On Tuesday, in our preview of the Salem Red Sox, we talked about the exciting possibility of the High-A club having a rotation featuring all of Jay Groome, Tanner Houck, Bryan Mata, Darwinzon Hernandez and Jake Thompson. That’s fun! Unfortunately, that is not going to happen, at least to start the year. The Red Sox minor-league affiliates still, to the best of my knowledge, have not released their official rosters yet. Maybe they will have by the time this publishes. There’s no way of knowing! That said, we do have one major piece of news regarding one of the names from that list of top pitching prospects. Groome, the best arm in that group and the most popular choice for top prospect in the entire system, is going to start the season on the disabled list according to a report from the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.
The injury is being described as a “mild flexor strain” which is similar to the ailment that forced him to miss so much time in 2017. This is obviously not a positive development, as the hope was that 2018 would be the year in which we see a step forward from Groome not only in terms of consistency on the mound but also in terms of simply staying on the mound. Of course, it’s also not time to panic. The report doesn’t make it seem like the team is overly worried about things, instead erring on the side of caution. The expectation as of now is that he’ll be able to return “within a few weeks.”
It’s also notable that he is on Greenville’s disabled list, which means he will not be promoted to High-A whenever he’s ready to pitch. I’d assume the hope is still that he can get to that level at some point in 2018, but he’ll start his season back in Greenville. It makes sense given the inconsistency last season, as it could do him some good to get his footing at a level in which he is more comfortable.
The reports on Groome out of spring training were phenomenal by all accounts after a winter in which he worked out with Chris Sale. Seeing how all of that translated to the regular season was going to be perhaps the most exciting part of the minor-league season in Boston’s farm system. That is still the case, of course, but we’ll have to wait a little while before that happens. Hopefully, the wait will be on the shorter side, and the talented lefty takes that step forward we’re all looking for.
Updating my story on LHP Jay Groome’s injury: Farm director Ben Crockett says he’s symptom free and will resume throwing soon. Chavis is close to playing in games in extended spring training. https://t.co/qJfuBEMJaT via @BostonGlobe— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) April 4, 2018