3.98ERA, 1.31WHIP, 3/9 Saves.
Francisco Cordero- 3.38ERA, 1.37WHIP, 329/405 Saves.
Tommy Layne- 2.84ERA, 1.07WHIP, 2/3 Saves.
Andrew Miller- 5.33ERA, 1.67WHIP, 0/1 Saves.
Between the Spring Training numbers and their respective Career stats, one would think the Sox may go with Cordero and Layne over Badenhop and Miller but will they? Both Cordero and Layne are Non-Roster invitees; Will Ben make one or both permanent members? I would, at least for Cordero as you can never have enough Closers on your team. Last year alone the Sox lost two to injury. Ben could always trade Badenhop and/or Miller, teams are always looking for experienced Relievers.
The Regular season starts on March 31st, on the Road, in Baltimore. Go Sox!