When the Boston Red Sox traded for Drew Pomeranz during last year’s trade deadline, the expectations were high. The Sox, in turn traded an amazing minor league pitcher in Anderson Espinoza to the San Diego Padres. After making his first All Star game appearance, he overwhelmingly failed in his first half season with the team. After conspiracy from the Padres side, the Red Sox declined to rescind the trade.
Pomeranz, in 14 starts last year, came out with a 3-5 record with a 4.59 ERA. He could not eat innings, and he had 71 strikeouts while allowing 24 walks and 1.8 home runs per 9 innings. He never gained much trust from Red Sox Nation. He finally received his first win at Fenway Park after 6 starts…… Then came the 2017 season
He looks like a completely different pitcher. In 23 starts, he was posting a 12-4 record with a 3.39 ERA with 132 strikeouts coming into last night’s game against New York. So what changed? Could it be that he fixed the command issues with his fastball and knuckle curve? Could it be he found a catcher that he is comfortable with in Christian Vasquez? Could it be his location with his pitches? The answer is all three. Last season, he was not confident in his knuckle curve, due to the fact that he did not have great command with it in Boston. This year, he flashes it more with two strikes on hitters and used it 39.4 percent of the time last year. With the help from his fastball and cutter, he has been a more efficient pitcher.
He also sports a new catcher to throw to. Mixing between Christian Vasquez and Sandy Leon last year made for a mix between two different styles of play. He pitches to Vasquez a lot this year, meaning that he likes the style of play, which makes him a more confident pitcher from game to game.
No matter what changes he made to his game, the fact of the matter is that he is performing more towards his expectations that were held last season when the Red Sox traded for him. With his boost in the starting rotation, his career looks a lot brighter than it did in the end of 2016.
Photo Credits: WEEI.com