Sox don't want Webster to be too fine in first MLB start

Sox don't want Webster to be too fine in first MLB start
April 21, 2013, 12:30 pm
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BOSTON -- Right-hander Allen Webster is scheduled to make his major league debut in the second game of Sunday’s split day-night doubleheader against the Royals.
 
Webster, who turned 23 in February, was acquired from the Dodgers in the blockbuster deal in August. He was one of the bright lights of the spring training for the Sox. In four spring training appearances, he posted a 1.64 ERA, giving up two earned runs in 11 innings. He recorded 14 strikeouts with just one walk. In two starts for Triple-A Pawtucket he is 0-0 with a 0.90 ERA, giving up one run over 10 innings, with 12 strikeouts and three walks.
 
“Pretty consistent with what he was showing in spring training,” said manager John Farrell. “The one thing that has been different since he’s come here is the consistency of his strike throwing and the number of walks issued. That’s been drastically reduced. To his credit, he’s trusted his stuff on the white part of the plate rather than thinking he’s got to be so fine. And in talking with him here this morning, we don’t want him to adjust off of that because he’s now at a higher level.”
 
In each of his two starts this season -- April 5 against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and April 15 against Lehigh Valley -- he has gone five innings, which Farrell believes is sufficient for his first big league start.
 
“He’s been up to 85, 90 pitches, so we feel he’s got a good number to go to tonight,” Farrell said of Webster, who will wear No. 64.

Because of a new rule allowing rosters to expand to 26 for doubleheaders, the Red Sox did not have to make a corresponding move to activate Webster. Teams can only add one player for the day, however. For example, they are not permitted to activate one player for the first game and a different player for the second game.

The Royals are adding left-hander Will Smith to their roster for the doubleheader. In three starts with Triple-A Omaha he was 1-1 with 2.81 ERA, giving up five earned runs over 16 innings with 23 strikeouts.