Red Sox positional outlook: Assessing the bullpen for 2022 and beyond

The Boston Red Sox bullpen might be the team’s biggest question mark heading into the 2022 season.

Matt Barnes went from earning his first career All-Star selection to being borderline unplayable in the second half of 2021. Garrett Whitlock picked up the slack with a terrific rookie season and Josh Taylor was tremendous down the stretch, but the rest of Boston’s relievers left plenty to be desired.

Now, with Adam Ottavino and Hansel Robles hitting free agency, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom needs to find a way to bolster the ‘pen for next year. With so many uncertainties surrounding the current group, improving it should be a priority once the MLB lockout concludes.

More positions: 1B/3B/C | 2B/SS | OF | SP

Until then, here’s a look at Boston’s bullpen situation for 2022 and beyond.

Ryan Brasier, RHP

2021 stats: 1-1, 1.50 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 9 SO, 4 BB (13 games)

Contract status: Signed for one year, $1.4 million in Nov. 2021. Arbitration-eligible through 2023.

Outlook for 2022: Brasier had tough luck with injuries in 2021. The right-hander dealt with a calf issue to start the campaign and was hit in the head with a line drive while rehabbing the injury in June. 

It wasn’t until September that Brasier finally returned to the Red Sox’ bullpen. He allowed only two runs in 12 innings of work, but didn’t have the same success in the postseason when he allowed four runs on eight…

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