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4 things to know about new Red Sox pitcher Michael Wacha – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-11-27 19:20:56 –


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Wacha and the Red Sox reached an agreement on Saturday for a one-year contract.

Michael Wacha is the Red Sox’s first notable player to sign in to a free agent this offseason. Douglas P. Defelice / Getty Images

The Red Sox approved the off-season formula on Saturday and made the first notable sign of agreeing to the terms with the pitcher. Michael Wacha With a one-year contract worth $ 7 million.

Wacha, 30, played nine major seasons and spent the first six seasons in the Cardinals. After playing for Mets in 2020, he pitched to the raise last season.

Here are four things you need to know about Wacha:

He has some history against the Red Sox in big games.

The Red Sox are not strangers to Wacha.

As a rookie, Wacha took a crucial path in the Cardinals rotation and helped him win the National League pennant in 2013. Wacha threw nearly 14 innings in two starts with the NLCS victory over the Dodgers to win the MVP of the series.

It set the date of the World Series with the Red Sox. At the first start of the series, Wacha threw 6 innings and allowed 2 runs to help the Cardinals win Game 2. World Series wins at Fenway.

Wacha doesn’t have much memory of that night in October 2013, but seems happy to have Fenway Faithful on his side.

“I’ll tell you some of the most electrical atmospheres I’ve ever marketed. [were] At Fenway Park, “Wacha told reporters on Saturday. “You mentioned the 2013 World Series where it was a banana. It’s 30,000-40,000 fans, they’re just screaming at the top of their lungs, creating an atmosphere you like to play. Whenever they cheer on you and they are by my side, it will be much more fun. “

Wacha also faced the Red Sox as a member of the Rays at ALDS this past season. In Game 2, the Red Sox won 14-6, so Wacha got out of the bullpen and was bombarded, giving up six runs with nine hits in the 22/3 innings.

He had an unstable 2021 season.

Wacha’s lonely season in Tampa was not the season for history books.

After signing a one-year $ 3 million contract in the off-season, Wacha went back and forth between Rays starting pitcher and the bullpen for the first three months of the season.

Wacha struggled with the long relief role of the raise. He gave up 16 earned runs in 17 1/3 innings thrown in six relief efforts and gave him 8.31 ERA as a relief last season.

So Rays made Wacha a full-time starter. He had a better success as a starter, starting 23 times with 4.53 ERA to 3-5. The full season Wacha numbers looked like pedestrians, but the pitch improved in the final month of the season. He gave up 10 earned runs in 30 innings thrown and was relieved to be 1-1 at the start of the 5th inning.

Wacha seems to be taking part in the start of the Red Sox rotation next season and was encouraged by the end of last season.

“I’m very confident,” Wacha said. “I feel like there were ups and downs last year. I felt like I clicked a little, but it didn’t go as I expected. But towards the end of the season, the ball came out. I felt like the repertoire was coming out. The approach to the mound was the place I needed to move forward.

“I am very confident in myself and my work ethic and competitiveness and can get out there to compete and get the job done. Returning to that role where I dominate, this club I look forward to getting some good wins for. “

Health problems have plagued his career.

After his strong rookie season in 2013, Wacha seemed to have the potential to become an ace for years to come. He won the first All-Star nod after a strong 2014 season (3.20 ERA at 5-6) and 7-0 at 1.87 ERA in 2015.

However, his right shoulder injury, which first began in 2014, made Wacha miss time. He missed some starts in 2014 due to those injuries and missed two starts in 2015. Wacha missed time again in 2016 due to inflammation of her right shoulder, missing a total of a month.

Wacha is finally in good health all year in 2017. However, the tide change receded in 2018 when the diagonal left tension shortened the season after the start of 15 times.

The 2019 season brought health to Wacha, but it didn’t do well. He achieved 5.59 ERA at the first nine starts of the season, and the Cardinal moved Wacha to the bullpen. It was his last year in St. Louis as Wacha signed a one-year contract with the New York Mets during the off-season.

In the shortened 2020 season, Wacha touted seven of his eight appearances as a starter, to 1-4 at 6.62 ERA.

With several healthy seasons going on, Wacha believes his days of dealing with injuries are over.

“Last year was probably the best my shoulders and elbows felt throughout my career,” Wacha said. “I now feel like I’m in a great place in my health and current condition.”

Wacha has a diverse pitching repertoire.

Wacha’s repertoire has five pitches: fastball, change-up, cutter, curve ball, and sinker.

His fastball is his main pitch, but he hasn’t used it more and more for years. In 2013, 63.9% of Wacha’s pitch was a 4-seam fastball. Last season, that number was 36.2 percent.

Wacha’s fastball moved at an average speed of 93.8mph last season, and the batter hit the highest mark in four seasons with 18.3% of his fastball.

His second most frequent pitch was his change-up, which he used for 29.4 percent of his pitch. Wacha’s change-up produced the most swings and mistakes in his career, with a 34.2% chance of 2021 when an enemy batter hummed his change-up.

The third pitch that Wacha frequently uses is the cutter used for 24.8% of the pitch in 2021. The Wacha cutter, which moved at an average speed of 89.1 mph, had a whiff rate of 15% in 2021.

Wacha doesn’t use curve balls and sinkers much. In 2021, he threw a curve at 6.3% of his pitch, but he used sinkers sparingly throughout his career.

Wacha is pleased with his repertoire in 2022.

“I felt like the tongue went up this year. [which] It was a good sign of arm strength and body movement, “Wacha said. “And I felt that change was as annoying as my entire career, and so I feel like a new person there. Last year I felt really good so I will continue to move forward. I will like to try.”



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