Blue Jays: Ranking the AL East bullpens heading into the season
Moving to the bullpen now, the AL East also owns some of the better relief pitchers in the league, such as Jordan Romano and Félix Bautista. Each team has new names to get used to, so let’s rank each team’s bullpen for the upcoming 2023 season. Bullpen projections are taken from Roster Resource on FanGraphs.
#5 Boston Red Sox
RHP Kenley Jansen
RHP Chris Martin
RHP John Schreiber
RHP Tanner Houck
LHP Joely Rodríguez
RHP Ryan Brasier
LHP Richard Bleier
RHP Kutter Crawford
The Red Sox bullpen will only have four returnees for this upcoming season in John Schreiber, Tanner Houck, Ryan Brasier and Kutter Crawford.
The free agent signing of long-time Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen will solidify their 9th inning role, though the rest of the inning distribution remains to be seen. Other free agent acquisitions include veteran right-hander Chris Martin and left-hander Joely Rodríguez. Martin had a solid 2022 season with both the Cubs and Dodgers recording a 3.05 ERA across 56 innings, while Rodríguez struggled with the Mets shown by his 4.47 ERA.
Schreiber impressed in his first full season with the Red Sox as he held a 2.22 ERA across 65 innings pitched, and was the team’s best reliever. Houck has also been a bright spot on the past two seasons as he has been one of their most consistent pitchers since being called up in 2020.
Richard Bleier, acquired in return for Matt Barnes in a January trade with the Marlins, has been a very reliable relief pitcher over his seven year career, with several outstanding seasons in Baltimore, and two strong seasons in Miami most recently.
Crawford and Brasier each had their struggles a season ago and appear to be the weakest links amongst this group. This bullpen is not bad, though is the worst in the division and heavily dependent on Jansen and Schreiber.