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The switch to relief can either be viewed as a blessing for some pitchers or as a slap to the face for others. Sometimes it means a team does not believe in a starting pitcher, while other times they simply believe that a guy will perform better out of the bullpen. For Portland Sea Dogs pitcher Pat Light, it appears as though Boston likes him better in a relief role.
Roughed up a bit in his first outing in relief, Light had a better showing on Tuesday for the AA club when he allowed just one hit in two innings of work while striking out four.
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Hopes were high for the 24-year-old Light when the Boston Red Sox shelled out one million dollars as his signing bonus. A standout at Monmouth College, Light pitched well for the Lowell Spinners in his first professional season— in a limited innings role.
When the Red Sox drafted him that high, it was clear that they loved his stuff because there were bigger names still available at that time (Joey Gallo comes to mind). He throws in the 92-95 MPH range comfortably so perhaps the Red Sox expect an uptick in velocity out of the bullpen.
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After posting an 8.89 ERA in ten appearances for the Greenville Drive two years back, Light had a much better year last year for the high-A Salem Red Sox. He posted a 4.93 ERA in 22 starts but his strikeouts were down— way down. It got to the point where he struck out a batter once in every more than two innings.
Obviously the Red Sox do not want to see a guy they invested so heavily in tank which is why they took no chances, sending him to the bullpen this year. AA is a make-or-break level so if Light wants to make it as a professional baseball player, it will have to be as a relief pitcher and it will have to be this year.
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