Drew Pomeranz

From BR Bullpen


Thomas Andrew Pomeranz

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Biographical Information[edit]

Drew Pomeranz was the fifth pick in the 2010 amateur draft. His brother is Stuart Pomeranz. His father Mike played college baseball and taught Drew a knucklecurve to go with his fastball and curveball. His baseball family roots go even further back, though, as his great grandfather was Garland Buckeye, a major league pitcher in the 1920s.

Pomeranz was named an All-American by Louisville Slugger as a high school junior in 2006. In high school, he was 20-6 with 11 saves, a 2.21 ERA and 312 strikeouts in 181 innings. The Texas Rangers took him in the 12th round of the 2007 amateur draft but he opted for college.

As a freshman at the University of Mississippi, he was 4-3 with a 4.16 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 71 1/3 innings. As a sophomore, he improved to 8-4, 3.40 with 124 whiffs in 95 1/3 innings. He was 4th in the Southeastern Conference in ERA and possibly third in strikeouts behind LSU hurlers Anthony Ranaudo and Louis Coleman. In the 2010 regular season, he had a 8-2, 2.21 record and led the SEC in ERA, opponent average (.190) and strikeouts (134).

Pomeranz was the second pitcher, after Jameson Taillon, and first college pitcher chosen in the 2010 amateur draft. He went 5th overall, to the Cleveland Indians. He was signed by scout Chuck Bartlett and began his professional career pitching for the Kinston Indians in 2011, going 2-2 with a 1.93 ERA in 12 starts. He struck out 77 batters in 60 2/3 innings, while allowing only 44 hits. He then was 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA for the Akron Aeros. That same year, he pitched in the 2011 Futures Game, then on July 30th, was traded to the Colorado Rockies, along with fellow Ps Alex White and Joe Gardner and 1B Matt McBride, in return for P Ubaldo Jimenez. His name was not officially included in the trade at the time, as one year had to have passed since the signing of his first contract for him to be traded, but the deal was made official on August 15th. In the meantime, he had spent two weeks in limbo, working out of the Indians' minor league training complex in Goodyear, AZ.

After a few games with the AA Tulsa Drillers (1-0, 2 H, 0 R in 10 IP), he made his major league debut with the Rockies on September 11th and was as good as advertised. Facing the Cincinnati Reds at Coors Field, he worked five scoreless innings in a 4-1 win, leaving when he had reached his pitch count limit of 65. Jason Hammel then pitched the last four innings for the save. He was the second first-rounder from the 2010 draft to make his debut, one year after reliever Chris Sale had rocketed to the majors mere weeks after his selection. He made four starts for Colorado, ending up with a record of 1-2, 5.40 in 18 1/3 innings.

Drew hit his first major league home run on May 7, 2012, off the San Diego Padres' Edinson Volquez at Petco Park. It came an inning after he took a line drive just above the knee, and on the day that his brother Stuart made his major league debut. The homer came in the bottom of the 2nd, but he had to leave the game after the next inning, because of the bruise on his leg. He made 22 starts and put up a decent 4.93 ERA in 2012, good for an ERA+ of 94, but his stats were otherwise affected by the Rockies' decision to keep their starters on a very low pitch count, that made it very hard for them to earn wins even in games in which they pitched well. His record was thus only 2-9, and he pitched a mere 96 2/3 innings in his 22 starts, well below 5 innings per start. He made only 8 appearances for the Rockies in 2013, including four starts, with poor results: 0-4, 6.23 and 19 walks in 21 2/3 innings. he was alot m ore effective in AAA, with a record of 8-1, 4.20 in 15 starts for the Colorado Springs SkySox. Contrary to his results in Denver, he did not face any control problems in AAA, with a K/W ratio of 96/33 in 85 2/3 innings. On December 10th, he was traded for the second time of his young career, heading to the Oakland Athletics along with minor league hurler Chris Jensen in return for veteran starter Brett Anderson.

Playing for the Athletics in 2014, Pomeranz began to show the stuff that had made him a top prospect a few years before. He started the season in the bullpen and had an ERA below 2.00 when he was given his first opportunity to start on May 7th. He was a 2-1 winner over the Seattle Mariners that day and continued to start, producing a string of good performances. Heading into a start on June 16th, he was 5-3 with a 1.90 ERA, but was roughed up that day, giving up 7 runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Texas Rangers. In frustration, he punched a wooden chair in the clubhouse and broke his right (non-pitching) hand, landing him on the disabled list. He only returned in late August, making three more appearances on the mound to finish the season with a record of 5-4, 2.35 in 20 games, of which 10 were starts, and 69 innings. His fit of pique had cost him a chance to truly establish himself as a major league regular. In 2015, the A's had a very frustrating season and once again Drew shuttled between the starting rotation and the bullpen, as he made 9 starts in 53 appearances. His record was 5-6, 3.66 with 3 saves and 82 strikeouts in 86 innings. After the season, the San Diego Padres saw that the potential to be a front-line pitcher was still there and on December 2nd they acquired him in a trade with Oakland, along with minor leaguer Jose Torres and a player to be named (Jabari Blash), in return for 1B Yonder Alonso and left-handed specialist Marc Rzepczynski.

Pomeranz had an excellent first half for the Padres in 2016, emerging as the team's most reliable starter with a record of 8-7 and a 2.47 ERA in 17 starts. He was picked to represent the team at the All-Star Game, played in front of a home crowd at Petco Park on July 12th and contributed a scoreless inning on the mound. However, two days later, he was traded to the Boston Red Sox in return for their top prospect, Class A P Anderson Espinoza. It was the Sox's fourth trade in a week, as they were clearly poised to go all in to claim a postseason slot, and preferably a division title, after a good first half. His first start for Boston on July 20th against the San Francisco Giants did not quite go as planned. He pitched three scoreless innings, although he needed a lot of pitches, and was staked an eight-run lead, but he fell apart in the 4th as he allowed the first seven batters to reach base before being removed and did not figure in the decision as the Red Sox won, 11-7. He started 13 games for Boston in 14 appearances, going 3-5, 4.59, to give him a combined record of 11-12, 3.32 on the year. He made 30- starts out of 31 appearances, pitched 170 2/3 innings, allowing 137 hits and striking out 186. He made two appearances in the Diviion Series against the Indians, giving up 2 runs in 3 2/3 innings.

He was not assured of re-claiming his starting job with the Red Sox in 2017, but early season injuries to David Price and Steven Wright meant that he was badly needed to take his regular turn on the mound, even though he was sometimes hit pretty hard. On May 25th, however, he tied a personal best by fanning 11 batters in 6 innings in a 5-2 win over the Texas Rangers. Four relievers then combined to strike out 9 more batters over the final three innings - one of them on a dropped third strike - and the Red Sox became the sixth team to record 20 strikeouts in a nine-inning game. As the season progressed, he kept pace with ace Chris Sale as the team's leading winner, helping it take a lead in the division title race. On September 8th, he reached the 15-win mark for the first time when he defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 9-3. He finished at 17-6, 3.32 in 32 games, logging 173 2/3 innings. He made his first career postseason start in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Houston Astros on October 6th, but things did not go well as he gave up4 runs in 2 innings and was charged with his team's 8-2 loss.

In 2018, he had to leave his first start of spring training on March 2nd with tightness in his forearm. He pitched in 26 games during the season, with just 11 starts, going 2-6, 6.08 in 74 innings. He did not pitch at all in the postseason as the Red Sox won a fourth World Series title since breaking their historic drought in 2004. After the season, he became a free agent and on January 23rd, he signed a one-year deal with the San Francisco Giants. He recorded his first win of the year on April 24th when he combined with two relievers on a two-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-0. Still, he went just 2-9, 5.68 in 21 games for San Francisco, primarily as a starter, but in spite of his unimpressive numbers, the Giants managed to trade him to the Milwaukee Brewers on July 31st, alongside Ray Black and obtained a solid prospect in 2B Mauricio Dubon in return. He then had a great last two months with the Brewers, being used as a reliever in 24 of his 25 appearances and putting up an ERA of 2.39 in 26 1/3 innings. His other numbers were just as good, as he allowed just 16 hits and 8 walks, while striking out 45 batters. He pitched 2 excellent innings in the Wild Card Game, retiring all six batters he faced as the Brewers were trying to hold on to a 3-1 lead against the Washington Nationals late in the game. Milwaukee eventually lost the game, but Drew had successfully re-established his value and after he became a free agent, he signed a four-year deal with the Padres on November 27th, worth $34 million. The Padres were looking to use him strictly as a reliever as they were looking to make a serious run at the postseason in 2020. However the length of the deal raised some eyebrows given Drew's up-and-down performance in recent years.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • NL All-Star (2016)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 1 (2017)
  • Won one World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2018 (he did not play in the World Series)


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