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AL East Notes: Crawford, Bleis, Blue Jays, Irvin

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The Red Sox have given right-hander Kutter Crawford a vote of confidence as a starting pitcher, as The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham relays that the Sox are planning on keeping Crawford in the rotation going forward after a pair of short starts since joining the rotation at the beginning of June. While the starts lasted just 40 and 58 pitches, respectively, the overall numbers have been solid, as Crawford allowed three earned runs on seven hits and zero walks while striking out six.

It’s been a strong season for Crawford, who has posted a 2.20 ERA, 3.00 FIP, and 24% strikeout rate in 32 2/3 innings of work after a four inning, seven run outing to open the season against the Pirates. The success is particularly welcome after the 27-year-old struggled in a swing role for 77 1/3 innings last season, posting a 5.47 ERA and 4.34 FIP. With Crawford now in the rotation, the Red Sox still have Corey Kluber, Nick Pivetta, and Josh Winckowski in the bullpen as potential multi-inning relief options.

More from around the AL East:

  • Sticking with the Red Sox, top outfield prospect Miguel Bleis is expected to miss the rest of the 2023 season after undergoing shoulder surgery, according to Chris Henrique of Beyond The Monster. A consensus top 100 prospect who ranks as high as 39th over at Fangraphs, Bleis struggled in his first taste of full-season ball in 2023, slashing just .230/.282/.325 in 142 plate appearances at Single-A this season. Now sidelined until 2024, the 19-year-old Bleis was already not expected to be several years away from the majors, though it’s possible his current injury slows his timeline further.
  • After 2022 AL Cy Young finalist Alek Manoah was sent to the minors earlier this week, the Blue Jays are expected to ramp up their search for external pitching options, even as the 2023 trade deadline is still several weeks away. GM Ross Atkins told reporters, including Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, that the club has “intensified those discussions over the last several weeks”, referring to the front office’s exploration of external options for the pitching staff. Reinforcements could provide a huge boost to Toronto as they’re stuck at fourth place in the AL East race despite a strong 36-29 record, thanks in part to the struggles of key contributors like Manoah, Yimi Garcia, and Yusei Kikuchi.
  • The Orioles recalled left-hander Cole Irvin to start today’s game against the Royals, per a team announcement. Acquired this past offseason in a trade with the A’s, Ivin has not built on a strong 2022 campaign (3.98 ERA in 181 innings) during his first season as an Oriole, posting a 10.38 ERA in 13 innings of work in the majors. That being said, his work at Triple-A has been much better, with a 3.21 ERA in seven starts (42 innings). With youngster Grayson Rodriguez relegated to Triple-A for the foreseeable future, it’s possible Irvin could earn himself a more permanent spot in the rotation with a quality performance this afternoon.



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