Taylor was on the Arizona Diamondbacks to begin the 2018 season, but he was traded to the Red Sox for infielder Deven Marrero in late March (he wasn’t announced to be traded until May). Now, it seems that the Red Sox robbed Arizona blind because they have a dominant, late-inning reliever in Taylor.
He was called up towards the end of the 2019 season and pitched pretty well. His 3.04 ERA was one of the best on the team, and his 11.8 SO/9 was very good for a rookie. He doesn’t posses the greatest pitch mix, but his 94-96 mph fastball proved effective in 2019.
While the lefty definitely showed some encouraging signs this past season, there is virtually no chance that he will be the 2020 Red Sox closer. Josh is simply too young and inexperienced to step into the closer role after his first season. Especially with veterans leading the bullpen, there is no reason to throw the young left-hander into the fire after his rookie year.
Take a look back at Brasier from 2018 to 2019. After his impressive comeback and dominance in the 2018 season, Cora threw him into the heat of the closer’s role in April the following year. Quite frankly, he lost it and found himself in the minor leagues halfway through the season.
I’m not suggesting that Taylor will be awful next year, I am actually very high on him, but it would be smart to nurture this young arm and ease him into the major league bullpen. He has the chance to be a solid contributor out of the set up role if he can come close to replicating his rookie performance.