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.
In a mailbag published on Thursday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says he has spoken with Arenado and his agent from the Wasserman Media Group. Based on that, he says the Rockies have not broached the subject of a contract extension with the All-Star third baseman.
Arenado will enter his second of four years of arbitration eligibility after earning $5 million for the 2016 season. He’s due to a hefty pay raise and will continue on that track into free agency after the 2019 season. It may behoove the Rockies to get extension talks started sooner rather than later. Saunders, however, thinks that Arenado wants to see if the Rockies become contenders in the next two seasons before signing the dotted line.
Arenado, 25, enters Thursday’s action batting .293/.361/.567 with 40 home runs, 130 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. His 40 homers is best in the National League and the 130 RBI are best in the majors. He has an argument for winning the National League Most Valauble Player Award.
Agent Scott Boras eulogized client Jose Fernandez at his funeral on Thursday. Boras couldn’t even get through the first sentence without breaking down in tears. It was difficult to watch without wanting to sob myself, but it was a touching eulogy that spoke for a lot of people who were fond of Fernandez.