Barring anything extremely unusual, Allen Webster will be the third member of the “next great Red Sox team” to reach the big leagues. With the 26-man roster on double-header days, Webster has been called up to pitch game two of the double-header tomorrow night. Webster is ranked as the Red Sox’ #4 prospect by both MLB.com and SoxProspects and was acquired in the Red Sox-Dodgers trade last August. His stock has risen lately due to a great spring and better start to his Triple-A season, and hopefully will continue to rise with his major league debut.
Webster allegedly tweaked his mechanics this spring, pitching off the first base side of the rubber rather than the third base side. This was expected to improve his control (career-high 4.21 BB/9 last year) and has had excellent results for the 23 year old right-hander. He struck out 14 and threw to a 1.64 ERA in 11 innings during the spring and in two starts for the PawSox, he has a 0.90 ERA and a 12:3 K:BB ratio in 10 innings.
His stuff is reminiscent of Derek Lowe, as he throws a good sinker even harder than Lowe as it sits in the mid-90′s and has been clocked as high as 98 mph. He mixes that in with a good change and decent slider. I had the privilege to watch him this spring and I was very impressed with both his raw stuff and his polish, as he showed much better command than at any point last year.
It ought to be interesting to see how he handles himself against a young and aggressive Kansas City lineup. Plus, if he pitches well, will the Red Sox send him down? It may create problems when John Lackey returns, but the Red Sox may be able to make room for him in the bullpen and for occasional spot starts. Even if this is a one-and-done deal, it’ll be neat to watch one of the top prospects in the system pitch in the majors.