Five Questions For Cooper Criswell: Boston Red Sox Starting Pitcher

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When you think of starting pitching depth for the Boston Red Sox this season, Cooper Criswell should come to mind.

The Red Sox signed him to a one-year $1 million deal this past offseason with the expectation that he could make some starts for the team this season.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora reiterated that possibility to NESN on March 22, 2024, telling the television station that “I do believe, without making promises, that Coop will contribute during the season.”

Criswell, 27, started the 2024 season with the Worcester Red Sox, the Triple-A minor league affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. However, the Red Sox called him up on Friday, April 12.

NewBostonPost did a Five Questions interview with Criswell at Polar Park earlier this month.

It is below:


1.  You pitched for the Tampa Bay Rays last year and got called up then sent down eight times. When a player gets sent down, they’re entitled to up to three days off before reporting to the Triple-A club. How did you use that rare time off during baseball season?

It was nice. You get the 72 hours to report back and Tampa Bay was super nice about letting me use some of that time to spend some time with the wife. Sometimes, I’d stay an extra night or two down in Tampa Bay and we’d go to the beach or something because a lot of times it timed up where Durham was on the road and I wasn’t available to pitch right after that. Sometimes, I’d go back to Durham on my own, but it’s nice to just catch up and to make some time to hang out with the wife.


2.  You pitched against the Red Sox at Fenway Park on June 3, 2023, as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. What was your first impression of Boston from that experience?

It was sweet, man. It was actually misty that day and still super cold, so that was the first time experiencing the cold up here. But it was sweet. I heard Sweet Caroline for the first time. That’s one of the things I remember from that outing for sure:  how loud it was. And I also saw how awesome the fans were out there in full support. Like I said, the weather wasn’t the best, but it was fun.


3.  You became a father this past offseason. How did you balance caring for a newborn baby and getting ready for work this season?

It was a little change, but I feel like my wife’s been a rockstar and that helps a ton when you have a wife that’s willing to go above and beyond that’s willing to support this career on top of that being the main parent figure at home during the day while I’m gone. That goes a long way just having her support and knowing that he’s going to be well taken care of at the house while I’m here pursuing my dream.


4.  You’ve earned high praise from key figures in the Red Sox organization like manager Alex Cora and general manager Craig Breslow — and they said they saw you as someone who would contribute to the big league club this season despite starting the season in Triple-A. What does it mean to you for those guys to have that type of confidence in you?

It’s nice. I feel like this spring training I pitched pretty well and when I left there, those guys were believing that whenever the time is right and something happens, they’re gonna believe in me, and that’s all you can ask for. 


5.  When did you realize you wanted to be a big leaguer and when did you realize it was something that you could do?

Obviously, since the time I knew what a baseball was, the dream was to play in the big leagues and luckily, I’ve been able to do that. But I’d say my sophomore year of junior college is when I started thinking “Hey, this might be a route for me to succeed in.”


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