Allen Webster, RHP
Webster has had a rough go of things recently, and it's served to remind us all that, no matter how talented he is, he's also 23 years old with all of 59 innings at the Triple-A level to his credit. There's a lot left to work on in terms of command and sequencing, and while his stuff is often brilliant, figuring out exactly where it needs to go and when in a consistent manner is what will propel him to the majors to stay.
The less we speak of Webster's last two starts, the better, but just know there were 12 runs and seven strikeouts against six walks in 6-1/3 innings. Interestingly enough, I was told by Scout.com's Kiley McDaniel, who saw Webster recently, that his stuff looked great -- the location just wasn't there. As said, he needs to work on that if he wants to get out of Triple-A again, but he's got youth and time on his side.
Chris Martin, RHP
Martin's surge through the system continues, as the former indie league reliever has found the strike consistently enough to notch nearly fives times as many punch outs as free passes in his 32 frames with Pawtucket. In his last 10 appearances, he has a 2.65 ERA with 16 strikeouts against four walks in 17 innings, suggesting he's still capable of putting some length into his outings while maintaining his ability to miss bats.
He's not in line to be a setup guy in Boston or anything like that, but Martin remains interesting as an arm that doesn't seem to have much of a platoon split to it -- if the Red Sox can't find anything useful in the likes of Alex Wilson and Jose De La Torre the rest of the way, someone like Martin might very well deserve a shot to prove he's big-league ready.
Chris Hernandez, LHP
As for Hernandez, the idea of him helping out with the Red Sox this year is going to have to take a step back. He's been horrific of late, with a 7.20 ERA over his last 10 appearances (seven starts and three games in relief) thanks to walking more batters than he's struck out in the stretch. The five homers in 40 innings didn't help much, either, and are alarming considering Hernandez's strength is as a ground ball guy. Considering he was inducing more ground ball outs than normal over this time period, it wasn't so much that he got away from that as his command was likely inconsistent.
Righties have beat him up all year long, and are hitting .305/.393/.486 against him in 324 plate appearances, but even his fellow lefties have started to pile on now. At the least, Hernandez was expected to be a capable ground ball-inducing LOOGY if he made it to the majors, but if he isn't recording outs against lefties in Triple-A, that's just not going to happen in the bigs anytime soon.
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