The Boston Red Sox starter on Opening Day should be…
We are just a little over two weeks away from the Boston Red Sox taking on A.L. East Rival Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on March 3oth. Questions are surrounding the team and what will manager Alex Cora do with the Opening Day starter role. Cora has said for months that Ace pitcher Chris Sale will not be the team’s opening-day starter once the regular season begins. Other than Sale, the team options are Brayan Bello, Nick Pivetta, Corey Kluber, and Garrett Whitlock. The clear favorite to start the first game of the season has been Kluber over the rest because he has the most experience and has had a couple of starts this spring posting a 2.35 ERA and has looked sharp. Everyone is just going to have to wait and see what the Red Sox will do once the time comes to decide on a starter within a couple of weeks.
Whitlock enters his third season with the Red Sox. Last season he switched from the bullpen to the starting role then back to the pen. It had seem that the team did not know what to do with him during the 2022 season. He started nine games for the club and his record on the season was 4-2 posting a 3.45 ERA, 78.1 IP, and striking out 82. Whitlock was incredible out of the bullpen and as a starter he did show some good things being part of the rotation. I see his role expanding this season and being part of the rotation is highly likely. Having him pitching in one role all season should be the right move that the team makes for him.
Kluber signed with Boston during the offseason on a one-year deal worth $10 million. The former C.Y. Young award winner comes to a Red Sox team that is hurting in the starting pitching department. Already, 36 years old his prime years came with the now Cleveland Guardians but has shown an upside recently. Kluber went 10-10 while having a 4.34 ERA while pitching 164 IP, striking out 139 for the Tampa Bay Rays last season. If he can five Boston 10-12 wins on the season while pitching in the starting rotation that would be a huge win for the team. He has the most realistic chance at starting the season opener.
Entering his age-30 season with the Red Sox, Pivetta looks to improve on the early success that he had in 2022. Pivetta went 10-12 with a 4.56 ERA in 179.2 IP and 175 strikeouts. He has shown that he can slot right in after Sale in the pitching rotation. The excitement and enthusiasm that he shows while on the pitcher’s mound says a lot that the guy has heart and takes the game seriously. I am sure Pivetta would like to get over .500 for this upcoming season in the win-loss column. Out of the guys that I had mentioned, Pivetta should be given the chance to start opening day for Boston.
The 23-year-old Bello has shown some upside during the 2022 season. He has shown that he is one of the future building blocks of Boston in the rotation. During the 22′ campaign, he had posted a record of 2-8 with a 4.71 ERA, in 57.1 IP while striking out 55 batters. Bello still has a lot to improve and work on if he wants to be a top-of-the-rotation guy someday in the Majors. He also has the support and help of former Red Sox Ace Pedro Martinez in guiding him throughout his young career. Look for Bello to have a better season this upcoming year after having one season under his belt in Boston.
All good options for the Red Sox
These players that I have mentioned all have a good chance of making the opening day start. Cora and the management side will have big key decisions on who will be starting that day. Look for a decision to come sooner than later from the team on who will get the nod. If Sale was fully healthy and Cora did not make the decision he made awhile back he’d be pitching.