These three ex-Red Sox pitchers have been lights out as of late originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The new-look Boston Red Sox rotation hasn't gotten the job done to this point in the 2023 MLB season.
Through 42 games, the Red Sox' starting staff owns the third-worst ERA (5.82) and fifth-highest batting average against (.273) in the entire league. Only the lowly Oakland Athletics have allowed more earned runs than Boston to this point.
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Two-time Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber was the Red Sox' lone starting pitcher signing of the offseason. That addition hasn't panned out as the 37-year-old has a whopping 6.41 ERA through eight starts.
Meanwhile, the two key starters Boston lost in free agency are tearing it up with their new clubs. Nathan Eovaldi is putting up video-game numbers for the Texas Rangers and Michael Wacha has been red-hot as of late for the San Diego Padres.
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Then there's 2018 World Series champion Eduardo Rodriguez, who signed with the Detroit Tigers two offseasons ago. The southpaw is among the best pitchers in baseball through the first month-and-a-half of the season.
So just how much have the Red Sox missed their former starters this year? Here's a closer look at how the trio has performed.
Nathan Eovaldi, Texas Rangers
Eovaldi spent four-plus seasons in Boston and played an enormous role for the 2018 World Series club. The hard-throwing right-hander became a free agent last winter and signed a two-year, $ 34 million contract with the Rangers after the Red Sox reportedly pulled their offer.
So far in 2023, Eovaldi has made Boston's front office regret that decision. The 33-year-old has stepped up as the Rangers' ace with two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom out due to injury. Over his last three games, he's 3-0 with 25 strikeouts and only three walks in 25 2/3 scoreless innings.
Eovaldi finished fourth in American League Cy Young voting after the 2021 campaign. While it's still far too early in the season to get into 2023 Cy Young talk, he'll put himself in the conversation if he keeps up his current pace. He owns a 5-2 record with a 2.70 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 56 strikeouts, and only eight walks through eight starts.
Michael Wacha, San Diego Padres
Wacha was Boston's most consistent starter in 2022, his lone year with the club. The veteran righty went 11-2 with a 3.32 ERA in 23 starts. But during the offseason, the Red Sox let him land with the San Diego Padres on a four-year, $ 26 million contract.
After a rocky start to his Padres tenure, Wacha has settled in over his last three starts. He allowed only six hits and one earned run during that span with 18 strikeouts in 19 innings.
On Monday, Wacha took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Kansas City Royals. He finished the game with only one hit allowed and 11 strikeouts to lead San Diego to a 4-0 victory.
Eduardo Rodriguez, Detroit Tigers
Former Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez looked like a disastrous signing for the Detroit Tigers when he sat out almost all of the 2022 season due to personal reasons. But so far in 2023, he has looked like the ace they hoped they were getting when he inked his five-year, $ 77 million deal.
E-Rod currently leads all MLB pitchers with a 2.25 bWAR. He boasts the second-best ERA (1.57) and WHIP (0.79) in the league. Over his last six outings, the 30-year-old has allowed only two earned runs in 41 2/3 innings of work (0.43 ERA) with 41 strikeouts and only six walks.
Again, it's very early, but any premature AL Cy Young conversation has to include Rodriguez alongside his former Sox teammate Eovaldi.