BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox will have a hole in their rotation to start the season, with all signs pointing towards David Price beginning the year on the disabled list.
This was all but certain when the lefty was recently shut down for a week with elbow soreness, and with no timetable for Price to throw off a mound the Red Sox have to look elsewhere to fill out their five-man rotation. At the moment, Rick Porcello will start Opening Day with Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez, Steven Wright and Drew Pomeranz following the reigning AL Cy Young winner.
The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich (with Dan Roche filling in for Rich) on Wednesday, and said while the Red Sox have five arms to start games, they really don’t have much wiggle room if anyone on the back end suffers a setback.
“Wright and Pomeranz can’t have any more setbacks or anything like that. They’re on a schedule where they’ll pitch every five days, and will pitch the two games in Washington right before the regular season. If they get through those, they’d be pretty much set up to go six innings, 90 pitches in their first games of the regular season. But if any of those were to miss a start or something happens the Red Sox would have to figure something out, because they don’t have another Major League starter.”
Starting pitching depth was supposed to be one of the team’s strong points when they pulled off a blockbuster trade for Sale in the offseason, but that isn’t the case anymore. Rodriguez and Wright both missed time last season due to injury and had a delayed start to spring training, as did Pomeranz. If either of those three can’t go to start the year, the Sox would have to turn to Kyle Kendrick to fill out the rotation.
The 32-year-old Kendrick will make his fourth start of the spring on Wednesday, and has looked good with a 2-0 record and 2.08 ERA over 13 innings of work. But after spending his 2015 in the minors, it’s unclear if any of that success will translate at the Major League level.
“If they were have someone unable to start the regular season, Kendrick would be the guy. He has pitched pretty well in spring training, but it’s hard to put anything on that because he hasn’t faced Major League lineups,” noted Abraham. “He didn’t pitch at all in the majors last year, so you’d like to see him pitch in Pawtucket a little bit before you give him a Major League game. But right now, with [Henry] Owens and Brian Johnson being sent down, he’s their No. 6 starter at the moment.”
Abraham also touched on Price’s injury and Hanley Ramirez’s new role as a leader on the Red Sox: