Red Sox Option Pitcher In Surprising Move Before Opening Day

Red Sox Option Pitcher In Surprising Move Before Opening Day

Brennan Bernardino was a trusted arm in 2023

When Chris Murphy went down with an elbow injury last week, Brennan Bernardino was the only healthy left-handed pitcher on the Red Sox’s active roster.

But as it turns out, Bernadino isn’t going to make the team.

Boston optioned Bernardino to Triple-A Worcester late Monday night, three days before its Opening Day game in Seattle. Speaking with reporters in Texas, manager Alex Cora labeled the Bernardino move as the club’s “most difficult roster decision of the spring,” per MassLive’s Chris Cotillo. Cora also stated his expectation for the 32-year-old to contribute at the big league level over the course of the campaign.

The Red Sox are expected to have a left-handed option in the bullpen when they open the season at T-Mobile Park. Boston reportedly assured a roster spot to Joely Rodríguez, who triggered the opt-out clause in his contract last Friday. But Rodríguez, who pitched 11 innings for the Red Sox last season, is in line to be the club’s only southpaw in the ‘pen to start the campaign.

Bernardino was a valuable relief asset for Boston last season when he accumulated a 3.20 ERA over 50 2/3 innings. It was a breakout campaign for the journeyman, who only had 2 1/3 innings of big league experience heading into 2023.

The Red Sox will play their season opener Thursday evening at T-Mobile Park. NESN will carry full coverage beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET.

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