The Red Sox have finally done something to address the ineffectiveness of the 2019 team's bullpen. In a move that frankly had to be made, RHP Ryan Brasier has been sent down to the Paw Sox. LHP Darwinzon Hernandez has been called up to take Brasier's roster spot.
Sure, as a team the bullpen numbers aren't that far off from 2018, but make no mistake about it, the Red Sox bullpen has been a disaster in 2019. The internet has been wearing out Cherynobl references when talking about disasters, so I won't pick that low-hanging fruit. I wouldn't say it's been that bad as I'm fairly confident nobody has died from radiation poisoning due to the Red Sox bullpen, but then again Cherynobl didn't have have 18 blown saves as a team in the first 94 games of the year (nearly 20% of all games this year) so it'd be unfair to assume this team's play hasn't been hazardous to people's health.
After nearly squandering a 10-4 8th inning lead last night by allowing 4 runs (3 earned) against the juggernaut, 35 win Toronto Blue Jays finally Sox decided they cannot keep trotting this guy out there. This team is too good to be squeaking out wins when they score double digit runs against teams that are 60 games under .500.
In his last 3.1 innings over 4 appearances Brasier has allowed 8 runs, 7 of which were earned. If you're new to baseball that is bad. Small sample size, for sure, but believe me Brasier has been horrific in 2019. While ERA doesn't tell the entire story, especially for a bullpen guy, Brasier's ERA in 2019 is 4.24. His WHIP has gone up nearly half a base-runner per inning, walk rate is up, and he single handled ruined the only game I've been to this year by giving up 2 home runs (including one to a guy hitting below. 100) in the 9th inning against the Indians after I stayed during the entire two-ish hour rain delay. Same week my Grandma died so thanks a lot for that moral booster, Ry.
Ryan Brasier was a pleasant, effective surprise in 2018.
In 33.2 innings over 34 appearances Brasier had a minuscule 1.60 ERA. He only allowed 6 runs during the 2018 regular season. Between putting up those numbers (despite not appearing in a major league game for 5 years), his story of getting back to the bigs and telling Gary Sanchez to get back in the fucking box Brasier wasn't necessarily a "fan favorite" but he definitely was a guy Red Sox fans were diggin' for a brief period of time.
As much as I've shit on Brasier this year and have been frustrated by his ineffectiveness, I do in a way feel bad for the guy. I'm sure he'll be the first to admit he's struggled this year, but the Red Sox front office aka Dave Dombroski, who totally screwed up the bullpen (shocker!) this off-season deserve a major piece of this blame pie. I think they asked too much out of him. If you're not gonna re-sign Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel, you should at least do something to replace them, not just be like "we're straight". Relying on a guy who's thrown under 50 innings in the big leagues to replace Craig Kimbrel (who is going to make the HOF) with hindsight, and also foresight was not an intelligent baseball decision.
This was the Red Sox and Dumbo not allocating funds properly trying to save money on the pen. Let's not forget the Red Sox started this guy off as the closer. Yeah, as baseball evolves the idea of traditional "closer" may disappear, but it hasn't yet, and putting all that pressure on a guy who pitched 43.1 innings last year including the playoffs clearly was a mistake.
After designating another 2018 postseason hero, Eduardo Nunez for assignment, it's clear the Red Sox are finally starting to realize this team as currently constructed is cannot win a World Series and achievements from last year aren't going to save your job as the deadline approaches.
There is a lot of blame to go around (Hi, Chris Sale), and while I feel bad for Brasier getting into this situation, at the end of the day he's a professional athlete and this is something that happens when you perform worse than reactor #4.
Brasier had his moments last year and statistically he was solid in October. I'll always appreciate what he did last year and hope he can figure things out. As annoying as this season has been with the countless blown games, this organization did just win 119 games and this thing called the World Series. As long as the Yankees don't win it this year I'm happy (boldface lie). But that doesn't mean you just punt on 2019. Was it really fair to expect Ryan Brasier to turn into some legit back of the bullpen arm at 31 years old?