This is a much tougher choice than many fans realize. My original opinion was that if the Sox didn’t go with E-Rod, this could only be due to Dave Dombrowski’s unwillingness to admit that he messed up by trading Drew Pomeranz for Anderson Espinoza. Twice. But one day when I was looking through some of the older articles I’d written, I was forced to think again.
In August, Drew Pomeranz made 6 starts. In those 6 starts Pomeranz went a modest 2-1, while posting a 2.70 ERA, and allowing just a .230 opponent batting average. At the very least, those numbers are impressive, and I’d even go as far to say that they are ace-like. Within this fantastic 6 game span, there is one start that truly gives me reason to believe that Pomeranz can have a successful season pitching in the American League. On August 15th, Pomeranz beat the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field by allowing just 2 ER over 7 ⅔ innings. This is not the type of start that can be expected out of Pomeranz on a regular basis, but it does demonstrate Pomeranz’ capability to dominate elite AL offenses. It almost makes me wish he was given the ball in Game 2 of the ALDS instead of David Price. But you know what they say; hindsight is 20/20.
Eduardo Rodriguez won’t turn 24 until the week of Opening Day. With that being said, it makes sense to start him in Pawtucket where he can recover from whatever injury he’s dealing with at the time, work on the pitch tipping issues that will make their inevitable return, and focus on the basics. If Pomeranz or Wright struggles or gets injured, E-Rod will be there to step in. And if Pomeranz and Wright thrive, then the Red Sox have the potential for 5 All-Star caliber pitchers to make up their starting rotation. In order for the Red Sox to fully take advantage of this 2-3 year window, they must make the moves that give them the best chance to win now. Thus, Pomeranz deserves to be given a chance to prove that he belongs. Whether or not he takes advantage of this opportunity is an anxiety-inducing conversation that will be saved for another day.
Photo: (CBS Boston)