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Sox deal P Connor Seabold to Rockies – Boston Herald


For the second time in the last seven days, a once-promising member of the Boston Red Sox pitching staff has left the building.

The Sox announced they’ve traded Connor Seabold to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later.

The 26-year-old righty was designated for assignment on Jan. 12, when the Sox made Corey Kluber’s signing official.

Seabold’s time in the Sox organization comes out to 146.1 minor-league innings and 21.1 frames in the majors. Acquired with Nick Pivetta in the August 2020 trade that sent Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree to the Phillies, Seabold ranked 30th in Philadelphia’s languishing farm system, and jumped to 22nd in Boston’s. Entering the 2021 season, MLB Pipeline ranked him the Sox’ 15th-best prospect.

The former third-round pick made his debut against the Chicago White Sox on Sept. 11, 2021. Over three innings, the righty allowed two earned runs on three hits. The Sox optioned him back to Triple-A Worcester the following day, and he didn’t get another look until the following summer. On June 27, 2022, he returned to the majors and was immediately tagged for seven earned runs in 4.2 innings. By season’s end, he’d made five starts and allowed 23 earned runs on 35 hits in just 18.1 frames for a 11.29 ERA, 6.38 FIP, and 2.345 WHIP. A small sample size, to be sure, but not promising.

Injuries have played a part in Seabold’s struggles. Elbow soreness landed him on the Injured List in 2021, causing him to miss months of the season before finally being able to rehab in July. The Sox also had to proceed with caution in 2022, because he was limited by a right forearm extensor strain.

However, this is also a case of “failure to launch.” Despite the aforementioned injuries, Seabold managed to pitch well in Triple-A. Across 54 innings in 2021, he posted a 3.50 ERA and struck out 52 batters. In 2022, he lowered his ERA to 3.32 in 86.2 innings at the penultimate level. Rockies general manager Bill Schmidt praised Seabold’s minor-league work but noted, “He hasn’t figured it out at the Major League level yet.”

Due to a combination of injuries and underwhelming performances, pitching was a glaring issue for the 2022 club. The pitching staff’s collective 4.53 ERA and 93 ERA+ ranked sixth-worst in baseball, and only nine teams issued more walks. As such, the Sox have spent the offseason losing pitchers to free agency and cutting ties with other arms via DFA, release, or trade; the Seabold deal comes six days after the Sox sent lefty reliever Darwinzon Hernandez to the Baltimore Orioles, also for cash considerations.

Their pitching focus could be seen as a message that standards are going to be higher moving forward; signing veteran relievers Chris Martin and Kenley Jansen reflects that, too. They’ve replaced Hernandez and his career 32.3% walk rate (MLB average is 22.9%) with Martin, who owns the lowest career walk rate among active pitchers (minimum 200 innings) and Jansen, one of the game’s premier closers for over a decade. In 2022, his 13th big-league season, he led the National League with 54 games finished and 41 saves.

Yet in terms of quantity — never mind quality — the Sox have lost more arms than they’ve gained, especially in the starting rotation. And what does it say about their player development that these pitchers, once considered very promising, haven’t been able to make a successful jump to the majors?


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