Fact No. 31-40
31. Koji Uehara led all Red Sox relievers with a 10.49 K/9 last season. None of the team’s other relievers that pitched at least two innings out of the bullpen had a double-digit strikeout rate.
33. Last season the entire Red Sox bullpen combined for 40 saves, led by 25 from Uehara. Last year, in his first and only season with the San Diego Padres, Kimbrel failed to reach 40 saves for the first time in his career.
34. Kimbrel finished with 39 saves in 2015, 6th most in the majors.
35. The Red Sox had 20 blown saves as a team last year. Kimbrel has 23 blown saves in his entire 6-year career.
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36. Smith saved 13 games as a rookie for the Seattle Mariners last season. The Red Sox plan to have him split time between the 6th and 7th inning with last year’s set-up man, Junichi Tazawa. Yup, this bullpen is loaded.
38. If Layne doesn’t earn one of the final bullpen spots it may be because he allowed a .322 average to go along with a 6.86 ERA against right-handed hitters last year, putting him near the bottom of the league. He’s strictly a lefty specialist.
39. Knuckleball pitcher Steven Wright is vying for a spot as a long reliever in the bullpen. Last year he held opposing hitters to a .228 average and .692 OPS in his 9 starts, but was significantly worse out of the bullpen, allowing a .269 average and .797 OPS.
Next: Fact No. 41-50