The Red Sox are not the only 0-6 team out there. They’re not the only one in the division, either. And they’re not even the 0-6 team with the worst chances of a turnaround. Ladies and gentlemen: the Tampa Bay Rays.
Tampa Bay dropped its sixth straight game today, losing 5-1 to the White Sox in Chicago’s home opener. The loss came at the hands of an old teammate and nemesis, Edwin Jackson. Jackson pitched for the Rays from 2006 to 2008, and he threw a no-hitter against them while pitching for the Diamondbacks last year. Today he was on fire, striking out 13 Rays in eight innings. He’s always had the capability to uncork games like that. Electric stuff when he can control it.
The Rays haven’t even held a lead this year. In their six games they have scored 1, 1, 1, 3, 1 and 1 runs. Their best player is out for three weeks. It’s bad news. Far worse than anything the Red Sox are facing, with far less talent in reserve to expect an extraordinary turnaround in the short term.
Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz hasn’t pitched in a week due to soreness in his left forearm. He threw a bullpen on Thursday afternoon and said, “I definitely feel like I can maybe help (as a reliever in the playoffs,” as ESPN’s Scott Lauber reports.
The Red Sox clinched the AL East on Wednesday, so they don’t need to rush Pomeranz along. And using him out of the bullpen might ultimately be best as he regressed quite a bit after coming to Boston from San Diego in July. In 13 starts with the Red Sox, Pomeranz has a 4.68 ERA with a 69/24 K/BB ratio in 67 1/3 innings.
Eduardo Rodriguez and Clay Buchholz have been throwing the ball quite well as of late. Paired with Rick Porcello and David Price, the Red Sox still have the depth to be menacing in the postseason.
Remember Jesus Montero? The former Yankees and Mariners prospect? Well, he was picked up by the Blue Jays back in March after the Mariners waived him and played 126 games for Triple-A Buffalo this year. That went alright, I suppose, with Montero hitting .317/.349/.438 with 11 homers. He played a bit of first base too, trying to break the mold he’s been stuck in as a 26-year-old DH.
If this season was a platform for him to make one last push to the bigs, the platform was just pulled out from under him: he has been suspended for 50 games after testing positive for dimethylbutylamine (DMBA), a stimulant in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
The minor league season is over, of course, so he’ll serve that suspension next season. Assuming the Jays keep him in the fold.