Edward Mujica to Serve as B Closer

edward mujica

Despite what some may say, Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell seems confident that reliever Edward Mujica is still in the picture this season.
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A few weeks back, the possibility of him being traded was discussed, but Farrell said that he along with Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Craig Breslow and Alexi Ogando would make of the core of Boston’s bullpen.edward mujica

If anything were to happen to Koji Uehara, the skipper pointed out that Edward Mujica would close out games, or if the soon-to-be 40-year-old just needs a night off.
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Currently, Mujica is serving out his final year of a two year contract which may come as a surprise after how poorly he pitched early on last year.

For Mujica, the 2015 season truly was a tale of two cities, after surrendering ten earned runs in nine innings pitched back in April, he closed out the first half of the season with a 5.45 ERA in 35 outings.

Fortunately for the Red Sox, Mujica stepped up his game and really turned things around late in the season, posting a 1.78 ERA in the second half last year. In his final 29 games of the year, he surrendered just five earned runs in 25.1 frames and notched six saves in just as many attempts.
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With the last two spots in the bullpen up for grabs, Robbie Ross Jr., Anthony Varvaro and Brandon Workman all look to make an impact in later innings, but do not count LOOGY Tommy Layne and knuckleballer Steven Wright out of the competition just yet.

While Ross and Varvaro have the advantage in terms of big league track record, Ross does have two options remaining and Varvaro can be dealt if it comes down to it.
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At this point, it would make sense that one of the remaining bullpen spots goes to a lefty and while Varvaro is not a lefty, southpaws are hitting .196 off of him in 270 at-bats, so he and Ross are likely fighting for one spot while Brandon Workman might just slide his way onto the team unopposed.

Knuckler Steven Wright Called-Up, Saves Bullpen

Steven WrightAfter a 10-7 win against the Houston Astros last night, the Boston Red Sox found themselves in need of some pitching help. In response they called-up knuckleballer Steven Wright from AAA Pawtucket and designated outfielder Corey Brown for assignment.

This is not his first tenure with the big league club. Last year, Wright pitched for the Red Sox on four different occasions including one start. He was 2-0 with a 5.40 ERA while walking nine men and punching-out ten.
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On Sunday, Wright had a spectacular outing for Boston despite one blemish. Allowing one run on four hits one of which was a homerun, Wright saved the bullpen tossing four inning on 51 pitches walking just one man while fanning four.

Wright had not pitched for Boston yet this year, but he was called-up temporarily earlier this month. He has pitched well for Pawtucket in 13 starts holding his ERA down low at 2.76 over 84.2 innings of work. Despite working with an erratic pitch, Wright has shown great control walking just 19 men while plunking another one. Also, he has fanned 60 hitters while allowing only six homeruns making it clear that the knuckleball is working well. Wright will serve Boston as a long reliever while he is up with the big league club.
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On the other hand, Boston designated Corey Brown for assignment. The career .175 big league hitter is what some may call a AAAA player. He has clobbered 141 career homeruns in professional baseball, but only a pair of those came in Major League action. It was clear Boston did not want to use him as he made just three appearances for the big league club striking out in his lone at-bat. On Saturday, he made an appearance as a pinch-runner for the slowest player on the team — David Ortiz.
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This was definitely a smart move by the front office here. Steven Wright was already on the 40-man roster so it now stands at 37 men. This gives Boston some room to work with as far as September call-ups go as they can add up to three men who are not already on the 40-man roster. Of course they will need to add Ryan Lavarnway back to it since he is currently rehabbing an injury in Pawtucket but perhaps they could add Matt Barnes and Henry Owens to the list. In addition, Brown was seldom used and it is important to have plenty of stamina in the bullpen. If a game gets out of hand, now Boston can use Wright in long relief and save the bullpen from disaster.