It has only been 7 games into this Red Sox season, and Farrell has repeatedly proven he does not fully understand how to manage key parts of the game. I had always been a fan of Farrell up until late last season, which seemed much longer than most people in Boston. The playoffs last season sealed it for me that he should have been fired in the off-season. But, since he came back I figured I would give him the benefit of the doubt. There must have been something team ownership liked about him to let him stay. Throughout the first 7 games of the regular season, I have been proven wrong. However, I’m not going to sit and cry about a manager for everything bad thing he has done, but I will explain what he has done that made me hop on the “Fire Farrell” bandwagon.
Let’s start with the 2016 playoffs. My first issue was not starting David Price in game one. Your 300 million dollar man, who lead the league in strikeouts and innings pitched is not going to pitch game 1? Instead you give the ball to the inexperienced Porcello. Well then the argument of Price’s playoff struggles is brought up. If you think Price would have been nervous in Game 1, then obviously in game 2, facing an 0-2 series deficit he would’ve been terrified. At least if he loses in game 1, Porcello is there to back him up.
Even if you agree with his pitching rotation, it is hard to agree with his lineup. A lineup that constantly switched around every game. People blame the lack of offense partly on the struggles of guys like Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts, but it’s pretty hard to stay consistent when you’re switching from the two spot to six every other game.
Alright, on to 2017. A clean slate for Farrell to prove to Red Sox nation that he is capable of being a true GM. Let’s start things off with opening day. The Red Sox had an ideal bullpen that featured Matt Barnes or a healthy Carson Smith in the 7th, Tyler Thornburg in the 8th, and Craig Kimbrel in the 9th. Well with an injured Smith and Thornburg, Farrell had to change things up. His idea? Barnes in the 7th, a combination of Heath Hembree and Robby Scott in the 8th and Kimbrel in the 9th. The whole eighth inning thing blows my mind. You take two pitchers who have never pitched in late inning situations before and combined them for your 8th inning man. Hembree cant pitch to lefties and Scott cant pitch to righties. Instead, for the time being he could do what he claimed he was going to do and put veteran Joe Kelly in the 8th. Instead, Red Sox fans have to wait a half hour for the top of the 8th to be completed because of the constant pitching changes.
If there is one thing that has really thrown me over the edge with John Farrell, it has been his decisions of how long pitchers go in outings. Farrell has been inconsistent to say the least. In Chris Sale’s first start he took him out after 7 with under 100 pitches. In his second start, Farrell leaves Sale in for the 8th long enough for Sale to give up his second earned run of the day. In Drew Pomeranz’ first start of the season, he went six scoreless innings. He gave up a single to lead off the 7th, and Farrell came right out to pull his starter. Who comes out? Not Matt Barnes, but the supposed 8th inning man Heath Hembree, who ended up allowing the baserunner to score after giving up a rocket double to Adam Jones. There is absolutely no consistency in Farrell’s managerial game.
The Red Sox may have a team talented enough to make the playoffs despite their manager, but as we saw last year, it will hurt them in the postseason. The best case scenario will to be to get rid of Farrell as soon as possible to let someone new get a feel for the system and players. Farrell has proven he is not going to change, so it is now time for Boston to make the change.