Drew Pomeranz

Dan Hamilton/USA Today Sports

Drew Pomeranz sent to Red Sox bullpen in midst of disappointing season

John Tomase
August 09, 2018 - 7:35 pm

Drew Pomeranz is headed to the bullpen.

The Red Sox left-hander, who has struggled as a starter all year, was given the news by manager Alex Cora on Wednesday. Left-hander Brian Johnson will take his place in the rotation and start against Philadelphia next week.

"He took it," Cora told reporters in Toronto, including WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. "He understands. Like I told him, he's still a big part of what we're trying to accomplish either in the bullpen or back in the rotation, we'll see. We need this guy to be good and he knows it. He's working hard to do that, he threw a bullpen today. They kept talking about mechanics. They're trying to get it where he's comfortable and he's productive. Drew Pomeranz is an important piece of this team."

A year after winning 17 games with a  3.32 ERA, Pomeranz is 1-5 with a 6.31 ERA in 11 starts. He has walked 32 batters in only 51 1/3 innings. Despite throwing than five percent of the team's total innings, he has accounted for nearly 15 percent of its 34 losses.

"Sometimes we get caught up in the mechanics part of it, sometimes it's stuff," Cora said. "Like I told him today, 'There's been a few starts where the breaking ball's good and the fastball is not good. The last one the fastball was good, the breaking ball wasn't good. Hopefully we're close. I don't know.'

"Hopefully, I've never been in this situation before obviously so I don't know too much about that. One thing for sure, he's working, (Brian) Bannister, Dana (LeVangie) and Craig (Bjornson), especially Craig with the lefty, he was very important with Dallas' mechanics in Houston. He sees a few things with Drew about that. At the end of the day he competes with what he has. We believe he'll find it, he's going to be good."

As for the possibility that Pomeranz will rediscover his form in relief and become useful out of the bullpen, Cora's not dismissing it.

"I don't know, there's a few guys that have done it – Sonny Gray the other day, he was great out of the bullpen, he was more aggressive actually. In front of his fastball, it looked like he had a little more," Cora said. "If that's the case, that'll be great."