Pat Light Spotless Early On For PawSox

Last week when Pat Light got the call-up the the PawSox from Portland, many expected, myself included him to take over the closer role for the PawSox. After all Light has been seen this season hitting 100 mph on his fast ball on the occasion and that is something that will miss bats in the late innings, especially in the minor leagues.

So far in two out of his three appearances with the PawSox he has collected saves, both Pat Lightcoming against Toledo during last weekends home stand at McCoy Stadium. His lone other appearance, coming Tuesday night in Charlotte wasn’t something to shy away from either as it only took him 8 pitches to get through the inning including a strike out.

Matt Barnes was recently optioned to the PawSox, after his free fall in last weekends series against the Blue Jays, and he can also bring the heat. Barnes, much like Light was a starter until this season and both could play huge dividends for future Red Sox teams out of the bullpen. Barnes and Light will likely split the closer duties for the PawSox with Heath Hembree and Robbie Ross now up with Boston.

There is no question about the talent of Light, as he was drafted in the first round, three years ago. It just took a little while for the Sox to find a good position for him. Trey Ball, 2013 first round pick is going through the same trouble. The goal for any pitcher starter or reliever is to miss bats and get outs. In his three appearances with the PawSox he has yet to allow a base runner in three innings of work while collecting 4 strikeouts.

Time will tell how long Pat Light can keep this streak going, but for a pitcher who had not appeared in a game above AA before this season, Light looks to be on the fast track to the big leagues.

Justin Masterson Sharp in Latest Rehab Start

As the Red Sox rotation begins to perform they could be faced with a decision soon, on sending a starter to the bullpen. Justin Masterson took the mound for the PawSox on Wednesday afternoon in his latest rehab outing. It was his second rehab start with the PawSox and third overall, after starting for Portland last Friday.

Masterson was sharp on Wednesday while keeping the ball down, something he struggledJustin Masterson with early on in the year up in Boston. Masterson, was among the problem in April and early May when the rotation could not keep the ball down, or get out of six innings. Now that the rotation is starting to look consistent, he may be moved to the bullpen, because Eduardo Rodriguez is not going anywhere. Joe Kelly could be moved to the bullpen if he doesn’t find consistency, and he does miss bats so the bullpen might not be a bad idea.

Masterson made the decision much harder on sending him to the bullpen Wednesday with a stellar performance at McCoy Stadium. Masterson went 6 innings with a line of 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, and 6 K. Among his 6 strikeouts, Masterson struck out a stretch of four out of five Charlotte Knights hitters, who looked over matched. Obviously Masterson has lost velocity and probably won’t return to the mid 90s but if he keeps the ball down he will be most successful.

When the Red Sox return home to Fenway on Friday they will be faced with the decision of activating Masterson. He does have 30 days to spend in the minors, so he could make another rehab start, but that might just delay the decision and cause some friction with him and the staff. Masterson is a veteran who can handle being moved to the bullpen, but he did not seem pleased with being placed on the disabled list in the first place.

They were faced with the decision between moving Steven Wright or Joe Kelly to the bullpen this week as they abandon the six man rotation with some off days coming up. Wright was moved to the bullpen, but Kelly might be so lucky this time when it comes to him and Masterson. Something the Red Sox could also do is option Kelly to Pawtucket to work on consistency as he does have an option remaining, however that is unlikely.

Justin Masterson will be activated from the disabled list soon, but his role is something we all are not aware of yet.