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Meet The New Guy: Joe Jacques

He could be deadly against lefties.

Who is he and where did he come from?

He’s Joe Jacques, a guy who mispronounces his own name and was selected by the Red Sox in 2022 Rule 5 draft after starting his pro career in the Pirates organization.

What position does he play?

He’s a left-handed relief pitcher and, in his case, the “left-handed” part is really important as he’s a side-armer who specializes in getting out lefty sluggers. Prior to the implementation the the three-batter minimum, he would’ve been a classic LOOGY.

Is he any good?

He could be, he only just made his Major League debut! But in all likelihood, he’s probably not going to turn into an elite bullpen arm. As stated above, he’s a lefty specialist with a big sweeping slider that must be brutal to face from the same side of the plate. But the rest of his stuff is generally pretty uninspiring. His fastball sits in the low 90s and his third pitch, a changeup he’s tried to develop in order to have something to get righties out with, isn’t anything special.

The result of this arsenal is that, while he was indeed hell on lefties at AAA this year (they managed only a .189/.204/.208 slash line against him without a single home run and just one double) he basically turned every AAA righty he hit into Aaron Judge, yielding a 1.021 OPS.

Show me a cool highlight.

The most interesting thing about Jacques may be that he attended Manhattan College (which isn’t actually in Manhattan, but whatever.) As you probably would guess about a small college located in metro New York, the Jaspers don’t exactly have a strong baseball tradition, though it did produce Chris Mahoney, a guy who made two appearances for the 1910 Red Sox and is allegedly a great uncle of mine. So let’s give the Manhattan baseball team some love and show you highlights of a complete game, two-hit shutout Jacques once spun against the mighty Purple Eagles of Niagra University.

What’s he doing in his picture up there?

Saying “good game” to a youth baseball team that he just completely demolished over four innings of work, which is a thing he does from time-to-time to boost his confidence.

What’s his role on the 2023 Red Sox?

With Joely Rodriguez and Richard Bleier both sidelined, the bullpen is in desperate need for effective lefties. Right now, it’s Jacques and Brennan Bernardino who are getting their chance to show they can do the job. Jacques will stay in Boston for as long as he keeps getting outs.