In 2020, the Boston Red Sox pitching was their biggest weakness. The team finished the season with a 5.58 earned run average, which was the second-worst among American League teams. One player brought in to bolster their depth was Matt Andriese. The former third-round pick has experience as a starter and a reliever. Through the Red Sox’s first 18 games, Andriese is proving his value.
So far this season, Andriese has made seven appearances and posted a 1.69 ERA. In 10 2/3 innings of work, he has struck out ten batters and not allowed a home run. In his first month with the Red Sox, he has been a reliable arm for the best team in the American League.
Since allowing two runs on April 5, Andriese has been lights out. In that span, he has made five appearances and allowed just five hits. The former third round pick has also shown excellent control and not allowed a walk this season. In his brief Red Sox tenure, he had filled multiple roles and given Boston quality innings.
Matt Andriese, Filthy Cut-Up or Chider. 😷
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 15, 2021
The 30-old-has also mentored some of their youngest pieces, such as Garret Whitlock.
Whitlock has been a phenom in the Red Sox bullpen through the first three weeks of the season. One of his best pitches has been his changeup, which Andriese gave him advice on during spring training. During the spring, Andriese encouraged the Red Sox rookie to finish on his arm side to make his changeup harder to hit. The advice has worked out and given Whitlock another dominant pitch to pair with his fastball.
Although the season is less than a month old, Andriese is making his impact felt. Whether it’s on the mound or in the clubhouse, he has helped Boston’s pitching resurgence. Through the Red Sox’s first 18 games, they have a 3.60 ERA. The bullpen has (unlike last year) been reliable, and the starting rotation has given Boston a chance to win nearly every game.
Andriese’s expectations for the rest of 2021
While Andriese has excelled this year, opponents are hitting .275 against him. However, the veteran reliever has been able to strand baserunners when they get into scoring position. That is a quality that was lacking in Boston’s bullpen last year. As the Red Sox look to continue their hot start, they will need Andriese to continue that trend.
Entering play on Thursday, the Red Sox have the best record in the AL East. That is partly due to additions like Andriese. For the remainder of the season, he will be an important piece. His versatility will be key down the stretch, and his impact can already be seen on players such as Whitlock, providing hope for a bright future.