With Spring Training now underway for the 2021 Boston Red Sox, important decisions need to be made surrounding the starting rotation. In contrast to last season, the Red Sox actually have options for the rotation. While the 2020 team struggled to fill a five-man rotation, the 2021 Boston Red Sox already have six viable options for the rotation, not even including the recovering Chris Sale.
2021 Boston Red Sox: Eduardo Rodriguez
After missing all of 2020 with heart complications caused by COVID-19, Boston’s 2019 ace will be back at full strength. In that 2019 season, Eduardo Rodriguez posted a 19-6 record with a 3.81 ERA, finishing sixth in the Cy Young race. Despite the time off, all signs point to Rodriguez recording similar numbers in 2021. If that is the case, he will be a more than competent face of the rotation for Boston.
2021 Boston Red Sox: Nathan Eovaldi
Eovaldi will likely be the number two in the Sox rotation this year. As last year’s ace, Eovaldi had a very productive season with a 3.72 ERA over nine starts. One notable aspect of Eovaldi’s 2020 success can be seen in his career high 9.7 K/9. Health will likely be Eovaldi’s biggest challenge this season, as he seems to frequently be on the Injured List. In his first Spring Training outing, Eovaldi’s velocity was not an issue, but he allowed two earned runs in 1.1 innings pitched. If he is able to remain healthy and keep his control steady, Nathan Eovaldi is poised for another successful season.
2021 Boston Red Sox: Garrett Richards
Garrett Richards was one of the many players Chaim Bloom signed this offseason and he should be a valuable piece in the Red Sox rotation. Excluding a 2019 campaign where Richards started only three games, he has earned an ERA+ over 100 in six seasons from 2014-2020. If Richard’s can be a productive pitcher as a middle to back-end starter, the $10 million that Boston is paying him will be well worth it.
2021 Boston Red Sox: Martin Perez
Perez Day is officially back. After the Red Sox declined to pick up Perez’s option for the 2021 season, it seemed that his time in Boston was over. A few months into the offseason, however, the Red Sox signed the left-hander to a one-year five-million-dollar contract. After a 2020 season with a 4.50 ERA in Boston, Perez will look to replicate or improve those numbers in order to earn his spot in the rotation. If nothing else, Martin Perez’s energy will help make the season more fun for everyone in Boston.
2021 Boston Red Sox: Nick Pivetta
The Red Sox acquired Nick Pivetta from the Phillies in the trade that sent reliever Brandon Workman to Philadelphia. The 28-year-old righty has not quite figured out his game, but offseason reports have come back very positive for Pivetta. All Boston needs is for Pivetta to be somewhat successful as he competes for the fifth spot in the rotation. Sox fans will have an opportunity to see Pivetta in a game on Wednesday as he makes his first start this Spring.
2021 Boston Red Sox: Tanner Houck
Houck made his MLB debut with the Red Sox in 2020 and posted three electric starts. Over 17 innings, Houck allowed just one run on six hits with 21 strikeouts. While this is obviously a small sample size and these numbers are certainly not sustainable, Houck’s debut season rightfully had Sox fans excited. Entering his age 25 season, Houck will compete for his spot in the rotation, but apparently needs another pitch for the Boston staff to be fully confident in his abilities.
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