6 Red Sox pitchers who could make a surprise impact in 2023
The Boston Red Sox had a busy off-season, signing closer Kenley Jansen (who has the 8th most saves of any player in MLB history with 391) and set-up man Chris Martin (3.05 ERA in 2022; 3.84 career ERA) to solidify a bullpen that was 2nd worst in the American League in 2022 (trailing only the Kansas City Royals).
Richard Bleier and Joely Rodríguez join Jansen and Martin as the other key additions to the Red Sox bullpen entering 2023; the team also has Tanner Houck, John Schreiber, and Ryan Brasier returning from last year.
Red Sox added notable pitchers this off-season, but others might make surprise impact in 2023
The Red Sox also signed veteran pitcher Corey Kluber, who joins a crowded starting pitching depth chart which includes Chris Sale, James Paxton, Brayan Bello, Garrett Whitlock, and Nick Pivetta (and potentially Tanner Houck, if he is not used as a reliever).
If the team chooses to carry 5 starters and 8 relievers on the 26-man roster at the start of the season, the hurlers listed above (Jansen, Martin, Bleier, Rodríguez, Houck, Schreiber, Brasier, Sale, Paxton, Bello, Whitlock, Pivetta) would leave only 1 roster spot up for grabs.
But don't expect it to remain at only 1. Injuries are inevitable, and when they happen it presents an opportunity for someone unexpected to step up. In recent days, there have been several reports that Garrett Whitlock, Brayan Bello, and James Paxton could start the season on the injured list.
While none of the 3 are expected to miss significant time, it still presents an immediate test of the pitching depth the Red Sox have. It begs the question: who are the most likely candidates to make a surprise impact this season if/when they are called upon? Read on to find out.