The Boston Red Sox are finally starting to get hot, as they reached the six games over .500 mark after their win over the Minnesota Twins on Monday night. However, their team isn't without holes.
So far this season, their bullpen has been inconsistent and has had trouble closing things out in the later innings. On Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles, Marcus Walden blew a one-run lead in the seventh inning before the Red Sox had to make a comeback to beat their lowly division rival in extra innings. And in the eighth inning against the Twins, Colten Brewer got into trouble with a one-run lead before managing to get out of it.
Additionally, the team has had a lot of issues with their fifth starter. Nathan Eovaldi has been out since mid-April and in his stead, their replacements have struggled.
After the New York Yankees got active on the trade market and acquired slugger Edwin Encarnacion from the Seattle Mariners, there were questions about whether or not the Sox would make a move of their own. Still, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski downplayed the notion that they needed to make a move earlier because of the waiver trade deadline being eliminated.
"I don’t think it has anything necessarily to do with the trading deadline changing," said Dombrowski per WEEI's Rob Bradford. "This is how it has been the last couple of years when you have some clubs who are willing to declare themselves not in it earlier than normal and I think there are more clubs that are like that. Some clubs are willing to make that move if they have a particular need at that time if the asking price is right. As you could see with Encarnacion, he’s a good hitter and it looked like there was some drive to move salary, too."
And Dombrowski would know something about acquiring key players earlier in the season. He acquired World Series MVP Steve Pearce in an unheralded move in late-June and he was a great platoon option with Mitch Moreland. Some expected that after the Sox' early struggles in 2019 they would make a change to the team or patch one of their weaknesses. But, for the moment, it appears that they are willing to wait.
Dombrowski also brought up the fact that the Sox were going to get some players back that could have an impact on the squad. And in particular, Steven Wright, who will return from a suspension on June 25, was one of the names he is excited about in the bullpen.
"Really when you look at our club there are a few guys we’re talking about but we think on June 25 (Steven) Wright will be ready to come back and (Nathan) Eovaldi is making great strides so he should be back in plenty of time by then," said Dombrowski per Bradford. "Pearce, he’ll be healthy, we just have to hope he goes out and performs like he’s capable."
This isn't the first time that Dombrowski has mentioned Wright, so he figures to have a big role as a bullpen arm and a potential spot starter. But while getting injured/suspended players back will help shore up the depth, they may not be the full fix for the team.
The Red Sox still have plenty of time to make a decision on what to do ahead of the trade deadline. For the time being, it appears that they are willing to stand pat even as other teams make early-season trades.
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