Every team has that kind of player. The guy who sort of comes out of nowhere and steals the hearts of the city. More often than not it’s a journeyman type player. Someone who never really stuck or worked out anywhere else. All it takes is the right spot, the right situation to make it all click. Think Steve Pearce for the 2018 Boston Red Sox.
Was acquired around the trade deadline. Bounced around the league for years, never really sticking anywhere else. He winds up in Boston, and all of a sudden: bang. He starts making an impact and leaving his mark. We Sox fans even give him the name “the Yankee Killer” and anoint him a fan favorite. He even went on to win the 2018 World Series MVP for his contributions.
Thank you, Steve Pearce!— Red Sox (@RedSox) April 15, 2020
Always our 2018 World Series MVP! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/RMwe72QMMI
Every year, or every few years, players like Steve Pearce emerge out of nowhere. This season, that man is pitcher John Schreiber, who’s legend is just getting started.
John Schreiber is a relief pitcher who has been around the league since 2019. Schreiber was a 15th round pick in the 2016 draft by the Detroit Tigers. He would spend three seasons bouncing around the minor league before making it to the Tigers in 2019.
Schreiber would spend just two seasons in Detroit. He would appear in 28 games during his Tigers tenure. In 28.2 IP with Detroit, Schreiber had a less than spectacular 6.28 ERA.
In February 2021 he was designated for assignment by Detroit, putting him on waivers. Less than a week later, he was claimed by Boston.
He spent most of the 2021 season in the minors. Schreiber appeared in just one major league game for Boston that year. Fast forward to 2022, and Schreiber once again started the season in the minors.
When veteran Rich Hill was placed on the COVID-related injury list in May, Schreiber finally got his opportunity to shine. He was called up on May 6th, and has remained on the roster ever since.
RISE TO PROMINENCE
Since being called up to majors on May 6th, one thing is for absolute certain. John Schreiber has been the best pitcher out of the bullpen for Boston. He’s the closest thing to a “sure thing” you can find right now out of the bullpen. That’s not exaggerating either.
Let me put it into perspective for you. Schreiber has appeared in 23 games for the Red Sox so far in 2022. In 21 of those outings, he’s heald his opponents scoreless. In 22.1 IP this season, he’s sporting a 0.81 ERA. That’s, well, pretty darn good.
John Schreiber, Demolishing the Side. pic.twitter.com/1fCbLZrnUU— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 19, 2022
It really has felt like it’s come out of nowhere too. Nobody ever saw this coming, maybe not even Schreiber himself. He’s legitimately pitching like an All-Star out of the bullpen right now. I don’t believe there’s been a more dominant reliever in baseball over the past month. It’s Schreiber for sure.
John Schreiber, 90mph Sinker and 84mph Slider, Individual Pitches + Overlay pic.twitter.com/d6nkoH6DeK— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 25, 2022
I’m not sure if this is a nickname that many use for him, but I’m getting ahead of it and using it now. John Schreiber IS Mr. Automatic. That’s what he’s been of late for Boston. Automatic. Unlike practically every other relief option for the Sox right now, you feel safe with John on the mound.
Some fun facts about John Schreiber:— Red Sox (@RedSox) June 21, 2022
– Owns an 0.86 ERA in 21 appearances and leads the team with 11 holds this season.
– 19 of his 21 appearances have been scoreless, including each of his last 9.
– Has stranded each of his 10 inherited runners this year. pic.twitter.com/pKydbYBzqH
He has consistently shut teams down. Opposing teams are batting a lowly .145 against Schreiber this season. He’s only given up 2 earned runs all season, and currently has a 0.750 WHIP. A true diamond in the rough.
IMPACT ON THE SOX
Like previously stated, Schreiber has been Boston’s best weapon out of the bullpen for a month now. He’s played a key role in stabilizing a position that was horrendous for most of the season. It’s still not great now, but Schreiber’s emergence has made it bearable for the time being.
At the time of writing, no decision on a true closer has been made. However, it’s looking like it should be Schreiber. He’s most certainly earned it.
Tanner Houck is the only other player who is in the running. I’m pretty sure Boston would prefer to utilize Houck as a setup man or as a long inning relief pitcher. They need a closer, and that man should be Schreiber.
It’s a role I think Mr. Automatic would fit right into. Unless a trade is made, there really isn’t a better option right now. Could it be a risk? Not really, I mean you can’t really get much worse than what the closer spot has been. Boston has the most blown saves in baseball.
Who knows, perhaps Schreiber becomes the regular closer and crushes it. If he does, he’s under team control until 2026, and is just 28 years old. We could very well be looking at our closer for years to come. One can only hope. Either way, the rise of Mr. Automatic has been a fun one to partake in. I’m along for the ride, however long it lasts.
Feature Photo By John Bazemore/AP Photo
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