In case you haven’t noticed, the Boston Red Sox have had a rough start to their 2012 campaign. Injuries and ineffectiveness have resulted in a 4-10 start and finds the Red Sox looking up at the rest of the American League East. For this reason many around the league, including ESPN’s Buster Olney, expect the Red Sox to continue to monitor the market early.
Olney and Nick Carfado of the Boston Globe wouldn’t be surprised if the Red Sox recall veteran Aaron Cook, who signed a minor league deal this offseason, from Triple-A and plug him into their struggling starting rotation. Carfado took it a step farther and said that Boston should consider naming Daniel Bard as their closer and replacing him in the rotation with Cook.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports chimed in on the Red Sox MLB-worst bullpen, which has allowed an ERA of 8.44 on the season. Rosenthal said that Bobby Valentine, who has received much of the criticism for Boston’s early season struggles, shouldn’t be blamed for the Red Sox bullpen issues. Instead, Rosenthal believes Red Sox executives such as general manager Ben Cherington should have done a better job replacing Jonathan Papelbon and Bard this offseason.
Speaking of Cherington, the GM is hoping that recent acquisition Marlon Byrd is able to return to form in Boston. Byrd started the season going 3-43 with the Cubs, good for an OPS of .219. However, Cherington is hoping Byrd is able to rebound and produce closer to his career clip of .278/.337/.416 for the Red Sox.
If the Red Sox do turn to the trade market they figure to go after pitchers. With the pending returns of Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford, Boston’s offense should be fine. However, the pitching staff could be another story, especially the bullpen.
Mike Gonzalez remains unsigned and there figures to be several relievers available for the Red Sox to target. The team is also counting on Andrew Bailey returning at the All-Star break and providing a lift for the back-end of the bullpen and for Mark Melancon to put things together in Triple-A.
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