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Manny Back in Boston?

Manny Delcarmen was a very strong presence coming out of the Red Sox bullpen just a couple of years ago. Since then he has slipped and is now a free agent, time to sign him? (Photo by John Wilcox)

Well, maybe not Manny Ramirez, but possibly good ‘ole friend Manny Delcarmen. The Boston native was shipped out of Beantown on August 31 in wake of his recent struggles with the Red Sox. Even though he struggled in 2009 and 2010, the Colorado Rockies still coveted his services; why you may ask? That is beyond me.

Why pick up a struggling relief pitcher and put him in a hitters’ park? It doesn’t make any sense. Well, the Rockies experienced the same struggles with him that the Red Sox had seen, and now he is a free agent. That begs me to ask the question, should the Sox look at the “other” Manny, who was once so promising in the bullpen?

It would make sense, if he was still pitching well, that is, because Boston does need relievers. I’m just not sold on Delcarmen right now. Had there been a reason or even an excuse as to why he was pitching so poorly, then I would have to think about it.

What gets me about relief pitchers in the MLB is that they can have a really bad year one season, then the next year be the best pitcher on the entire team. Doesn’t really make sense. When Delcarmen first walked onto Fenway Park, he was solid, putting up an ERA of 3.00 in 10 games (9.0 innings) while striking out nine and walking seven. No, not the best of numbers, but it was also his first time pitching in the major leagues.

Throw out his next season (an ERA of 5.06 with four blown saves) and his next couple of seasons were very promising. His best season came in 2007 when he posted an ERA of 2.05 and a WHIP of 1.02 in 44.0 innings of work; he also only blew one save while converting the first of his career. In 2008, Delcarmen saw a lot of time on the field. as he pitched a total of 74.1 innings while posting an ERA of 3.27 and racking up a career-high 18 holds. He also had a career-high 72 strikeouts, but the Red Sox might have over-used him too much, because he slowly declined each season after ’08.

Before trading him away in late August, Delcarmen had an ERA of 4.70 and had given up a career-high seven home runs in only 44.0 innings of work. Colorado then suffered from his roller-coaster ride; he put up an ERA of 6.48 in only nine appearances. So after that experiment, it’s not surprising the Rockies declined his tender.

So now it’s pretty clear that the Red Sox shouldn’t even glance at the guy, but that might not be the case. If it was up to me, I would invite him to spring training, if he doesn’t sign elsewhere first, then see what he has left and if he makes a strong impression, then sign then guy to a contract full of incentives. Delcarmen will only be 29 when next season starts, so it’s not like he’s run out of gas already in his career, at least I hope not.

He has shown that he can win, and especially when it matters, like in the playoffs. If it happens to be a mechanical issue with him, then I am sure he can work at it and still contribute to any team around the league. So do I want the Red Sox to sign him? After last season, no. If he does get a chance at spring training and shows that he can still pitch, then I would easily welcome him back. He has been through a lot in his career, and if he is able to rejuvenate himself, then he would be a good addition to Boston’s pretty much empty bullpen.

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One comment for “Manny Back in Boston?”

  1. I agree give him a shot at spring training .What do we have to lose? everything too gain if he works out

    Posted by phil | December 22, 2010, 11:04 am

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