The Red Sox state that they have a bevy of pitchers for the 2023 season. The prediction of starters is Chris Sale, Nick Pivetta, James Paxton, Corey Kluber, Garrett Whitlock, Brayan Bello. The relievers are Tanner Houck, Josh Winckowski, Kutter Crawford, Michael Wacha, Connor Seabold and Austen Davis. Lastly are prospects Bryan Matta, Franklin German, Brandon Walter and Luis Perales.
Sale is very questionable. He has had Tommy John surgery, broke a rib throwing a baseball, broke a finger trying to stop a hit and broke a wrist while bike riding, all since March of 2022. Since starting with the Red Sox, he has made 36 starts, and only 11 in the past three years. Paxton is in the same category. He was expected to pitch last year but the Tommy John surgery did not go well, and he didn’t pitch last year. Both of these pitchers are possible starters, but will require constant watching for injuries.
Kluber was obtained from the Rays and is a two-time winner of the American League Cy Young Award. He has pitched for the Indians, Rangers, Yankees and Rays. He is now 37 years old and relies on finesse rather than power – a power pitcher in his younger days.
Houck and Whitlock have been around for a few years, and each has yet to prove to be a starter. Both have been used mostly as relievers.
Pivetta is the only pitcher that has been reliable over the past few seasons. He’s a Canadian from Victoria, 29 years old, and 6 foot 5. His background starts with Lambrick High School, New Mexico Junior College and the minor league Lehigh Valley Pigs. He is probably the only starter we can rely on at this point in time.
I have gathered up some statistics on the pitchers mentioned and the career list is below.
Pitcher Wins Losses Games Innings Strikeouts ERA
Pivetta 40 50 154 741 784 5.02
Sale 114 75 323 1678 2064 3.03
Kluber 113 71 256 1586 1683 3.31
Paxton 57 33 137 754 831 3.59
Whitlock 12 6 77 151 103 2.73
Houck 9 9 53 146 164 3.02
Bello 2 8 13 57 55 4.71
Crawford 3 7 22 72 79 5.47
Winckowski 5 7 15 70 44 5.89
We see from the stats that only Sale, Kluber, Paxton and Whitlock have winning records for their careers. Things don’t look good for the Sox in 2023.
(Editor’s Note: Bill Stewart, better known to Saugus Advocate readers as “The Old Sachem,” writes a weekly column about sports – and sometimes he opines on current or historical events or famous people.)