The Backstory: In 2008, Scott Atchison signed a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training. A week later he signed a deal with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan, and the Red Sox sold his contract to him. In December 2009, Atchison signed a one year contract with the Red Sox and was called up on May 5th, 2010. In 2010, Atchison manged an ERA of 4.50 and a WHIP of 1.28 in 60 innings of work. He looked a lot better in 2011, posting a 3.26 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP in 30.1 innings. While he wasn’t a big part of the bullpen, his performance was not one to complain about; he is a solid bullpen guy.
Last Season Review: Scott Atchison looked good in 2011, going 1-0 with a save with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. His FIP was a stellar 2.70 and his xFIP is 3.81. He managed a 0.8 WAR in only 30.1 innings of work, which is pretty impressive.
Looking ahead: Atchison is going to have to earn a spot on the Red Sox roster in Spring Training this year. His spot on the roster is far from guaranteed and he’ll have to show that he can replicated 2011 if he wants a spot on the roster. His chances will definitely depend on how the rotation shapes out. If both Bard and Aceves make the starting rotation, he should have a spot on the roster as the bullpen will be much shallower should both Bard and Aceves be starters in 2012. If just Bard is in the rotation, then it’ll be a lot harder for Atchison to get a spot on the roster. Atchison is very good against righties, so his ability to consitantly get righties out should help him out.
Conclusion: While Atchison isn’t going to break any records or going to be the best reliever for the Sox, he’s a quality reliever who stays healthy and is relatively versatile. Should he make the roster he’ll be an asset to the Red Sox bullpen once again in 2012.