So far this season, the Boston Red Sox pitching depth has been tested. As a result, various players have made their debuts, and prospects such as Connor Seabold and Kutter Crawford have gotten multiple opportunities. However, one prospect that has stood out is Josh Winckowski. The Florida native has made four starts and given the Red Sox a chance to win. With the return of starters, including Chris Sale, on the horizon, Winckowski is showing that he belongs in the majors.
Through 26 innings of work this season, Winckowski has posted a 3.12 ERA. The former 15th-round pick has also struck out 19 batters and allowed one home run. In his first taste of the majors, Winckoswki has not seemed overwhelmed and won three of his last four starts. That has been a welcome sign for the Red Sox as they have struggled to develop starting pitching in recent years.
Additionally, he has shown the ability to handle adversity. After only lasting four innings in his MLB debut, Winckowski has pitched at least five innings in four straight starts. In that span, he has held opponents to a .270 batting average. The 24-year-old is showing excellent control in the majors by only walking seven batters.
Josh Winckowski, Elevated 95mph 🔥 pic.twitter.com/ezxLejS5hC
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 16, 2022
While the season is far from over, Winckoswki is proving to be a key piece. Yesterday marked his fifth start in the majors this season. No Red Sox rookie has made that many starts in a season since Brian Johnson in 2017. Johnson posted a 4.33 ERA in those five starts and would only make 19 career starts. For Winckowski, the future seems brighter, and the Red Sox decision to include him in the Andrew Benintendi deal is looking better by the day.
As the 2022 campaign continues, Winckowski will be a player to keep an eye on. He has earned a spot in the rotation and could serve as a long-relief option. The Red Sox have some tough roster decisions in the coming weeks, but their talented righty is showing that he is ready for the majors. He does need to improve his slider but has a five-pitch arsenal that should allow him to succeed in the minors.
Despite his early success, Winckoswki still has some areas for growth. Through the first two months of his MLB career, opponents are hitting .290 against the 2016 draft pick. While he has limited the damage, Winckoswki has allowed six or more hits in six straight starts. However, pitching with runners on hasn’t shaken his confidence while making history.
Following Saturday’s start, Winckoswki is the only Red Sox starter in the last 50 years to make four straight starts of five-plus innings while allowing two earned runs or fewer and one or zero walks. If he can continue that, the Red Sox rotation will be in good shape.
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images