Boston Red Sox: 1 biggest surprise of spring training so far

Boston Red Sox, MLB Spring Training

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The Boston Red Sox have a consistency problem with offseason acquisition Garrett Richards.

After coming off an extremely disappointing 2020 season, the Boston Red Sox made the decision to fire Ron Roenicke and bring back former manager Alex Cora to lead the team out of the AL East basement.

One of the main reasons why the Red Sox ended up in that position was due to injuries in the starting rotation. So this offseason, general manager Chaim Bloom decided to make an addition to their pitching staff in the form of Garrett Richards. And so far this spring training, he has been incredibly inconsistent.

Red Sox: Can Garrett Richards find consistency prior to 2021 season?

With the San Diego Padres bolstering their rotation with the likes of Blake Snell and Yu Darvish, there was no more room for Richards. Luckily for him, the Red Sox were in need of starting arms entering the 2021 campaign and signed him to a one-year, $10 million contract.

In his first spring start, Richards struggled against the Atlanta Braves. Richards struggled in the first inning, where he loaded the bases and walked in a run in 23 pitches. That is when the Red Sox utilized the new mercy rule, where a team is allowed to end an inning if their pitcher has thrown more than 20 pitches. In two innings of work, the veteran right-hander surrendered two earned runs on three hits, while striking out one batter and recording two walks.

Richards did not fare any better in his second start against the Braves. This time, Richards recorded two strikeouts and four walks while allowing four earned runs on three hits through two frames.

Then, there was Friday. Richards managed to strike out seven Tampa Bay Rays batters while surrendering one lone hit in four innings of work. Talk about a rollercoaster ride for Red Sox fans.

The Red Sox dedicated a large sum of money to Richards for one season, and they need him to deliver once the games count. Simply put, the Red Sox would like to see more of the Richards they saw against the Rays on Friday, and not the Richards they watched struggle against the Braves on two separate occasions.

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