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2022 Preview: Red Sox Pitching Staff


With the expanded rosters, the Red Sox are opting to take 15 pitchers and 13 position players with them to the Bronx, and it looks like those 15 members of the pitching staff are solidified for the start of the season. Here are those names:

1. Eovaldi 2. Pivetta 3. Houck 4. Wacha 5. Hill Bullpen: - Barnes - Brasier - Crawford - Davis - Diekman - Strahm - Sawamura - Valdez - Whitlock - Robles

Alex Cora announced that Darwinzon Hernandez will start the year in Triple-A Worcester. This offseason, Hernandez put up a couple of posts on social media where he was trying out different arm slots, and he most certainly was just showing off his best stuff because he still has no idea where the fuck the ball is going. That opened up a space for Kutter Crawford to join the big league squad. I talked about him on Wednesday's Talkin' Sox Prospects blog having the most impressive Spring of all the Sox relievers we had seen. At this point, I feel much more comfortable giving Crawford a shot than seeing Hernandez again.

Looking at the pitching staff, the looming question remains - Who is the closer? Barnes earned himself All-Star honors in the first half of last season, then the moment the Mid Summer Classic was over he was shitting the bed on a nightly basis. Barnes was having more trouble finishing than me after a few too many whiskeys. In his most recent Spring Training start, Cora expressed concern over the lack of velocity on his fastball, which was sitting around 92-93 MPH. He started last season off at around 96, and then in July (when his struggles began), it started to fall consistently month-over-month until it was sitting at 94 in October. If not Barnes, I would think newly acquired Matt Strahm is the logical choice to close out games. He has shown excellent control this Spring, and with 5 pitches in his arsenal he can keep pitchers on his toes.

Outside of those, there aren't any other big questions or surprises. A lot of these bullpen guys are going to be up and down over the course of the season, so it will be interesting to see who steps up and who crumbles.

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