The Red Sox are largely playing good baseball to start this season, sitting in first place in the division more than a month into the season. That alone is a stark difference from last season, when they were never really in view of first place. That has led to another difference between the two seasons, which is the lack of roster churn. Last season the talent on the bottom of the roster just wasn’t there, and Chaim Bloom was on a constant search to rectify that. This year, he’s stuck with what he’s had.
On Monday, though, they did add a little more depth to the organization with a waiver claim. They announced today that they have claimed Brandon Brennan off waivers from the Mariners. He’ll be optioned to Triple-A Worcester. To make room on the 40-man, Ryan Brasier was transferred to the 60-day injured list.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox placed RHP Ryan Brasier on the 60-day injured list.— Red Sox (@RedSox) May 3, 2021
Brennan is in the midst of his age-29 season and was a fourth round pick by the White Sox back in 2012. He eventually hit minor-league free agency, signed with the Rockies, and then was selected as a Rule 5 pick by the Mariners prior to the 2019 season. He was designated for assignment last week. As mentioned, he will be optioned to Worcester. Brennan has two more options after this year.
Since joining the Mariners organization, he’s spent time in the majors for the last two seasons, totalling 54 2⁄3 innings. In those innings the righty has pitched to a 4.45 ERA with a 4.73 FIP. He has solid strikeout stuff, but has struggled with his command in the majors. In the minors his high groundball rate was enough to keep the ball in the yard, but that has proven more difficult at the highest level. He did miss time with an oblique injury last season.
As far as that stuff goes, in the majors he has been mostly a two-pitch pitchers as a mostly one-inning reliever. Brennan throws a sinker as his primary pitch, with the offering coming in at a velocity in the mid-90s. He also throws a changeup that is his best out pitch, getting whiffs on more than half of the swings it induced. The rate was 41 percent last year.
As for the other part of this move, the Brasier news isn’t terribly surprising. Coming into camp back in February Brasier was expected to be one of the top arms in the bullpen. Injuries, most recently to his calf, have kept him from being able to get his season started, though, and there hasn’t been a lot of news lately about his comeback efforts. He only recently started throwing again about a week ago, and as far as we know he’s yet to throw off a mound. He’s not expected to miss months more, but this gets him off the 40-man for the rest of his rehab, which should last at least a couple more weeks.