September 26, 2012; Boston, MA USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Mark Melancon (37) pitches during the eighth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
The Red Sox had Andrew Bailey pegged to be their closer, but he tore a ligament in his right thumb in spring training. It’s hard to pitch that way. Reports at the time had Melancon possibly getting the job.
Instead it went to another player, also mentioned in the Hanrahan trade rumors, Alfredo Aceves.
Melanacon was thought to be in the set-up role, but instead was sent to their Triple-A team. He spent almost sixty days with Pawtucket. Basically, Melancon was awful in 2012, just read this quote:
"“At one point I just stopped looking at my statistics. It was pretty bad.”"
In 71 games with the Houston Astros in 2011, Melancon was 8-4, with a 2.78 ERA and chalked up 20 saves. In his first four games with Boston, well never mind, it was awful, five bombs in two innings pitched certainly shook his confidence.
But what he did on April 17 was record settting. Melancon became the eighth pitcher in the last 90 years to allow three home runs without recording an out. Gulp.
The Sox sent him to the minors, where he was dominant, but the Sox bullpen picked up the pace and the pitcher the Sox might be their closer was actually closed out of spot in the bullpen.
Melancon “turned around a season in which he allowed eight bombs,” by pitching well in September thanks to his nasty curveball. Just ignore everytime he pitched it was in some of the lowest leverage situations imaginable. Melancon also has a fastball that can touch 97 miles per hour.