Red Sox pitchers on the fringe of making 2018 Opening Day roster

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 14: Brandon Workman
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 14: Brandon Workman /
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HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 06: Austin Maddox (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 06: Austin Maddox (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /


2017 in MLB: 0-0, 0.52 ERA, 17.1 IP, 14/2 K/BB Ratio, 0.87 WHIP, .200 BAA

2017 in AAA: 2-2, 3.50 ERA, 36 IP, 38/21 K/BB Ratio. 1.19 WHIP, .176 BAA

2017 in AA: 0-1, 1.35 ERA, 13.1 IP, 8/5 K/BB Ratio, 1.05 WHIP, .205 BAA

Austin Maddox found himself in a pretty good situation in 2017.

Maddox began the year in Double-A Portland, where he found immediate success, albeit in a limited sample size. The organization liked what they saw and assigned him to Triple-A Pawtucket. Although his ERA, WHIP and walk totals increased with the promotion, there were still positives to be found. Maddox’s ability to avoid giving up hits carried with him, along with a new found ability to strike guys out (9.5 K/9 in Triple-A.) Again, the Red Sox liked what they saw, and promoted him to the big club in June.

In a strange turn of events, Maddox saw even better success at the big league level than he did in the minor leagues in 2017. He kept his ERA and WHIP below 1.00 and even struck guys out at a decent rate (7.36 K/9.) The Red Sox 2012 3rd-round pick out of Florida managed to pitch well enough to earn a spot on the playoff roster.

Under those circumstances, the 26-year old’s job should be relatively secure in 2018. Furthermore, I think Maddox should see an increased role with the Red Sox next season. While his major league contributions came in a small sample size, they were – as I’ve said – very good contributions. Moreover, Maddox out-pitched the likes of Matt Barnes and Heath Hembree down the stretch. And with both Maddox and Brandon Workman at the team’s disposal, I’d much rather see the latter combination make the team than the former.

VERDICT: Starts 2018 in MLB in bullpen