Why the Red Sox is struggling with Matt Barnes as their closer
The Boston Red Sox are struggling to pull off convincing results recently. Closer Matt Barnes has struggled which has forced manager Alex Cora’s hands to remove him from his usual role. This will relieve him from some of the pressure so he can get back to All-Star form.
Barnes was an All-Star-level player for the first half of the 2021 season. Now that the Red Sox are in the second half of the season, they need to rest him so he can be healthy and ready to go in their potential playoff bid. It is concerning that he’s playing so badly because he was such a vital cog in their playoff push this season.
Cora admits that he is worried about the situation surrounding his star closer. He said, ‘We're concerned, yeah, we are. Obviously, we're not going to pick on the guy, but we have to make adjustments, whatever it is. We keep talking about it’.
Barnes admits his faults
Barnes is one of the most consummate professionals in the MLB. He always holds himself accountable when he makes a mistake and during this slump, he knows he is not in the best shape. He wants to play better but he might need a break from the heavy load that he has to carry every game. Barnes needs a short break from his responsibilities so he can return to them.
Barnes trusts his coaching staff to help him become a better player again. He said, ‘I'm going to leave that decision up to AC and pitching coach Dave Bush. I'm going to be ready whenever that phone rings. We're going to continue to work. We're going to get this right’.
He has complete trust in his coaches which is a sign of a good player. He wants to help the team succeed and he is willing to sacrifice his playing time to get the wins.
Robles is there to the rescue
Hansel Robles is the one who has stepped up during Barnes’ struggles. Robles has made solid pitches as the closer which the team is glad to get from a former backup. Cora was ecstatic when he saw Robles performing well. The manager said that Robles came in and did an amazing job. He was throwing near-100 mph pitches which is a solid number for a designated backup.
Robles himself was ecstatic for the opportunity he took. He said, ‘I was just pumped up. I had adrenaline flowing and I was excited to get the job done. I was waiting for a moment like this and I'm glad it happened’.
Robles admits that he still wants to play big minutes but he knows that Barnes will return as the top option. He is not afraid to say that because he knows Barnes is a fantastic talent.
Words: Cholo Martin