Nick Pivetta is ready to start Red Sox’ home opener at Fenway Park

Nick Pivetta will be starting his second career home opener when he takes the mound for the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Friday afternoon.

The right-hander last started a home opener as a member of the Phillies in 2018 as they went up against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. He allowed just four hits and no walks with nine strikeouts over 5 2/3 scoreless innings in that contest.

Fast forward more than four years later, and Pivetta will be going up against the Twins in his second start of the 2022 season on Friday. In his last time out against the Yankees in New York this past Saturday, the 29-year-old surrendered four runs (all earned) on four hits (two home runs), three walks, and four strikeouts across 5 2/3 innings of work.

Pivetta is now in the midst of his second full season with the Red Sox after coming over from the Phillies (with pitching prospect Connor Seabold) in an August 2020 trade that sent veteran relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree to Philadelphia.

At the time that trade was made, Pivetta was viewed as a reclamation project. The former fourth-round draft pick had struggled to find his footing at the big-league level since debuting with the Phillies in 2017 and had actually been demoted to Philadelphia’s bullpen during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign.

After making his way back to the majors with the Sox that September, Pivetta showed promise in the two starts he made at the tail end of a lost season. Following his first off-season with a new organization, the righty picked up where he left off last April.

Through his first 10 starts of the 2021 season, Pivetta was 6-0 with a 3.86 ERA while Boston was 9-1 in the games he started. Although his summer did not go as smoothly as his summer did, the Canadian-born hurler still posted every five days. The only time he missed came on the COVID-19 related injured list and he finished third on the team in innings pitched (155).

On the final day of the regular season in Washington, D.C., Pivetta was available out of Alex Cora’s bullpen on just two days rest. The Red Sox needed a win to secure their spot in the American League Wild Card Game and were in possession of a 7-5 lead over the Nationals heading into the last half of the ninth inning.

So, in came Pivetta, who needed just 14 pitches to retire Lane Thomas, Alcides Escobar, and Juan Soto in order to record his second career save and send the Sox to the postseason for the first time in three years.

Pivetta was not used in Boston’s Wild Card Game victory over the Yankees at Fenway Park, but he did play a key role in the Sox’ triumph over the Rays in the American League Division Series.

Three days after not factoring into the decision of a Game 1 loss at Tropicana Field on October 7, Pivetta was available out of the bullpen for Game 3 at Fenway Park. He entered in the 10th inning of a 4-4 contest and proceeded to scatter three hits and one walk to go along with seven strikeouts through the middle of the 13th. In the bottom half, Christian Vazquez walked things off to send the Red Sox home with a two-games-to-one series lead.

Nine days later, Pivetta was back on the mound in Boston getting the start against the Astros in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. He yielded just one run on two hits, two walks, and three strikeouts over five innings. The Red Sox did lose that game though and were ultimately eliminated by the Astros in six games.

Still, by posting a 2.63 ERA in 13 2/3 postseason innings, Pivetta showed that in his first taste of it, he is built for the pressures that come with pitching in October.

“That’s what I live for. I live for those experiences,” Pivetta recently told MLB Players Media. “And I was really grateful for that experience and how things turned out. I enjoy the game of baseball, but I enjoy competing and matching up against guys and seeing what it’s all about.”

Pivetta, who turned 29 in February, pitched to the tune of a 5.40 ERA and .840 OPS against in 15 home starts last year. For his career, he owns a 7.00 ERA in two prior starts against the Twins.

Those numbers aside, the adrenaline will surely be flowing for Pivetta at Fenway Park on Friday afternoon as he pitches opposite Minnesota right-hander Joe Ryan. First pitch is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Red Sox close out road trip by holding on to defeat Tigers, 9-7

The Red Sox improved to 3-3 on the young season with a series-clinching 9-7 victory over the Tigers at Comerica Park on Wednesday afternoon.

Battling rainy conditions, Nathan Eovaldi made his second start of the year for Boston. The veteran right-hander allowed two earned runs on four hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts over five innings of work.

Both runs Eovaldi surrendered on Wednesday came by way of the home run ball, as Jonathan Schoop got the scoring started with a two-out solo shot in the bottom of the first.

Two innings later, the Sox lineup responded. After going down quietly the first time through the order, Enrique Hernandez took old friend Eduardo Rodriguez deep on a solo homer of his own in the top half of the third to tie things back up at 1-1.

Rodriguez, making his first start against his former team after signing a five-year deal with the Tigers over the winter, ran into more trouble in the fourth. Following a leadoff walk from J.D. Martinez and groundball single from Bobby Dalbec, Christian Arroyo advanced both runners into scoring position on a well-executed sacrifice bunt. Alex Verdugo plated Martinez on a sacrifice fly to left field.

With two outs in the frame, Christian Vazquez grounded into what should have been the final out of the inning. Instead, Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario committed a throwing error that allowed Vazquez to reach base safely and keep the inning going.

The Boston bats took full advantage of that Detroit miscue, as Jackie Bradley Jr., Hernandez, and Rafael Devers drove in a total of four runs on back-to-back-to-back hard-hit doubles, which ultimately knocked Rodriguez out of the game. Following a Tigers pitching change, Trevor Story came through with his first RBI in a Red Sox uniform as he plated Devers on a single to cap off a six-run inning.

Eovaldi, meanwhile, worked his way around a one-out single in the fourth before yielding another solo blast to Akil Baddoo in the fifth that cut the Sox’ lead down to five runs at 7-2. He then punched out the final two batters he faced.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 101 (72 strikes), the 32-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball 38% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday and averaged 96 mph with the pitch. He also induced five swings-and-misses with his curveball, a pitch he threw 24 times.

In relief of Eovaldi, Matt Barnes got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen beginning in the sixth inning. The righty needed just 14 pitches to retire the side in order and he did so while hovering around 93-95 mph with his heater.

After Vazquez and Bradley Jr. provided what would turn out to be some much-needed insurance on a sacrifice fly and RBI single, the Tigers began to mount a rally in their half of the seventh.

With Austin Davis in the game for Boston, Harold Castro led off with a single that was followed by a two-run homer off the bat of Spencer Torkelson. The first home run of Torkelson’s career cut Detroit’s deficit down to five runs at 9-4.

Davis and Kutter Crawford were able to get through the rest of the seventh unscathed, but Crawford encountered some difficulties in the eighth as he issued an RBI single to Eric Haase before loading the bases with no outs.

Jake Diekman was then called upon to take over for Crawford and recorded the first two outs of the inning. But the lefty gave up a two-out, run-scoring single to Victor Reyes before plunking Austin Meadows with the bases loaded as the Tigers made things even more interesting at 9-7.

Hansel Robles was next to get the call from Red Sox manager Alex Cora, and he proceeded to get Schoop to pop out to Story for the final out before coming back out for the ninth and tossing a 1-2-3 inning to earn the save.

Some notes from this win:

Nathan Eovaldi has given up four home runs through his first two starts of the season. It took until June 26 to reach that point last season.

After dealing with food poisoning the last few days, Trevor Story went 2-for-5 with an RBI on Tuesday.

Enrique Hernandez began his season 0-for-17 at the plate. Over the last two days, he has gone 4-for-9 with three doubles, one homer, three RBIs, four runs scored, and two walks.

Next up: Home opener at Fenway

The Red Sox are off Thursday and head back to Boston having won three of their last four games. They will open up a four-game series against the Twins at Fenway Park to kick off Patriots’ Day weekend festivities on Friday, which is also Jackie Robinson Day.

For Friday’s home opener, it will be right-hander Nick Pivetta getting the ball for Boston and fellow righty Joe Ryan doing the same for Minnesota. First pitch is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Hansel Robles: Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Trevor Story unlikely to play in Wednesday’s series finale against Tigers while recovering from illness

Red Sox second baseman Trevor Story is unlikely to play in Wednesday’s series finale against the Tigers, manager Alex Cora said following Tuesday’s 5-3 win at Comerica Park.

Story, who last played against the Yankees on Saturday, has been hampered by a non-COVID illness. The 29-year-old did not travel with the team to Detroit on Sunday night and instead remained in New York for an additional day.

After taking a separate flight to Detroit on Monday, Story was on hand for Tuesday’s contest at Comerica Park. There, in the Red Sox clubhouse, the veteran infielder told The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams that he has been dealing with food poisoning and has been out of action for that very reason.

While the Red Sox are unlikely to play Story on Wednesday as he continues to regain his strength, there is optimism that the two-time All-Star could suit up for Friday afternoon’s home opener against the Twins at Fenway Park.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Story’s tenure with the Red Sox has certainly gotten off to an interesting start. After spending the first six years of his big-league career as a shortstop with the Rockies, Story signed a six-year, $120 million contract with Boston on March 23 to become the team’s everyday second baseman.

Two days after his deal was made official, Story left Red Sox camp to return home to Texas to be with his wife Mallie, for the birth of their first son, Stetson. Upon returning to Fort Myers, Story was only able to appear in five Grapefruit League games prior to Opening Day. Since making his 2022 debut on April 8, the right-handed hitter has gone 1-for-8 with a double, one walk, and one strikeout.

The Red Sox were already planning on easing Story into things this month given the nature of a shortened spring training. With this latest setback, the club is likely to be even more cautious when it comes to managing his workload early on.

(Picture of Trevor Story: Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

Red Sox blow early lead, fall to Yankees, 6-5, in 11 innings on Opening Day

For the fourth time under manager Alex Cora, the Red Sox have lost on Opening Day. The Sox kicked off the 2022 season by falling to the Yankees, 6-5, in 11 innings at Yankee Stadium on Friday afternoon.

Right out of the gate, Boston jumped all over New York ace Gerrit Cole, who began his day by issuing a four-pitch, leadoff walk to Enrique Hernandez in the first inning.

Rafael Devers immediately made Cole pay for that by taking the right-hander deep to right field on a two-run blast that left his bat at 101.4 mph and travelled 382 feet. Devers’ first home run of the season gave the Red Sox an early 2-0 lead.

Xander Bogaerts followed Devers by lacing a 111.8 mph base hit to left field and scored his side’s third run on an RBI double off the bat of J.D. Martinez. And just like that, Boston had plated three runs before recording a single out.

A three-run first inning seemingly put Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi in a good spot heading into the bottom half of the frame. Making his third consecutive Opening Day start for Boston, Eovaldi instead ran into some trouble when he issued a one-out single to Aaron Judge and two-run home run to Anthony Rizzo shortly thereafter.

So the Red Sox’ early three-run cushion had been trimmed down to one run after just one inning of play. Eovaldi and Cole both settled in for a bit, but it was the former who fell victim to the long ball once more in the fourth.

There, the dangerous Giancarlo Stanton ripped a vintage Yankee Stadium home run to right field that had a launch angle of only 15 degrees. Still, Stanton’s 358-foot solo shot knotted things up at three runs apiece.

Eovaldi got through the rest of the fourth, then put two runners on via a single and hit batsman while recording the first two outs of the fifth. The veteran right-hander nearly saw the 3-3 tie come apart when he yielded a screaming fly ball to D.J. LeMahieu, but Alex Verdugo bailed him out by making an impressive diving catch in left field.

That is how Eovaldi’s first outing of the year came to a close. All told, the 32-year-old hurler allowed three runs (all earned) on five hits, one walk, one hit batsman, and seven strikeouts over five innings of work. He threw 76 pitches (56 strikes) and averaged 98.2 mph with his vaunted four-seam fastball.

Shortly after Eovaldi’s day ended, the Red Sox lineup picked things back up in their half of the sixth. With Yankees reliever Clay Holmes now in the game, Bogaerts led off with a double and immediately advanced to third base on a Martinez groundout.

Following a brief mound visit, Verdugo came through on the other side of the ball by easily plating Bogaerts on a run-scoring single through the right side of the infield.

After Holmes and fellow reliever Miguel Castro proceeded to load the bases with two outs, the Sox failed to add on to their newfound 4-3 lead as Christian Vazquez fanned on four pitches to extinguish the threat.

Former Yankees prospect Garrett Whitlock got the call from Cora to take over for Eovaldi beginning in the latter of the sixth. The hard-throwing righty breezed through the sixth and seventh by retiring six of the first seven batters he faced.

The eighth inning, however, was a different story. After giving up all of six home runs last season, Whitlock served up a game-tying solo blast to LeMahieu that pulled New York back even with Boston at 4-4.

Whitlock then made way for newcomer Matt Strahm, who worked his way around a walk to get through the rest of the eighth. A half-inning later, Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman made relatively quick work of Bobby Dalbec, Christian Arroyo (pinch-hitting for Jackie Bradley Jr.), and Vazquez to keep the stalemate intact.

In the bottom of the ninth, Hansel Robles — two days after making the team — was dispatched in a critical spot. The veteran reliever made just two appearances this spring after signing with Boston late and managed to strand the potential winning run at second base by fanning Stanton for the final out of the inning.

With Robles sending this one into extras, Jonathan Arauz became the automatic runner at second base to begin things in the 10th as he replaced Vazquez. Hernandez failed to advance Arauz, but Bogaerts did not.

After the Yankees elected to intentionally walk Devers with one out, Bogaerts delivered by lifting an RBI single to shallow left field. The ball only travelled 187 feet off Bogaerts’ bat, but it was deep enough to score Arauz from second base to give the Sox a 5-4 advantage.

Jake Diekman was tasked with protecting that lead in the latter half of the 10th. The left-hander plunked the first man he faced in LeMahieu then got Joey Gallo to ground out to second, though runners advanced to second and third for New York.

That sequence prompted the Red Sox to intentionally walk Aaron Hicks, thus loading the bases as Cora dipped back into the bullpen and handed things over to Ryan Brasier.

Brasier, inheriting a mess, gave up the tying run on a sacrifice fly from Gleyber Torres, but escaped any further damage by punching out Isiah Kiner-Filefa on 10 pitches.

After the Red Sox went down quietly in the top of the 11th, Kutter Crawford came on for Brasier in the bottom half. With Kiner-Filefa representing the go-ahead run at second base, Crawford surrendered the game-winning hit to Josh Donaldson.

Donaldson snuck a single through the middle of the infield, giving Kiner-Filefa more than enough time to score from second to walk it off for the Yankees. Crawford, despite throwing just three pitches, was charged with the loss.

Some notes from this 6-5 defeat:

On the injury front, Xander Bogaerts exited the game in the middle of the 10th inning after appearing to injure himself on his run-scoring single. He was replaced by Jonathan Arauz at shortstop.

Trevor Story, making his Red Sox debut on Friday, went 0-for-5 with a strikeout.

The Red Sox went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left seven runners on base as a team.

Next up: Pivetta vs. Severino

The Red Sox will turn to Nick Pivetta on Saturday as they look for their first win of the young season. The Yankees will roll with fellow right-hander Luis Severino, who will be making his first start since 2019.

First pitch from Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. eastern time. The game will be televised on NESN and FS1.

(Picture of Josh Donaldson: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Red Sox finalize 2022 Opening Day roster: Travis Shaw, Hansel Robles make cut

The Red Sox have finalized their Opening Day roster for the start of the 2022 season, and they made some interesting moves in order to do so.

First off, infielder Travis Shaw and right-hander Hansel Robles were both selected to the major-league roster, while righty Tyler Danish was optioned to Triple-A Worcester.

In order to make room for Shaw and Robles on the 40-man roster, right-handers Eduard Bazardo and Ralph Garza Jr. were both designated for assignment.

Additionally, left-hander Josh Taylor was placed on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to April 4) due to a low back strain, the club announced on Thursday afternoon.

Following Thursday’s series of transactions, the Red Sox ensure that they will be carrying 15 pitchers and 13 position players on their Opening Day roster ahead of Friday’s season opener against the Yankees in the Bronx.

Red Sox roster

Pitchers (15): Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Kutter Crawford, Austin Davis, Jake Diekman, Nathan Eovaldi, Rich Hill, Tanner Houck, Nick Pivetta, Hansel Robles, Hirokazu Sawamura, Matt Strahm, Phillips Valdez, Michael Wacha, Garrett Whitlock

Catchers (2): Kevin Plawecki, Christian Vázquez

Infielders (6): Jonathan Araúz, Xander Bogaerts, Bobby Dalbec, Rafael Devers, Travis Shaw, Trevor Story

Outfielders (3): Jackie Bradley Jr., J.D. Martinez, Alex Verdugo

Infielder/Outfielders (2): Christian Arroyo, Kiké Hernández

Joining Taylor on the injured list to begin the season are fellow southpaws James Paxton and Chris Sale.

(Picture of Travis Shaw and Xander Bogaerts: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox-Yankees Opening Day game postponed until Friday due to inclement weather

Thursday’s Opening Day contest between the Red Sox and Yankees has been postponed until Friday due to forecasted inclement weather, the team announced earlier Wednesday morning.

Rather than kick off the 2022 season at Yankee Stadium on Thursday afternoon, the Red Sox and Yankees will instead play their first regular season game of the year on Friday.

Gates will open at 11:00 a.m. eastern time and pregame festivities will begin at approximately 12:30 p.m. ET. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on NESN, YES Network, and MLB Network.

Nathan Eovaldi is slated to make his third consecutive Opening Day start for Boston. He will be opposed by fellow right-hander Gerrit Cole for New York. The forecast in the Bronx looks more promising on Friday than it does on Wednesday and Thursday.

Friday was originally supposed to be an off-day for the Red Sox, but they will now play three games in three days to begin their season. Following the conclusion of Sunday’s series finale against the Yankees, the Sox will head to Detroit for a three-game set against the Tigers at Comerica Park.

Next Thursday represents another scheduled off-day for the Red Sox. They will then host the Twins in their home opener at Fenway Park on Friday, April 15 to kick off Patriots’ Day weekend.

(Picture of Yankee Stadium: Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Red Sox close out spring training with 10-6 win over Twins to take home 2022 Chairman’s Cup

The Red Sox wrapped up Grapefruit League play on Tuesday by coming from behind to defeat the Twins by a final score of 10-6 at JetBlue Park. Boston finishes the spring with a record of 11-8 and also take home the 2022 Chairman’s Cup.

J.D. Martinez got the Sox on the board first in their half of the first, ripping an RBI single off Twins starter Josh Winder to score Enrique Hernandez from third base.

Michael Wacha, making his fourth and final start of the spring for Boston, retired five of the first seven batters he faced before serving up a two-run shot to Gio Urshela with one out in the top of the second.

The home run came back to bite Wacha an inning later, as the right-hander gave up a leadoff homer to Byron Buxton and a two-run bomb to Carlos Correa moments later.

Wacha failed to record an out in the third and was ultimately pulled for Ryan Brasier, who allowed one of the runners he inherited to score on a sacrifice fly that gave the Twins a commanding 6-1 lead.

After Brasier ended things in the third, though, Wacha took the mound once more in the fourth and actually turned his day around for the better. The 30-year-old struck out the side in the fourth and maneuvered his way around a two-out walk to put up another zero in the fifth.

All told, Wacha surrendered six earned runs on on six hits and three walks to go along with six strikeouts over four total innings of work spanning 93 pitches.

In relief of Wacha, Hansel Robles made his second appearance out of the Boston bullpen in as many days and, after giving up a leadoff double to Alex Kirilloff, stranded Kirilloff at second base in an otherwise clean sixth inning.

The middle of the sixth is where momentum began to shift in the Sox’ favor. With Griffin Jax on the mound for the Twins, Alex Cora emptied the bench and the minor-leaguers who are still in Fort Myers took over.

Juan Chacon led off with a groundball single and advanced to third on a hard-hit double off the bat of Johanfrank Salazar. Jonathan Arauz getting plunked by a pitch to load the bases for Bryan Gonzalez, who drove in Chacon on a sacrifice fly to left field.

Ahbram Liendo then plated Salazar on an RBI single, and Jax proceeded to fill the bases again by issuing two straight walks to Darel Belen and Miguel Bleis. Following a pitching change that saw Ricardo Velez take over for Jax, Ronald Rosario greeted the new Twins reliever with a game-tying, two-run single to center field.

With things now knotted up at six runs apiece, the Red Sox re-loaded the bases and scored on a bases-loaded walk drawn by Salazar. The pinch-hitting Luis Ravelo pushed across another run by driving in Rosario to make it an 8-6 game.

After Kutter Crawford tossed a scoreless frame in the top of the seventh, the Sox tacked on two more runs in their half of the seventh on an RBI groundout from Liendo and RBI double from Belen.

From there, Austin Davis worked his way around a leadoff walk in the eighth inning, and Tyler Danish closed things out with a perfect ninth inning to secure a 10-6 victory to cap off the spring.

Next up: The real thing

With another spring training in the books, the Red Sox will now board a flight to New York ahead of Opening Day against the Yankees on Thursday, weather permitting.

Nathan Eovaldi is slated to make his third consecutive Opening Day start for Boston. He will be opposed by fellow right-hander and New York ace Gerrit Cole.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time. The 2022 season opener will be televised on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Michael Wacha: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Kutter Crawford makes Red Sox’ Opening Day roster

Kutter Crawford has made the Red Sox’ Opening Day roster, manager Alex Cora announced earlier Monday morning. The right-hander will be one of 15 pitchers Boston carries on its 28-man roster to begin the 2022 season and will be available out of the bullpen for Thursday’s opener against the Yankees in the Bronx.

Crawford, who turned 26 last week, was originally selected by the Sox in the 16th round of the 2017 amateur draft out of Florida Gulf Coast University. The Florida native came into the year regarded by Baseball America as the No. 15 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking eighth among pitchers in the organization.

After undergoing Tommy John surgery in October 2019 and missing all of 2020 as a result, Crawford put himself on the map last season by throwing harder and limiting his walks.

While the Red Sox were navigating their way through a COVID-19 outbreak in September, Crawford was called up from Triple-A Worcester to start in place of Nick Pivetta on Sept. 5. His big-league debut did not go as planned (5 earned runs in 2 innings pitched), but the righty continued to make strides upon being returned to Worcester and was ultimately added to Boston’s 40-man roster in November to receive protection from the Rule 5 Draft.

On the heels of an off-season in which he posted a 0.42 ERA over five starts (21 1/3 innings pitched) for Estrellas Orientales of the Dominican Winter League, Crawford received his first invite to major-league camp and has impressed the Red Sox this spring.

In three Grapefruit League appearances out of the Sox’ bullpen, Crawford has pitched to the tune of a 2.25 ERA to go along with eight strikeouts to just one walk across four innings of work. In his most recent outing against the Pirates on March 29, Crawford struck out five over two scoreless frames while sitting between 95-97 mph with his four-seam fastball.

Cora has previously acknowledged that in terms of stuff, Crawford is one of the best pitchers the Red Sox have. To complement his high-octane fastball, the 6-foot-1, 209 pound hurler also works with a cutter, a curveball, a sinker, and a changeup.

Throughout his minor-league career, Crawford has primarily been used as a starter. The plan now, per Cora, is to use Crawford as a multi-inning reliever out of the bullpen beginning on Thursday.

(Picture of Kutter Crawford: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Red Sox option Eduard Bazardo, Darwinzon Hernandez to Triple-A Worcester, inform Derek Holland he will not make Opening Day roster

Following Sunday’s 7-2 Grapefruit League loss to the Pirates at JetBlue Park, the Red Sox made a series of roster moves. First off, right-hander Eduard Bazardo and left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez were both optioned to Triple-A Worcester.

Secondly, right-hander Kaleb Ort, left-hander Derek Holland, outfielder Christin Stewart, and infielder Yolmer Sanchez were all reassigned to minor-league camp.

By cutting these six players from their major-league spring training roster, the Sox now have 34 players at big-league camp in Fort Myers. They will need to make six more cuts before Opening Day against the Yankees in the Bronx on Thursday.

It is undoubtedly surprising to see Hernandez not make Boston’s Opening Day roster, especially when considering the fact that fellow left-hander Josh Taylor is sidelined because of a back injury.

Hernandez, 25, is coming off a 2021 season in which he posted a 3.38 ERA and 4.80 FIP to go along with 54 strikeouts to 31 walks over 48 relief appearances spanning 40 innings of work. The Venezuelan-born southpaw had appeared in just two games this spring, with his most-recent outing coming on March 25.

Bazardo, on the other hand, debuted for the Red Sox last year and made just two appearances at the big-league level. With the Triple-A Worcester, the 26-year-old produced an 8.74 ERA and strikeout-to-walk ratio of 12:5 across 11 appearances and 11 1/3 innings pitched.

Though they will start the season with the WooSox, both Bazardo and Hernandez should figure into Boston’s bullpen plans at some point this year.

As for the six non-roster invitees who were reassigned to minor-league camp, Holland is the most notable since he has the most major-league experience as well as the ability to opt out of his deal.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora informed Holland, who inked a minors pact with Boston on March 18, on Saturday that he would not be making the Opening Day roster.

Holland, a veteran of 13 seasons, can now test the free agency waters again if he so chooses, though Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith) that the 35-year-old lefty has not made a decision yet.

“We talked with Derek,” Cora said. “We were honest with him. He’s not going to make the team. So we’ll see where he’s at during the weekend. Obviously a lefty. Lefties with a heartbeat, they always have a chance. But no, no. Great impression. Good stuff yesterday. It’s just a matter of where we’re at roster-wise. Being selfish, hopefully he’s there Tuesday in Jacksonville, pitching for Worcester.”

The WooSox, as noted by Smith, open their season against the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp on Tuesday, April 5.

With this round of roster moves completed, the Sox currently have 28 40-man roster players and six non-roster invitees (Franchy Cordero, Tyler Danish, Rob Refsnyder, Hansel Robles, John Schreiber, and Travis Shaw) at camp.

As previously mentioned, Boston still needs to make six more subtractions between now and this coming Thursday. Additional cuts are expected in the coming days.

(Picture of Darwinzon Hernandez: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox reliever Josh Taylor unlikely to be ready for Opening Day due to back issue

Red Sox reliever Josh Taylor may not be available for the start of the 2022 season due to back issue, manager Alex Cora revealed on Monday.

“The only guy that is behind pitching-wise is JT,” Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith) earlier Monday morning. “He has a back issue. So he fell behind. Not sure how it works out for us for the start of the season but he’s one guy that’s behind in his progression.”

When asked if Taylor will be ready for Opening Day in the Bronx on April 7, Cora responded by saying: “I don’t want to say it’s doubtful, but he has some catching up to do.”

Taylor spent time on the injured list last September due to a low back strain. The left-hander returned in time for the postseason and pitched well in his six appearances, but he did so while still dealing with discomfort in his lower back.

In a recent conversation with The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier and Pete Abraham, Taylor explained that he received an epidural injection last fall and could have undergone off-season surgery to repair a herniated disk. He instead opted to rehab from the injury through the winter and is now behind other pitchers as a result.

“It’s a little leftover from last year,” Taylor said. “I had that back issue and it’s still kind of lingering. We’re just progressing a little slower right now to try and get me back right. It’s not bad. It’s definitely way better than it was. I did a lot of work in the offseason to get it right. It’s a bit more strengthening right now to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Taylor also told Speier and Abraham that he has yet to throw off a mound this spring, but he will do so for the first time in a pair of bullpen sessions at the Fenway South complex this week.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off a 2021 season in which he emerged as one of Cora’s most trusted options out of the Boston bullpen. In 61 relief appearances (second-highest on the team) last year, Taylor posted a 3.40 ERA and 2.83 FIP with 60 strikeouts to 23 walks over 47 2/3 innings pitched.

With Taylor likely starting the year on the injured list, the Red Sox do have other left-handed relievers on the 40-man roster they can turn to in Austin Davis, Jake Diekman, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Matt Strahm. They also recently signed veteran lefty Derek Holland to a minor-league deal that includes an invite to major-league spring training.

(Picture of Josh Taylor: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)