Powered by:
as known from New York Timesas known from USA Todayas known from yahoo!
VA
Contains commercial content
The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / The Boston Red Sox Bullpen Needs Bobby Poyner

The Boston Red Sox Bullpen Needs Bobby Poyner

The Boston Red Sox bullpen is the weakest part of the roster, but there may already be an internal fix to that problem in lefty reliever Bobby Poyner.
Publish Date: 08/23/2018
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 01: Boston Red Sox Non-roster invitee Pitcher Bobby Poyner (81) throws the ball from the mound during an MLB spring training game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Florida on March 1, 2018. (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

It’s no secret that the biggest weakness with the 2018 Boston Red Sox is their bullpen. While it’s still a good unit, ranking top-ten or better in just about every significant statistic, it could certainly use some improvement. Fortunately, the Red Sox might already have an unconventional fix to their problems waiting in the minors. Bobby Poyner was fantastic early with Boston and has continued to play well with Pawtucket for the majority of the year. What really makes him important to this group is how his pitches perfectly complement the rest of the Red Sox bullpen.

Bobby Poyner: Bullpen Savior?

First off, let’s recap how Poyner’s 2018 season has gone. After coming out of nowhere to earn a major league spot, Poyner pitched well with Boston, throwing to the tune of a 1.69 ERA, 2.79 FIP, 8.44 K/9, and a 0.84 BB/9. Granted, those stats come in just 10.2 innings, but manager Alex Coraused him in several high-leverage situations. Really, the only reason he’s down in the minors is that he’s one of the few Red Sox relievers left with minor league options.

Poyner has had a good year with Pawtucket, albeit not quite as good as he was in the majors. In 38.1 innings, Poyner owns a 2.58 ERA, 3.90 FIP, 7.75 K/9, and a 2.35 BB/9. These are solid numbers for the young lefty, and on their own justify a major league roster spot.

However, it’s more than just Poyner’s numbers which make him a good fit in this bullpen. Poyner offers a skill set that most of the other Red Sox pitchers don’t have, making him the perfect complement and exactly what the Red Sox need.

Poyner’s Unique Traits

The Boston Red Sox bullpen, as currently assembled, featured a series of relievers with a 95+ mph fastball and either a curveball or slider as their secondary pitch. Craig KimbrelMatt BarnesHeath HembreeRyan BrasierJoe Kelly, and Tyler Thornburg all fit this mold.

While each pitcher has moments of greatness, the redundant skill set reduces their collective effectiveness. The opposing offense can sit on essentially the same type of pitches once the bullpen takes over, which obviously isn’t good. Batters perform better the more times they see a pitcher, and right now there isn’t much of a difference in style between most of the relievers.

This is where Poyner comes in. Unlike the aforementioned arms, his fastball sits at 90 miles per hour. He has great control, so the lack of velocity doesn’t really come back to hurt him. If a batter is expecting to see a fastball in the mid to high 90’s, Poyner’s low 90 fastball will mess up their timing. Not only does this make Poyner more effective, but it indirectly helps the relievers taking over after Poyner departs the game.

Additionally, Poyner’s secondary pitch is a changeup. All of the aforementioned pitchers and even Brandon Workman primarily use either a slider or a curveball as their secondary offering. Once again, this redundancy makes it easier for hitters to pick up on the breaking balls, which once more reduces each pitchers effectiveness.

Again, adding Poyner to the mix goes a long way toward fixing this problem. Poyner only throws his slider 11.7% of the time, and his curveball a minuscule 3.3%. Meanwhile, he throws his changeup 20.6% of the time, more than his slider and curveball combined.

Once again, Poyner’s ability to mix things up will help not only himself but the rest of the bullpen. Outside of the multi-inning guys, nobody else in the bullpen regularly uses a changeup, which will only help keep hitters unbalanced when facing Poyner. Additionally, seeing Poyner throwing changeups will give the opposing offense less time to get comfortable facing the rest of the bullpens breaking balls.

While it may not sound like much, Bobby Poyner’s unique presence in the bullpen could be exactly what the Red Sox need. Not only is he a capable pitcher in his own right, but he offers something nobody else in the bullpen does. With a finesse fastball and a deceptive changeup, Poyner’s skillset is completely unique to the Red Sox bullpen. Poyner’s presence will be mutually beneficial, as the drastic difference in pitch type will keep opposing hitters uncomfortable and less able to adjust to the Sox bullpen.

Read Also
Indiana Basketball Weekly
Welcome to Indiana Basketball Weekly, your dedicated podcast for all things Indiana ...
Come Fly with me: How the 1988-89 Chicago Bulls pushed forward to an NBA dynasty.
Find the best sportsbook to bet on the NBA Playoffs! Prologue: By ...
Bet365 Promo
Esteban de Jesus, Roberto Duran y AIDS (1972-89)
Many of us dream of celebrity sports fame, but only cruel individuals ...
Michael Nunn and Iran Barkley Discuss Their Bout, Bob Arum, and the Four Kings
Mountains to Climb, Pebbles in Your Shoe “I always say that was ...
Top 50 NBA players under 25 years old in 2021: Doncic bests Young
This year’s playoffs confirmed that the NBA is in good hands. The ...
Grading every NFL team’s picks from the 2021 NFL Draft
Quickly, click away if you’re going to get upset by reading draft ...
Ranking the top 200 players in the NFL ahead of the 2021 season
This list isn’t based solely on performances from the 2020 NFL season. ...
Top 100 NFL free agents entering the 2021 offseason
Below is a list of the top 100 free agents available this ...
The Greatest Basketball Player of All Time: You Decide
In today’s talking head, 24-hour sports news cycle there are some assumptions ...
Sportsbook of the month
FanDuel - Get your Bonus Bet now! Get your Bonus Bet now!
Latest Sport News
Santiago vs. Nakatani: Junto Returns Against Underrated Alexandro 
On Saturday morning in the wee hours in ...
Edgar Berlanga motivated to prove naysayers wrong!
Edgar Berlanga won his first 16 fights by ...
Top-10 Miami Dolphins of All-Time
The Miami Dolphins were at one time one ...
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....

Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

21+NCPG
Close
Players accepted in the US US Flag
Stake.us Exclusive Bonus
$55 Stake Cash + 260K Gold Coins + 5% Rakeback
Promo Code
Copy
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Payment Methods
Bitcoin
Litecoin
Ethereum
Dogecoin
Highlights
  • Exclusive promo code: TGTSOCIAL
  • Play Plinko, Hilo, Crash and more!
  • Get Stake Cash bonuses every day!
Stake Originals
Dice
Crash
Plinko
Mines
×
Your Promo Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site