Red Sox pitching prospect Josh Winckowski has been named International League Pitcher of the Week for the week of June 6-12, Minor League Baseball announced on Monday.
Winckowski’s latest start for Triple-A Worcester came in the nightcap of a day-night doubleheader against the Buffalo Bisons at Sahlen Field last Wednesday. The right-hander scattered just three hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts over seven scoreless and dominant innings to lead the WooSox to a 9-0 win.
Since doubleheaders in the minor-leagues consist of two seven-inning contests, it is considered to be Winckowski’s first complete game of the season. The 23-year-old needed all of 74 pitches (51 strikes) to retire 19 of the 23 batters he faced.
In nine starts with Worcester this year, Winckowski has posted a 3.37 ERA and 2.68 FIP with 43 strikeouts to eight walks over 42 2/3 innings of work. Among International League pitchers who have already surpassed the 40-inning plateau, the righty ranks 14th in strikeouts per nine innings (9.07), sixth in walks per nine innings (1.69), 11th in strikeout rate (25.7%), seventh in walk rate (4.8%), 11th in swinging strike rate (12.7%), eighth in batting average against (.209), fourth in WHIP (0.96), 10th in ERA, second in FIP, and third in xFIP (3.25), per FanGraphs.
Winckowski, who turns 24 in a little over two weeks, made his major-league debut for the Red Sox at Fenway Park last month against the Orioles. While serving as the 27th man in a doubleheader, he gave up four runs in three innings in the second game of the twin bill on May 28. He was optioned back to Worcester shortly thereafter.
The Red Sox are currently down two starters after placing both Garrett Whitlock (right hip inflammation) and Nathan Eovaldi (low back inflammation) on the injured list over the weekend.
Nick Pivetta is slated to start Tuesday’s series opener against the Athletics back in Boston. But the Sox have yet to announce who will start the final two games of the three-game set.
As noted by SoxProspects.com’s Chris Hatfield, Winckowski appears to be a prime candidate to come up for one of those two games since the WooSox pushed his next start back to Thursday.
Winckowski would be on extended rest if he were to pitch for the Red Sox at some point this week, so he should probably be viewed as the top choice right now.
(Picture of Josh Winckowski: Katie Morrison/MassLive)