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As Injuries Mount, Concern Rises for Red Sox Bullpen

With the news that Andrew Bailey is likely done for the season, Boston's pitching has been dealt yet another blow. This news, on top of Andrew Miller being out for the year and Clay Buchholz's looming visit with Dr. James Andrews, does not bode well for the Red Sox.

The Sox were already in the market for a relief pitcher and signed veterans Jose Contreras and Brandon Lyon in the passed week, but they might find themselves looking for more immediate help after this injury.

It has been reported that both the Tigers and Red Sox are aggressively pursuing Brewers reliever Francisco Rodriguez. He would be a strong back end of the bullpen for either team, and I think the Red Sox should do what it takes to pry him from Milwaukee.

Although I don't expect any knee jerk reaction from Boston with this news coming out, I do think we could be seeing them trade for and/or sign at least a reliever or two before the trading deadline at the end of this month. If they want to make a deep run into October, those moves are necessary.

Boston needs to fortify its pitching in order to keep rolling in the second half. Some names to keep an eye on are free agent Brian Wilson, who will be working out for teams in early August, and Jessie Crain who Boston has called the other Sox about. I'm sure there are other players the Red Sox are keeping tabs on and of they become available for the right price they will pounce.

The starting rotation is a bit less worrisome, especially with the way Felix Doubront and John Lackey are pitching, but whenever a player is visiting Dr. Andrews fans must hold their breath. Buchholz says he is just going to get a second opinion as to why his arm is not healing as quickly as it should, and hopefully he wi not require surgery. I still think with Buch healthy, Lackey and Doubront pitching the way they are, and Jon Lester getting back to his old ways the Sox will be set there.

For that reason, it surprises me that Boston is making a serious run at Matt Garza. Although he is pitching well this season, it is reported that the Cubs are looking for a kings ransom for him, and I don't believe he is worth that. He is a decent pitcher, but he was certainly not dominant during his time in the AL East with Tampa Bay.

A fully healthy starting staff of Buchholz, Lackey, Lester, Doubront, and Ryan Dempster should be a solid group heading into the home stretch. I don't think they should give up the prospects the Cubs are demanding for Garza. The bullpen is the main concern and if they get that covered, they should be in good shape for the final two months of the season.