Wednesday, December 6

Kvetch of the Day: Red Sox suggestions

Welcome to Kvetch of the Day, your chance to ask us your burning questions.

Two Red Sox questions this week, because everyone loves a doubleheader.

Reader Jay Hurley asks: “Why don’t the Sox make Garrett Whitlock the closer? What am I missing?”

Sox beat writer Steve Hewitt responds: “It’s a fair question, given that Whitlock is by far the Red Sox’ best and most dependable pitcher in the bullpen, and probably the entire staff. But Whitlock is stretched out and right now, the Red Sox see more value in him pitching in three- or four-inning stints where they can use him in any role they want. Sometimes, like he’s already done in wins over the Tigers and Twins early this season, that includes pitching multiple innings to finish a game and preserve a win. Alex Cora even used him in the ninth this week to close out a win over the Blue Jays, so he’s already, in sort of an untraditional way, been used as a closer. Cora has said repeatedly that he’s hoping Matt Barnes can reclaim the closer job, and he’s going to give him time to do that. In the meantime, the manager is going to use Whitlock as a Swiss Army knife and play the matchups to finish off wins. But if Barnes can’t eventually win the job back, there’s certainly a chance Whitlock ends up being named the closer.”

And Manny F wonders how the club will replace the power it let go: “I am so angry the Red Sox traded Hunter Renfroe to Milwaukee and not signing Kyle Schwarber. There is 60 plus home runs gone. The Trevor Story signing is a head-scratcher unless he is protection if Xander Bogaerts signs elsewhere.”

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Sox scribe Jason Mastrodonato says: “In what world is the Trevor Story signing a head-scratcher? The Sox haven’t had a regular second baseman they can trust since Dustin Pedroia. And after they failed to lock up Xander Bogaerts to a contract extension, Story gives them insurance at the position. Story and Hunter Renfroe entered the big leagues in the same year, 2016, and Story has hit 158 homers to Renfroe’s 129 homers in that span. Renfroe had a great arm but actually cost the Red Sox runs on defense last year. And he had a terrible postseason (.194 average, 12 strikeouts, no homers in 36 at-bats). They made a huge upgrade going from Renfroe to Story, and that’s not debatable. But not signing Kyle Schwarber is a separate crime, one that actually could cost them later this year if Bobby Dalbec doesn’t turn his season around. Top prospect Triston Casas is off to a hot start at Triple-A Worcester and could be the Sox’ big league first baseman before long.”

Something bugging you? Grinding your gears? Got you worked up?

We want to hear about it. And we’ll try and get you a good answer from our sports staff. We know you’re irked about … something. Hey, this is Boston. We love talking about the Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Patriots. There’s millions of unemployed general managers and coaches in the metaverse.

So ask away. Send your gripe or question to [email protected].

Air it out, let ‘er rip. You’ll feel better. And check in next Sunday for our response.

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