The Red Sox made a couple of roster moves today, only one of which I knew about before I left for work this morning. In addition to adding Chase d’Arnaud to the active roster and optioning Steven Selsky, they’ve also optioned Robbie Ross to make room for Ben Taylor.
To make room on the roster, the #RedSox optioned LHP Robbie Ross Jr. and OF/INF Steve Selsky to Pawtucket following last night’s game.— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) April 28, 2017
I can’t really wrap my head around this one. I wrote earlier this week that the team can’t really survive keeping three lefties in their bullpen with the way they are currently utilizing their weapons. It makes sense that Taylor is the righty to come up to help the short-handed bullpen. He made a hell of an impression in spring training and has done more than enough in his short time with Boston early in the year to be deserving of a major-league spot.
The way they made room for him, however, is suspect. In the linked post, I mentioned that Ross had options remaining but mostly dismissed the possibility of sending him down. He’s been one of the more reliable and consistent relief arms in this bullpen for the last couple of years. He can get out both righties and lefties, he keeps the ball out of the air and he gets his share of strikeouts. It’s true that he hasn’t been overly impressive this year, but it’s only been four starts.
I still believe the more logical move would have been to designate Fernando Abad for assignment. He just doesn’t have the trust of his manager and is only being used in games that are not close. It doesn’t make sense to keep a guy like that over someone like Ross who can be a real weapon late in games. I understand the desire to hoard as much depth as possible, but I don’t see a ton of value in it when the depth is being kept on the bench unless it’s a blowout.
Perhaps this is simply Dave Dombrowski forcing John Farrell’s hand into giving Abad a chance in higher leverage situations. That may be the right call, but it’s coming at the expense of Ross. Hopefully this is just a short-term measure and something else can be figured out soon, because Ross does not deserve to be pitching in Pawtucket.