If there is one area the Red Sox haven't seen much luck this year, it's in the bullpen. Joel Hanrahan, Andrew Bailey, and Andrew Miller were expected to be the 3 big guns in the 'pen for Boston. All 3 are on the D.L.
Oh, and while we're on the topic of luck, remember Mark Melancon? The guy who had a 6.22 ERA for Boston in 2012? He's pitching out of his mind for Pittsburgh with an ERA of 0.81. Figures, right?
The acquisition of Matt Thornton was a solid move for the Red Sox. However, I still see the Sox as 1 bullpen arm short of being a complete ballclub. I don't see how they can upgrade the lineup, nor acquire another starting pitcher without rocking the boat. An above average, go-to 8th inning guy could just put the Sox over the hump.
Here are 3 guys I would be disappointed if not found in a Boston uniform by July 31st:
Francisco Rodriguez of MIL: 1.14 ERA in 24 appearances in 2013. Started the year in the set-up role, and moved into the closer role after Jim Henderson's injury.
Luke Gregerson of SD: 2.93 ERA in 43 appearances in 2013. Has never had an ERA above 3.24 in 4 1/2 major league seasons.
Jared Burton of MIN: 3.59 ERA in 44 appearances in 2013. Had career best 2.18 ERA in 2012, but with 2010-2011 being lost seasons for Burton, he still must prove himself.