Several pre-Opening Day pitching updates from Alex Cora

SEATTLE – Sitting in the visitors’ dugout ahead of Red Sox Opening Day (Night) against the Mariners, Alex Cora offered up several pitching updates.

The Sox see newcomer Chase Anderson as someone who can provide long relief.

“Probably multiple innings,” Cora said. “I think it’s achievable (to keep him stretched out) with the guys that we have.”

“He has a good changeup, he’s using the cutter, too, so he fits the program,” the Sox skipper explained. “We’ll use him as a long guy.”

Anderson signed a 1.25 million Major League contract with up to $500K in performance bonuses on Mar. 23, hours after the Pirates released him from his minor-league deal. Since the start of 2020, he owns a 6.19 ERA over 192 innings, and pitched in the Majors for five teams during that span. But he’s affordable depth, which makes him a fit for Boston’s current spending parameters.

Then there’s Naoyuki Uwasawa, whom the Sox acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays earlier this week.

“Good split,” Cora assessed. “I think we faced him twice in spring training. Early on, he was struggling with the velo and command. There’s other stuff that came into play, but we feel pretty comfortable with him. Obviously, we’re trying to add as many big-league pitchers on our 40-man roster, and we do believe he’s one. It just happens that he’s not here with us”

(Uwasawa is currently working in extended spring training at the club’s Fort Myers complex.)

The Sox also plan to stick with a five-man rotation, at least for this 10-game trip on the west coast, but Cora left the door open for a potential sixth starter in the future.

“Not on this trip, no,” he said.

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