On the road to being a full-time major league player is going through the ups and downs of being sent up and back down in the early stages of a player’s career. This is exactly what pitchers Alex Wilson and Allen Webster are going through right now, but the key remains not to get down and use the time in the majors as a learning experience.
“It’s been great, a really great learning experience,” said Webster, who has made two starts with the Red Sox this season and has been sent back down immediately following those starts.
Wilson, 26, on the other hand had been with the Red Sox since April 11, making 15 relief appearances in his first big league stint, allowing five earned runs over 18 innings before being sent down last Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, I was a victim of a numbers game up there,” said Wilson, who was sent down when Jackie Bradley Jr. was recalled. “I had an idea I was probably one of the guys on the list because of my options situation. It’s part of the game.”
Lucky for Wilson, he was able to show he has the ability to pitch at the big league level and gain the confidence of members of the organization.
“I got almost six weeks up there and threw the ball well,” Wilson said. “I believe I started to gain the trust of everyone up there on the field and off, which is always what you want to do your first time up.”
Webster on the other hand had one good start and one poor start. On April 21 against the Royals the 23-year-old went six innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and struck out five. He took a no-decision in the game.
Things didn’t go as well for Webster in his next start, May 8 against the Twins. He didn’t make it out of the second inning as he allowed eight runs in just 1 2/3 innings, suffering the loss.
“The first game I went up I did well, but the second one not so much and that was a big eye opener,” the right-hander said.
He was able to showcase his five-pitch repertoire, including a fastball which maxes out between 97-98 MPH, but the key for Webster is maintaining his fastball command as he’s recorded 21 walks in 43 1/3 innings between Boston and Pawtucket this season.
“Staying consistent with my fastball command,” Webster said of his focus now with Pawtucket. “If I can be consistent with my fastball command then my off-speed pitches will be fine right behind it.”
For Wilson, he just wants to stay consistent and keep doing what he was doing with the Red Sox.
“Just stay the same and keep working hard,” he said. “I just need to do what I am supposed to do, stay consistent and hopefully I will be back up there soon.”
There is little doubt both of these pitchers will one day be full-time major league players, they are just on their road to getting there.
Follow Metro Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @hannable84