As everyone must know by now, the Boston Red Sox are not in the middle of what is considered to be a “good season”. The club is in last place out of the American League East 92 games into the season, with a winning percentage .001 lower than the Tampa Bay Rays. This mark makes Boston the 3rd worst team in the American League. The only two teams worse are the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers. With the trade deadline approaching, it makes sense for Boston to have a fire sale, so to speak, and clean house so that they are ready for the 2015 season.
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In 2015, the Boston Red Sox will have plenty of open spots on their team, many of which are in the bullpen assuming some pitchers from this year are dealt elsewhere. Let’s take a look and see how the 2015 Red Sox bullpen will shape up.
In the Red Sox bullpen next year, it is safe to assume there will be many fresh faces. Andrew Miller, Koji Uehara, Burke Badenhop, and potentially Craig Breslow are all free agents at the end of this year. With this being said, expect Boston to say farewell to these men at the trade deadline at the end of the month. Also, Edward Mujica proved he was another Mark Melancon type guy who could not pitch in the American League and could be dealt at the deadline as well. If not, Boston will likely find some way to get rid of him before the 2015 season.
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Now, who does that leave who is currently in the Boston Red Sox bullpen? This would leave just two men—Junichi Tazawa and Felix Doubront. Of course those two men alone could not be a bullpen and Boston needs to add to their late inning pitchers.
Based off of the loaded farm system the Boston Red Sox are in possession of, the bullpen will be talented and young. Assuming Felix Doubront finds his way back into the rotation, this leaves Junichi Tazawa as the only sure bet. Now take a look at the potential Red Sox bullpen:
Koji Uehara (CL)- Yes, they will go ahead and re-sign him even if he gets traded.
Junichi Tazawa (SU)- His consistency gets him promoted within the pen.
Noe Ramirez (MR)- His dominance in AA and ability to go multiple innings gets noticed and he snags a spot in a roster battle.
Brandon Workman (SM)- Workman, who did not allow a run in the 2013 postseason, goes back to where he belongs and pitches out of the bullpen.
Steven Wright (LR)- Given his erractic and highly effective knuckleball, mixed with some serious stamina, Wright will eat up innings of lopsided games for Boston.
Tommy Layne (LOOGY)- The left-handed specialist could prove valuable to the Red Sox if they give him the right role, which is as a lefty one out guy, or “LOOGY”.
Acquisition (LHP MR)- With plenty of internal talent for the bullpen, Boston lacks a good left-handed option. They will need to get an established lefty for the bullpen even if it only means signing Andrew Miller again.
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Even after a busy trade deadline at the end of the month, the Boston Red Sox will still have plenty of talent. The bullpen next year will be inexperienced for the most part, but very good. It will be well rounded and filled with stamina, meaning Boston will never need to make a roster move in order to have a sufficient bullpen any given night.