With all of the questions surrounding the rotation this year, Red Sox starters have been largely successful. They were, however, dealt a blow when Steven Wright went down for the season last week. Even though Wright’s season was pitiful, he may have been the best option for the Red Sox’s number five starter.
The number five starter role could be a revolving door until David Price returns to the big club, that is, if he does this season. Right now, the man filling that void is Kyle Kendrick. That, you might say, isn’t going well. In his two starts, he’s been lit up like a Christmas Tree to the tune of a 12.96 ERA. The gift awaiting him under the tree he lit was a one-way ticket back to Pawtucket Wednesday night.
So now, John Farrell will have to continue to search for the man to round out his starting rotation. Let’s just say his options are thin at that position.
Who is the favorite for the Red Sox’s number five starter?
The only other guy with a decent amount of MLB experience is Henry Owens. Quite frankly, seeing Owens in a Red Sox uniform again may make me vomit. The experiment with him is over, he simply can’t pitch at this level. In 85 innings pitched in the majors, he has 44 walks and a WHIP of over 1.5. Unfortunately, we may see one of those games soon where Owens pitches five innings and walks four in about three hours.
Another option is Brian Johnson. Johnson has only made one start in the majors and it wasn’t pretty. His season in Pawtucket, however, has been great so far. He’s 2-0 with a 2.64 ERA, outdoing Owens in nearly every category with the Paw Sox. With Johnson exuding major league poise in spring training this year, after overcoming severe anxiety in 2016, Johnson is very likely to take that number five spot soon.
Technically, there is another option with MLB experience. If you thought Kyle Kendrick was bad, how about we rewind to Roenis Elias’s brief Red Sox career. Elias was torched by the Mariners in his debut, giving up two runs in his first four pitches and giving up a total of seven in four innings. If Elias is the guy the Red Sox turn to, something is very, very wrong.
So, Brian Johnson seems like the guy. He pitched well in Spring Training and it’s worth a shot to see if he’s better than Owens or Elias. I mean come on, he has to be, right? Right?