Red Sox looking to add to bullpen and first base ‘potentially’ before deadline

Red Sox

The Red Sox have similar needs to what they had a year ago before the trade deadline.

Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox are in a position to be buyers again at the deadline. Barry Chin/Personal Globe

The Red Sox are in the midst of their toughest time on the schedule this season, and their play suggests they need help.

Boston has gone 3-6 in its last three series against the AL East’s top rivals (Blue Jays, Rays and Yankees), and is 4-8 since June 26. Sure, the Red Sox have dealt with a slew of injuries (Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Whitlock, Kiké Hernández and others ran out of time in the recent slip-up), but even when those players return, they will still have a few points to correct on the list.

In an interview with MassLive’s Chris Cotillo, Red Sox baseball manager Chaim Bloom clarified that he would like to add arms to the bullpen.

“I think one of the good things about us, especially with the guys coming back from the injured list this month, is that we expect to be in a place where we have a lot good options in our list. I think every team that’s in that position is always looking to fortify their bullpen,” Bloom told Cotillo. “Some of the ups and downs that we went through with our enclosure made this something that we are going to look at. We feel like we’re going to get stronger from the inside pen, not just with [Garrett] Whitlock is coming back to this group, but there are also Triple-A guys who I think are going to step in and help us out. But we would like to add to this group if we can find a good way to do it.

The Red Sox bullpen has been on the move for much of the season. They have the second most missed saves in baseball (18) and have the lowest save percentage (50%). They’ve also used their bullpen almost more than anyone else in baseball, calling on a reliever to enter the game 310 times this season. That trails only the Nationals (315) and Blue Jays (311).

As Bloom mentioned, Whitlock will return to the bullpen when he returns from his hip injury in July. But other than that, they don’t seem to have much inside help getting into the bullpen. Hansel Robles, who was one of the team’s big acquisitions at last season’s trade deadline, was released on Saturday after being slated for assignment earlier in the week. On Saturday, Matt Barnes began rehab with a Florida Coast League rookie-level affiliate. But he allowed three runs on three hits in one inning Saturday and has mostly struggled at the big league level since August of last season.

In late June, Peter Gammons of The Athletic reported that the Red Sox were looking to add two right-handed bullpen arms, flagging former Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard (now with the Rockies) as a potential target.

The Red Sox’s other notable need was highlighted in Thursday’s loss to the Yankees. First baseman Franchy Cordero, who played as an outfielder for most of his career before this season, dropped a pop routine due to miscommunication with the rest of the outfield. This play allowed a runner to score, which ended up being the difference in the 6-5 loss.

Since the Red Sox don’t have anyone who played first base for most of their respective careers on the roster, Cotillo asked if the position was an area Bloom was looking to improve before the deadline.

“Potentially,” Bloom said. “I think what Franchy has done since he arrived there – given he has some versatility to play elsewhere too – I think he’s done a solid job and I think what he’s done below the surface is even better than what you see on the back of the baseball card. We know Bobby [Dalbec] can hit left-handers. He’s handling a tougher role really well right now. We hoped all year that as Triston [Casas] starts, he could still feature in this thing… grateful that he has to make up for lost time. Certainly, it is a place where we can be open to additions from outside.

“When it comes to this group of positional players, especially with the versatility we have in many places, we’re going to explore a lot of options in a lot of different places.”

Besides not really having a first baseman on the roster, Cordero and Dalbec, who have started the most games first for the Sox this season, haven’t been spectacular either. Dalbec hit .212/.293/.340 with six homers while Cordero was a bit better, hitting .249/.323/.393 with three homers.

With Casas – one of the Red Sox’s top prospects – missing time at Triple-A Worcester since May with a sprained ankle, the Red Sox will likely have to look outside if they want to improve at first too. aim. Boston got creative in trying to solve its first base problem a year ago, trading for outfielder/designated hitter Kyle Schwarber and moving him to the front row, a position he had never played before. . As Schwarber struggled to learn how to play first, his bat made up for it by hitting .291/.435/.522 with seven homers in 41 regular season games.

Baltimore’s Trey Mancini and Washington’s Josh Bell are just two of the first basemen rumored to be on the move before the deadline. But the acquisition of either of these two first basemen could have a high price in perspective. Bloom told Cotillo he was just looking to get the bargains.

“I think one of the things that I took away from last year was that when we made good baseball moves, more often than not we were rewarded for them,” Bloom told Cotillo. “Some of them felt like small moves back then and we reaped huge rewards from them. You can’t get too greedy with this game. You have to focus on the right moves. Small moves can have big offshoots. If a good shot is a big shot that steals all the headlines, that’s fine too and it’s something we look for as long as it’s a good trade.

After Sunday’s game against the Yankees, the Red Sox will continue to face playoff teams, playing games against the Rays, Yankees, Blue Jays, Guardians, Brewers and Astros before the trade deadline. of August 2.


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