Burke Badenhop is a brand new face to fans in Boston (outside of his time with the Rays), but Kyle Lobner over at Brew Crew Ball has spent the last year watching him in Milwaukee. The verdict: despite being a reasonably good option out of the pen, the Brewers underutilized Badenhop, perhaps making him an easy target for the Red Sox.
Kyle sent a pair of Badenhop-centric articles my way, the first focusing on Milwaukee's usage of veteran Michael Gonzalez over him:
Thinking about last night's game made me wonder about what happened to Burke Badenhop.
16 of his 60 appearances have come in the sixth inning or earlier. The Brewers are 17-43 in games where they've used him this season, demonstrating that they've frequently turned to him when the outcome is no longer in question.
This is happening despite the fact that Badenhop has been pretty effective when used. His 3.60 ERA is above average. Among Brewers that have thrown at least 50 innings, the only guys with better walk rates than his 1.8 per nine innings are Kyle Lohse and Alfredo Figaro. He's the second-best reliever on the team at getting ground balls (51.6%, trailing only Brandon Kintzler). Yet somehow the Brewers have relegated him to mop-up duty when they use him at all.
Kyle also covers some of Badenhop's weaknesses, but it wouldn't do to just copy the whole thing. Click over and give it a read. The Badenhop bit starts about halfway down.
The second a season-in-review covering much of the same ground and including some highlights.
There's a positive and a negative side to this. The negative is that Badenhop's numbers from last year did not come in high-leverage situations, and the Red Sox have to be hoping he'll at least be able to pitch in the seventh inning of a close game, or come in when the team needs a ground ball in the sixth with two men on and one down. He pitched in some higher-leverage moments in 2012, but even then faced less important situations than, say, Craig Breslow in either of his last two years with the team.
The positive side is that he's got at least one well-informed Brewers fan who thinks he could have, and should have had the opportunity to take on those challenges. Hopefully he gets his due here in Boston.