John Schreiber may have been Red Sox’s best bullpen pitcher
Occasionally a team gets a break scanning the waiver wire, and Boston got just that with righty John Schreiber. A rare success in the Chaim Bloom revolving door bullpen approach. Schreiber did his sentence in Worcester (AAA) at the beginning of the 2022 season before coming to The Show and getting more high-leverage situations as the season progressed or deteriorated, depending on your view.
What’s not to like? Schreiber tossed 65 relief innings, racked up 74 punchouts, and allowed just three home runs. With a remarkable 56.9 GB%, that gives a clue to the long ball drought. Schreiber was cheap with walks posting a 2.6 BB% that was a good chunk of his 0.985 WHIP. In closing, Schreiber had eight saves and two blown saves. Holds can be a sketchy statistic, but Schreiber had 22.
Schreiber relies primarily on a fastball (in the mid-90s), and a slider. A change is occasionally mixed in (7.5%) to get hitters to know a third option is available. An interesting note is his fastball-slider difference was 11.8 MPH. Last season Schreiber also posted a 30.3 CWS% so you have a closer who can induce the ground ball or go for the whiff.
Schreiber has just one year of service time, so team control is not an issue. Doing light lifting (set up) and heavy lifting (closing) presented no problem, nor did right-handed hitters (.193) or lefties (.196). Arguably he may have been the top bullpen piece in 2022 and should be a significant part of a bullpen rebuild. This guy was impressive!
Is he a one-season wonder? Schreiber will be 29 years old next season and bounced around the minors for ten years, primarily with the Tigers organization. Sometimes it takes a while for a pitcher to “get it,” which hopefully is the case with Schreiber.