The Boston Red Sox made a major splash earlier this week by hiring Craig Breslow as their new head of baseball operations, finally replacing Chaim Bloom a month after he was fired.
Breslow's hiring is an exciting one for Red Sox fans. Not only is he a former player (and a Boston World Series champ at that), but he also received high marks during his time with the Chicago Cubs for helping improve their pitching staff with his emphasis on pitcher development.
That's exactly what the Red Sox need, as their pitching staff has been a disaster the last few years. That was the case again in 2023, when Boston had the 10th-worst ERA (4.52) in baseball.
With Breslow on board, don't be surprised if the team's performance improves next year, especially on the mound.
That said, here are three Red Sox players who will benefit the most from having a former pitcher as their new GM.
1. Brayan Bello
Bello is something of a unicorn for Boston. He's the team's first good homegrown starting pitcher in over 15 years, so naturally the organization wants to get the most out of him.
After a disappointing rookie season in 2022, Bello took a big step forward last year and has shown signs of developing into an ace. The 24-year-old finished 2023 on a down note, however (7.62 ERA in September), and still has room for improvement.
Hopefully Breslow can help Bello put it all together in 2024. What he really needs to do is elevate his strikeout rate, which dropped from 8.6 K/9 to 7.6 K/9 year-over-year.
With a mid-90s fastball and a devastating changeup, Bello should be able to generate more swings and misses than that. He's still learning how to mix his pitches and set up hitters, so at this point it's all about refining his natural talent.
With Breslow in charge, don't be surprised if Bello finds that next gear and has an All-Star caliber season in 2024.