McAdam: Even with expanded rosters, Red Sox could soon blow out bullpen
What We Learned: Orioles 6, Red Sox 3
BOSTON -- Three takeaways from the Red Sox' 6-3 loss to the Orioles on Tuesday night . . .
The bullpen -- you want the good news or the bad news?
The good: with 2 1/2 weeks remaining in the season and the postseason just over the horizon, the bullpen has, finally, found itself.
This month, covering 28 2/3 innings, Red Sox relievers have allowed just three earned runs, good for a 0.94 ERA. That's the lowest figure in the league in that span.
The addition of Joe Kelly and the return of Koji Uehara have been key. Now that there are more options for John Farrell, he can limit Fernando Abad to only lefties, who are just 2-for-21 since Abad came in a deal from the Twins.
The bad? Even with the expanded rosters, the Red Sox run the risk of overuse if they have a few more games like two they've had this week. On Sunday, when Clay Buchholz was lifted after three innings, the bullpen contributed six innings, allowing just two runs.
Then, on Tuesday night, when Drew Pomeranz (left) gave the Sox just two innings, the bullpen supplied seven innings of one-run help, buying time for an offensive comeback that never came.
Again, even with extra bodies, 14 innings -- counting an inning from Junichi Tazawa Monday -- over the span of three days is too much to ask.
What's happened to Bryan Holaday?
Less than two weeks ago, with return of Ryan Hanigan from his DL stint, John Farrell was asked who his No. 2 catcher would be. Without hesitation, he answered: Holaday.
Farrell then added that there would still be a role for Hanigan, especially since the expanded rosters allowed for more flexibility. (Christian Vazquez is available, too).
But since then, Holaday has started one game and Hanigan has started two. Holaday also appeared in just one other game as a late-inning replacement while Hanigan has come off the bench three times.
Yoan Moncada's recent honor is a big one
Moncada has had his struggles -- to put it mildly -- since being promoted, with nine consecutive strikeouts and counting. But Moncada was named Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year Tuesday, a reflection of how highly he's valued.
To put that in perspective, no Red Sox prospect has ever won the award before.
The magazine has given the award annually since 1981. Considering that the Red Sox have had the following prospects come through their system without winning the honor -- Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, Mo Vaughn, Jeff Bagwell, Nomar Garciaparra, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon, Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts and more -- that puts the achievement in perspective.