DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Allen Webster might not have gotten as much publicity as Rubby De La Rosa when the pair of prospects were traded to the Red Sox last August, but he certainly made his mark during his Grapefruit League debut on Monday.
Known for his sinker, Webster was clocked at 98 mph in his outing against the Blue Jays. Though he gave up a run and two hits in his first inning of work, Webster also blew fastballs by accomplished sluggers Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion for strikeouts. Webster struck out four over two innings.
"It's the first game action we've seen," said manager John Farrell said after the Red Sox's 4-2 victory. "Equally impressive to the arm strength, and the action to his fastball is that he has a secondary pitch he can go to as a put away with a changeup. And when he gets in trouble, he has the ability to slow people down with a power change that's got finishing action to it. He was impressive -- very impressive."
Webster admits that he was a little amped up when he came on in relief of Steven Wright in the third inning.
"When I started out, my heart was racing," said Webster. "It was the first outing of the year, but I finally got settled down."
Any reason for the uptick in velocity?
"I'm just staying within the mechanics. I'm getting a little bit stronger, which might be helping out," Webster said.
When the Red Sox acquired De La Rosa and Webster in the blockbuster with the Dodgers for Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett, the hope was that one -- or both -- could become centerpieces of the rotation at some point.
As it stands, Boston's rotation appears full to start the season, but if something should happen, Webster could become one of the top choices to fill the void.