Henry Owens, Brian Johnson Soon to Join Rotation

Prior to a third straight pitching debacle against the Chicago White Sox, manager John Farrell just casually mentioned to the media that both Brian Johnson and Henry Owens should get the call in the next week. These starters are ranked No. 4 and No. 5 respectively overall in the Boston Red Sox farm system

“We’re going to stay on turn through the weekend,” Farrell said according to NESN’s Ricky Brian Johnsondoyle. “Monday being the off-day, we’ve got the ability to adjust going forward. But as we’re taking a look at (recently recalled outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.), our goal and our intent is to see Brian Johnson and probably Henry Owens at some point. So, all that is on the horizon.”

With pitchers Joe Kelly (2-6, 5.94 ERA), Justin Masterson (4-2, 5.62 ERA) and Rick Porcello (5-11, 5.81 ERA) struggling for most of the season and knuckleballer Steve Wright being a 30-year-old journeyman who is more of a spot starter than a long-term option in the rotation, it makes sense to bring up the young pitchers to see if they should be kept or dealt this off season.

Eduardo Rodriguez has proven that he has some work to do, but has pitched admirably while up with the Boston Red Sox this season to the tune of a 4.26 ERA in 11 starts to go along with a 6-3 record and a 52:20 K:BB ratio. The 22-year-old should be in the starting rotation to start the 2016 season

The Red Sox already got a look at Johnson last week as he went 4.1 innings while allowing four earned runs. He may have walked four batters in the outing and thrown more curve balls than fastballs, but the prospect proved he could pitch even with less than stellar stuff on the mound. The fastball topped out at 90 and he can’t blow away anyone, but he showed strong composure for a 24-year-old.

As for Owens, the 23-year-old had a tough go of it to start the 2015 season in Pawtucket, but is 1-4 with a 2.86 ERA over his last 10 starts. Over that span, he has walked just 18 and struck out 54 in 63 innings of work, including a couple nine strikeout contests on July 10th and July 18th in which he allowed three earned runs over 13 innings of work.

The Red Sox need to see which of these lefties will be a mainstay going forward and what better time than now when the team is all but mathematically eliminated from postseason contention.

‘Tis The Season For Red Sox Trades!

red sox trades
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In need of adding starting pitchers to their rotation, the Boston Red Sox made a move early today acquiring lefty Wade Miley from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for starting pitchers Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa. Additionally, the BoSox moved arguably their most valuable piece of trade bait today in Yoenis Cespedes to the Detroit Tigers for Rick Porcello.

Unlike Webster and De La Rosa, Miley does not overpower hitters with his fastball. red sox trades wade rileyThe southpaw sits at 91MPH and heavily relies upon his slider for success. 2014 was not Wad Miley’s best season to date, but there were a few positives that can be taken away from it. Despite posting a 4.34 ERA in 33 starts, he managed to strike out 183 men in 201.1 innings and pitched much better on the road.

What Boston gave up in return may seem like a bit much for Miley, but the deal will work out well for both sides.

The Red Sox are looking to compete next year so they need a proven starter. Webster and De La Rosa have more upside than Miley, but right now the Red Sox are looking for consistency and were afraid to take a risk in 2015. Do not be surprised if Allen Webster has a breakout season next year as a starting pitcher and if Rubby De La Rosa is a highly-effective reliever.

With Anthony Ranaudo as the most qualified young candidate to start in 2015, perhaps the organization will take a step back and look to obtain an ace and a two starter next.

Headed to the Motor City along with Cespedes is Alex Wilson, who owns a career 3.38 ERA in 44 MLB appearances, and Gabe Speier, a 19-year-old who pitched well in the Gulf Coast League this past season but is not considered a top prospect by the Red Sox organization.

The Red Sox made out like bandits on this one despite both sides winning the trade. Even though Rick Porcello may seem like a big league veteran as he has played in the league since 2009, keep in mind he is only 25 years old which is three years younger than Alex Wilson.

With this in mind, Porcello had his first true breakout year last season when he red sox trades rick porcelloposted a 3.43 ERA in 32 appearances for the Tigers in which he ate up 204.1 innings and walked just 1.8 men per nine innings pitched. Expect him to pitch even better in 2015 and develop into a star pitcher in no-time.

In the Red Sox rotation, there is no question as to whether or not Porcello could be an effective number two starter because he could be based off of how well he pitched in 2014. He is set to earn $12.2 million next season which puts him on the cheaper side for a pitcher of his ability, saving the Red Sox a bit of money.

Cespedes, who the Red Sox acquired at the trade deadline in the Jon Lester deal, clubbed 22 home runs with a .301 OBP in his time split between Oakland and Boston in 2014. With the Boston Red Sox outfield crowded to being with (not to mention after the acquisition of Hanley Ramirez) it became apparent that the club would need to trade Cespedes.

Now Boston must look to get a true ace.

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