Earlier on Thursday, we took a look at the entire Red Sox roster to see where they stood as we entered this likely-to-be eventful offseason. At the end, we noted that the 40-man roster stands at only 33 players right now, giving them plenty of room to maneuver between now and Opening Day. We aren’t even 24 hours into the offseason yet, but they have made their first move. The team announced on Thursday that they have claimed left-handed pitcher Josh Osich off waivers from the White Sox.
The #RedSox today claimed LHP Josh Osich off waivers from the Chicago White Sox.— Red Sox (@RedSox) October 31, 2019
Osich is a former sixth round pick by the Giants who was drafted back in 2011. He first made it up to the majors in 2016 with San Francisco in 2016 and he spent parts of four seasons in their bullpen. Prior to last season he was claimed off waivers by the Orioles, but never pitched for them as he was against claimed off waivers — this time by the White Sox — before the season began.
In what was his age-30 season, Osich was solid but wholly unspectacular for Chicago in 2019. The southpaw appeared in 57 games for a total of 67 2⁄3 innings and pitched to a 4.66 ERA (99 ERA+), a 4.96 FIP (107 FIP-) and a 4.49 DRA (92 DRA-). He struck out batters at a decent rate at just over eight per nine innings and showed off what was by far the best control of his career with just two walks per nine. However, he was killed by the long ball, allowing 15 homers for a full two per nine innings.
Although this hasn’t been the case consistently over his career, Osich was much better against lefties in 2019, limiting them to a .229 wOBA while righties put up a mark of .370. He also gave up two-thirds of his homers against righties although only 57 percent of his opponents hit from the right side.
Osich leans heavily on a high-80s cutter, throwing it 67 percent of the time per Baseball Savant. He also throws a slider and a four-seam fastball that sits around 95 mph. He is entering his first year of arbitration eligibility and is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to make an even $1 million. According to FanGraphs he does have a minor-league option remaining, so he can be stashed in the minors if he does not make the major-league roster out of spring training. With Josh Taylor and Darwinzon Hernandez near-sure bets to make the bullpen as lefties, he’s likely on the outside looking in for very early roster projections.