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Kimbrel’s Effect on the Red Sox Bullpen

By on November 15, 2015 at 4:45pm

The Red Sox made headlines on Friday night with their surprising acquisition of Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres, marking Dave Dombrowski’s first significant roster move in Boston. Kimbrel immediately becomes the closer for the Red Sox since he has been one of the most dominant relievers in the history of the game, and provides an enormous upgrade from what the Red Sox had at the back of the bullpen in 2015. In fact, Kimbrel would be an upgrade over just about any closer in the game, so Dombrowski got good value in this trade, even though most people think he gave up too much prospect value. We don’t want to get too into that argument yet, but we can analyze how Kimbrel can improve the Red Sox bullpen aside from a flamethrower-fastball and a wipeout breaking ball. Following is our list of current Red Sox relievers who stand to gain from Kimbrel’s addition to the bullpen, and how they might benefit.

Koji Uehara:

Kimbrel’s acquisition comes with an automatic demotion for Uehara, who has been brilliant for just about his entire Red Sox career, including their World Series run in 2013. But his “demotion” only comes through the fact that Kimbrel is the best closer in the game, not by any fault of his own. Uehara maintained great strikeout (10.49 K/9) and walk (2.01 BB/9) rates into the latest stage of his career, even as his velocity has started to disappear (87.0 average fastball velocity in 2015). If he can manage to sustain his effectiveness even somewhere close to his current level, he will turn out to be an invaluable setup man for the eighth inning, and can combine with Kimbrel to shorten a game to seven innings.

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Doug Flutie confirmed Thursday, as reported by Chad Finn of the Boston Globe, that he will serve as color commentator for the Boston College vs. Notre Dame game to take place at Fenway Park on Saturday.

Continue reading Doug Flutie Commits to Broadcast Shamrock Series »

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Dave Dombrowski announced the start of his presidency by acquiring closer Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres. (MLB.com)

The Boston Red Sox held a press conference back in August to introduce Dave Dombrowski as the new president of baseball operations, in the midst of (another) failed season en route to a third last place finish in four years. But throughout the remainder of the season, Dombrowski’s presence was more felt than seen or heard – assessments of the 25-man roster, speculation on what he’d do with Clay Buchholz’s option, expounding on his team-building philosophies, and finalizing his front office. He seemed more of a looming figure in the owner’s suite than the president of baseball operations.

All that changed when Dombrowski shipped four prospects to the San Diego Padres in a blockbuster trade for All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel. (So much for those Aroldis Chapman rumors!) With that announcement, Dombrowski has put his fingerprints on the 2016 Red Sox with the acquisition of a single player, and that more than any press conference announces his arrival as the president of baseball operations for the Red Sox.

Continue reading Dombrowski Announces His Arrival to Red Sox with Trade for Kimbrel »

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Dave Dombrowski made a detour on the way to Winter Meetings to meet with Hanley Ramirez in Boca Raton, Florida.

Dombrowski hoped to speak to Ramirez about expectations for next season. The Red Sox would like to see Ramirez lose 15 lbs of muscle mass, so he can become a better run producer behind the plate and more athletic on the field, according to reporting by Peter Abraham by the Boston Globe. 

Continue reading Dave Dombrowski Meets with Hanley Ramirez »

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Somebody made a big mistake! The Washington Nationals 2016 calendar features an image of Fenway Park instead of Nationals Park.

After much laughter and backlash on the internet, Major League Baseball issued a statement about the calendar which falls under their license. Continue reading Fenway Park Featured on Nationals 2016 Calendar »

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Zack Greinke (Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

We’ve already been over how the Red Sox need starting pitching, particularly a top-end starter. National League Cy Young contender Zack Greinke is one of the most readily available options on the free agent market, and some have suggested that he should be the next great Red Sox Ace. There have also been reports that Greinke suffers from social anxiety, making a market like Boston a less than ideal fit for him. Even if that were the case, it should be left off the table entirely because it is not the fans’ (or reporters’) place to diagnose or judge any player’s personality or mental competence. But even excluding the alleged disorder, Greinke is not the right fit for to lead the Red Sox rotation.

Continue reading Greinke Not a Fit for Red Sox »

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Clay Buchholz (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

When the news came out on Wednesday that the Red Sox had exercised their option on Clay Buchholz, it seemed obvious and mystifying at the same time. The news itself was largely unsurprising, but the next step in the process remains unclear. For some reason the Red Sox were expected to pick up the $13 million option, even though Buchholz has become the very definition of unreliable in recent seasons. While some see the price as a relative bargain given how much starting pitchers are being paid around baseball, there is also a legitimate argument that the Red Sox could have been better off by allocating that money elsewhere. That argument is what makes Buchholz’s future team a mystery, as it is starting to make more sense by the day.

Continue reading Red Sox Keep Buchholz…For Now »

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