Ex-Yankee Adam Ottavino off to awful start for Red Sox

Some New York Yankees fans may be annoyed with Brian Cashman for the team’s 5-7 start, but one cash-saving trade he made this offseason is looking good thus far.

The 35-year-old Adam Ottavino — whom Cashman traded to the Boston Red Sox on Jan. 25, along with right-handed minor leaguer Frank German, in exchange for a player to be named later or cash — has struggled this season.

Early in the season, Ottavino had a chance to be the team’s closer, but Matt Barnes — who has not allowed a run in seven innings this season and is 1-0 with two saves — has essentially taken the job since returning to the team after he contracted the coronavirus in late March.

Nevertheless, Boston is hoping Ottavino still can be a key late-inning reliever, but the early results are concerning.

Adam Ottavino
Adam Ottavino

Ottavino, whose Yankees tenure ended on a sour note, already has allowed four earned runs and seven hits in 3²/₃ innings. In five appearances, Ottavino (1-1, 9.82 ERA) has allowed runs in three of those outings and has walked five and struck out three.

The Red Sox’s impressive nine-game winning streak was halted in Thursday’s 4-3 road defeat to the Minnesota Twins, and Ottavino was the culprit, suffering the loss.

He entered the game in the ninth and promptly gave up a single to Luis Arraez and hit Jorge Polanco to lead off the inning before surrendering the game-winning blooper to Max Kepler.

Ottavino — who signed a three-year, $27 million deal with the Yankees in 2019 — had a good first year as a late-inning reliever for the Bombers, when he finished 6-5 with a 1.90 ERA. But he struggled in September of that season and was dreadful against the Astros in the ALCS.

The 2020 season was a nightmare for the right-hander, who finished with a 5.89 ERA in 24 appearances — though much of that was because of one awful outing against the Blue Jays in Buffalo.

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