While the Red Sox dropped Sunday’s series finale to the Rangers in Arlington, Texas, pitching prospect Connor Seabold put together another impressive performance on the mound about 1,700 miles away in Worcester, Mass.
Making his seventh start of the season — and second straight against the Rochester Red Wings — for Triple-A Worcester, Seabold allowed just one hit and one walk to go along with a season-high 11 strikeouts over six scoreless innings of work at Polar Park.
It was a bounce back effort for Seabold, who got rocked for six runs (five earned) across just three innings in his last time out against Rochester on May 4.
Of the 92 pitches Seabold threw on Sunday, 66 went for strikes. The right-hander now owns an ERA of 2.45 and WHIP of 0.93 with 37 strikeouts to 10 walks through his first seven starts (36 2/3 innings) of the 2022 campaign for the WooSox. He is also holding opposing hitters to a .179/.252/.246 slash line against.
Seabold, 26, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 21 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks 10th among pitchers in the organization. He made his major-league debut for the Red Sox against the White Sox last September.
Given the fact that he has been dominating in Worcester and has already gotten a taste of the big-leagues, it was somewhat surprising to see the Red Sox not call up Seabold to start against the Rangers at Globe Life Field on Sunday.
Instead, after pushing Garrett Whitlock back one day so he could start against the Astros in Boston on Monday, Alex Cora and Co. elected to go in the direction of a bullpen game, which did not go well since it ultimately resulted in a loss.
When speaking with reporters following Sunday’s 7-1 defeat, Cora explained why the Sox decided against calling up Seabold and kept things in-house with Austin Davis, Tanner Houck, Ryan Brasier, and Tyler Danish.
“I think roster-wise it was going to get complicated,” Cora said. “We got the guys that we have here and then we actually, we got what we wanted, you know? Five innings and we had it set up for the rest of the day. We didn’t make pitches in that sixth inning and we weren’t able to get to the next level, to the last part of the game.”
It’s an interesting statement from Cora. As noted by SoxProspects.com’s Chris Hatfield on Twitter, the Red Sox could have optioned Brasier, Danish, or Hirokazau Sawamura to Worcester in order to call up Seabold, who is already on the 40-man roster. They also could have had Seabold start on short rest on Saturday and then activated Rich Hill from the COVID-19 related injured list so he could start on Sunday.
These sorts of things usually receive more attention in losses than they do wins. The Red Sox may not have used Seabold on Sunday for roster-related purposes, but they soon might have no other choice but to promote the righty in some capacity (as a starter or reliever) if he continues to shine for the WooSox.
(Picture of Connor Seabold: Katie Morrison/MassLive)