The Red Sox added a versatile pitcher to provide some depth
The lockout has prevented the Boston Red Sox from making moves to solidify their major league roster but that doesn’t mean that Chaim Bloom is sitting around twiddling his thumbs. The front office has continued their efforts to build valuable depth for their pitching staff by adding reinforcements to stand by in Worcester.
A once-promising prospect who was a second-round draft pick by the Chicago White Sox, Danish struggled to live up to his pedigree. He hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 and owns an underwhelming 4.85 ERA over 13 career innings to go along with 13 walks and 11 strikeouts.
Danish only has one start under his belt at the major league level. He tossed five shutout innings during his only big league appearance in 2017 but walked six batters. His lack of a control was a clear problem preventing him sticking in the majors.
An ineffective stint in the Seattle Mariners farm system was short-lived, followed by some time in independent ball. Danish found his career on life support and needed to make a change in order to have a chance to pitch on a major league mound again.
Danish reinvented himself in 2020 by breaking down his delivery and rebuilding it from the ground up. He was a different pitcher during last year’s bounce-back campaign spent in the Los Angeles Angels system. The ground ball specialist maintained a solid 47.1 GB% but with vastly improved command. Danish posted a 3.84 ERA, 10.1 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 32 appearances, including three starts, split between Double-A and Triple-A.
The strong ratios are an encouraging sign that Danish’s revamped approach has corrected his control issues. He will almost certainly begin the season in Triple-A, but if he’s able to maintain that production, he’ll become an interesting option to considering calling up.
While he’s been utilized primarily as a reliever in recent years, Danish is capable of handling more than an inning at a time. He threw 40+ pitches in 11 of his appearances last year. He could potentially fill the valuable multi-inning role that Tanner Houck and Garrett Whitlock are projected for if either of them were to join the rotation, be inserted in the closer role or miss time due to injury.
Danish could also conceivably be stretched out to make a few starts in Worcester to give the Red Sox another option to turn to if they need a spot starter.
Danish is the ninth player and fourth pitcher to receive a non-roster invite to camp. The Red Sox currently have an opening on their 40-man roster but they are expected to fill it once the lockout ends and free agency fires back up again. It’s unlikely that any non-roster invitee will break camp with the team but they could be an asset to call upon later in the season.
The upside may appear limited but Danish was a high draft pick for a reason. If he proves that he truly has solved his control issues, it’s worth taking a cheap flyer on the right-hander on a minor league deal to find out if he can reach his potential.