On July 13th, Dave Dombrowski struck a deal with the San Diego Padres to bring in All-Star starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz. In exchange for the lanky lefty's services, the Red Sox sent their top pitching prospect, Anderson Espinoza, to the Padres. While the price was steep, at the time it was believed that Pomeranz was the best available option to teams in need of pitching help and Espinoza was at least three or four years away pitching in Single-A. At the time of the trade, Pomeranz was fourth in Major League Baseball with a 2.47 ERA and had struck out 115 batters in 102 innings pitched.
Unfortunately, hindsight is 20-20 and we can look back at the Pomeranz-for-Espinoza swap and say it was a complete and utter failure, regardless of what he does with the Red Sox until he becomes a free agent in 2019. Pomeranz had never thrown more than 100 innings in his six MLB seasons and was reportedly dealing with elbow issues prior to the trade. In all fairness to the Red Sox, Padres General Manager AJ Preller withheld information to Boston and was subsequently suspended 30 days. If I am the Red Sox, I am speaking out to anyone that will listen to me about getting your top prospect back and re-working the trade. If the Red Sox knew of Pomeranz' injury before the trade, there is no shot that they would have to give up one of the top prospects in not only their farm system, but all of baseball.
At the time of the trade, I was all for the Red Sox acquiring his services. With one of the deepest farm systems in all of baseball, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski decided that the Red Sox could relinquish some future talent in return for a top-end of the rotation arm that could help them win now. Furthermore, Pomeranz is only 27-years-old and does not have a lot of innings on his arm, as he flip-flopped between the starting rotation and the bullpen with the Oakland Athletics and the San Diego Padres.
Oh boy was I wrong.
Since being acquired by Boston, in 12 games, Pomeranze is 2-5 with a 4.91 ERA. In 62.1 innings, the former first round pick has relinquished 66 hits and 13 home runs. Whether it is lingering elbow issues or just not being as good as everyone thinks, it is an understatement to say that Pomeranz has underperformed; he has been pathetic.
The Red Sox need to figure out how to manage Pomeranz for the rest of the season, as it has become apparent that he cannot go every fifth day this season. The Red Sox should either keep Pomeranz off the playoff roster to get his body and mind straight for next season or he should be moved to the bullpen and be a lefty specialist. Eduardo Rodriguez and Clay Buchholz, at least in my opinion, have both leapfrogged over Drew Pomeranz in a potential four-man playoff rotation.
Considering the price that was paid for Pomeranz, things need to change quickly for this kid. It isn't time to give up on Pomeranz, but it is time for a change.