We are just 12 days away from the first pitch at Fenway Park to kick off the 2017 campaign, and it feels like there are not any major story lines coming out of spring training. The only thing people have been really talking about has been the pitching staff. Should there be some concern with this staff? I wouldn’t start panicking yet but the recent injuries to certain players on this staff shouldn raise some questions going forward.
The Red Sox were able to have a good season last year because of their ability to stay healthy for most of the season. For the upcoming season this team looks to become World Series contenders and many people including myself have high expectations for this team. As we recall David Price visited Dr. James Andrews earlier this month to follow up on a potential tear in his elbow. Turns out he didn’t need Tommy John Surgery and rested his arm for a week. Well he hasn’t throw since then and it’s most likely he will start the year on the disabled list and could be out until May. Drew Pomeranz has been slotted to start in the bullpen but with Price most likely out he will have to slide in as the 5th starter. Pomeranz has only appeared in 2 games this spring training having to leave has last start with triceps soreness. He threw a bullpen session yesterday and said he felt great. But with him being a starter to begin the season I’m not optimistic on how healthy and effective he can be being that 5th starter.
The forgotten man of the rotation Steven Wright has looked strong in his 2 spring training starts as he looks to repeat his 2016 All-Star campaign. We recall his shoulder injury that essentially ended his season last year. I’m highly optimistic he will be fine in the 4th spot giving them plenty of dominant innings with his knuckleball if health is not an issue. Eduardo Rodriguez has really impressed people this Spring with him being able to command his pitches, something that was a concern of his last season. He seems confident and ready to go, he should fit right in as the clear cut number 3 guy and I can see this being a break out season for the 23 year old.
For the top end of the rotation Porcello and Sale have been relatively strong this spring and people are looking at these 2 to carry the rotation for the majority of the season with Price’s status unknown. Porcello has already been named the opening day starter and deserving so he looks to cap off another great season after winning the Cy Young in 2016. I’m hoping Porcello doesn’t become a one hit wonder after what he did last season. If he is good, which in my mind is at least putting up double digit wins with an ERA in the mid 3’s this team can go places. Sale on the other hand is the guy everyone is looking at to bring this team to the promise land. The clear cut ace hopefully this team can rely on since Jon Lester. Will the pressure of pitching in Boston get to him? It remains to be seen. With the injuries and issues this staff has dealt with so far, I wouldn’t be too concerned and let’s hope they can stay healthy for the majority of the season. They look strong to start the year but last thing we need is them stumbling out of the gate losing a handful of games to start the season.
Baseball season can’t come soon enough.