During the offseason, the Boston Red Sox' new front office made a bold move of trading shortstop Jed Lowrie and pitcher Kyle Weiland to the Houston Astros for reliever Mark Melancon. Melancon had been the Houston closer but would now pitch in the setup role since Boston also acquired Andrew Bailey from the Oakland Athletics.
Melancon struggled early, to say the least. He allowed a run on two hits in his first appearance, only going 0.1 innings. Three days later he allowed three runs on three hits in 0.2 innings. He let up a solo home run in his next appearance, a full inning of work. His next appearance was the real kicker though.
Facing the Texas Rangers, Melancon allowed six runs on three home runs and walked two without recording an out. His season statistics to date are two innings pitched, 11 earned runs on 10 hits, two walks, one strikeout, five home runs allowed and a 49.50 ERA.
His inability to prove himself early cost him a spot on the major league roster and he was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket to try and figure it all out.
Melancon has rebounded nicely in seven appearances for the Paw Sox. In 7.2 innings of work, he's yet to allow an run and has only let up six hits. He has struck out 12 without walking anyone.
If Melancon can continue this success and hopefully translate it to the major leagues, he could be very useful in the Red Sox bullpen.
We saw him fail once. Will he turn things around when he gets a second chance?