Kutter Crawford has been a pleasant surprise. Will it continue?
Kutter Crawford has impressed in the small sample Red Sox fans have witnessed. The singular moment was against the New York Yankees with five strong innings, earning some serious pitching creed. Is it deserved?
Crawford is a 26-year-old righty who has slogged his way through the Red Sox system as a 16th-round draft choice (2017). As his name implies, his pitching weapon of choice is the cutter set up with a solid fastball and good curve, but the killer is the cutter. Will Crawford be part of the rotation in 2023 and beyond?
As a gamble, his shot is probably in the comfortable 50/50 range, depending on that cutter. Mariano Rivera made a living off just about the best tossed, and Crawford has a long – very long – way to go before matching Mo.
The Red Sox have had two pitchers in the past who developed and utilized a cutter in the later phases of their careers. Mike Timlin mixed his up with his fastball starting in 2006, and Timlin was 40 years old and had excellent baseball survival skills.
Scott Atchinson took a long route to MLB and the Red Sox but provided three solid seasons out of the bullpen. Atchinson toyed with the pitch before bringing it into his pitching toolbox.