Former Salem High star pitcher Terry Doyle’s family always has wanted to see him in a Red Sox uniform.
So the Doyles certainly were excited when Boston recently offered the right-hander a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
“My grandmother, when I told her the Red Sox gave me a contract offer, she started crying because she’s finally going to be able to see me play as opposed to having me go (far away),” said Doyle, who was The Eagle-Tribune baseball MVP in 2003 and 2004.
The 27-year-old Doyle appeared in 90 games, including making 77 starts in the Chicago White Sox system after Chicago drafted him in the 37th round out of Boston College in 2008. He posted a 33-27 record and 2.94 ERA from ‘08 until this past June when he left the White Sox system to pitch with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japan Pacific League (1-1, 3.55 ERA, 7 Ks, 12.2 innings).
Once the season was finished, his Japanese club declined his team option for next year. He returned to the States near in October and received interest from multiple major league clubs, including the Red Sox and White Sox.
“Growing up a New England kid, the Red Sox were the No. 1 team and now I’m getting the opportunity to play for them,” he said. “I’m looking forward to going to spring training and earning a spot on the team somewhere.”
Doyle and the Red Sox have not yet talked about whether he will be used as a starter or reliever.
“When my agent was talking to teams about getting me a job, the Red Sox said, ‘Look, we don’t know about starter, bullpen, major leagues, Triple-A, Double-A,’” Doyle said. “But I’m hoping to start out the year in Pawtucket as a starter and hopefully pitch well enough to earn a shot to get some innings in Boston as well.
“If I had my choice, I’d be a starter but at the same time, whatever helps me get to Boston I’ll do.”
Soon after Doyle returned from Japan, his agent received a call from Red Sox vice president of player personnel Allard Baird, who set up a bullpen session that week at Fenway Park.
Jared Porter, Red Sox director of professional scouting, attended the workout with other Boston scouts. Doyle threw 35 to 40 pitches and then headed home.
About two or three days later, the Red Sox called Doyle’s agent to say Doyle would receive an offer soon. About two days after that, the offer came and Doyle accepted it that day.
The 6-4, 255-pound right-hander is training in Florida this offseason. His uncle has a house in Naples so Doyle is staying there with his old college roommate.
Doyle throws an 87-92 mph fastball with a curveball, slider and change-up.
“My plan of attack is to just attack the strike zone,” he said. “I try to throw a first-pitch strike to every hitter.”
Doyle has posted a 2.83 ERA in 12 career Triple-A outings, including 11 starts. He has a 1.128 minor league WHIP while striking out 8.1 batters per nine innings.
If Doyle does start the year in Pawtucket, he is familiar with McCoy Stadium. He attended a couple of games there growing up and his mother’s whole family is from Rhode Island.
“I haven’t been to a PawSox game there probably in 15 years but I have had teammates play there and they say it’s a good atmosphere and the stadium is nice,” Doyle said.
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