The Boston Red Sox’ bullpen definitely is a strength of the team with the additions of closer Joel Hanrahan and setup man Koji Uehara. Those two add an already deep bullpen heading into spring training.
Usually, a team carries 12 pitchers at one time — five starters and seven relievers.
So who will the Red Sox likely have in their bullpen to start off the 2013 season?
Well, there are plenty of relievers to choose from: Hanrahan, Uehara, Andrew Bailey, Daniel Bard, Clayton Mortensen, Andrew Miller, Junichi Tazawa, Rubby De La Rosa, Craig Breslow, Alfredo Aceves, Chris Carpenter and Franklin Morales.
Hanrahan is heading into spring training as the closer with Bailey and Uehara primed for roles as setup men.
Breslow, Miller and Morales are the only lefties in the group. All three are out of options. Morales is extremely valuable because he adds depth to the starting rotation. He likely will start the season as the long reliever/spot starter.
Who are the relievers with options? De La Rosa, Uehara Bailey each have three each. Bard has two. Aceves and Tazawa each have one remaining.
Mortensen doesn’t have any options left. He definitely showed last year that he can be valuable.
Don’t be surprised if the Red Sox traded one or two relievers before the start of the season.
Don’t be surprised either if Tazawa, who could be a legit setup man, ends up in Triple-A Pawtucket to start the year because he has one option.