Red Sox continue to be active on minor league pitching market

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 29: A Boston Red Sox hat is shown before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on April 29, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 29: A Boston Red Sox hat is shown before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on April 29, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

The Red Sox signed a pair of right-handed minor league pitchers

The ever-so-slow rumor mill continues to churn this offseason for Major League Baseball. The Boston Red Sox have continued to take their time in adding established major league talent, besides their addition of outfielder Hunter Renfroe. Since the end of the season, they have made several transactions involving minor leaguers, with two more coming yesterday in right-handers Zack Kelly and Jose Disla.

Both Kelly, 24, and Disla, 25 are younger hurlers who serve as depth pieces to a farm system that has seen several additions since the conclusion of the 2020 season.

Kelly went undrafted after playing for Newberry College in South Carolina and eventually latched on with the Athletics, signing a minor-league deal in 2017.  The righty spent a year with Oakland’s Arizona rookie league affiliate, pitching 28.2 innings of work to the tune of a 3.77 ERA before being released in April of 2018.

He was not out of work for long when the Angels signed him the following week. Kelly spent all of 2018 and 2019 bouncing around Los Angeles’ minor league system and spent a majority of his time in 2019 in Double-A where he logged 75.1 innings. In Double-A that year he yielded 32 earned runs. In a smaller sample size in Single-A, the righty pitched four scoreless innings of work. The pitcher spent time working as both a relief and starting pitcher that year.

With the coronavirus pandemic leading to multiple organizations purging their minor league rosters, Kelly was among many of the roster casualties of the Angels organization. Los Angeles released the righty at the tail-end of May.

When reports surfaced that Kelly had signed with the Red Sox, details about an elbow injury the right-hander had experienced which eventually led to surgery surfaced, and the righty is now on the track to recovery after undergoing a procedure to correct the issue. As of November, the minor leaguer has been throwing off the mound with ease, ready to compete in spring training. He serves as a solid depth piece, as he had decent numbers in his most recent 2019 season in Double-A. He will be 26-years-old come opening day.

As for Disla, it would appear that the former Tampa Bay farmhand might have stood out as a solid depth pickup for CBO Chaim Bloom, who had been a presence in the Rays organization that signed the righty in 2013. The right-hander had bounced around Tampa Bay’s minor league system since debuting for the team’s Dominican Summer League as a then 17-year-old in 2013. Since that time, he has played for multiple levels in the Rays minor league system, most recently in 2019.

His most recent line of work came with the Rays minor league affiliate Double-A Montgomery Biscuits. The right-hander allowed three earned runs over eight innings, posting an ERA of 3.38. A larger sample size during his 2018 season saw Disla split time between Single-A and Double-A, pitching 59 innings overall to the tune of a 3.51 ERA. The righty serves as yet another depth piece to the ever-so-active minor league department on Boston’s front.

The two right-handers have yet to taste Triple-A action, so whether they will be contributing to the major league roster this upcoming season is uncertain. Boston has remained active in adding to its farm system, making 13 transactions involving minor league players since the season concluded.

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Regarding the major league team, the Red Sox have made two transactions: bringing Garrett Whitlock on board via the Rule 5 Draft and signing another ex-Ray in outfielder Hunter Renfroe. The team has been reported to be active on the free agent market, so major league additions are slowly but surely going to occur over the course of the winter. To this point, the front office has been more active adding minor league talent over the course of the offseason.