Surprise pitcher made waves in Red Sox spring training games

One of the Red Sox's little-known relievers made a name for himself this spring.

2024 Boston Red Sox Spring Training: Justin Hagenman throwing
2024 Boston Red Sox Spring Training: Justin Hagenman throwing / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

We are officially in the home stretch of spring training. Opening Day is closing in and major league rosters are beginning to take shape across the league. As players fight for roster spots in the Boston Red Sox bullpen, starting rotation and outfield, one pitcher in the bullpen mix is making a name for himself.

Justin Hagenman has been showing out in his first spring training with the Red Sox. He was acquired along with Nick Robertson from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Kiké Hernández and Hagenman has stood out as the holdover from that move. Robertson's tenure with the Red Sox ended after a half-season when he was shipped to the Cardinals as part of the Tyler O'Neill trade.

On Monday, Hagenman was part of the latest round of spring cuts for the Red Sox after he was reassigned to minor league camp. His spring performance has established him as an option for a mid-season call-up by the Red Sox whenever the need might emerge.

After he was acquired by the Red Sox in the summer, Hagenman was largely off the radar for the rest of the season, partly because he hasn't been on the team's 40-man roster. He ended the season with Triple-A Worcester and he posted a solid 3.26 ERA and 1.29 WHIP with one save in 16 appearances that totaled 30.1 innings.

Red Sox Justin Hagenman's spring performance has him on the radar for a call-up during the season

Hagenman's strong 2023 has translated well to Grapefruit League play in major league camp. He pitched 7.2 innings over seven appearances without allowing a run. He fanned eight hitters and walked just one, which works out to a 0.65 WHIP in spring action.

Hagenman's scoreless spring has him putting up similar results as some major leaguers in Red Sox camp — new acquisition Isaiah Campbell and 2023 breakout Brennan Bernardino have registered seven and six scoreless appearances, respectively. Rule five draft pick Justin Slaten also has five scoreless outings, which is important as he has to spend the whole year on the roster or the Red Sox risk losing him.

While he didn't make the Opening Day roster, the Red Sox could consider adding Hagenman to the 40-man in the near future. His strong performances at the end of last year and this spring have put him in the conversation for an in-season call-up.

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