Boston Red Sox

  • BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - AUGUST 23: Hirokazu Sawamura #18 of the Boston Red Sox throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the seventh inning at Fenway Park on August 23, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – AUGUST 23: Hirokazu Sawamura #18 of the Boston Red Sox throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the seventh inning at Fenway Park on August 23, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

  • The door is just about closed on the 2022 Boston Red Sox.

    In a sweep attempt against the Tampa Bay Rays that came up one Sunday win short, the Red Sox will begin Monday a borderline insurmountable seven games out of the third and final wild card spot in the American League. (And with just 34 games to play, the ‘borderline’ is probably generous, with FanGraphs giving the Red Sox a sub three percent chance of making the 2022 postseason.)

    But the Sunday loss, which saw the Rays hammer the Red Sox for 12 runs on 17 hits, has also led to some changes, as the Red Sox reportedly hit both Hirokazu Sawamura and Austin Davis with the old ‘designated for assignment’ following the defeat.

  • PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 18:  Austin Davis #56 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the sixth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during inter-league play at PNC Park on August 18, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

    PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 18: Austin Davis #56 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the sixth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during interleague play at PNC Park on August 18, 2022. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

    Word of the DFA for Davis, which was first reported by The Athletic’s Chad Jennings, came following a Sunday outing that included four run (two of which were earned) on three hits and a walk in two innings of work.

    The rough outing continued what’s been a straight-up disastrous run for the 6-foot-4 lefty, too, as Davis had allowed 25 earned runs in 21 innings of work over 19 appearances since July 8.

    Overall, Davis, who was acquired from Pittsburgh in a one-for-one swap involving Michael Chavis at the 2021 trade deadline, posted a 2-1 record and 5.47 ERA in 50 appearances with Boston this year.

  • BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 25: Hirokazu Sawamura #18 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park on August 25, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MA – AUGUST 25: Hirokazu Sawamura #18 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park on August 25, 2022. (Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

    In the case of Sawamura, whose designation was first reported by Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe, the Sox have pulled the plug at the end of an August line that’s featured a season-worst 4.66 ERA and batters hitting .289 off the 34-year-old righty.

    And like in the case of Davis, Sunday appeared to be the last straw for Bloom & Co., as Sawamura struggled and surrendered three runs on four hits and two walks in just one inning of work.

    Sawamura, who joined the Red Sox on a two-year, $3 million contract signed back in 2021, was mostly as advertised for the Sox as a middle reliever, with a 6-2 record with 14 holds and batters hitting .233 off him in 103.2 innings of work over 104 appearances during his two-season run.

    But the 2022 season was an especially strange one for the Japanese reliever, as he was outright dominant when pitching anywhere besides Fenway Park.

  • It’s worth wondering if this will be the start of a bloodletting of arms from the Sox bullpen, as Boston’s pitching problems obviously go beyond Davis and Sawamura.

    One player whose struggles have been straight-up undeniable: Ryan Brasier.

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - AUGUST 26: Ryan Brasier #70 of the Boston Red Sox is relieved during the eighth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park on August 26, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – AUGUST 26: Ryan Brasier #70 of the Boston Red Sox is relieved during the eighth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park on August 26, 2022. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    On the hill for 54 appearances and counting this season, Brasier has a team-worst 6.34 ERA (he’s the only year-long Red Sox regular to have an ERA over 6.00), and batters are hitting a team-worst .308 off him through 49.2 innings of work in 2022. In fact, Brasier is one of just eight pitchers in all of baseball in 2022 to pitch at least 49 innings and have an opponent batting average of at least .308.

    Brasier has been getting absolutely shelled since the Red Sox came out of the All-Star break, too, with 14 earned runs surrendered in 14.2 innings of work, along with a 1.84 WHIP and 8.59 ERA.

    So, to say he’s been getting rocked in 2022 feels like putting it lightly.

    And if the struggles of a Davis and a Sawamura reached a boiling point for a Red Sox that’s inching closer and closer towards shifting their focus to the future (read as: using the final weeks of the MLB season to get a look at some of their younger, minor-league pitchers), Brasier has to be next, no?

  • But with Brasier (and the rest of the Sox bullpen) still safe for the time being, the Red Sox needed to make just two additions to the big league roster for Monday, and have apparently found them with the reported selections of Kaleb Ort and Zack Kelly from Triple-A Worcester.

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 17: Kaleb Ort #61 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after giving up a hit against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 17, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The New York Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox 13-2. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 17: Kaleb Ort #61 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after giving up a hit against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 17, 2022. (Elsa/Getty Images)

    The right-handed Ort is a name you’ll remember from mop-up duty in 2022, as he’s 12 appearances for Boston this year, with 24 hits, 15 earned runs allowed, and a 9.00 ERA in just 15 innings of work.

    Kelly, however, is a new name for Alex Cora’s roster, as the 27-year-old will get the call to the big league roster for the first time in his pro career.

    In the minors since 2017, the 6-foot-3 righty has put up respectable numbers for the Woo Sox in 2022, with a 6-3 record, 2.72 ERA, and 72 strikeouts in 49.2 innings of work this season.