The Boston Red Sox were forced to send pitcher Rubby De La Rosa back to Triple-A Pawtucket over the weekend despite the 25-year-old’s success this season at the major league level. The move was made with hesitance, as the Sox considered ways to keep De La Rosa in the majors before ultimately optioning the right-hander.
Clearly, De La Rosa is ready to join the big league fray on a moment’s notice. The same can be said for Allen Webster — another pitcher with major league experience who is enjoying success in 2014. Anthony Ranaudo, meanwhile, is quickly entering the discussion with a very impressive stretch at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Ranaudo, who has yet to make his major league debut, owns a 9-4 record and 2.35 ERA over 17 starts this season with Pawtucket. It’s a continuation of the success the 24-year-old enjoyed last season between Double-A and Triple-A, as well as a run that was conceivable back in spring training, when Ranaudo impressed the Red Sox’s coaching staff with his demeanor, poise and overall improvement since his injury-plagued 2012 campaign.
Monday marked another step in the right direction for Ranauado, as the 6-foot-7 righty allowed just three hits over seven shutout innings while guiding the PawSox to a 10-0 win over the Durham Bulls. Ranaudo struck out seven, walked only two and retired the final seven hitters he faced while commanding the strike zone throughout the outing.
“Anytime you go out there and you’re throwing the ball well, it’s always a good feeling,” Ranaudo told reporters after Monday’s game in Pawtucket. “It’s especially comforting when you get guys on base and you know you’re throwing the ball well. It gives you a little bit more confidence to execute pitches when you need to. Honestly, when I take the ball, I’m just trying to win.”
Ranaudo, a supplemental first-round pick in 2010, entered this season as the Red Sox’s No. 8 prospect, according to MLB.com. He has lived up to the distinction, especially of late, with a simplified delivery out of his windup leading to even greater results for the young hurler.
“I closed myself off a little bit. I tried to keep my delivery as simple as I could to get a little bit of momentum with my back step and put me back in that power position,” Ranaudo said. “It’s been a good adjustment for me. I’ve been able to repeat my delivery a lot better and throw a lot more strikes.”
Ranaudo is 6-2 with a 1.13 ERA since May 15. He is 4-0 with a 0.85 ERA in his last five starts. One scout recently told WEEI.com’s Alex Speier that the numbers have exceeded Ranaudo’s overall stuff, but it’s hard to downplay their significance too much considering he’s been steady for the better part of two seasons.
Ranaudo might not find himself in the majors in 2014, especially with other prospects seemingly ahead of him on Boston’s organizational depth chart. But Ranaudo’s success certainly adds even more intrigue to an already fascinating pitching situation — this season and beyond — facing the Red Sox.