Red Sox sign intriguing left-handed relief pitcher

75756A5E-120A-4932-810C-2FD980DB785E

Talking with the king of pitching, Pitching Ninja

When the 2022 season started, the Red Sox had all kinds of left-handed options out of the bullpen. Josh Taylor. Jake Diekman. Matt Strahm. Austin Davis.

But, by the time the season came to an end, it was clear the Red Sox were going to be left searching for southpaws for 2023. Wednesday, they found one.

The Red Sox announced the signing of lefty reliever Joely Rodriguez to a one-year contract with a club option for 2024.

This marks the fifth major league organization Rodriguez has played for, having spent 2022 with the Mets. Other stops have included the Rangers, Yankees and Phillies. The 31-year-old also spent two years in Japan.

Rodriguez turned in his most productive season in 2022, recording career highs in appearances (55) and innings (50.1) while posting a 4.47 ERA (25 ER/50.1 IP) with a .226 opponent batting average, 1.35 WHIP, 57 strikeouts, and 26 walks. The left-hander ranked in Major League Baseball’s 94th percentile in chase rate (34.7%) and 96th percentile in average exit velocity (85.3 MPH), both the best marks of his career. He held both left-handed hitters (.646) and right-handed hitters (.625) to an OPS below .650 and allowed only three home runs on the year.

With the move the Red Sox' 40-man roster sits at 39 players.

Featured Image Photo Credit: USA Today Sports