Drew Pomeranz isn’t quite there yet
Red Sox lefty Drew Pomeranz didn’t get the start against the Twins on Wednesday — that went to Rick Porcello, who we’ll get to in just a minute — but he did get to toss four innings. With David Price on the shelf, the team needs Pomeranz to be ready as soon as possible so they don’t have to dip into their depth to start the year. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case after his latest start. It has, of course, been a rough spring for Pomeranz, who started off slow. The southpaw didn’t make his first start of camp until March 14, and Wednesday marked his fourth overall. He got hit hard for three runs over his four frames which included a home run from ByungHo Park, four singles and two walks. He did strike out four as well. He’s allowed multiple runs over his four spring starts (and has an 8.25 ERA over all) with an 8/7 K/BB over his 12 innings of work. John Farrell acknowledged that he’s not ready to give Pomeranz his “stamp of approval” for the Opening Day rotation just yet.
Farrell said he can't put his "rubber stamp" of approval on Drew Pomeranz just yet. Needs to see him ramp it up in final tuneup Sunday.— Jason Mastrodonato (@JMastrodonato) March 29, 2017
As Mastrodonato mentions in the tweet above, the lefty will have one more start before the regular season begins. Obviously, the Red Sox are hoping he shows some improvement, because they can’t really trust him in his current form. Things are not getting off to a good start for a guy who is already maligned by a section of the fanbase for costing the organization Anderson Espinoza and not showing any results in his short stint with the team to this point.
The other pitchers look okay
The good news is that the other two pitchers who threw for Boston today — the aforementioned Porcello and Fernando Abad — were fine. The reigning Cy Young winner took the hill to start the game and went four innings himself. It wasn’t a perfect outing, but it wasn’t one to get anyone worried about his standing heading into the season either. Porcello allowed two runs over his four innings on a double and three singles. However, he also struck out four and didn’t walk anyone. There’s every reason to be confident in him when he takes the mound against the Pirates on Opening Day. Abad, meanwhile, closed things out in the ninth with a scoreless inning in which he allowed one single and struck out two Twins. He was in the midst of something of a battle for one of the last bullpen spots, but with Tyler Thornburg’s injury one has to imagine he’s safe at this point.
Welcome back, Xander Bogaerts
On the offensive side of things, the Red Sox may have only scored three runs but they had some encouraging moments. Chief of which was from Xander Bogaerts, who was playing in only his fifth Grapefruit League game since returning from World Baseball Classic action. Things hadn’t gone well in his four previous games as he had just one single to speak of. That changed on Wednesday. Boston’s shortstop had two hits in this one including a solo home run off Ervin Santana in the fifth inning. It was his first home run of the spring. Pablo Sandoval also hit a solo homer off Santana, with his coming in the third inning. Given the question marks around him, it’s nice to see the third baseman continuing to swing a hot bat this spring. Meanwhile, Hanley Ramirez contributed three hits including a double while Dustin Pedroia and Cole Sturgeon had two hits apiece. There’s not much to worry about with this lineup at this point.