With Joel Hanrahan hitting the disabled list Tuesday, joining Andrew Bailey on the DL and leaving a crater at the Red Sox closer spot, the 1:30 a.m. phone call early Tuesday morning to righthanded prospect Allen Webster was the most logical first step as manager John Farrell sorted out the Sox’ pitching issues.
“We’re able to go down and get a very good young pitching prospect, a good young righthander that’s got power stuff,” Farrell said.
Webster, one of the Sox’ top prospects, was called up from Triple A Tuesday and will make his second appearance with the big league club Wednesday night against the Twins. Felix Doubront, who had been scheduled to start that game, will go to the bullpen to add depth with Hanrahan (right forearm tightness) and Bailey (right biceps strain) out.
Doubront’s stint in the pen will only be for this turn through the rotation, though, Farrell said.
“The reason behind that is as we’re going through this couple-day period to somewhat regroup and get our pitching back on track, this was the only way that we could communicate to everyone involved — pitchers — that this would be a concrete plan over the next couple days,” Farrell said.
“So Felix will be in the pen . . . It’s anticipated at this point that the next time through the rotation Doubront will be back in.”
Webster, acquired Aug. 25 from the Dodgers in the deal that sent Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Adrian Gonzalez to Los Angeles, made his major league debut April 21 in the Sox’ 5-4 loss to the Royals. He went six innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, striking out five and walking just one. He got a no-decision.
In four starts with Pawtucket this season, he’s 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 20 innings.
“I think everyone looks forward to seeing that guy on the mound,” Farrell said. “He’s got great stuff. He’s showed he’s got very good poise in the first outing he made for us and we’ll see it again [Wednesday].”
The decision to send Doubront to the bullpen comes on the heels of his shortest outing of the season, a 3⅔-inning loss to Texas Friday in which he gave up six runs on 12 hits.