6 Red Sox pitchers who could make a surprise impact in 2023

Red Sox closer Kenley Jansen
Red Sox closer Kenley Jansen / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages
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Red Sox pitcher Zack Kelly
Red Sox pitcher Zack Kelly / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

Zack Kelly: Kelly's fastball-changeup mix was effective in late-2022 and he will likely be a factor in the Red Sox bullpen this season

Zack Kelly made his major league debut with the Red Sox in August 2022 after spending most of the season with the WooSox. During his time with the team's AAA affiliate, he logged 49.2 innings and posted a 2.72 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and .191 BAA.

In Kelly's first 12 big-league appearances, he held the opposing offense scoreless in 10 of them. In aggregate, Kelly had a 3.95 ERA in 13.2 innings with the Red Sox in 2022. His stats were skewed by a rough final outing off 2022 (5 hits and 3 runs allowed in 1 inning), but he proved during his time with the Red Sox that his stuff is effective at the highest level. And after taking a deeper dive into the metrics, it is clear he has elite potential.

It is also notable that Zack Kelly and Kutter Crawford offer the Red Sox some roster flexibility because of the options they carry going into 2023. Both carry multiple options remaining per Spotrac, while pitchers Bryan Mata and Wyatt Mills only have 1. With multiple options left, the team may feel more comfortable using one in 2023.