Henry Owens to Stay in Rotation

Henry Owens was (mostly) not at fault after Tuesday’s blowout 13-3 loss to the New York Yankees. He left after 5+ solid innings with runners on 2nd and 3rd, 0 outs, and a 2-1 lead. The implosion that followed was largely a result of bad bullpen work, starting with Robbie Ross and going downhill from there.

At one point, Owens had set down 12 in a row after struggling in the first inning, when he Henry Owensthrew 34 pitches. He ended up throwing 96 pitches and striking out 5, and secured his place in the rotation for the time being according. Part of it was the flashes of promise he showed, but most of it was due to the team’s circumstances—both Clay Buchholz and Rick Porcello are on the DL, so Henry Owens will have a shot to show more of what he can do.

John Farrell came away from Henry Owens’ start with good things to say as well, telling the Boston Globe that Henry Owens seemed to keep the emotion of the moment in check and made some quality pitches. To Owens’ credit, Farrell is correct in his assessment in this case. The pressure of a playoff race may be off, but making your major league debut against the Yankees in New York is always a tough task and Henry Owens handled it pretty well.

I was personally pretty happy with what I saw from Henry Owens, as he did show that he had pretty promising stuff. His change up looked pretty good at times and he mixed it in well with his fastball. He also did well to pitch out of a tough first inning and limit the damage, and to settle in after that tough first inning. He showed us a good glimpse of things to come. I’m not going to go so far as to say he’s the team’s savior, but he’s one of the Red Sox top prospects for a reason, and he showed us why.

He joins Eduardo Rodriguez and Brian Johnson as the 3rd lefty to make his major league debut this season. Nowhere to go but up from here.

Henry Owens Makes Debut Against Yankees

Finally, something to look forward to. Henry Owens, highly touted Red Sox pitching prospect, was set to make his season debut against the New York Yankees on tonight, according to MassLive.com. He has a 3-8 record, but that’s not indicative of how well he has pitched—he has a 3.16 ERA this season, 103 strikeouts, and opponents are hitting under .200 against him, .193 to be exact. In 96 career minor league appearances, he has a 3.30 ERA, and 572 strikeouts to 230 walks.

These are the things that will make this season worth watching until the end. At the very Henry Owensleast, the team can give opportunities to these young guys, since any pressure of a playoff race is off and the games are meaningless. At least if Henry Owens has a tough outing, Red Sox fans won’t get frustrated because we’re losing ground in the playoff hunt, since we’re pretty much out of playoff contention, barring a major miracle.

So, why bring him up now? Part of John Farrell’s reasoning in bringing Henry Owens up now, according to MassLive, is that the Yankees have struggled this season with left-handed pitching, which makes sense. I’m guessing most of it has to do with the fact that the Red Sox are just about done, as far as playing meaningful baseball goes, so they might as well see what they have down on the farm. Maybe Henry Owens can spoil the Yankees party a little bit with a solid performance. The Yankees currently sit atop the AL East, 6 games ahead of the Orioles and Blue Jays. If Henry Owens goes out on his debut and shuts down the Yankees, that will at least provide some small comfort to a few Red Sox fans, myself included. The Red Sox won’t win anything this year, but at least Henry Owens can offer us a glimpse of what the future holds.

Here’s to hoping he can give Red Sox fans a small ray of hope.

Red Sox trade Rumors: Layne, Hamels

It’s becoming pretty clear that the players on the Red Sox roster right now can’t get the job done. I’ve mentioned this before—this has been a one step forward, two step back season for the Red Sox. After completing an impressive sweep of Oakland, the Red Sox promptly dropped 2 straight to their division rivals, the Orioles. The Sox are incapable of developing any consistency so far this season, and I believe they’ll need to make a move before the July 31st trade deadline if they want to contend. But are the Red Sox trade rumors true?

One player that has long been talked about in connection to the Red Sox is Cole Hamels. Red Sox trade rumorsAfter a rocky opening start in which we pounded him, he has posted a 3.13 ERA through 87.1 innings and a 5-5 record. One of my main concerns throughout all the Hamels-to-Boston talk is what Philadelphia would want in return. Per a report by Masslive, the Phillies have been taking a long look down on the Red Sox farm system. It makes sense – we need a pitcher, and Philly needs young blood, but if the asking price is too high, the Red Sox may want to look elsewhere for an ace.

A player who could be on the block for the Red Sox is Tommy Layne, a lefty specialist who could have some value to a contending team looking to make a push. Layne is one of those strong bullpen arms that a needy contender might need. Right now, lefties are hitting .153 against Layne, and he’s gone 5 straight appearances without giving up a run. That was capped off with a save in the final game of the series against the Oakland Athletics. Could a contender be talked into overpaying for Tommy Layne? It’s quite possible if he keeps performing the way he has.

Layne for Hamels won’t happen, since the Phillies aren’t exactly what I would call a contending team. Since Layne is 30, he hardly fits what the Phillies would be looking for – as I mentioned above, they need young blood. But I will say that if the Red Sox can get Hamels and not morgatge the farm, then I’d be all for it. Before the season, I wasn’t sold, but the Red Sox desperately need an ace, whether it’s Cole Hamels or not. I’m a little tired of the losing.

Situational Hitting Not Part of Red Sox Arsenal So Far This Season

red sox hitting

The Boston Red Sox have scored the seventh most runs in all of baseball through 25 games after Sunday’s night contest against the New York Yankees with 122 runners touching home plate. This also ranks sixth in the American League behind the Toronto Blue Jays, Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, Houston Astros and now the New York Yankees.

However, the Red Sox have scored some of these runs due to other team’s mistakes (unearned runs) and thanks to 29 long balls on the season. Red Sox hittingThe team has not hit well with runners on base, especially with runners in scoring position, and that could be a concern if the trend continues.

As a whole the Red Sox are hitting .228 with runners in scoring position. That number goes up a tick to .239 with two outs, but that still is rather pathetic for a team that is in the top 10 in runs scored in all of baseball.

The team does have some players hitting well in these positions as Daniel Nava (.333), Mookie Betts (.304), Xander Bogaerts (.300) and Brock Holt (.300) are the only batters with 10 or more at-bats with runners in scoring position with an average above .263.

Players not hitting well in these situations include Pablo Sandoval (.263 in 19 chances), Hanley Ramirez (.227 in 22 chances), David Ortiz (.211 in 19 chances), Mike Napoli (.158 in 19 chances) and Dustin Pedroia (.124 in 24 chances). Now, yes, it is a small sample size for all of these batters and Napoli is hitting less than .170 on the season, but this could be a real concern for this team in its ability to tack on those extra runs in order to win games throughout the season.

The Red Sox have had a grand total of 109 at-bats with runners in scoring position and two outs and at least 14 apiece for Betts and Pedroia should mean a lot of runs. But both hitters have hit less than .150 with a combined four hits and just one extra-base hit for the centerfielder.

With all these numbers showing the Red Sox still haven’t found those timely hits, the team still has a 12-13 record and show that they can contend in the AL East as long as their pitching doesn’t fall off the table once every third or fourth start. Sure home runs help score runs, but timely hitting is what really makes an offense lethal.