Zeke Spruill Ready to Help the Red Sox

Zeke Spruill

Pitching may be among the Boston Red Sox top priorities—and they might not have to look much further than their own system to find quality talent.

Guys like Brian Johnson, Henry Owens, Matt Barnes and Eddie Rodriguez may highlight the system as top prospects, but reliever Zeke Spruill, among others, could be zeke spruillinteresting options for the big league club. Once a starter now working in relief, Spruill gives the PawSox flexibility as a multi-inning reliever.

For the past two seasons, he logged big league time with the Arizona Diamondbacks— 32 innings in 12 appearances (three starts). His 4.24 ERA in the big leagues might not stand out, but as far as relievers go, he is an innings eater.
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Coming over to Boston from an Arizona Diamondbacks club who lost 98 games last year, it is fair to say he is glad he has a chance to contribute to a winning organization.

“I thought it was a great opportunity for me,” he said of the trade prior to Friday’s game.

The Red Sox have yet to call Spruill up, but it is only a matter of time before they need his services at the next level. After all, most of the relievers they call up only pitch in long relief.

“I don’t know about it giving me an edge or anything like that,” says Spruill. “But it does give me more availability to pitch more if necessary.”
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Without a say in the matter, Spruill is not a full-time reliever; a role he is still getting adjusted to. This past off season, he worked to tune things up a little bit in order to have a more successful season.

“My delivery,” he said was what he worked on the most. “Being able to throw all of my pitches from the same arm slot and making sure I’m staying calm and collective on the mound. You’ve got to make sure you’re even-keeled.”
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Brandon Workman Placed On DL

Brandon Workman

The plan for Brandon Workman this off-season was to focus on just relieving for the first time in his career. After being a starter for much of his time in the minor leagues, the Red Sox with many young starters coming up through the system felt relieving is the best fit for Workman, this time around. After struggling last season with velocity, early this spring his velocity was up a tick with shorter outings.

Before even throwing an official pitch this season Workman was diagnosed with a right elbow strain and was placed on the disabled list Saturday. Not exactly how Workman and the Red Sox pictured his season starting. Brandon WorkmanThe minor leagues have a disabled list of seven days, but it has not been announced how long Workman is expected to be out. Workman was one of the last cuts in a battle for the last two bullpen spots that eventually went to Robbie Ross Jr. and Tommy Layne, one of which will likely be sent to Pawtucket on Monday, with Koji Uehara likely being activated from the disabled list, in time for the home opener.

Workman’s experience in the 2013 playoffs had many thinking, myself included he could have been groomed as a potential closer. Heath Hembree and Zeke Spruill picked up saves in the PawSox first two games of the season in Lehigh Valley. With Workman on the disabled list look for those two to get their opportunities in the closer role for the PawSox.

Early injuries happen to many teams, as the Red Sox opened the season with Joe Kelly and Koji Uehara on the disabled list. You could say it had an effect on the bullpen already, as Edward Mujica blew his first save opportunity Friday night. Ironically, Steven Wright, who took Kelly’s initial roster spot got the win in the 19 inning marathon pitching 5 innings in relief. As the Red Sox get their closer back for the home opener, a key component to the PawSox bullpen will be spending time on the shelf.