Red Sox pitching prospect Connor Seabold was slated to make his 10th start of the season for Triple-A Worcester at Polar Park on Saturday afternoon, but was scratched shortly before the start of the WooSox’ game against the Rochester Red Wings.
While not injury-related, Seabold was replaced on the mound by left-hander Kyle Hart, and Red Sox manager Alex Cora explained why that was the case before Saturday’s contest against the Yankees at Fenway Park.
“Obviously, we used some guys yesterday,” Cora said. “Just in case something happens today, he can give us length [in the coming days]. So, just thinking ahead just in case something happens.”
In Friday night’s 8-3 loss to New York, Boston got just 2 2/3 innings from Nathan Eovaldi, who allowed seven runs (all earned) on seven hits, two walks, and zero strikeouts in what was undoubtedly his worst start of the season to date.
Eovaldi’s short outing resulted in Cora turning to his bullpen earlier than expected, though he was able to squeeze 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball out of Hirokazu Sawamura, Matt Barnes, and Martin Perez.
Still, in the event that either Nick Pivetta (Saturday’s starter) or Eduardo Rodriguez (Sunday’s starter) are unable to provide the Sox with length in their respective starts this weekend, that could force the club to look Seabold’s way.
The 25-year-old right-hander is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 12 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking sixth among pitchers in the organization.
Earlier this month, the Red Sox scratched both Seabold and fellow righty Kutter Crawford from their starts with Worcester while navigating through a COVID-19 outbreak at the big-league level.
Crawford wound up making his first career major-league start for Boston in place of Pivetta on September 5, and Seabold did the very same in Chicago six days later.
Over exactly three innings of work against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on Sept. 11, Seabold allowed two earned runs on three hits, two walks, and zero strikeouts on 43 pitches (27 strikes) in what would turn out to be a 9-8 victory for the Red Sox in extra innings.
Per Baseball Savant, the California native threw 27 four-seam fastballs, nine sliders, five changeups, and two curveballs in his big-league debut. He induced two swings-and-misses — one with his fastball and one with his slider.
With Pivetta coming off the COVID-19 related injured list the following day, Seabold was promptly optioned back down to Worcester. He has made one start for the WooSox since then, tossing five scoreless frames to go along with five strikeouts to just one walk against the Syracuse Mets last Saturday.
Taking that point into consideration, the 6-foot-3, 195 pound hurler should be plenty well rested for when his name is called upon next. Whether that comes with Worcester or Boston has yet to be determined.
On that note, though, the WooSox have six games remaining on their schedule while the Red Sox have seven games remaining on their schedule before their respective regular seasons come to a close on Oct. 3.
Seabold, who was originally added to Boston’s 40-man roster last November, would be eligible for the postseason, so there is that to consider as well.
(Picture of Connor Seabold: Justin Casterline/Getty Images)