Maybe Red Sox fans simply want to bemoan their team's current lot in life while watching the storm put baseball on pause Sunday. Fair enough.
When you have the kind of performance that elicits peak levels of frustration from manager Alex Cora -- while staring at standings that now have the Red Sox 6 1/2 games in back of Tampa Bay and 2 1/2 behind the Yankees -- it's hard to ignore the dark clouds.
But what this respite from baseball can offer is an opportunity of what might be. More specifically, what Connor Seabold might be.
The starting pitcher who was acquired from the Phillies along with Nick Pivetta a year ago has put himself into the kind of conversation the Red Sox were hoping would be taking place when this time of year rolled around.
Seabold latest bit of punctuation came in the form of seven shutout innings for Triple-A Worcester Saturday, not allowing a hit until one out in the seventh inning.
In his four August starts the 25-year-old righty has managed a 2.35 ERA, striking out 30 and walking just four over 23 innings.
While Seabold's bread-and-butter has always been a difference-making changeup, it was a pitch he utilized just four times in his most recent outing. This time around it was his slider which served as the put-away pitch, integrating a low 90's fastball along the way.
According to those in the Red Sox organization, keys for Seabold's emergence is simply getting healthy (he sat out the first half of the season with elbow inflammation), comfort with Sox way of doing things, and confidence in all four of his pitches.
So, what now?
Playing the game of roster projection for 2022, there would seem to be an opportunity for Seabold in the big league team's starting rotation if Eduardo Rodriguez does not re-sign. Such a dynamic would leave the Sox with a group consisting of Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Pivetta, Tanner Houck, Garrett Whitlock and Seabold. (Sale has an opt-out after 2022, while Eovaldi has one more year under contract with the Sox.)
The unknown pieces of the equation are these:
1. How much do the Red Sox value Rodriguez, whose ERA stands at 5.19 after 24 starts?
2. Are they counting on Garrett Whitlock to return to his previous existence as a starting pitcher?
3. Do they believe Tanner Houck can evolve into a three-times-through-the-order starter?
4. Will the Red Sox commit to Seabold as a starter and only a starter, a role he has maintained in 42 of his 48 professional outings.
Seabold is at least presenting an interesting option, one which the Red Sox should be welcoming with open arms.