If someone had sidled up to you in January and said “you’re going to have a pretty good reliever in camp during Spring Training. In his first four innings, he’s gonna whiff three and give up one hit.”
“Sweet,” you say. “Definitely our closer. Who is it?”
Bryan Corey. The Bryan Corey that was our “marquee” acquisition at the trading deadline, acquiring him from the Texas Rangers for minor leaguer Luis Mendoza. The Bryan Corey with 44 major league innings to his name. The Bryan Corey who turned 33 in October. The Bryan Corey whose career track looks as such:
Here’s Corey’s year by year statistics:
1998 with Arizona: 4.0 IP, 9.00 ERA at age 24
2002 with Los Angeles: 1.0 IP, 0.00 ERA at age 28
2006 with Texas: 17.1 IP, 2.60 ERA at age 33
2006 with Boston: 21.2 IP, 4.57 ERA at age 33
I remember being piqued with Corey during last season and quietly rooting for him. So far this year, he has done nothing not to warrant a spot. He could shove Manny Delcarmen down to AAA, because Delcarmen is not having a good spring so far. So far this spring, his line is: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. Craig Hansen is imploding too, which makes our bullpen fight all the more intriguing. Enter Bryan Corey, the journeyman who seems to have finally got the shot he craved last year and actually did pretty well. Francona is enthused with Corey this year, and called his changeup in “midseason form.”
With such a dominating effort (to date) and praise from the manager, could Corey open the season in the majors? Why not? A bullpen of Donnelly, Timlin, Pineiro, Okajima, Corey, Romero and another winner of the sweepstakes (Delcarmen? DeBarr? Lopez? Breslow?) wouldn’t be great, but it would inspire some confidence. The one thing about this bullpen is that it has the potential to be solid. Not amazing, but solid. In the end, that’s what matters.
And if we want a solid bullpen, it looks like Bryan Corey may be just the guy to throw into the backend of that bullpen.
(Thank you to my internet for crashing last night while I was working on this article. It’s about half as long as I would have preferred, and it’s being published nine hours later than I would prefer, but oh well. Go Sox.!)
Previous poll results:
Should Curt Schilling be working on a changeup?
* No, it will not change anything. He’s headed downhill.
3% of all votes
* No, he should work on perfecting what got him here.
3% of all votes
* Yes, but it won’t alter his career.
38% of all votes
* Yes, it could revitalize his career if he can make it a weapon.
58% of all votes
Wow. Most people think it could revitalize his career. The other option commonly used was it not altering his career, while the first two options got no love. At least that’s a positive that only 3 percent think he is headed downhill, right? New poll on the right about Craig Hansen, who imploded last night.