I remember the first time I saw the TV show "Webster." I came home from a day in third grade and turned on the television only to see this giant football player coddling a little black child. The child looked strangely small, and the man looked like he hit people, or grew mustaches, for a living. The wife, played by Susan Clark, scared me the most, because her haircut was like a typical ground ball to Chuck Knoblauch.... an error. She looked like a healthy Joan Jett. I remember not even wanting to watch the horrible show that was "Webster" ever again. And I didn't until I started writing this article. Why do I bring up a show that I abhor so much? Well, just as much as I hated the TV show "Webster", I love the Red Sox's Webster. Yep, I am going there.
Allen Webster has had a wonderful Spring for the Boston Red Sox so far, and manager John Farrell is looking to get some more looks at the 6'3" righty. After coming over from the infamous Dodger's trade last season, Allen Webster has dazzled this Spring, throwing eleven innings and only giving up nine hits, two earned runs, one walk while striking out 14 batters. Three of those innings came today when Webster earned a save versus the Blue Jays, allowing three hits while striking out three. Manager John Farrell is on board the Webster show, as he said it as simple as possible;
He's pretty damn good.
Last year, Webster punched out many competitors, compiling 129 strikeouts over 130 2/3 frames while splitting time between Double-A Chattanooga and Portland. The key to his success? Webster is known for his sinkerball, so while he can influence a lot of swing-and-misses, if the batters connect, they simply drive the ball into the grass to produce a ground ball out. In fact, Webster kept the ball down so often in 2012 that he only gave up two long balls all year. Said Farrell,
He's showing the ability to throw a breaking ball to both sides of the plate, in addition to a live fastball, heavy sink. He's done a great job.
So what will Allen Webster earn by being so good thus far? No, not a space on the big league club, as Webster is expected to start the season in Pawtucket. However, rumors are flying around that Webster will earn a Grapefruit League start so that the Front Office can see Webster for about 5 innings against better competition. The 23 year old Webster has to be as excited as Jared from Subway in an ice cream parlor. Even John Farrell is anxious to see what Webster can do from here forward.
[With the]the action of his two-seamer, he doesn't have to pitch to a third of the plate. He can be more aggressive on the white part of the plate, and it's allowed him to ...execute strike one at a higher rate. It just opens up so many more options for him.Last week, minor league catcher Dan Butler caught Webster for three innings. He noted that the
arm speed on his changeup is real good, that’s the deception there. And he threw a curveball and a slider, both looked really good — both usable, both can be put-away pitches, too. He’s got an arsenal of pitches and they all have deception.It is safe to say that Allen Webster has a bright future ahead of him in Boston. It sounds as if the question is WHEN will the Sox bring him up to Boston, not IF. And with so many question marks in this year's rotation, it would be great to see what Webster can do sooner than later. So when Allen Webster gets a start later on this Spring, we should all be watching, because unlike when I was in third grade,I know this is an episode I won't want to miss.
Like me? Hate me? Tweet me @Red33Sox
Read my other articles here.
Peter Lepak 3/13/2013 07:53:00 AM Tweet