Red Sox Notes: Connor Seabold May Have Role Carved Out On Roster

The Red Sox found a way to win Sunday

by

July 3

The Red Sox series finale against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Sunday was a strange one, but the road team was able to take a gutsy 4-2 win in 11 innings.

One thing that appeared prevalent in the game was Connor Seabold might be best suited for a multi-inning relief role, which could extend his stay in Boston. The spot starter provided another outing where he did not light up the box score, but showed potential at the highest level of competition.

In his first start of the season against the Toronto Blue Jays, the right-hander recorded 21 swing-and-misses, the most by any Red Sox player this season. He also said he was out of gas by the fifth inning.

In Sunday’s effort, Seabold did not appear to have the same life on his pitches, recording just one swing-and-miss on his changeup and one on his curveball. While he still had seven misses on his fastball, the rookie gave way to contact. There’s a decent chance he was trying to pace himself after having nothing left after just 4 2/3 innings in his season debut.

Still, manager Alex Cora seems pleased with Seabold’s performance.

“Good stuff,” Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “The fastball plays. We talk about the changeup but that’s a good fastball, especially up in the zone. He gave us some big outs and got us to the next level.”

His long-term role could be in the bullpen, where he could focus on being as filthy as possible and disregard stamina. With the arms on the way back from injury, it would also be the only logical way for Seabold to stay in the mix.

Here are more notes from Red Sox-Cubs:

— Xander Bogaerts exited the game with a left thigh laceration after being cleated by Willson Contreras on a stolen-base attempt. Cora said he needed seven stitches after the game.

— Michael Wacha’s arm is feeling heavy and Kutter Crawford is expected to take his start against the Tampa Bay Rays on the Fourth of July, according to Cora. The rookie was a late scratch from his start in Worcester on Sunday afternoon, leading to speculation of when Crawford would pitch for Boston.

— The Red Sox scored on a miscue on a popup that was ruled a single, a bases-loaded walk, and a throwing error to score their four runs. They did not record an extra-base hit in the game.

— With two scoreless innings, Hirokazu Sawamura now has a 2.45 ERA on the season and could be relied upon in higher leverage situations should he continue his strong season.

— Matt Strahm has a 6.97 ERA in his last 12 appearances, including three blown saves in that span, per Providence Journal’s Bill Koch. Strahm allowed a game-tying home run to Patrick Wisdom in the eighth inning.

After Jake Diekman’s two scoreless innings in extra innings, there could be a shakeup in the pecking order for Cora’s bullpen.

— The Red Sox are tied for second in Major League Baseball in blown saves with 17, only trailing the Rays’ 19.

— Boston finished their road trip 5-4 and lost two series after their sweep of the Cleveland Guardians.

— The Red Sox will return to Fenway Park on Monday to kick off a three-game set with the Rays. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET following an hour of pregame coverage, and you can watch it all on NESN.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Jake Diekman
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