It’s just how things have been going for the Red Sox lately. After allowing only one run in back-to-back starts, the Blue Jays teed off on Felix Doubront last night, before he was lifted from the game with arm fatigue. Doubront’s next scheduled start is this Sunday in Tampa, but if he can’t make it, who should get the call? The candidates:
Allen Webster is 2-2 in Pawtucket with a 2.47 ERA. If it were based off those numbers alone, Webster would get the start. But in seven career starts with Boston, Webster has been killed, and a big part of that is because of his control issues, which still haven’t been completely figured out. His pitching line in his last outing reads: five innings, three hits, one run, four strikeouts, three walks and a hit batter. He can get away with that in AAA, but up with the big league club it’s a different ballgame. Playing in Webster’s favor however is that Sunday would just about fall in line with his next scheduled start. I don’t know how much that factors into the decision-making, but it seemed important to note.
The starter-converted-reliever-converted-starter is not dominating AAA like he was expected to after last year’s playoff dominance in Boston. He’s 3-1 but with an ERA a little bit over five. His strikeout rates have been pretty strong most outings, but it’s the long ball that has killed him. He’s surrendered eight home runs on the season, including a loss to Toledo where all four hits he surrendered were home runs. He’s shown he has the mentality though to be a major league pitcher, something that can’t be said for Webster at this stage of his career.
In 19 appearances out of the bullpen, Capuano has been excellent. He gives the Sox a long relief arm out of the pen, but he’s also good enough that he can be used for more than just long relief situations. It’s unlikely the Sox would want to change things up with him now, especially because there’s no guarantee this level of success would translate as a starter. His best chance to get the call would be if Doubront avoids the DL, but still needs to miss one start, which wouldn’t allow the Sox to make a roster move.
There are a few others who seem a little less likely than the three mentioned above, but could still be options. Anthony Ranaudo could finally make his big league debut, but if we’re taking points away from Webster for control, we need to take even more away from Ranaudo. He’s walked more than three batters in six of his 10 starts.
There’s also Rubby De La Rosa. After dominating in his first four outings, De La Rosa ran into some control issues, walking 16 batters in a four game stretch. He seemed to regain his control in his last outing though, striking out eight with only one walk in a dominating performance. His stuff is the real deal. If he can be more consistent with it, he could be a candidate for a call-up.
Finally, Matt Barnes. He’s been pretty good all season, but I can say with 99% certainty that he won’t be the one who gets the call. There are just too many others in front of him. His time will come.
So who will it be? Take a vote.