Salem High grad and Red Sox pitcher Terry Doyle met with Boston manager John Farrell, GM Ben Cherington and pitching coach Juan Nieves on Thursday and was informed he was being reassigned to minor league camp.
The news didn’t come as a surprise to Doyle, who signed a minor league contract with Boston with an invite to big league camp and expected to begin the year in the Triple-A Pawtucket starting rotation.
Farrell, Cherington and Nieves told Doyle he has pitched well and done everything he has been asked. The plan is for Doyle to stretch out his innings, work on durability and increase his pitch count in minor league camp.
“They told me I was going to go down and start the year out as a starter in Pawtucket,” said the former Eagle-Tribune baseball Player of the Year. “And hopefully, I can get up to 100 pitches and if I get called upon to help the big league team, hopefully I’ll be able to do that.”
Doyle pitched 14.0 inning over six games for the big league club this spring. He allowed nine runs, six earned (3.86 ERA), on 19 hits and three walks while striking out 12.
He struggled in his latest outing Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles.
He went two innings, allowed two runs on three hits (one homer), walking one, striking out two and being charged with the loss.
“Baseball is a funny game because I didn’t feel like I was throwing very well but my stats kind of looked differently and then my last outing was probably my worst but I thought it was the first one where I felt like I commanded my off-speed (pitches) and kind of moved my fastball around in the strike zone,” he said.
Doyle hopes to get his command to where it was before he pitched in Japan last summer. He won five straight starts for the White Sox’ Triple-A affiliate before signing a contract to pitch in Japan.
He pitched seven or more innings in four of the five starts.
“I’m just going to try to focus on that and get the command of the fastball and command of the off-speed stuff,” Doyle said.
The Pawtucket rotation is shaping into a pretty interesting one.
Doyle will join both Allen Webster and fireballer Rubby De La Rosa, the two pitchers the Red Sox received in their mega-deal with the Dodgers last August.
Baseball America ranked Webster the 49th best prospect in all of baseball. He had a strong big league camp, allowing just three runs — two earned (1.64 ERA) — in 11.0 innings while striking out 14 and walking only one. Like De La Rosa, Webster has shown some terrific fastball velocity this spring.
“Rubby and Webby, I’m hopefully going to be behind them in the rotation because you got two guys throwing 100 (mph), it’s going to be nice — guys are going to be swinging real early on my fastball,” Doyle said. “Whatever the rotation ends up being in Pawtucket, we have Steven Wright who is a knuckleballer and a couple of guys down in minor league camp who have some big league experience. Whatever it ends up being I think we’re going to have a pretty good staff. It’s going to be a fun year.”
Doyle certainly is excited to pitch for the PawSox.
“Most of my mom’s side of the family lives in Rhode Island,” Doyle said. “So it will be nice being near all of them. ... Going to Triple-A is kind of what I was hoping for and being in the rotation is kind of the job that I think suits me best.”