When a batter goes hitless in a game, he’s said to have had an “o-fer,” as in 0-for 4.
Right-hander Stolmy Pimentel had his own “o-fer” during the first half of last season at Portland.
In 15 starts for the Sea Dogs in 2011, Pimentel was 0-9 with a bloated 9.12 ERA – which, not surprisingly, earned him a demotion to Salem. Despite that, the Red Sox added him to their 40-man roster prior to last season so he wouldn’t be exposed to the Rule 5 draft.
Pimentel began the 2011 season as a classic swing-and-miss pitcher. But in his first two starts for Portland, he was tagged for nine runs in 4 1/3 innings.
To his credit, Pimentel did pitch better at Salem. In 11 games (10 starts), he was 6-4 with a 4.53 ERA. And in his final start of last season, he allowed only two hits over seven innings against Myrtle Beach.
Saying Pimentel had trouble with his command and control would be an understatement.
“Most young players have tough times at one stage of their career,” said an American League scout. “Obviously, last year was Pimentel’s year. But Boston from what I’ve heard still thinks he’ll develop into a major league pitcher. It’s a matter of being patient. Every player isn’t going to knock you out of your socks. Some are going to veer off the road, so to speak. It really helps if you remain patient and show you have confidence in the kid.
“I think he still has good tools,” added the scout.
Alas, Pimentel is trying Boston’s patience this season. In his first 16 starts for the Sea Dogs, Pimentel was 4-5 with a 5.25 ERA. In 82 1/3 innings pitched he had walked 29 and fanned 60.
One other factor that enters into the equation with Pimentel is he signed as a 16-year-old international free agent in 2006.
“When you look at a lot of these young guys, especially high school players who’re from Latin American and who signed at a very young age, it may take them more time to develop,” said the scout. Among other things, he has to learn how to repeat his delivery and pitch down in the zone on a more consistent basis.”
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