It looks like Kyle Weiland will get finally get his chance. According to Mike Petraglia of WEEI.com, Weiland has been added to the Red Sox 40-man roster, and will make his first major league start on Sunday afternoon against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. No word on who’s being demoted.
Initially, most pundits (including myself) expected Sunday’s start to go to Alfredo Aceves. Although Francona mentioned starting Aceves had been considered, he felt it would be “counterproductive” to remove him from the bullpen. Instead, with Weiland lined up, the Red Sox will give the 24-year old prospect his first cup of coffee. He will be replacing the injured Jon Lester.
Weiland, although well respected, has been a bit of a revelation this season for AAA Pawtucket. In 17 starts, he’s produced an 8-6 record with a 3.00 ERA and a 99/37 K/BB ratio in 93 innings. While he seems to have been a tough lucky on balls in play, his 3.26 FIP indicates that his performance hasn’t been a fluke. Weiland is armed with four offerings that includes a two seam and four seam fastball that sits in the 90-93 range and touches 95; a sweeping curve that flashes “plus”; and a changeup with good late breaking downward movement.
While Sunday’s start is expected to be a one shot deal, we’ll probably see a lot more of Weiland before too long. Many expect him to be recalled to the Red Sox in either August or September as an additional power arm out of the bullpen. Lastly, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reported that Mike Hazen, Red Sox scouting director, indicated that the Red Sox have no immediate plans to promote either Alex Wilson or Stephen Fife to AAA.