With the World Series set to kick off tonight, both teams have announced changes to their 25-man rosters.
For the Dodgers, left-handed reliever Scott Alexander replaces Caleb Ferguson, the team announced. Alexander will be LA’s third left-handed option out of the pen, along with 22-year-old Julio Urias and regular season starter Alex Wood. The Dodgers have shuffled between Urias, Ferguson and Alexander as the third left-hander in the pen this postseason, with each player making the roster for two of the three playoff rounds.
Of the three, the 21-year-old Ferguson is the least seasoned, whereas Alexander profiles most-closely to a left-handed specialist – though none have drastic platoon splits. Still, it’s likely Alexander spent the weekend going over the scouting reports of Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers, Mitch Moreland and Jackie Bradley Jr.
For the Red Sox, they’ve also made a change to their bullpen. The team announced the addition of lefty Drew Pomeranz over right-handed options Brandon Workman or Steven Wright. It’s a bit of a surprising move given Pomeranz hasn’t pitched since September 30th. Conversely, Wright is recovering from left knee issues, while Workman was shelled in his three October appearances. Workman appeared twice in the ALDS and and once in the ALCS, pitching one third of an inning each time, surrendering a total five earned runs and seven hits in his one total inning of work.
You have to figure the Red Sox believe Pomeranz is closer to his 2017 self (137 ERA+) than his 2018 self (72 ERA+). One glimmer of hope in Pomeranz’s disastrous 2018 campaign: all 12 HRs surrendered this season were vs. right-handed hitters. For his career, lefties have hit .224/.305/.313 against Pomeranz, whereas righties have hit .247/.330/.420. Should Chris Sale or David Price fail to go deep into games, Boston will have the option of deploying Pomeranz as a long-man, or as a lefty specialist to counter Max Muncy, Joc Pederson and/or NLCS MVP Cody Bellinger.