Why New Red Sox Pitcher Michael Wacha Feels ‘Like New Man’ On Mound

'I feel like a new man out there'

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The Boston Red Sox have added some depth to their rotation, announcing the signing of pitcher Michael Wacha on Saturday.

The one-year deal is reported to be worth up to $7 million, a nice pay bump from what the righty made last season with the Rays, despite coming off two relatively underwhelming seasons with Tampa Bay and the New York Mets.

But things were looking up for the 30-year-old towards the last month of the 2021 season, where Wacha posted a 3.00 ERA and 0.73 WHIP in six outings, striking out 30 batters in 30 innings with five walks during the stretch.

He feels good about the direction he’s heading in.

“Last year, (I) just had some ups and downs,” Wacha admitted, via The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

“But toward the end of the season I felt like the ball was coming out (well) ? (and) just feeling good. My approach on the mound was where I needed to be to move forward. I’m very confident in myself and my work ethic and my competitiveness to go out there, compete, and get the job done. I’m looking forward to getting back to that role where I’m out there dominant and getting some good wins for this club.”

Wacha certainly isn’t the only move that will replace starter Eduardo Rodriguez, who signed with the Detroit Tigers this offseason in free agency. But he’s eager to compete for a roster spot and thinks Boston is a great fit for him.

The Red Sox coaches see that competitiveness and appreciate his ability to adapt and make adjustments — as seen towards the end of last year.

“I feel like a new man out there,” Wacha said, via Speier. “I felt really good this past year, and so looking forward to keep moving forward with it.”

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