Henry Owens’ season will end whenever the Pawtucket Red Sox wrap up their International League playoff run.
Owens has continued his impressive ascent up the Boston Red Sox’s organizational ladder in 2014, but the 22-year-old left-hander isn’t expected to join the major league squad as a September call-up, according to general manager Ben Cherington.
“I think it’s unlikely given where we are in his calendar and where we are as a team,” Cherington told reporters before the Red Sox’s game against the New York Yankees on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium. “Look, if you’re in a position where you have a chance to get into October or win a game in October, then you put the best 25 guys on the field, whoever they are, with less concern for managing the roster in the offseason.
“But given where we are, he’s had a very full season, a very good season. He’s had a number of Triple-A starts now. I think he goes into next spring training in a solid position, along with a number of other young starters who will be competitive.”
Owens, who is expected to start Game 3 of Pawtucket’s playoff series against the Syracuse Chiefs, is 17-5 with a 2.94 ERA in 26 starts split between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket. He has totaled 159 innings between the two levels to this point, and the Red Sox are happy with the strides he’s made in his third full season in the organization.
Owens, a first-round pick (36th overall) in 2011, posted a 2.60 ERA over 20 starts spanning 121 innings with Portland before being promoted to Pawtucket after the Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline. The southpaw was named the Eastern League’s Pitcher of the Year and was voted by the league’s managers as having the level’s best changeup and best breaking pitch.
Owens isn’t yet on the Red Sox’s 40-man roster. Cherington didn’t rule out adding other players to the 40-man roster in September to facilitate big league call-ups.