Pitching depth is always a priority for every big league team– especially in the bullpen. Teams go over the top to make sure they have enough relievers, and especially value those with big league experience. Relievers are cheap, disposable and abundant which is why so many are brought into Spring Training.
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Adding to their pool of relievers recently were the Boston Red Sox, signing Jess Todd to a Minor League deal which includes an invitation to Spring Training (as almost all do).
Just 28 years old, the righty pitched effectively in AAA last year for the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. As a member of the Reno Aces, Todd showed off his ability to give his team multiple innings out of relief, lasting 72.1 frames in 53 outings. Posting a 3.61 ERA with 66 strikeouts, he was equally effective against righties as he was lefties as righties hit .253 off of him while lefties hit a point lower at .252.
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The year before that, Todd had himself quite the year in the Detroit Tigers farm system, posting a 2.15 ERA in 39 outings, lasting 62.2 innings in all. He managed to strike out 65 men in total.
Best known for being traded with Chris Perez to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Mark DeRosa back in 2009, Todd will come to the Red Sox with a little bit of big league experience.
While Todd has struggled a bit in the Majors posting a 7.62 ERA in 25 games, all but one of which came with the Cleveland Indians, he has not pitched in the big leagues since 2010 and has only gotten better since then.
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As of right now, it appears as though he will start off this year in Rhode Island, adding depth to the Paw Sox bullpen. If it comes down to it, perhaps he is viewed as a viable big league option– if he pitches well enough.