Red Sox News: Pitching prospect Eduard Bazardo has a chance to make MLB debut
Red Sox prospect Eduard Bazardo has been added to the active roster
The Boston Red Sox are getting some temporary reinforcement for their bullpen this afternoon. Promising pitching prospect Eduard Bazardo has been called up to serve as the 27th man on the active roster for Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins.
If Bazardo is given an opportunity to pitch in either of today’s games, it will be his major league debut. We were treated to a brief glimpse of the right-hander during spring training when he posted a 1.80 ERA in five innings over four appearances.
The 25-year-old reliever has never pitched above Double-A. In 2019, he owned a 2.21 ERA, 1.064 WHIP and 10.8 K/9 in 38 appearances split between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland.
MLB.com ranks Bazardo as the No. 28 prospect in the Red Sox farm system. While that might not seem all that impressive, the mediocre ranking is partially due to his ceiling being capped by his role as a reliever. That doesn’t mean he can’t develop into a key component of a Red Sox bullpen that is always in need of depth.
Bazardo’s stock is also on the rise following an impressive performance in the Arizona Fall Instructional League last year. He showed improved velocity with a fastball that now sits in the mid-90s and tops out at 98 mph. Bazardo pairs the fastball with a curveball that has an elite spin rate. Both are plus pitches or better. His splitter remains a work in progress and the lack of a reliable third pitch is why he isn’t being groomed for the rotation but having another option to occasionally pull out of his arsenal gives opposing hitters something else to think about.
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He throws strikes and shows good command with a 9.9 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 throughout his minor league career.
According to Alex Speier of The Boston Globe, the Red Sox called up the unproven Bazardo instead of Colten Brewer, who has three years of major league experience with the club. Brewer is on the 40-man roster and with the team in Minnesota as part of the taxi squad but he’s “a little banged up” and wasn’t feeling good in a recent bullpen session.
It’s unclear if Bazardo will be called upon to make his MLB debut today or if he’s with the club to serve as an emergency option. With both games of the doubleheader slated for only seven innings, Boston hopefully won’t need to dig too deep into their bullpen.
Even if he doesn’t take the mound against the Twins, Bazardo should be a factor at some point this season. The Red Sox bullpen has vastly improved from last year but they still lack depth. Bazardo has the stuff to thrive as a middle reliever. His stay with the major league team might be brief, but Bazardo will almost certainly be back again soon.