After the Boston Red Sox sold off several pieces on their roster, they were forced to go with some young prospects in their starting rotation. Yesterday saw the MLB debut of Anthony Ranaudo, and today, Allen Webster made the start for Boston. Unfortunately, Webster continued his theme of disappointment in the big leagues in what amounted to a horrendous start.
Had it just been one off night for Webster, this would hardly be a story. However, he has been brutal since making his debut in 2013 with the big club. In fact, that year Webster made seven starts (eight appearances) for Boston and had an ERA of 8.60, a WHIP of 1.81, 18 walks and seven HRs in just 30.1 IP.
Maybe you can chalk those stats up to a bad year, but at this point it doesn’t look that way. In 2014, it has been more of the same for him in the big leagues. He has pitched eight innings in two total starts while allowing six runs on five hits and 11 walks (including six walks today). He has only struck out five hitters as well.
Webster has velocity, able to throw his fastball in the upper 90’s on a good day, but you need more than that to be successful in the majors. You have to be able to go out there, pitch out of jams and trust your arm. Unfortunately, when Webster encounters any type of adversity on the mound at all, he looks like a deer in headlights.
Instead of fighting through his struggles, he unravels and lets things get out of hand, especially in the walk department. The last pitcher to have this problem for the Red Sox was Daniel Bard, and as we all know, he didn’t last in Boston (or baseball) very long.
It is too early to completely jump ship with Webster (or anoint him the next Bard). The Red Sox will give him opportunities down the stretch, but it’s fair to wonder if he has anything to offer the team long term.