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Mark Melancon goes from closer to likely minor leaguer

Apr 18, 2012, 1:50 AM EDT

Mark Melancon Getty Images

As far as wins and losses go, it didn’t matter if Mark Melancon pitched a perfect inning or got lit up by the Rangers tonight, not with the Red Sox already behind 8-2 in the eighth. However, that he failed to retire any of the six hitters he faced will almost certainly play a role in his immediate future.

Melancon, who closed for the Astros last year and was a candidate to occupy that role for Boston when Andrew Bailey went down, gave up three homers tonight and saw his ERA jump to 49.50.

Melancon has made four appearances this season, but he’s pitched just two innings and he’s already allowed five homers. That’s as many as he gave up in 74 1/3 innings for Houston last season.

With the Red Sox in need of a fresh arm after Jon Lester‘s two-inning start tonight, there’s a good chance Melancon will be optioned to Triple-A prior to Wednesday’s game. Clayton Mortensen and Junichi Tazawa would be the favorites to replace him on the roster.

At this point, it’s likely the best thing for the Red Sox and Melancon. The 27-year-old right-hander needs a chance to clear his head, and with Boston at home for four more games and the boos likely to rain down, he’s not going to get that opportunity at Fenway.

  1. brokea$$lovesmesomeme - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    off with his head

    • wendell7 - Apr 18, 2012 at 6:43 AM

      I thought Aceves had been named their closer?

  2. randygnyc - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:55 AM

    Hope Lester gets left behind to continue plying his trade in the AL East.

    • wendell7 - Apr 18, 2012 at 6:43 AM

      He hasn’t been worse than Phil Huges

      • uyf1950 - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:30 AM

        Wendell7 – That’s true. But Lester and Beckett are supposed to be the #1 and #1A of the Red Sox starting rotation.

      • drewzducks - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:09 AM

        If Sox fans are left equating Lester to Hughes this is going to be a long year for us.

    • crispybasil - Apr 18, 2012 at 7:00 AM

      Me too….Lester was great against Detroit and Toronto and is one of the best lefties in the game.

  3. hojo20 - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    The Red Sox still played Sweet Caroline on the loudspeakers in a 16-2 game. God help me.

    • bbil2012 - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      The show must go on!

  4. uyf1950 - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Cherington might want to ask the Astros for Lowrie and Weiland back. With a 49.50 ERA Melancon to put it nicely is terrible. Just think the Red Sox control Melancon through the 2016 season, quite a bargain they got for Lowrie and Weiland.

  5. hushbrother - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Melancon and the Infinite ERA

  6. mcs7584 - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    “Melancon, who closed for the Astros last year … ”

    That’s really all that needs to be said.

    • antlerclaws - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:31 AM

      You mean the Astros who are 4-7, .364 this year? As opposed to the Red Sox (4-7, .364).

  7. dirtyharry1971 - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    Send him down? Come on he has been in 4 games so far and he did close for houston. I loved this trade from the moment i read about it. Stay with him!! And make Jenks the closer too!

  8. rooney24 - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    The sabermetricians will tell you that the role of closer is overrated and overpaid. And, a few teams will agree……until they don’t have a reliable closer, then they would give anything to have one. While “the numbers” don’t always show the importance of a closer, some things are outside of the numbers.

  9. oldpaddy - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    I expect bobby v to have that same deer in the headlights look by the all star break.

    I can’t remember the last time I saw a sox player with that look. I’d put him on suicide watch.

  10. sabatimus - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:22 PM


  11. Jack Marshall - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    By the end of the year, assuming he isn’t injured, Melancon is a good bet to make most of these comments look even more silly than they look now. However, Jon Lester doesn’t need to change a thing to make the anti-Lester comments look silly.

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