The Boston Red Sox bullpen is always in search of another arm and one is in Pawtucket doing rather well. The reality is righty Ryan Brasier is a long-shot at best.
I have not followed the trials and tribulations of the 2018 Pawtucket Red Sox as I have in the past. The stadium issue has garnered a bit more attention than the players despite the PawSox performing at a better than expected .500 clip. But sometimes an interesting name appears.
This season it is a 30-year-old journeyman right-hander named Ryan Brasier who the Red Sox signed in March as a reinforcement for the Triple-A bullpen. And there’s always the possibility that a major league – meaning primarily Boston – opening could potentially surface. The Red Sox have had a few relief pitchers enjoying the scenic I-95 ride with the most recent being Robby Scott. Just maybe?
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This season Brasier has ten saves and has not been scored upon in his last 15 appearances. That’s a remarkable accomplishment in any league. The statistical minutia is impressive – 35 innings, 25 hits, 2.1 BB/9, 9.5 K/9 1.55 ERA, and 0.94 WHIP. Has Brasier suddenly discovered success or is it just a hot streak?
Brasier was originally a 2007 sixth-round pick by the Angels and made a cup of coffee visit to the bigs in 2013. In his seven games, Brasier allowed a pair of earned runs in nine innings. He never returned. Brasier was originally a starter, but since 2010 has made only one start – concentrating on the bullpen. But success is fleeting.
After a release by the Angels, Brasier was signed by Oakland and eventually sold to the Hiroshima Carp of the Japanese Central League for a one and done. That put Boston in the picture and so far the results have been promising.
According to Sox Prospects Brasier has a mid-90s fastball complemented by a change and curve. Nothing spectacular is envisioned via the scouting report. But maybe the experience of age and Japan have refined Brasier’s pitching.
The chances of a Boston visit are slim since that would require roster manipulation. And Boston has shown little interest in redefining the roster, especially for a pitcher best classified as borderline. The caveat – of course – is performance. If 2018 is no anomaly the Red Sox could have a pitching version of Daniel Nava. It may take another month to see if the gloss is removed.
The other possibility is outside the system where a team may be more prone to risk-taking – meaning they are dead in the water and going nowhere. Sometimes the potential for risk-reward is a worthy option. So – as stated above – Brasier is a long – very long – shot at best.