The Boston Red Sox have been getting better starting pitching lately. We all know in the game of baseball, starting pitching is key. So for this team to be getting quality starts from their starters is a good sign.
The Red Sox took on the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night and ultimately lost 8-6. But if there was a silver lining that could be taken out of a tough loss, it’s that you got a great Red Sox debut from James Paxton.
The left-handed starting pitcher has had it rough for the past few seasons, while as a member of the Boston Red Sox.
Constant injuries had sidelined him and delayed his Red Sox debut. Some were wondering if he’d ever actually pitch an inning in Boston.
Friday night put a lot of those questions to bed. But honestly, after last night; the Boston Red Sox could have something with James Paxton.
Boston Red Sox starter James Paxton delivered a lot of swings and misses
Now I know it was against the Cardinals and they are playing below .500 baseball, I get that. But looking at the numbers from James Paxton, he was missing a lot of bats last night!
Paxton finished his first Red Sox outing with nine strikeouts in five innings of work. Nine out of 15 outs were strikeouts in his return!
Sure, Nolan Arenado made Paxton pay in the first inning on a missed spot. But all things considered, you have to love the fact that “Big Maple” was able to throw it by MLB hitters last night.
Plus, the fastball was in the upper 90’s. If you told me before the start that James Paxton would be hitting 96 and 97, I’d be happy with that result 10 out of 10 times.
Red Sox bullpen will benefit from the addition of Paxton
With the way that Paxton threw last night, it probably means that a starter is going to get demoted to the bullpen. And that’s a good thing for this Red Sox team!
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If the Boston Red Sox starting rotation can count on James Paxton to be healthy and perform at a somewhat consistent level, then that can give the bullpen more fresh arms to use.
Nick Pivetta is a logical candidate to get the demotion. Even though he’s made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t think the bullpen is an option for him!
Tanner Houck is another name in the conversation. But who knows how Alex Cora wants to use him moving forward.
But you can make an already good bullpen an even better bullpen. Win-win!
What to expect from Paxton in the Red Sox starting rotation
Am I expecting James Paxton to do what he did against the Cardinals in every start? Obviously not! That’s just unrealistic. But can he be a solidified piece in the rotation? Yes, he can!
This team seems to be getting better and better talent-wise, as the days progress on. Now you hope that they can put it all together and make a run at a playoff spot.
James Paxton could be a missing link that the Boston Red Sox didn’t even realize they needed for the 2023 season.