Rather than turn to reliever Alfredo Aceves or add veteran Kevin Millwood from Pawtucket, the Red Sox have chosen 24-year-old Kyle Weiland to make his major league debut and start Sunday in Jon Lester’s place.
Weiland, a 2008 third-round pick out of Notre Dame, is 8-6 with a 3.00 ERA and a 99/37 K/BB ratio in 93 innings for Pawtucket this season. He’s second in the International Legaue in strikeouts and fifth in ERA.
The plan could be for Weiland to make a couple of starts before Clay Buchholz comes off the DL. His control is a little iffy, but he has a nice low-90s fastball with a curveball that serves as a strikeout pitch and a surprisingly good changeup. If he gets better at spotting his fastball as times goes on, he could turn into a viable middle-of-the-rotation starter for Boston.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”