Red Sox shift prospect Allen Webster to bullpen for rest of 2013

USA TODAY Sports

It's not a permanent move, but it could be an important short-term one.

The Pawtucket Red Sox are in the International League playoffs vying for the Governor's Cup for the second year in a row, so not every worthwhile member of the 40-man roster is in Boston. The Red Sox are making the most of the time remaining in Pawtucket, though, by doing things like switching one of their top pitching prospects, Allen Webster, to a relief role for the rest of 2013, according to WEEI's Alex Speier.

Webster entered Wednesday night's playoff series opener against the Rochester Red Wings in relief, and threw a scoreless inning. Speier says that the plan is likely to get him one more relief appearance for the PawSox, and then the Red Sox could call him up to the big-league bullpen next week.

The Webster who arrives in Boston will likely be different than the one who was there earlier in 2013. He hadn't quite figured out Triple-A when he was brought out of it to the majors at a time of need for Boston, and while he flashed promise, he was hit hard far too often, in part thanks to inconsistent command. He was excellent for the PawSox over his final eight starts of the year, though, inducing ground outs with consistency while striking out 9.7 per nine. That hefty rate gave him 3.3 times as many punch outs as free passes, and he posted a 2.58 ERA thanks to all of these positive developments. In relief, where his already considerable velocity can play up and he can avoid either of his secondary offerings should his command not be there on a given day, he can be a serious weapon.

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