The metaphorical shuttle from Pawtucket to Boston has been incredibly busy this year, particularly among pitchers. With the rotation struggling for so much of this season and just being unable to consistently provide innings, the bullpen has been worked to death. In particular there has been a constant shuffle of long relievers going up and down as the threat of a two- or three-inning start any given day necessitates a true and rested long man in the bullpen every day. Because of all that, Ryan Weber is heading back down to Pawtucket according to Masslive’s Chris Cotillo. The corresponding move is not yet known.
Red Sox reshuffling bullpen: Ryan Weber sent down.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) August 11, 2019
For Weber, it’s got to be frustrating to have to go back down to the minors after what was a mostly solid, albeit relatively short, stint in the majors. He did give up the winning run in the tenth on Sunday, of course, but prior to that he had pitched in a couple of scoreless multi-inning outings. The first of which was in New York when he saved the bullpen with four scoreless innings. Then he tossed two scoreless frames on Saturday against the Angels. Like I said the Red Sox need fresh arms and he has thrown 90 pitches in the last week. Weber will be back, but with where we are on the calendar it’s possible it won’t be until September.
As for who replaces him on the roster, well, that’s where things get interesting. As we talked about on Minor Lines earlier this morning, there was some speculation that Erasmo Ramírez could get the call but then he was used out of the bullpen in Pawtucket. He could still come up, but it’s worth noting they would have to make room on the 40-man to do so. There are options to make that happen, but I’m not sure Ramírez is really a priority in that sense.
More likely, to me, would be someone like Josh Smith. Obviously that is not the most exciting name, but he can provide multiple innings. That said, the Red sox are clearly starting to panic a little bit — and I don’t mean that in a bad way because, well, they should be panicking — and have talked about shaking some things up in the pitching staff. Perhaps this will be their opportunity to call up a prospect like Tanner Houck or give a strong performer like Kyle Hart a chance. There’s really no move that would surprise me at this point. It’s worth noting that whoever is called up will not have to travel far. The ol’ Google machine tells me the drive from Toledo, where Pawtucket played this past weekend, to Cleveland is an hour and 45 minutes.
We’ll update this post when they announce the corresponding move.