Matt Hoffman Signs Minor Deal With Red Sox


No, not the famous BMX biker and X Games alumni. The Boston Red Sox inked a deal with lefty pitcher Matt Hoffman, yesterday. Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reported the signing on Twitter:

Now, before anyone else makes cracks about questioning Hoffman’s cycling skills, as Cotillo’s tweet suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous subtweets, the pitcher with the same name has qualities that the Red Sox desired.

The 26-year-old, Oklahoma native is 6’2″, 244 lbs, and gives the Red Sox another left-handed chucker to complement a plethora of right-handers. After being drafted in the 26th round by the Detroit Tigers in 2007 straight out of high school, Hoffman has floated around the minor leagues for the last seven years, gaining experience along the way. He has played in 255 games and 420 innings, earning 336 strikeouts to 169 walks.

Hoffman has been both a starter and a reliever, splitting his time with the Tigers, Phillies, and Minnesota minor league affiliates. In 2014, he threw 48 innings of relief work, posting a 3.75 ERA, with 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. Hoffman averaged 3.6 walks in the same span. In seven save opportunities, he was successful five times, with batters hitting .275 against him.

On the surface, it looks like Hoffman is a decent relief pitcher, with some work needed. He has the potential to give some long relief or improve into the closing role, but that will not be an immediate thought. Hoffman has flirted with a groundout-to-flyout ratio (1.07 last season) over the last couple of years that gives pause. This comment is not to say that Hoffman is a human launching pad, but his ratio was only 0.67 in Triple-A with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, before improving to a 1.87 with the Rochester Red Wings. Luckily, he only gave up four home runs in those 17 games.

Hoffman does provide minor league depth, as he will likely start 2015 with the Pawtucket Red Sox, Boston’s Triple-A team. However, with Henry Owens and other top pitching prospects moving up the system, Hoffman may or may not get his opportunity in Beantown. Depending how the bullpen and starting rotation shape up in April, Hoffman could maybe see more playing time for either team, as the youth possibly is called on to support the veteran arms.