Red Sox release former top relief prospect Durbin Feltman

The Red Sox have released minor-league reliever Durbin Feltman from their Triple-A roster, the WooSox announced on Tuesday. The Boston Herald’s Mac Cerullo was the first to report the news.

Feltman, who turns 26 next week, was originally selected by the Red Sox in the third round (100th overall pick) of the 2018 amateur draft out of TCU. After dominating in his final season with the Horned Frogs, the right-hander signed with Boston for $559,600 and entered the professional ranks with plenty of hype surrounding him.

At the time Feltman was drafted, the Red Sox were experiencing some issues with their bullpen. As such, some believed that Feltman — then just 21 years old — could rise quickly through the minors and contribute at the big-league level by the end of the 2018 season.

It did not pan out that way for Feltman, though, as the righty struggled to find success on a consistent basis in the minor-leagues and was never able to reach the majors while with the Red Sox.

After being named the organization’s Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year in 2021, Feltman spent the entirety of the 2022 campaign with the WooSox. There, he posted a 7.63 ERA and 5.97 FIP with 56 strikeouts to 24 walks over 40 outings (48 1/3 innings). He returned to Worcester for the start of the 2023 season and had appeared in two games before being released on Tuesday.

The decision to cut Feltman came at a time when the WooSox were facing a roster crunch. With two players (reliever Taylor Broadway and outfielder Wilyer Abreu) coming off the injured list and starter Kutter Crawford being optioned from Boston, Worcester needed to create an opening and did so by releasing Feltman.

“It’s the crappy part of the business of the game, especially early in the season,” WooSox manager Chad Tracy told’s Katie Morrison-O’Day at Polar Park on Tuesday. “But you come out of spring and the big-league club’s still trying to get healthy and you see on the horizon a lot of guys that are going to get healthy quick.

“I know he went through some tough times last year,” Tracy said of Feltman. “I told him today he kept his head up. He always was here, always working, always trying to get better. We love him, we wish him well and hope he lands on his feet. I think he will.”

Feltman peaked as the No. 9 prospect in Boston’s farm system in April 2019, according to’s rankings history. His decline since then can partly be attributed to the velocity of his fastball, which topped out at 99 mph in college but sat between just 90-92 mph last year.

With that, a change of scenery could do Feltman good. The native Texan becomes the latest member of the Red Sox’ 2018 draft class to leave the organization in some capacity. Most notably, fifth-rounder Thaddeus Ward was taken by the Nationals in last December’s Rule 5 Draft. Additionally, fourth-rounder Kole Cottam was granted his release last month so that he could sign with the Frederick Baseball Club of the independent Atlantic League.

(Picture of Durbin Feltman: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)


Red Sox prospect Jeter Downs day-to-day after spraining left ankle in Worcester

Red Sox infield prospect Jeter Downs sprained his left ankle in Triple-A Worcester’s 9-8 win over the Rochester Red Wings at Polar Park on Thursday night.

With two outs in the fifth inning, Downs roped a single to left field and attempted to turn it into a double. He instead tripped halfway between first and second base and immediately grabbed at his left ankle.

After being tagged out, Downs remained on the ground in visible pain. He was escorted off the field by WooSox outfielder Abraham Almonte and bench coach Jose Flores, though he was unable to put any weight on his left leg as he was helped to the Worcester dugout.

On Friday afternoon, Downs was seen limping around the WooSox’ clubhouse. He was not in the starting lineup for Friday’s contest against Rochester and is considered day-to-day, per manager Chad Tracy.

“We all think a sprained ankle is like going to the outside. It’s more of an inward sprain,” Tracy said, via’s Christopher Smith. “So hopefully, not too long. “It’s hard to say. Day-to-day right now. Let him do treatment like crazy and see where we’re at when we get through the weekend.”

Downs, 24, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 19 prospect in Boston’s farm system. In 81 games with the WooSox this season, the right-handed hitter has batted .197/.316/.412 (95 wRC+) to go along with 11 doubles, one triple, 16 home runs, 33 RBIs, 56 runs scored, 18 stolen bases, 38 walks, and 99 strikeouts over 335 plate appearances.

One of three players acquired from the Dodgers in the Mookie Betts trade in February 2020, Downs made his major-league debut for the Red Sox in June. In two stints (June 20-23, July 9-30) with the big-league club thus far, the native Colombian has slashed .154/.171/.256 (8 wRC+) with one double, one homer, four RBIs, four runs scored, one walk, and 21 strikeouts across 14 games spanning 41 trips to the plate.

Traditionally a middle infielder throughout his minor-league career, Downs debuted for Boston at third base and has since been worth one out above average over 32 innings at the position in the majors.

(Picture of Jeter Downs: Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)

Worcester Red Sox name Chad Tracy as new manager

The Worcester Red Sox have named Chad Tracy as their new manager for the 2022 season, the team announced on Monday.

Tracy, 36, had spent the last seven seasons in the Angels organization, most recently serving as the club’s minor-league field coordinator since 2018 before being let go towards the end of September.

A former third-round draft choice of the Rangers out of Pepperdine University in 2006, Tracy played in the minor-leagues for eight seasons with three different organizations. He played 390 games at the Triple-A level but never got the call up to the majors and wound up finishing his playing career with the York Revolution of the Atlantic League in 2013 and 2014.

The following year, Tracy officially joined the Angels’ coaching ranks by becoming the manager of Low-A Burlington and followed that up by managing High-A Inland Empire from 2016-2017 before being promoted to minor-league field coordinator.

A native Illinoisan, Tracy is the son of former Dodgers, Pirates, and Rockies manager Jim Tracy, who managed Red Sox manager Alex Cora during his time with Los Angeles.

As noted by’s Chris Cotillo, when Cora was first hired as Boston’s manager in November 2017, he considered two candidates (Jim Tracy and Ron Roenicke) to become his bench coach before ultimately landing on Roenicke. So there is somewhat of a connection there.

In being named the next man to lead the WooSox, Tracy becomes the 18th manager in team history while taking over for Billy McMillon. McMillon, who had served as PawSox/WooSox manager since 2019, was let go by Boston at the conclusion of the 2021 campaign.

Joining Tracy’s staff will be Jose David Flores, who has been named as Worcester’s bench coach. The soon-to-be 51-year-old most recently spent the 2018 season as the Phillies’ first base coach and served as the Orioles’ third base coach from 2019-2020.

Flores is a native of Puerto Rico and spent five seasons in the Astros’ organization after being selected by Houston in the 38th round of the 1990 draft. He has coached and managed in the Puerto Rican Winter League and managed Team Puerto Rico in international play from 2011-2012.

Besides the additions of Tracy and Flores, the rest of the WooSox’ coaching staff will look very similar to the one they rolled out in 2021. Hitting coach Rich Gedman and pitching coach Paul Abbott are both back for the 2022 season, while Mike Montville has been promoted to assistant hitting coach after serving as a coach this year.

(Picture of Polar Park: Christine Peterson/Telegram & Gazette / USA TODAY NETWORK)