Red Sox promote relief prospect Theo Denlinger to Triple-A Worcester

As part of a slew of minor-league roster moves, the Red Sox promoted relief prospect Theo Denlinger from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Worcester on Tuesday.

Denlinger, 26, was acquired from the White Sox back in February in exchange for fellow right-hander Franklin German.

To begin his first season as a member of the Red Sox organization, Denlinger posted a 2.29 ERA and 3.10 FIP with 20 strikeouts to seven walks in 14 relief appearances (19 2/3 innings) for the Sea Dogs. Opponents only hit .149 against him while his 6.4 percent line-drive rate and 57.4 percent groundball rate would rank among the best in the Eastern League if he was qualified.

Denlinger, who turns 27 in July, is currently regarded by as the No. 48 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks 19th among pitchers in the organization. The Iowa native was originally selected by Chicago in the seventh round of the 2021 amateur draft out of Bradley College (Peoria, Ill.) and signed with the club for just $10,000.

Standing at a burly 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, Denlinger primarily operates with a two-pitch mix that consists of a 93-96 mph fastball that tops out at 97 mph and a 79-82 mph slider that features long, 11-to-5 break. He has also shown the ability to throw a two-seam fastball and cutter, both of which he first implemented last year.

Denlinger becomes the second member of the White Sox’ 2021 draft class to make the jump to Worcester this season, joining fellow righty reliever Taylor Broadway. Broadway, of course, was acquired from Chicago as the player to be named later in last August’s Reese McGuire/Jake Diekman trade. He currently owns a 5.40 ERA (6.91 FIP) in 15 outings (23 1/3 innings) for the WooSox.

Troye, Bell also promoted

Denlinger was not the only Red Sox relief prospect to receive a promotion on Tuesday. Righties Christopher Troye and Brock Bell were also moved up to Portland and Greenville, respectively.

Troye, 24, forged a 1.96 ERA and 3.60 FIP with 37 strikeouts to nine walks in 14 appearances (18 1/3 innings) for Greenville. The 2021 12th-round draft pick out of UC Santa Barbara has struck out nearly 49 percent of the batters he has faced so far this season.

Bell, 25, produced a 4.58 ERA and 4.64 FIP with 15 strikeouts to five walks in 11 appearances (19 2/3 innings) for Low-A Salem. The 2019 seventh-round selection out of State College of Florida, Manatee–Sarasota is the son of former All-Star infielder Jay Bell.

(Picture of Theo Denlinger: Kelly O’Connor/


Red Sox drafted 8 pitchers in 2021; how did each of them fare during first full pro season?

The Red Sox selected and signed eight pitchers in the 2021 amateur draft. Of those eight, seven were taken out of college, one was taken out of high school, and one has yet to make his professional debut.

For the vast majority of these pitchers, the 2022 minor-league campaign represented their first full seasons in pro balls. Here is a rundown of how each of them fared this year, beginning with the highest draft pick and ending with the lowest one.

Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz, RHP (4th round, 105th overall pick)

Taken out of Leadership Christian Academy in Puerto Rico, Rodriguez-Cruz forwent his commitment to the University of Oregon by signing with Boston for $497,500. The 19-year-old right-hander made his pro debut in the Florida Complex League this summer and posted a 1.95 ERA with 36 strikeouts to 12 walks over 11 appearances (8 starts, 32 1/3 innings) before earning a promotion to Low-A Salem in late August. He then allowed one run while striking out six and walking three in two starts (6 innings) with the Salem Sox.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 160 pounds with room to grow, Rodriguez-Cruz throws from a three-quarters arm slot and operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a 90-93 mph fastball that tops out at 95 mph, a 75-78 mph curveball, an 80-83 mph changeup, and a slider that is considered to be a work in progress. He is currently regarded by as the No. 19 prospect in Boston’s farm system.

Wyatt Olds, RHP (7th round, 196th overall pick)

Olds, 23, broke camp with High-A Greenville this spring after ending the 2021 season in Salem. The University of Oklahoma product forged a 6.01 ERA with 130 strikeouts to 50 walks over 26 outings (25 starts) and 106 1/3 innings for the Drive. He also made one start for Double-A Portland in September and allowed two earned runs across 4 2/3 innings of work.

At 6-foot and 183 pounds, Olds pitches exclusively from the stretch and possesses a 93-96 mph fastball that tops out at 98 mph, an 85-88 mph slider, and an 87-89 mph changeup, per his scouting report. He is currently regarded by the site as the No. 56 prospect in the organization.

Hunter Dobbins, RHP (8th round, 226th overall pick)

Sliding in right ahead of Olds in’s year-end rankings is Dobbins. The Texas Tech product missed the entirety of the 2021 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last March and signed with Boston for $197,500 four months later. After making a full recovery from the procedure, Dobbins debuted with the Salem Red Sox back in June. He compiled a 5.22 ERA — but much more respectable 3.76 xFIP — with 68 strikeouts to 22 walks over 17 starts spanning 69 innings pitched.

Dobbins, also 23, is listed at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds. The former Red Raider works with a four-pitch arsenal that includes a 91-94 mph heater that tops out at 96 mph, a 74-78 mph curveball, an 83-85 mph changeup, and a high-80s slider that is used sparingly, according to He is projected by the site to make the jump to Greenville next spring.

Matt Litwicki, RHP (10th round, 286th overall pick)

Litwicki is the one pitcher in this draft class who has yet to take the mound in an organized game. The 24-year-old righty was limited to just 31 1/3 innings at Indiana University (missed the entire 2018 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, missed time in 2021 because of back and shoulder injuries) and received a $47,500 signing bonus from the Sox.

Per, Litwicki suffered a setback while rehabbing earlier this year and wound up missing the entirety of the 2022 campaign as a result. When healthy, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound hurler has shown that he can reach 99 mph with his four-seamer while also mixing in a low-80s slider. As of now, it remains to be seen if Litwicki is on track to be ready for spring training.

Christopher Troye, RHP (12th round, 346th overall pick)

Troye, who turns 24 in February, received a $122,500 signing bonus from Boston after spending four years (and undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2020) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The Brentwood native missed the first month or so of the 2022 season with an undisclosed injury, but he made his way to Salem by mid-May.

In 26 relief appearances for the Red Sox, Troye produced a 4.86 ERA (3.10 FIP) with 50 strikeouts to 24 walks over 33 1/3 innings of work. His 35 percent punchout rate ranked ninth among Carolina League pitchers who accrued at least 30 innings, though his 16.8 percent walk rate was the 16th-highest in the league using that same parameter.

Given that he has the ability to strike out hitters and miss bats at a high rate, it should come as no surprise that Troye possesses tantalizing stuff. The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder sits in the mid-90s with his fastball and can reach 99 mph with the pitch, according to He also flashes a 12-6 curveball, but has shown that he can struggle with his command at times. How he works to improve that will likely play a key role in his development moving forward.

Jacob Webb, RHP (14th round, 406th overall pick)

Webb may be the furthest along of any pitcher listed here. The 23-year-old righty out of Miami University of Ohio pitched across three different levels this season and made it as far as Portland. He posted a 3.18 ERA with 88 strikeouts to 28 walks in 44 total appearances (56 2/3 innings) between Salem, Greenville, and Portland before heading out west to pitch in the Arizona Fall League. With the Scottsdale Scorpions, Webb yielded four earned runs over 10 innings of relief while fanning 12 of the 41 batters he faced.

Listed at a burly 6-foot-5 and 246 pounds, Webb is currently ranked by as the No. 60 prospect in Boston’s farm system. The Dayton native operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a 94-96 mph heater that can reach 98 mph, an 82-84 mph slider, and an 88-90 mph changeup. He is projected to return to the Sea Dogs bullpen for the start of the 2023 season.

Luis Guerrero, RHP (17th round, 496th overall pick)

The lone junior college pitcher included here, Guerrero turned in a solid 2022 campaign after not pitching professionally in 2021. The 22-year-old right-hander out of Chipola College appeared in a total of 27 games between the FCL, Salem, and Greenville. He produced a 3.23 ERA with 59 punchouts to 17 walks over 39 combined innings of work. That includes a 2.08 ERA (1.66 FIP) in seven outings with the Drive.

Originally from the Dominican Republic, Guerrero is listed at 6-foot and 215 pounds. The Bani native can reach triple digits with his four-seam fastball and also possesses an 83-85 mph splitter, an 88-91 mph slider, and a 75-79 mph curveball, per his scouting report. He is currently regarded by the site as the 34th-ranked prospect in the system.

Tyler Uberstine, RHP (19th round, 556th overall pick)

A former member of the University of Southern California’s club baseball team, Uberstine transferred to Northwestern University in 2020 and has only seen his stock rise since then. This past season, the 23-year-old righty posted a 3.83 ERA with 101 strikeouts to 35 walks over 21 combined appearances (15 starts, 91 2/3 innings) between Salem and Greenville. He pitched well for the Drive (2.43 ERA) after being promoted in July, but was limited to just seven starts from that point forward due to a quad strain.

Uberstine, who turns 24 in June, is currently regarded by as the No. 32 prospect in Boston’s farm system. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound hurler works with a 92-94 mph fastball that tops out at 95 mph, an 85-87 mph changeup, and an 83-85 mph slider, according to the site’s scouting report on him.

(Picture of Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz: Bryan Green/Flickr)

New Podding the Red Sox episode: Red Sox pitching prospect Christopher Troye joins the show

On the latest episode of Podding the Red Sox: A Podcast, I am joined by Red Sox pitching prospect Christopher Troye.

Troye, who turns 23 next month, was selected by Boston in the 12th round of the 2021 amateur draft out of the University of California, Santa Barbara and made two appearances in the Florida Complex League last season.

Among the topics Christopher and I discussed are how he was a catcher in high school but converted into a pitcher in college, how he spent his summers playing in the New England Collegiate Baseball League and Cape Cod Baseball League, working out with major-leaguers such as Shane Bieber and Tyler Glasnow during the COVID-19 pandemic, reflecting on his first professional season, his goals and expectations for 2022, and much more!

The episode is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other platforms.

My thanks to Christopher for taking some time out of his off-season schedule to have a conversation with yours truly. You can follow him on Twitter (@cctroye) by clicking here and on Instagram (@christophertroye) by clicking here.

Thank you for listening and we will see you next time! Please make sure to subscribe and leave a five-star review if you can!

(Picture of Christopher Troye: Bryan Green/Flickr)