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Red Sox Bolster Bullpen With Diekman, Strahm

Red Sox
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MLB teams have been busy adding to their rosters now that the lockout is over. One team that has made headlines on the pitching market is the Boston Red Sox. On Sunday, they added two relievers in Jake Diekman on a two-year deal and Matt Strahm on a one-year deal. Boston still has more holes to fill, but their bullpen has received two upgrades.

While Strahm and Diekman have 16 years of experience combined, the latter is more well-known. In 456 innings of work, he has posted a 3.73 ERA while striking out 581 batters. Over the past three years, he has been particularly effective as his 3.25 ERA with Oakland is his best mark with any team. That is a welcoming sign for a Red Sox bullpen that struggled at times last season. Diekman also brings some closer experience with 35 saves on his resume.

Although Diekman has been in the majors longer, Strahm is an intriguing piece. The West Fargo native has a 3.81 career ERA and has held opponents to a .236 batting average. While he posted an 8.10 ERA last season, he was limited to six appearances due to injuries. The former 21st-round pick has excellent control and brings versatility. 25 of his 157 appearances have come out of the rotation.

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What roles Diekman and Strahm will play

With Opening Day only weeks away, the Red Sox bullpen will look different than just a few months ago. They have addressed one of their biggest holes with money to spare. The new additions should help take the pressure off of closer Matt Barnes, who struggled in the second half last year and is looking to retake the closer role.

As the Red Sox eye a postseason return, how their relievers perform will be essential. Alex Cora has five lefties to choose from, and Diekman brings 12 innings of playoff experience. That will be key later in the season in a division full of talent. More moves could be on the horizon, but Boston’s newest arms shouldn’t have to wait long to prove their value.

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