|Video: Napoli Beaned, Homers into Fifth Deck in 7-Run 11th Inning for Red Sox||Struggling Season Continues for Xander Bogaerts||Report: Patriots Trade Logan Mankins to Tampa Bay||Red Sox Have Decisions to Make and Money to Spend this Off-Season|
As the MLB waiver deadline draws near, the Red Sox are in a pretty comfortable place. Just as the case was during the non-waiver trade deadline back in July, the Sox don’t really need to make any blockbuster moves or hardly any moves at all. But regardless of how good the team might be, I do think they need to pad their armor a little bit more. The Red Sox should focus their efforts in the upcoming hours looking for pitching help.
Specifically, the team should be “wheeling and dealing” for strong left handed specialists. The team mad a low-key move back in July and Bedard hasn’t hurt the team by being in the rotation. Maybe one more tiny, little move wouldn’t hurt either.
Red Sox do have a very good southpaw out of Pawtucket, Felix Doubront. Many fans may recall that in early April, Doubront was on the big club but was sent down to Triple-A from reasons ranging everywhere from health issues to his uncertain team role. He has pitched well in Pawtucket, striking out 72 batters in 73 innings and will certainly be called up in September. That will be his audition for next season and not October. If he does go on to pitch well, it will likely give him a roster spot in October, but not a huge role to go with it. He is a very good prospect, but I just don’t see him being the lefty that Tito calls on in the seventh inning of an ALCS game to get one or two key outs.
This season he has a 1.82 ERA in 24.2 innings pitched with 31 strikeouts. That’s great news, but he’s currently in the middle of a stint on the DL.
He has five years experience with a 3.11 ERA in four years prior to this season where his ERA is a little high at 4.24. Maybe a change of scenery with a winning team could do him some good?
The 36-year-old lefty still has some gas left in the tank. His veteran presence out of the pen could do good things for the Red Sox in October lefty vs lefty situations. This one’s a long shot, but just like when the Sox picked up Billy Wagner, we didn’t see that coming either. Anything can happen.
Even though he’s a starter, bringing in the 10-9 lefty could help Andrew Miller fill the bullpen role come October. This is even more of a long shot than Fuentes, but he was rumored to move back in July and he’s a much better pitcher than his numbers perceive him to be.
The Red Sox could very well stay put and they should be fine going into October. As of right now, the Sox have Franklin Morales (3.64 ERA) as their go-to lefty out of the bullpen. He’s been solid in the role and the team has faith in him to do his job. The entire league has been pretty quite leading up to August 31st, which is a sign that the deadline is going to come and go and not much will happen. As for the lefty specialist and its importance, I believe it has it’s place and I would like the Red Sox to have a solid south paw heading into the playoffs. Many people scoff at the idea that there’s value put into a pitcher who only pitches to one or two hitters a game, but it shows it works in the playoffs. And that’s what matters in this day in age: doing what works in the playoffs.