Dave Dombrowski struck again last night, but this time he struck rather largely. He acquired 27 year All Star Pitcher Drew Pomeranz from the Padres for 18 year old Anderson Espinoza, the Red Sox best pitching prospect and whom Baseball America rated the 15th best prospect and fourth best pitching prospect.
Dombrowski dealt the Red Sox best pitching prospect
Anderson Espinoza to acquire Drew Pomeranz
Acquiring a pitcher like Pomeranz is something that needed to happen, as Boston's staff allows 4.9 runs per game, the third-worst mark in the American League. The Red Sox team ERA stands at 4.43, which ranks 19th in the league. The rotation has benefited from All-Star Steven Wright and Rick Porcello pitching his best season of his career, but $217 million dollar man David Price has been rather disappointing. The six other pitchers who have made a starting appearance support a 7.22 ERA in 33 starts.
Everyone knew the Red Sox had to address the rotation to make any run in the playoffs, and Pomeranz, a former No. 5 pick, might be the guy to propel them over the top. Many people are against the fact the Red Sox gave up their best pitching prospect for a guy with barely any track record, but looking at Pomeranz's stats suggest he might be the real deal.
This season Pomeranz ranked fourth in the NL with a 2.47 ERA, better than any Red Sox starter this season. Pomeranz also cracked the top 10 in the league in WHIP (1.06), fewest homers per nine innings (0.7), wins above replacement (3.0), strikeouts per nine (10.15) and total strikeouts (115 in 102 innings).
Many are concerned the move to the AL and out of PETCO Park will hurt Pomeranz, but he has pitched better on the road this season. He supports a 2.32 ERA in nine starts on the road against a 2.64 ERA at home in eight starts. None on those nine starts on the road have been in an American League park. But Pomeranz spent his last few season with the Oakland A's. He had a 3.08 ERA with them in two seasons, proving he can pitch out of PETCO Park and in the AL.
Pomeranz supports a 2.47 ERA this season, one of the best in the majors
Joining the Red Sox will be the fifth team Pomeranz has played on since he entered the league in 2011. The biggest reason he has become a elite pitcher this season was his change in pitches. Over the winter, Pomeranz learned a cutter and has used the cutter more than 10% of the time this season. He is using his curveball and changeup more that ever which causes his four seem fastball to be more affective. Pomeranz has become less predictable on the mound and has increased his pitches thrown with movement to 65%, up 25% from last year.
So Pomeranz sounds like a guy you want in your rotation now right? I haven't even talked about the best part. Pomeranz is under team control through 2018. He has two arbitration years remaining and a $1.35 million salary this year. He will help upgrade the rotation for several years to come as the Red Sox now have David Price, Steven Wright, Rick Porcello and Drew Pomeranz under team control through 2018. Also this might mean Clay Buchholz is finally gone.
Dombrowski has realized his team is in position to win now. The majority of the starting lineup is under 26 years old and Big Papi is playing some of his best baseball in his final season. Adding Pomeranz will allow the Red Sox to compete in the AL East and maybe into October. And as for Espinoza, Dombrowski is working for right now. Pomeranz will be a 100% better major leaguer than Espinoza in 2018, if Espinoza is even playing in the majors at that point. Pomeranz has had a breakout year and can potentially become even better in the next three seasons. It was a trade Dombrowski had to make if he wanted any chance of winning this season.
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