Red Sox prospect Eduard Bazardo is making his case in Spring Training
One area that the Boston Red Sox really struggled in last season was pitching. Not only was the starting rotation an absolute mess, but the bullpen had very few reliable arms. Due to that, many expected them to make a ton of moves this offseason to rectify that problem. And Boston did clean up their pitching a bit over the winter, but it is still far from perfect. There are plenty of questions left to be answered, especially when it comes to depth.
With that in mind, Spring Training is a perfect time for some prospects to make their case. Can they push themselves into a depth spot and higher up that ladder? In the first game of the Spring, Eduard Bazardo has already started pushing for a bullpen spot.
Truthfully, it will be very hard for Bazardo to earn a spot in the Red Sox bullpen to start the year. He has just 32 1/3 innings in Double-A and didn’t get a chance to grow on them in 2020. At the same time, Boston’s offseason moves have made it so there is a crowded field fighting for spots, most of which have Major League experience.
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That being said, it’s not over for Baz. Even if he does not get a spot on Opening Day, he can easily move up in the ranks and place himself right near the top of the list of call-ups should extra arms be needed.
His MiLB numbers certainly speak for themselves. The right-handed pitcher has a career 2.55 ERA that includes a 2.21 in 2019 when he split time between Advanced-A and Double-A (two levels he had never even pitched at before that year). Bazardo also has a .215 BAA and 1.05 WHIP in his career, as well as 342 strikeouts compared to just 81 walks in 310 innings pitched so far.
Now he just needs to pitch well in Spring Training. Easier said than done though. Well, he passed his first test. In Boston’s first game of the Spring, Bazardo got one inning of work.
And how did it go, you ask? He threw a perfect inning of work. In fact, Baz was one of just two Red Sox pitchers to throw a clean inning on Sunday (Stephen Gonsalves had the other).
What was extra impressive about Bazardo’s inning is when it came though. The Minnesota Twins had just scored five runs in the second inning. That included runs allowed from both Nathan Eovaldi and Caleb Simpson. The score was 5-1 and the game was in extreme danger of completely getting away from the Red Sox. Instead, Bazardo went out there and threw just eight pitches to get out of an inning.
The Red Sox would end up losing 7-6, but did briefly retake the lead in the sixth inning. So clearly Bazardo played his role and gave Boston a chance to comeback. In his first test of the Spring, the 25-year-old was up for the task.
The Red Sox will have a lot of interesting decisions to make this Spring when it comes to the bullpen. There are a lot of pitchers vying for just a few spots. Eduard Bazardo has officially thrown his arm into the ring.