Bryan Mauro-Contributing Writer (@threecolorbeard)
When the Red Sox recalled Robby Scott earlier this month, no one knew what to expect. In fact, most Red Sox fans had never heard of him. He was on the Pawtucket team this year, but lacked the name recognition of a Henry Owens, Christian Vazquez, Joe Kelly or Allen Craig. I decided to do a little digging on the new arm for the Red Sox, and what I found was an interesting story. It’s a story of perseverance that would catch the eye of even the non-sports fan.
Robby Scott was a pitcher for the tradition rich Florida State Seminoles baseball program, by way of Broward Junior College. He went undrafted out of college, which is somewhat strange given that he is a big left-hander who seemed to have a knack for getting left handed hitters out, even if they were just college bats. Robby ended up finding a place in the North American Baseball League with the Yuma Scorpions out of Yuma, Arizona.
Wait, you have never heard of the North American Baseball League? That is because the league is no longer in existence, which is not surprising, seeing as they had teams spread all over North America. This league had teams as far north as Calgary and as far South as Hawaii. Most of the teams were in Texas or California. This had to make travel horrible, almost backbreaking, considering it was independent league baseball, and the players made next to nothing. When the teams would travel to Hawaii they would stay and play a 10 game series.
I know there has already been a player who has been crucial to the success of the Red Sox that came from the Independent Leagues. So, this has to be a story like Daniel Nava’s, right? Wrong. Robby’s story is completely his own and unlike any other. The manager of the Yuma team was none other than Jose Canseco, and the third baseman on the team for a time was 52-year-old Tony Phillips. Just imagine your first professional baseball experience. You get to see a “seasoned” veteran like Tony Phillips play, and your manager is arguably the most hated man in Baseball’s existence. And, oh yeah, people found out you could pitch a little bit.
Robby was on the Yuma staff for all of 11 innings. He didn’t allow a run. Which is obviously what the Red Sox liked about him, because they purchased his contract during a start for Yuma in which he had just struck out the side in the first inning. As he was going out to throw his warm up tosses for his second inning of work, out saunters Jose Canseco, with news that would change his life forever. The Red Sox had purchased his contract.
So, is Robby just a good story that they are taking a flyer on to give him a change this year? That remains to be seen, but he has performed very well on the minor league stage since having his contract purchased back in 2011. In 156 career outings in the Red Sox minor leagues, he has compiled a record of 19-12 with a career ERA of 2.75. He has been used mostly as a reliever, but has 10 starts under his belt.
It remains to be seen how the Red Sox will use him, or if they even will use him in anything other than mop-up duty. He has been with the team since September 1st, and has thrown one scoreless inning. He has been used as a lefty specialist for most of this year down in Pawtucket, so I would imagine that would be his role on the team this year. If Robby never throws another inning in the “Show,” his dreams have still come true. He has come a long way since his Yuma Scorpions days, and will always have one of the more interesting baseball stories to tell.