Found July 02, 2013 on MLB Injury News:
It is not surprising that the Boston Red Sox lead the A.L. East by 2.5 games and with a record of 50-34 as play begins on July 2. After all, they have the American League's top offense in terms of runs scored, and their starting rotation is second best with a 3.80 ERA. What is surprising, though, is that they are winning this much with one of the league's weakest bullpens. The Red Sox bullpen has a 4.14 ERA (12th in the league) and a 16-for-29 success rate in save opportunities. Andrew Bailey leads the team with eight saves. The only other pitchers with saves are Joel Hanrahan, who is out for the season with Tommy John surgery, and Koji Uehara. Both have four. Even more surprising is the comment that manager John Farrell made about what type of reliever he wants and does not want. WEEI's Griffin Tewksbury quoted Farrell as describing the type of pitcher that Farrell prefers. Rather than saying he wants a quality reliever who will get hitters out, Farrell explained that he wanted a power pitcher, one who will strike out hitters. Said Farrell, “All things being equal, I’d rather have the guy that doesn’t put the ball in play. I think the one thing coming out of that is not to read into it that we need a groundball-type pitcher. The style of guys that we have are very effective, particularly when they’re not going to put guys on base via the walk. Still, the strikeouts late in the game are key.” Bailey is that type of strikeout pitcher. He has struck out 32 hitters in 23.1 innings pitch. However, he also has an ERA of 4.63 and a WHIP of 1.37. Uehara has become the closer of late and seems to fit that bill. He has 49 strikeouts in 34 innings with an ERA of 2.12 a WHIP of 0.82. Still, though, why would Farrell not want an available pitcher, such as the Chicago Cubs' Kevin Gregg, who gets hitters out in multiple ways? Gregg is a heavily rumored trade candidate. Known more for a sinker that gets ground balls -- which can turn into double plays -- Gregg can also strike out hitters. Gregg has 29 strikeouts in 27.1 innings. Even better, Gregg has an ERA of 1.65, a WHIP of 0.99, and 12 saves in 13 chances. He has allowed only two home runs pitching half his games in Wrigley Field. Besides, Fenway Park demands a ground ball pitcher. I think Farrell is missing out on a solid setup man and/or closer by overlooking Gregg or someone similar if he wants only a power pitcher in his bullpen. The idea is to get hitters out however possible. Strikeouts sell papers, but wins sell tickets. In a pennant race, a manager should want what is best for his team. Follow Raymond on Twitter @RayBureau. Like Raymond’s “Baseball Bureau” page on Facebook. Follow @mlbinjurynews Looking for fantasy baseball advice?
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