Boston got to De La Rosa before their rivals could, Webster wasn't always a pitcher, and Brentz is coming to spring training soon
The Red Sox picked up Rubby De La Rosa as part of the Nick Punto trade, but they weren't the only team with designs on acquiring the right-hander before he fully recovered from Tommy John surgery. In something we haven't been able to say often enough lately, the Red Sox beat the Rays to De La Rosa, before the Rays could finish what John Tomase describes as their standard framework for bringing in undervalued young players:
"He'll [general manager Andrew Friedman] tell me, in an esoteric manner, what we, as the Rays, dig about this guy," [Joe] Maddon said. "That gives us a starting point."
Last season, Friedman periodically spoke to Maddon about a right-hander coming off Tommy John surgery in the Dodgers organization. The Rays liked his stuff, believed him available, and were intrigued by his power arsenal. His name?
Rubby De La Rosa.
Tomase goes on to point out that, with the track record the Rays have of acquiring other teams' young players and turning them into cornerstones, Red Sox fans should be encouraged by De La Rosa's presence in the system. He also warns, though, via Maddon, that Boston will have to be patient with De La Rosa, and stick to the "schematic." That is, bring him up when the time is right for the organization, not just when the fans or media might want to see him.
While this applies to De La Rosa in this particular piece, it's a lesson we could all stand to remember while Jackie Bradley tears up spring training opponents.
Speaking of that trade, Allen Webster was another part of the puzzle that ended up in Boston. Webster is, at present, a flame throwing starting pitcher with multiple plus pitches and a potentially bright future in front of him. It wasn't always this way, though, as Peter Abraham discusses. Webster was a shortstop back in high school, when he was only a part-time pitcher, but a Dodgers' scout liked him -- somewhat accidentally, as he went to see a different player -- and Los Angeles ended up selecting him in the 18th round of the 2008 draft. But, the catch: he could only sign with the Dodgers if it was as a pitcher, giving up the position he had spent most of his ball playing days at.
Shortstops are rare and all, but so are potential front-end starters. Webster's no sure thing in that regard, but he's got wicked, major-league caliber stuff. If he can learn to harness it a bit more consistently, you'll never hear someone question the move off of short, that's for sure.
Bryce Brentz shot himself in the leg while cleaning a gun earlier this off-season, but, remarkably, it was only the second-dumbest thing any Red Sox player did over the winter. While he was expected (and did) miss the start of spring training, Brentz has recovered enough that's it's believed he'll be able to participate in camp next week, around the time minor-league games start to appear on the pre-season schedule.
It's good to hear he's progressing from his accident, but please Bryce, next time, check the chamber before you pull out the cleaning gear.
Instead of just an allusion and a link to Drake Britton, we also have this, from Alex Speier:
"I'm extremely remorseful," Britton, who was optioned from big league camp to Double-A on Sunday, said of the arrest. "It's an internal matter that's going on right now. I'm sorry for the negativity that I brought, but that's about all I can say right now. I'd really rather not say anything else."
Britton's trial for going 111 miles per hour in a 45 while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is set for March 18, so legally, he really shouldn't be saying anything more than he did. Hopefully, in the end, he faces his punishment and learns from the experience. He and everyone around him from Saturday morning are lucky to be alive, and if he never drinks and drives again, then at least there's that positive from the enormous lapse in judgment.