Chaim Bloom Explains Red Sox Bullpen Approach For 2023

The bullpen was a big area of issue for Boston this season


October 2

The Red Sox have a busy offseason ahead of them, and one major question is how they will fix the bullpen.

Boston’s relievers saw a lot of action throughout the 2022 campaign between injuries and recalling players from Triple-A Worcester due to instability. There was a revolving door of set-up guys, closers and just anyone who could be relied upon to keep the game close in later innings.

Both Tanner Houck and Garrett Whitlock emerged as solid relievers, but injuries cut their seasons short. Matt Strahm showed flashes of reliability, but the Red Sox couldn’t use him every day. Oftentimes they’d be forced to go to pitchers like Ryan Brasier or Hirokazu Sawamura and the results usually weren’t all that positive.

The good news for the Red Sox, though, is that Houck and Whitlock figure to be ready for spring training, Matt Barnes began to return to first-half 2021 form and Kaleb Ort began to gain trust.

Still, there’s a lot of work to be done if the Red Sox, who won’t be playing in the postseason just a year after coming within two games of the World Series, if they want to be competitive in 2023.

In a conversation with The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom revealed what his approach will be when it comes to building a better bullpen.

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“This is something, as you can imagine, that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this summer. We’re going to look at every option we have. Because of having the flexibility that we have financially, we may be able to use that in certain ways to help our bullpen,” Bloom told Abraham. “But I think in today’s game it’s not possible to have a really good bullpen all season long without having contributions from unexpected places and contributions from within.

“We’ve been able to do that on a smaller scale with Garrett and (John) Schreiber. We need to be able to do that more. That has to be some part of what we do with the bullpen. We?ve spent a lot of time talking about that.

“Alex (Cora) and I have talked a lot about the situations we put them in and putting them in positions to succeed. How can help these guys maximize their ability and put them in a position to have success. That’s really what you have to do to have a really good and deep bullpen.”

Cora did have some encouraging words about the 2023 season after Saturday’s loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, and Kiké Hernández reportedly was told by Bloom that next year’s team was going to be better. That’s what helped Hernández sign a deal to remain in Boston.

For now, though, the focus remains on the rest of the 2022 season. The Red Sox wrap up their final road trip against the Blue Jay on Sunday. First pitch from Rogers Centre is set for 1:37 p.m. ET and you can catch all the action beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Thumbnail photo via Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports Images
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