Recent struggles in the Red Sox bullpen look ominously familiar to president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, writes ESPN Boston’s Scott Lauber. As Lauber notes, a faulty bullpen was a frequent Achilles heel for Dombrowski’s Tigers teams that made the postseason (or came close to doing so), and the relief corps is the weak link for Boston right now. The July acquisitions of Brad Ziegler and Fernando Abad haven’t been enough to solidify the staff (Abad has struggled quite a bit), leaving manager John Farrell with a great deal of uncertainty in the late innings. A return for Koji Uehara (more on that here), a successful transition to the bullpen for Clay Buchholz or Joe Kelly, and a last-minute add from outside the organization are three possible saving graces, Lauber writes, noting that Kelly in particular has excelled out of the bullpen at Triple-A Pawtucket.
More from the AL East…
- The Marlins are finally making good, to some extent, on the hopes and expectations that they carried into the 2015 season, and Patrick Dubuque of Baseball Prospectus breaks down the roster moves that set the stage for an interesting 2016 campaign. While most pundits were down on the organization’s dealings, many haven’t turned out as badly as feared. In the meantime, the club has received highly unexpected results from many players — some negative, but many quite positive (albeit questionably sustainable). Dubuque remains bearish on the Miami organization; you’ll want to give his piece a full read to gather the details.
- MLB.com’s Mark Bowman fielded some relevant questions from Braves fans. Among other items, he notes that the club now seems somewhat unlikely to promote infielder Ozzie Albies to join prospective double-play mate Dansby Swanson in the majors this year — even though he still has a chance at playing a major role in 2017. Speaking of next year, Bowman says it wouldn’t be surprising at this point if interim skipper Brian Snitker is retained, though the team has several other internal and external candidates it may wish to consider.
- The Braves’ interest in bringing back Brian McCann will likely be revived in the offseason, Bowman further writes. He no longer looks like a terribly plausible trade candidate right now, and Atlanta may wish to explore the free agent market first. Improving the situation behind the plate and bolstering the rotation remain the club’s two major offseason goals, he adds. The team may also look at a third baseman, he suggests.
- The Mets are likely to bring righty Logan Verrett back to the majors today, ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin reports. While fellow right-hander Rafael Montero delivered some useful frames yesterday, he’ll need regular rest and isn’t expected to command a rotation spot anyway, so the club will use the opportunity to add a fresh arm to the mix. Verrett, 26, has turned in 25 2/3 quality frames as a reliever, but has struggled to a 6.45 ERA over a dozen starts on the year.