In news that might end up making the first-round drafting decisions of the Red Sox a little easier, ESPN's Keith Law is reporting that pitcher Sean Manaea was scratched from starting on Tuesday before even taking the mound due to injury. What the injury is has not been reported yet, but it was enough to get him pulled before throwing a pitch.
Devotees will remember that Manaea was Law's second choice for the Red Sox at the #7 slot in the 2013 draft, coming in behind fellow starting pitcher Ryne Stanek. In Law's words, the Red Sox were "lurking" on Manaea, but if he's hurt, they aren't likely to lurk any longer given this isn't their standard year with a late first-round selection and a couple of sandwich picks. It's the seventh pick overall, one they are going to want to give themselves the best chance possible of hitting on.
This is the latest in a line of problems for Manaea, who has slid down the draft boards thanks to a rough spring. He first came out of nowhere last summer in the Cape Cod League, but he isn't flashing the same mid-90s velocity now, and even though his heater is still logging swings-and-misses, his secondary stuff is nowhere near as sharp as it was when he struck out 85 batters in just under 52 frames on Cape Cod.
Combine the fact Law thinks Manaea looks like a league-average starter with his already not being Boston's top choice for #7, and then sprinkle some late-spring injury in, and you might have just seen someone's name come off the board for the Red Sox.
Update 4:28: Indiana State University, by way of Minor League Ball's John Sickels, reports that Sean Manaea felt tightness in his shoulder while warming up.