Red Sox add pitching in trade with Rays - Sport News

Red Sox add pitching in trade with Rays

Naoyuki Uwasawa is a 30-year-old pitcher who spent spring training with the Rays after signing a minor-league deal with them. He appeared in four games in spring training, starting two of them, pitching 9.2 innings and posting a 13.03 ERA. Uwasawa was not going to make the Rays’ major-league roster, so they pivoted and traded him to the Red Sox.

Red Sox add pitching in trade with Rays

Now, Uwasawa joins a Red Sox team that has been starved for pitching all offseason, especially after the one big acquisition in Lucas Giolito went down for the season with an elbow injury. It is a low-risk move for the Red Sox to give themselves another option to use in the rotation.

Uwasawa is an experienced pitcher who played nine years in Japan before taking a chance at being an MLB pitcher this year. Uwasawa found some success in the last few years in Japan, pitching to ERAs under three in two of the last three seasons.

Red Sox 2024 rotation outlook

After the injury to Lucas Giolito, the Red Sox rotation consisted of Brayan Bello, Nick Pivetta, Kutter Crawford, Garrett Whitlock and Tanner Houck. These pitchers are not necessarily lacking in talent, but there are some questions as to whether or not they are good enough to be regular starting pitchers or if they would be better suited in the bullpen.

Brayan Bello is one of the young players that the Red Sox are depending on being a staple for them in the future. He made his MLB debut in 2022 and pitched his first full season in 2023.

While there were flashes during those two seasons, Bello still has to put it all together as a starting pitcher in the major leagues. He is still just 24 years old, so his growth as a pitcher will be something to watch this season.

Nick Pivetta is entering his age 31 season, and he has been a member of the Red Sox since the 2020 season. Pivetta started 16 games in 2023 and appeared in 22 more out of the bullpen for Boston.

There are some advanced statistics that are higher on Pivetta than the majority of fans. An example is Stuff+ by Eno Sarris.

Nick Pivetta had the top Stuff+ rating in spring training with 140, which is 40 percent better than the league average of 100. Those stats reflected similarly on Pivetta in 2023. Maybe there is more upside for him in 2024 than fans expect.

Kutter Crawford has started games for the Red Sox in the last three seasons, and the best season he had was in 2023, when he posted a 4.04 ERA. Projections believe that ERA will drop in 2024. It will be interesting to see how he fares.

Both Garrett Whitlock and Tanner Houck are pitchers who have flashed for the Red Sox in recent years, but they both might be better off in the bullpen. Whitlock was a steal in the Rule Five draft from the New York Yankees in 2021, but he has been forced to be a starter at times, and he also suffered an injury last year.

The 2021 and 2022 seasons were both much better than 2023 for Whitlock and Houck. A lot rests on their shoulders for 2024.

With the question marks present in the Red Sox rotation, Uwasawa could find himself with a chance to make starts at some point this year and prove that he belongs in MLB.

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