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Woo Sox Update: a former Yankee, ‘so pumped’ to pitch at Fenway Park

A former Yankee joining Woo Sox as Reliever


Manager Alex Cora bring us an update about Woo Sox he mentioned he brought in Red Soxeliever Greg Weissert to face three-time AL MVP Mike Trout both Friday and Saturday.

The 29-year-old righty entered with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning Friday. He retired Trout on a fly-out to center field. He entered with the runners at first and second base with one out in the fifth inning Saturday. Trout lined out to left (Jarren Duran made a nice catch) and Taylor Ward flied out to right field.

“Just a different angle with a great slider and a good fastball, too,” manager Alex Cora said about Weissert’s stuff. “He can get righties out. The thing I’m very happy with — getting lefties out. He’s done an outstanding job of using the slider. ... He can elevate. He’s got a good changeup, too. So far he’s been impressive.”

Boston acquired Weissert from the Yankees in the Alex Verdugo trade. He pitched well on the 10-game West Coast road trip to open the season. He appeared in five of the 10 games without allowing an earned run in 4 ⅔ innings. He gave up two unearned runs Saturday to take the loss. Opponents went just 2-for-9 against his slider and 1-for-4 against his sinker.

Weissert and the Red Sox will play their home opener at Fenway on Tuesday at 2:10 p.m. He can’t wait. Weissert wants to experience Fenway as a member of the home team. As a Yankee, he retired 11 of 13 batters he faced at Fenway Park and struck out five.

“So pumped,” Weissert said. “I’ve always loved pitching at Fenway. It just seems like everybody is into the games. It doesn’t matter if it’s the eighth inning, whatever the score is, it always feels like everybody’s staying until the last pitch. And any time anything happens, the crowd’s always into it right away. So it’s been super fun to pitch there.”

The Yankees drafted and developed Weissert, a 2016 18th round pick out of Fordham, which is in the Bronx.

“I’ve been lucky to be able to pitch at Yankee Stadium, too, as a home player and that’s why I’m really excited to get to Fenway,” Weissert said.

The Red Sox feel Weissert can play an important role in their bullpen this year. Cora compared the righty to John Schreiber. They both have similar three-quarter arm slots and nasty sliders.

The Yankees optioned him back and forth five times last season. He should have more stability with Boston.

“It’s definitely exciting,” Weissert said about his opportunity with the Red Sox. “It feels like a little bit of a weight off your shoulders. Nothing’s set in stone. Things change all the time and you can’t take a day for granted up here. But I always just take it day by day because I’ve had to learn the hard way. Like I said, things change really quickly.”

The Red Sox want him to pound the strike zone with his stuff.

“I think the whole thing was just to throw more strikes in general,” he said. “Just be more in the zone and let the stuff play.

“What they have been preaching is get ahead and get the count leverage,” Weissert added. “Because at the end of the day, the numbers are the numbers. When pitchers get ahead, they’re a lot more likely to get soft contact, a strikeout or a good result.”

Weissert described himself as “more of a control guy than a command guy.”

“I’ll be around the zone,” Weissert said. “But I’m not trying to go down and away, up and in and trying to hit all these different boxes inside the zone. I’m just trying to throw to general areas and just keep the ball around the plate basically.”

Weissert learned his slider in 2019 after the Yankees promoted him to Double A.

“I just found it on Twitter. Chaz Roe was in the dugout showing his grip. And I was like, ‘I don’t really have anything that stands out.’ I saw him throw it in a game in the big leagues and I was like, ‘I want to try to see if I can do that.’”

Weissert previously threw a smaller, more traditional slider. The slider he picked up from watching Roe acts more as a sweeper.

“It’s listed as a sweeper on Baseball Savant,” Weissert said. “I hate that term though. I just like regular, old slider.”

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