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 MassLive.com’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 SoxProspects.com’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)