The Boston Red Sox promoted right-handed pitching prospect Allen Webster to the major league roster yesterday. He started Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays and had some issues with his control, walking five in 5.1 innings, though he also struck out four. He was touched for three hits and two runs.
Webster had made 20 starts and one relief appearance for Triple-A Pawtucket before his promotion, posting a 3.10 ERA, 3.91 FIP with a 100/44 K/BB in 122 innings with 107 hits allowed. This is very similar to what he did in 2013 for Pawtucket: 3.60 ERA, 3.80 FIP with a 116/43 K/BB in 105 innings with 79 hits allowed. His walk rate is down slightly but his strikeout rate was down as well and the difference in FIP from last year to this year is negligible.
There's no discernible difference in the scouting reports either: reports say his fastball is between 90 and 97 MPH averaging around 94, mixing in a changeup, slider, and a few curves. He will get into a habit of overthrowing, which boosts his velocity readings but harms his command. I think his fastball has enough movement to succeed even when he's in the low-90s. His stuff is overpowering when he's on, but his command remains spotty and he beats himself at times, which is the same report as last year.
Webster was unsuccessful in his big league trial last season but he has nothing left to prove at Pawtucket and is ready for an extended trial. The Red Sox aren't contending this year, so I think they just need to let him pitch and see what happens. He could be a number three starter if all goes well, with relief work a backup plan if he can't work the kinks out of his command in the rotation.