MLB Writer Explains How Three Red Sox Players Are Overachieving In 2022

John Schreiber leads the list by a landslide

by

July 19

The Boston Red Sox have turned in some exceptional performances from unexpected members of the team, one of whom didn’t even make the Opening Day roster.

The Athletic’s Chad Jennings on Tuesday pointed out some of the biggest surprises on the Red Sox’s roster this season. Boston’s lineup was supposed to mash, leaving little room for position players to make the list, but several pitchers have overachieved.

One such pitcher — and one who would be unanimous — is reliever John Schreiber.

“Seven American League relievers have thrown at least 20 shutdown innings this season, and this minor league call-up is one of them,” Jennings wrote. “Schreiber has pitched in 34 games and been charged with a run only three times.”

The right-hander with a unique arm angle has a 1.60 ERA and has been utilized in high-leverage spots during his meteoric rise. He’s become one of the top relievers in the league.

Garrett Whitlock, who began the year as a reliever, became a starter and now is back in the bullpen. He also deserves recognition for how he’s performed in 2022.

“He might be the highest pitcher on this list if not for the month lost to a hip injury,” Jennings wrote. “Ultimately, Whitlock is ‘overachieving’ only in the sense that he’s still a Rule 5 pick with only a year of big league experience, but he’s set a high bar for himself. Whitlock has played multiple roles with few hiccups aside from the injury.”

While many would argue Whitlock getting the job done is far from unexpected, he’s still one of a few players who can pitch in any scenario or role with success. And, as Jennings pointed out, Whitlock was a no-name prospect when he came over to the Red Sox last offseason.

A final overachiever lost some steam of late, but he stepped up to become a saving grace for a Red Sox rotation that was coming apart at the seams. We’re talking, of course, about Nick Pivetta.

“As the only Red Sox starter with more than 100 innings (no one else has as many as 75), Pivetta has carried more than his share, and he delivered a two-month stretch in which he was legitimately All-Star caliber (2.18 ERA in May and June),” Jennings wrote.

Pivetta had by far his most dominant stretch at the major league level and has been the one mainstay in the Red Sox’s rotation this season. While all three candidates are deserving, there is one more player who could’ve qualified, as well: Rob Refsnyder.

Refsnyder hit .338 with six doubles, three home runs, 11 RBIs and a .934 OPS in 29 first-half games. Like Schreiber, he has a case for the biggest positive surprise for Boston.

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