The Boston Red Sox are off to a good start so far. One of the reasons is the outstanding effort that Boston bullpen have been providing for the team. Joel Hanrahan would love to pitch every game no matter if there is no save opportunity on the line. Red Sox manager John Farrell loves the enthusiasm, but will make sure each pitcher gets the rest they need during the long season.
Farrell wants to make sure he doesn’t use a pitcher for three consecutive days. He told the Republican’s Evan Drellich:
“All things being equal, you’d like to stay away from three consecutive days. A lot’s going to play into how stressful the two days prior are. If a reliever’s probably had a 25-plus pitch inning the day before, you’re probably going to need a down day as a recovery day. There’s going to be exceptions to it and how things unfold, you might have every intention to stay away from a guy but how today works out, you may be pressed him to using him.”
So pitchers like Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa will be limited unless a dire situation presents itself. A team wants to win as many games as possible. However, especially this early in the season, there will be games that you will just surrender to a loss to keep your pitchers healthy and be ready to play the next day.
Joel Hanrahan was brought to Boston to address their need to have a reliable closer to finish a game. Daniel Bard was supposed to be the closer, but right now he is in Portland playing for Boston’s minor league affiliate. So far, Hanrahan is living up to his expectations with just giving up one hit in three games.
If the Red Sox look to keep their bullpen fresh, a healthy rotation can happen if Farrell sticks to his plan. Still, he wants to have his pitchers to maintain a steady rhythm to stay sharp. Boston could use Uehara on days that Hanrahan doesn’t play.
The Red Sox could also use Andrew Miller or Andrew Bailey if need be, but it seems that the Red Sox have a set formula to make sure that Hanrahan or Uehara will be ready when needed.