The right-hander was one of the team’s more reliable middle relievers this season. Hembree posted a 2.65 ERA and 8.29 K/9, both of which easily represent the best he has produced in a Red Sox uniform.
Hembree struggles against lefties, who lit him up to the tune of a .338 average and .890 OPS, but his ability to get right-handed hitters out makes him a major league caliber pitcher. He held right-handers to a .201 average and .591 OPS, both of which were second on the team among pitchers with more than three appearances. He can provide value to this team, even if it’s only as a situational reliever.
He was left off of the postseason roster, but only because the best-of-five ALDS format allowed the Red Sox to stick a starter or two in the bullpen. There should be a spot available for Hembree to begin the season and his lack of options could be what seals it. Carson Smith probably won’t be ready to begin the season and Koji Uehara‘s future remains uncertain, which increases Hembree’s chances to make the roster.
Opening Day chances: Probable