Third Time’s a Charm for Nelson


In an effort to add bullpen depth, the Sox signed Joe Nelson to a minor league deal on Monday. Nelson received an invitation to Spring Training as well, allowing him an opportunity to fight for the remaining few spots in the bullpen. This certainly isn’t Nelson’s first trip around the block, having spent parts of 5 seasons in the majors with 5 different teams and having spent 2 previous stints in the Red Sox system.

At age 35, Nelson could provide some crucial veteran leadership in a fairly young bullpen, but he will have to fight for the job. Fellow off-season additions Boof Bonser, Ramon Ramirez, and Brian Shouse will also be fighting for either one or two spots at the back end of the bullpen. Spring Training will be a great opportunity for Theo, Tito and Farrell to take a look at these guys and see what they can really offer.

At very least, the Sox have added another back-up plan in Joe Nelson. During a grueling 162 game season, pitchers will get injured and will need days off here and there and having an older, more composed pitcher waiting in AAA Pawtucket can only be an positive. Nelson’s career MLB numbers reflect a solid 4.07 era with a 7-2 record, 13 saves and 23 holds in 149 appearances. Nothing about his numbers are amazing, but the fact he has both pitched in mop-up duty roles, middle relief roles, set-up roles and closer roles is to the Sox advantage.

As we close in on 2 weeks until pitchers and catchers report, attention is beginning to swing towards the competition for the 5th starting role and the remaining few spots in the bullpen. Be sure to keep checking back for updates and some live chats over the next several weeks as we all get ready for baseball season. Play Ball!

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