EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

September 15, 2013

Large division lead gives Sox chance to experiment

BOSTON — Why on Earth has Allen Webster been on the Red Sox roster the past seven days instead of helping Triple-A Pawtucket in the International League playoffs?

After all, the righty has not pitched in a single game since being promoted Sept. 8.

Webster, one of the organization’s top prospects, obviously is here as a relief pitcher. But do the Red Sox plan to give him a tryout in high-leverage, late-inning situations for a shot to make the postseason roster if he does succeed?

“You know as well as I do,” Webster said about how Boston plans to use him. “Yeah, I don’t know.”

With the playoffs a few weeks away and with an AL East championship nearly locked up — Boston’s magic number dropped to six right after its 5-1 victory over New York yesterday — it is a perfect time for manager John Farrell to experiment with pitchers other than just Brandon Workman during the late innings.

Webster, Workman and Franklin Morales should all be receiving a tryout in this role. Rubby De La Rosa also could be given more of a chance but what he’s shown so far has been unimpressive.

Drake Britton, meanwhile, should be used more as a situational lefty, especially with southpaw Matt Thornton allowing a lot of base runners recently.

Working Webster into the mix might seem far-fetched considering he struggled with his command so much in six starts with Boston earlier this season.

But taking into account Webster’s mid-90s fastball and the way he pitched in Pawtucket during the final month and a half there, he should be receiving some of the relief situations down the stretch when Boston can afford to experiment — and must experiment.

Experimentation is a necessity because the Red Sox must identify another reliable reliever beyond Junichi Tazawa and Craig Breslow to set up dominant closer Koji Uehara.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Houston Texans NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Jacksonville Jaguars Olympic Great Michael Phelps Ending Retirement Draft Preview: Chris Davis Draft Preview: Jay Prosch Watson: 'I'm always going to cry' Is the use of pine tar considered cheating? Draft Preview: Jake Matthews Draft Preview: L'Damian Washington
Boston Sports
Merloni: Transfer Rule 'ruining the game' Gomes: Ceremony showed healing is ongoing Pedroia: Game-winning play 'kind of a crazy deal' Babcock: 'An exercise in skating up and down the rink' Rask: Chara's become better at screening Miller: Flu 'a scary situation' Florek: 'It's a feeling I've never felt before' Iginla hungry for first Stanley Cup Running Strong: How the Bruins National Anthem brought Boston together Patriots Talk TV: Should the Pats abandon the 2 TE system? Brad Stevens: Hopeful season was a 'learning experience' for young Celtics Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday McAdam: MLB replay system already affecting Sox Running Strong: Marathon Sports Manager, Shane O'Hara reflects back on Marathon bombings Merloni: An imperfect game we're trying to make perfect Felger sounds of on the MLB replay system