The Boston Red Sox made an abundance of offseason moves to revamp what’s now their new-look roster for 2023, which included cutting ties with several members of the 2022 squad.
Whether through trade, signing elsewhere, or just flat-out getting cut, a few former Red Sox player aren’t faring well with their new clubs. In fact, they’ve gone ice-cold, kicking off their respective regular-season campaigns in substandard fashion. Then again, there’s plenty of time to flip the script. But for now, here are three ex-Red Sox members from 2022 who aren’t performing up to par with their new teams:
Michael Wacha, San Diego Padres
The Red Sox took a flyer on Michael Wacha, bringing the former All-Star starting pitcher on board last season on a one-year deal.
Surprisingly, that move paid off with Wacha giving Boston more than required for its $7 million investment. Wacha led the Red Sox rotation in wins (11), pitching to a 3.32 ERA over the course of 127 1/3 innings on the mound. Slowly it became clear that, while anchored for a portion of the year due to trips to the injured list, Wacha was Alex Cora’s clear-cut ace.
At 30 years old, the right-hander reached back and be the Wacha that earned National League Championship MVP honors with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013. But during the offseason following an impressive debut run in Boston, both Wacha and the Red Sox were neither linked nor agreed on an extension, leading to his signing with the San Diego Padres just days before Opening Day.
And so far, not so good for Wacha.
The right-hander has recorded a 5.46 ERA through his first six outings with the Padres, allowing 19 earned runs through 31 1/3 innings pitched. Wacha has pitched two scoreless starts — both six innings — but has also let up four or more earned runs in three.
Rich Hill, Pittsburgh Pirates
After making his third stint with the Red Sox last season, Rich Hill returned to Major League Baseball for a 19th season at 43 years of age — just not in Boston.
Hill proved to be a semi-reliable back end of the rotation pitcher in 2022, going 8-7 with a 4.27 ERA while eating up innings alongside Nick Pivetta. But despite making his hopes of returning to Boston clear, the Red Sox went in a different direction with their rotation, leaving Hill up for grabs in free agency. And in December, Hill landed yet another one-year deal, this time with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
However, it hasn’t fared well for Hill.
The southpaw veteran is 3-3 through seven starts with the Pirates, pitching to a 4.54 ERA, which is a gradual improvement from 7.20 Hill sported after his third outing. The long balls haunted Hill early as he allowed seven total in his first four trips to the mound, but the durability has shown a light of hope as he’s gone five or more innings in all but one start in Pittsburgh.
Jeter Downs, Washington Nationals
Once a former Red Sox infield prospect, Jeter Downs is heading toward a downward spiral after the Washington Nationals scooped up the 24-year-old off waivers this past offseason.
Similar to Downs’ brief stint in Boston, the Nationals didn’t see much of a reason to keep him up at the big league level, demoting him back to Triple-A after just a single at-bat — a strikeout — this season. But it’s not like the results have been much better at the minor league level either for Downs.
He’s batting an atrocious .143, going 4-for-28 with the Rochester Red Wings, while driving in just two RBIs and stealing three bases.
The clock could be running out for Downs in Washington, as was the case in Boston.