But it’s not necessarily the worst-case scenario.
Pomeranz’s official diagnosis is a left forearm flexor strain, which the starter actually has been dealing with since the end of last season. It’s expected fellow southpaw David Price will join Pomeranz on the DL, too, as he’s been dealing with an elbow issue of his own.
Being two starters down on a team that already lacks rotation depth seems like a dire situation, but it actually might be more of a strategic move for the Red Sox. With Pomeranz on the DL, Boston can bring up an extra bullpen arm or a bat to start the season. And if they choose a reliever, it’ll lessen the blow of losing two starters before the season begins. Plus, there’s the fact Pomeranz is expected to be fifth in Boston’s rotation, meaning his first start wouldn’t be until April 9 against the Detroit Tigers.
Still, while there’s some good in putting someone who won’t be ready to start right away on the DL, Pomeranz’s injury does raise some red flags. San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller was suspended in September when a Major League Baseball investigation found he’d been giving teams incomplete medical records for players. The Red Sox were among his victims, as it turned out Pomeranz already had an elbow injury before he was traded to Boston.
Pomeranz was shaky for the Red Sox in the second half of the season, which actually can be expected sometimes for someone in a market with high expectations who’s playing in a park that isn’t kind to left-handed starters. But Pomeranz also received a stem cell injection in his elbow after the 2016 postseason, which makes it a little tough to think about his situation without the possibility of surgery coming to mind.
The Red Sox haven’t mentioned the possibility of surgery, though, since they said in October that Pomeranz wouldn’t need it, so there likely isn’t much to worry about in the long run. He’s also been pitching in spring training, albeit not well, but that’s more than Price can say.
So, for now, it seems Red Sox fans can rest easy knowing that some missing pieces in April likely won’t affect a rotation that also includes Chris Sale and Rick Porcello over the course of a 162-game season.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images