Red Sox Could Be Building Their Bullpen Of The Future


Red Sox Lose Marathon On Marathon Monday

The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels endured two rain delays totaling two hours and 21 minutes, one day after playing a game in one hour and 57 minutes, the fastest nine-inning game at Fenway Park since 1989.

Due to a shaky start from Brayan Bello, the Red Sox lost their annual Patriots’ Day matinee 5-4. It made for a long, rainy Monday afternoon — five hours and 24 minutes, to be exact.

Prior to his start on Monday, Bello, who had been activated from the injured list, gave up five runs on eight hits in two and a third innings – walking one while striking out five. He allowed Hunter Renfroe to hit a three-run home run in the first inning, giving the Angels a 4-0 lead. Despite a late-game comeback by the Red Sox, they could not recover.

Massive Bright Spot Despite Gloomy Day

Boston lost, but there was one massive bright spot: relief pitcher Kutter Crawford threw 6 1/3 innings of scoreless ball.

On Tuesday, two days after he started in Detroit and limited the Tigers to one run over five innings, Boston optioned Crawford to Triple-A. When Garrett Whitlock returned from the 15-day injured list, the Red Sox had to make room for him on the 26-man roster. However, Crawford would be called back up on Thursday (following an elbow injury to righty Zack Kelly). And he ultimately proved that he should have never been sent down in the first place.

The performance kept Boston in the game and the bullpen from being overworked. Crazy enough, It was the second-longest appearance by a Red Sox pitcher this season, behind only Garrett Whitlocks seven complete innings on Saturday afternoon.

Crawford Shows Ability To Throw Strikes

Crawford has really demonstrated in his last few appearances that he can consistently throw all his pitches for strikes (72 pitches, 54 strikes on Monday). According to Baseball Savant, he threw 24 four-seam fastballs on Monday with a top speed of 95.9 mph and an average speed of 94.8 mph. 20 cutters, 15 curveballs, 11 sliders, and 6 changeups were thrown in the mix. 

After the game, Crawford said, “After the rain delay, I kind of just treated it like a start,” he said. “I had most of my pitches working in the zone. Was able to land my breaking balls for a strike early, and I think that set up the fastball later in the count. I know no matter what my role is, I have one job to do. And that’s to go out there and fill the zone up and give my team the best chance to win.”

He hasn’t issued a walk in his last 14.1 innings. Which is music to every Red Sox fan’s ears.

Building Bullpen Of The Future

Both Kutter Crawford and Josh Winckowski have caught the eye of many Red Sox fans with their recent success out of the bullpen during the first few weeks of the season. If both continue this trajectory, the Sox could be on the brink of building a reliable bullpen of the future, especially when you factor in Tanner Houck to the mix long-term.

Moreover, the emergence of both these young players could provide much-needed depth to the starting rotation if necessary, as they are stretched out to throw a full 5-6 innings if needed. Pitching depth is the sign of a good baseball team, and you can never have too many good pitchers in the game of baseball.