It would certainly be unconventional. Meeting with the media prior to his team's Grapefruit League game against the Twins at JetBlue Park, Alex Cora suggested that there is a scenario where his final 25-man roster doesn't possess a single lefty reliever. "No. It doesn't matter to me," he said when asked about the necessity to possess at least one southpaw in the bullpen. "We talked about it last week, somebody asked me about it, I'm a big believer if you get people out, you get people out. Just like if you hit lefties, you hit righties – if you can do that, you'll play. Yes, there's some strategy involved especially in the National League when you have a lefty and you've got a pitcher and you think about who you're going to pinch-hit and they've got a lefty up, do you want him to face him? But at the end of the day, the goal is to get 27 outs in a nine-inning game and if you can get them out, it doesn't matter. I'm not saying this is going to happen on this team. If you have to carry four lefties, you carry them as long as they get people out. If you don't have to carry them, you don't have to carry them. If your righties can get lefties and righties out, you do that. So it's just a matter of who can get people out." The consensus has been that left-handed reliever Robby Scott had the inside track on a bullpen spot considering is effectiveness against lefty hitters, holding them to a .121 batting average last season. Craig Kimbrel was the next most effective reliever vs. lefty hitters (.178) with Joe Kelly coming in with a .222 batting average against. After that, few of the relief pitchers expected to have the inside track on making the team stood out in terms of controlling hitters from the left side. Other candidates who throw from the left side include Brian Johnson and Roenis Elias, both who are seemingly also vying for a spot at the end of the rotation until Eduardo Rodriguez and/or Steven Wright returns.
Could they go without a lefty reliever?
WEEI Boston | Mar 7