Red Sox finalize starting pitching rotation ahead of Opening Day originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Red Sox' starting pitching rotation to begin the 2023 MLB season is set.
Manager Alex Cora revealed on Thursday that right-hander Kutter Crawford will be the club's No. 4 starter and make his season debut on April 3 vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates. James Paxton (hamstring), Brayan Bello (forearm), and Garrett Whitlock (hip) will open the campaign on the injured list.
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That leaves the Opening Day rotation looking like this:
1. Corey Kluber, RHP
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2. Chris Sale, LHP
3. Tanner Houck, RHP
4. Kutter Crawford, RHP
5. Nick Pivetta, RHP
The injuries also open up a spot for righty Josh Winckowski on the roster. The 24-year-old will start the season out of the bullpen as a multi-inning reliever.
“Both guys deserve to be on this team because of the way they have thrown the ball,” Cora told reporters on Thursday, as transcribed by MassLive.com's Chris Cotillo. “The work they put in this offseason, it’s paying off.”
Crawford has posted a 2.03 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings in spring training. The soon-to-be 27-year-old had a 5.47 ERA in 21 games (12 starts) last year but was sharp for a stretch during the summer.
Kluber will take the mound for the Red Sox when they host the Baltimore Orioles for Opening Day on March 30.