Red Sox trade acquisition from Rays is starting to turn it around at Triple-A

Naoyuki Uwasawa could bring starting depth to Boston's roster soon.
2024 Dominican Republic Series - Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays
2024 Dominican Republic Series - Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays / Bryan Bennett/GettyImages

Just one day before the start of the 2024 regular season, the Boston Red Sox traded for a depth arm to offer its starting rotation a bit of security.

Naoyuki Uwasawa pitched nine years in Nippon Professional Baseball and was coming off one of the best seasons of his career when he hit MLB spring training with the Tampa Bay Rays just a few months ago. He pitched to a 13.03 ERA in four Grapefruit League outings, two of which came against the Red Sox.

Uwasawa's ERA was far from ideal early on, which is likely why he didn't make the Rays' Opening Day roster. The righty was very hot and cold — he got rocked for seven runs in his first outing and five runs in his third, but he only allowed one run in his other two appearances.

The Red Sox put Uwasawa through an extended spring training program after they acquired him just before the season. The pitcher got off to a better start with the WooSox than he did in spring training, but his numbers are still far from perfect. His most recent outing showed promise, though.

Naoyuki Uwasawa could be making his case for the Red Sox roster

Uwasawa has made three starts for Triple-A Worcester and he's logged a 4.80 ERA. Each of his three outings has been a five-inning affair and he's let up at least four hits each time out.

In his first two starts, Uwasawa allowed three and four runs, respectively, which brought his ERA up to a rough 6.30. His next start, which came against Triple-A Durham on April 21, was his best yet. The righty allowed just one run and fanned seven batters, which brought his ERA down to its current 4.80.

Uwasawa was a career 3.42 ERA pitcher in NPB, and a few more starts like his most recent one will even his numbers out to his previous level. He's been incredibly consistent over his nine-year career in Japan, and unlocking his previous capabilities in MLB could turn Uwasawa into a real threat on the mound.

If he can continue his upward trajectory and make the big league roster at some point this year, he could serve as starting depth for Boston's rotation or a long relief option if needed.

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