Machi given chance to help Red Sox bullpen
Reliever's success tied to effective use of slider
BOSTON -- Needing another arm for a taxed bullpen, the Red Sox promoted right-hander Jean Machi on Thursday after claiming him off waivers from the Giants on Tuesday.
Machi last pitched on July 17, but he has continued a throwing program and threw a light bullpen before the start of Thursday's game against the White Sox. Red Sox manager John Farrell said Machi would be available during the game.
"There is a little bit of a challenge bringing him in here with our situation with a need for innings right away with his inactivity," Farrell said. "We'll see what he has."
After a successful season with the Giants in 2014, Machi's numbers fell off this season, leading to his release. He pitched in 71 games for San Francisco in '14, tossing 66 1/3 innings with a 2.58 ERA. In 33 games for the club this season, he had a 5.14 ERA in 35 innings.
Farrell believes Machi's success will hinge on how effectively the right-hander uses his slider.
"His fastball velocity has been consistently between 92 to 94 mph. His damage has come with his slider," Farrell said. "It hasn't been as sharp as it was the last two years. That's the pitch that we have to hone in on and regain that consistency."
While Machi's thrown fewer splitters this season, the right-hander believes he needs to feature the pitch more.
"It has been about mechanics. Little by little, I've been working and am past that," Machi said through translator Adrian Lorenzo. "I hope we are moving in the right direction."