When you are traded to a new team, players sometimes feel that they need to make an impact to show that they were worth trading for. Sometimes things work out, other times they don’t.
Just a couple of days ago, the Boston Red Sox sent Jake Peavy over to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for prospects RHP Heath Hembree and LHP Edwin Escobar. Hembree got his first appearance in Pawtucket last Wednesday July 30, recording a 9th inning save in a 3-2 win for the PawSox. The next day, Escobar got his debut as the starter in a day game. But just who is Edwin Escobar and why did the Red Sox trade for him when they already have a plethora of young pitchers in their farm system? Only one way to find out.
Snyder to the Rangers in exchange for the young pitcher. Escobar made his debut with the Giants’ Short-Season A team, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. He played and started in 14 games, pitched in 63 innings while going 2-4 with an ERA of 4.86, giving up 64 hits, 40 runs (34 earned), walked 40, struck out 69, and had a WHIP of 1.651.
The following season in 2011, Escobar started with the San Francisco Giants Rookie level team before then getting called up to Class-A Augusta GreenJackets towards the end of the season. For the 2011 season, Escobar pitched in 19 games while starting in 14. He pitched in 52 innings, going 3-7 with an ERA of 6.58, gave up 66 hits, 45 runs (38 earned), walking 22, struck out 22, and had a WHIP of 1.692.
Escobar was promoted to Advanced-A in the 2012-13 offseason. He started the season with the San Jose Giants before then getting called up to pitch in Double-A with the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Between the two levels, Escobar pitched in 26 total games, starting in 24 of them. He pitched in 128.2 innings, going 8-8 with an ERA of 2.80. Escobar gave up 112 hits, 51 runs (40 earned), walked 30, struck out a career high 146 batters, and had a WHIP of 1.104.
Escobar reported to Triple-A Pawtucket on July 28 and then got his first start on July 31 against the Syracuse Chiefs. In his PawSox debut, Escobar went 6 strong innings, giving up just 5 hits, 1 run (1 earned), walked 1 batter, and struck out 5 on 90 pitches (55 for strikes). Unfortunately he ended up with the no decision count, but his strong performance in stifling the Chiefs’ offense allowed the PawSox to take the game 4-2. During his time pitching, Escobar had command of his pitches, especially his fastball around the corners. He had a shaky first inning, giving up a quick run to put his team in the hole 1-0. But afterwards, Escobar was able settle in more and as the game went on, he gained more confidence and attacked the strike zone more and more.
At first glance, this was a head scratcher of an acquisition for the Boston Red Sox. They needed help in the outfield with somebody who can hit for power. Instead they went out and traded a struggling pitcher for prospects. But in light of the recent trades of Lester, Lackey, Doubront, and Andrew Miller, this trade makes sense.
Though his track suggests that he needs some time in the minors to polish up, Escobar shows he has the talent to pitch at the major league level. But instead of a starting pitcher, Escobar could be used as a middle relief pitcher in case one of the Red Sox starts cannot make it out of the 3rd inning. He can squeeze his fastball in the corners of the strike zone, which can baffle most batters.
With the turmoil in the pitching staff in Boston, you will see a lot of the young arms of Pawtucket get their call ups into Boston for an audition to pitch at the major league level. Escobar might have to wait his turn since he’s the new guy in but sure enough, he will get his time in the sun.
Support WBOB Sports