So far this season, the Red Sox bullpen has undergone constant change. While injuries and performance have tested the Red Sox’s depth, Austin Davis has emerged as a critical piece. The Scottsdale native was acquired at the trade deadline last year and became one of Alex Cora‘s most trusted arms. His value has continued to rise this season.
Through 29 games, Davis has posted a 2.30 ERA and allowed two home runs in 31.1 innings of work. The 29-year-old has held opponents to a .205 batting average and recorded 34 strikeouts. While playing various roles, Davis is having a career year and showing no signs of slowing down. On Monday afternoon, his impact was on full display in a much-needed win.
Against the Tampa Bay Rays, Davis played the opener role and did not allow a run over two innings of work. For the second straight appearance, he did not surrender a hit and continued to bounce back after a tough ending to June. His outing was a prime example of how Davis changed since the Red Sox acquired him from Pittsburgh.
Dating back to last season, Davis has a 3.19 ERA in 48 games for the Red Sox. That is his lowest mark with any team. In three years with the Phillies, he posted a 5.86 ERA, and in two years with the Pirates, he showed slight improvement with a 4.73 ERA. During his run in Boston, however, he has limited home runs and shown better control. His ability to be an effective opener when needed this year has allowed the Red Sox to be creative with their younger arms.
#RedSox fans who have been bellowing for Brayan Bello are about to get their wish:
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 5, 2022
Can Davis Keep it Up?
With the season at its halfway point, the Red Sox bullpen is full of question marks. However, they have a reliable arm in Davis, who is getting better as the innings add up. In his last 15 games, the Red Sox southpaw has a 2.00 ERA. During that span, he allowed runs in just two outings and is averaging a strikeout per inning. While he has been one of the Red Sox’s best relievers, his workload will be monitored closely as the regular season winds down.
Entering the 2022 campaign, Davis had never pitched more than 34.2 innings in a season. He will match that total within the next month with the Red Sox in their most critical stretch of the season. Keeping him fresh will be essential as the Red Sox look to increase their lead in the AL wildcard standings. With wins at a premium, the Red Sox will need Davis at his best as he looks to continue his impressive season.
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