It was painfully clear on Sunday night that Clay Buchholz is ailing. There is no chance he will pitch again in this World Series, and he has some form of injury in his shoulder. There is a rule on playoff rosters that a player can be replaced on the roster if he can demonstrate a clear injury, but the newly activated player must be of the same position, pitcher for pitcher or fielder for fielder.
John Farrell is having trouble finding pitchers that he can rely on in late innings, so this is a perfect opportunity for the Boston Red Sox to take advantage of this rule. Matt Thornton and Rubby De La Rosa could add depth to the bullpen that could really use help. De La Rosa did not have great numbers in his 11.1 innings this year, but he is a hard throwing righty that the Red Sox currently do not have in the bullpen. Thornton had an ERA of 3.52 in the 20 games after being acquired by the Red Sox, but with Craig Breslow‘s struggles as of late and Felix Doubront going multiple innings in back-to-back days, a left handed reliever could also be of good use to the Red Sox.
In addition to the injury to Buchholz, Shane Victorino will miss his second straight game with a sore back on Monday night. Victorino is just 3-for-34 since the start of the ALCS and is hitless in the World Series. If it doesn’t look like Victorino will be able to play by Wednesday, it may be in the Red Sox’ best interest to deactivate him and bring up Jackie Bradley Jr. to utilize as a late inning defensive replacement.
The Red Sox are currently playing with 23 healthy players, but with a couple moves they could be back in a spot to utilize a full roster again, which could be the difference in winning and losing the World Series.