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April 22, 2013

Webster looks strong in major league debut

BOSTON — Terry Doyle in his sixth year playing minor league ball so he has seen plenty of talented pitchers during the early stages of their careers.

The Salem High grad and Pawtucket Red Sox pitcher especially was impressed by current Houston Astros starter Brad Peacock who he saw in High-A and current White Sox starter Chris Sale, who he was teammates with for a brief time in 2010 after Sale was drafted 13th overall that June.

And then there is 23-year-old Allen Webster, who Doyle has watched start twice with the PawSox this year.

“Webby, he’s got the same stuff,” Doyle said. “He’s got the plus fastball. He locates it well and he’s got a real, real good change-up, which is going to be a huge pitch for him.”

Webster, a right-hander, was promoted to Boston yesterday to make his major league debut in the second game of a day-night doubleheader against the Royals.

The 6-2, 190-pounder pitched well, going 6.0 innings and allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits and one walk while striking out five batters.

But he did not factor in the decision and the Red Sox lost 5-4 in 10 innings in the second game after dropping the first game 4-2 to the Royals here at Fenway Park.

Webster entered spring training ranked by Baseball America as the 49th best prospect in all of baseball. He turned heads more so during spring training, reaching 98 mph on the radar and featuring a plus change-up and a fastball with tremendous sink. Many began to call him a potential ace.

“His sinker and his change-up pretty much have the same movement,” Doyle said. “It’s just the matter of 10 mph slower. And when you (as a hitter) have to get up to that 94, 95, 96 mph fastball and then he can come out with an 85, 86, 87 mph change-up, the timing gets real disruptive for the hitter.”

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