There was no big league baseball on Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean the Boston Red Sox couldn’t shine. Wednesday was the Triple-A All-Star game, and two Boston farmhands made the team.
Rubby De La Rosa didn’t play, but Anthony Carter did pitch the seventh inning. Despite walking his first batter on a fastball just off the plate, he managed to get the next guy to roll into a double play, then got MLB Futures Game participant Chris Owings to fly out in front of his Triple-A Reno home crowd.
Carter, despite being 27, has yet to make his MLB debut, but could help the Red Sox down the stretch. He is in his third year at Triple-A with his numbers getting better each year, and as the Red Sox heading into a pennant chase, he may become a guy that bounces between Pawtucket and Boston, getting meaningful outs in the sixth and seventh when the big club needs an arm.
De La Rosa didn’t pitch in large part due to the fact the Red Sox are closely monitoring his innings after he underwent Tommy John Surgery less than two years ago. While there are plenty of examples of big league pitchers coming back from the infamous elbow surgery in any given year, minor league prospects tend to be limited even more.
Inning and pitch count limits are not exclusive to guys with injury histories — they are commonplace in the minor leagues. This was highlighted in an absolute gem of a game by the Salem Red Sox on Wednesday. Top-10 prospect Henry Owens threw six no-hit innings while striking out 10 Fredrick Keys batters.
Matty Ott then pitched the seventh and eighth without surrendering a hit, and Matt Price but managed to get the next three outs in the ninth, including two via the strikeout, to complete the first-ever Salem Red Sox no-hitter. Salem did have a no-no in 2002 when they were known as the Avalanche, but this was the team’s first since becoming an affiliate of the Red Sox.
So, while there was no major league baseball action on Wednesday, Red Sox pitchers throughout the system ensured Boston would be the talk of Wednesday baseball.