Feltman experienced an incredible amount of preseason hype, but how has the Red Sox prospect performed thus far?
Durbin Feltman may have experienced the most hype of a future Red Sox reliever since Jonathan Papelbon, or Daniel Bard. It was essentially a national holiday among Red Sox nation when Feltman took the mound in Fort Myers for his Spring Training debut, but the hype train was slowed by a reassignment to Double A Portland.
While the Red Sox bullpen has had it’s up’s and down’s, there are plenty that are calling for the promotion for the young arm, but is he ready? In a short answer, no Feltman likely isn’t ready just yet. Aside from some performance hiccups that we’ll cover shortly, there will likely be a trip to Pawtucket awaiting the young reliever before fans will see him in Boston.
Yes, Darwinzon Hernandez has jumped Pawtucket twice to get to the big leagues, but that’s due to the Sox being disciplined with his development as a starter. Alex Cora and Dave Dombrowski may feel that he’s ready to be deployed as a reliever, but his upside exists as a starter, and the organization will let him take his time to get there.
Through 15 appearances, Feltman has posted a 6.23 ERA over 17.1 innings, but has walked 14 batters thus far. Additionally, he’s a mere 1 of 3 in save opportunities for the SeaDogs. While struggles are evident, there are positive takeaways such as his .186 BAA and his 18 K’s over 15 outings.
The future Red Sox reliever has shown improvement over his past 5 appearances. Since an outing against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in which he walked four batters, Feltman has thrown 7.1 IP, allowed 4 hits and 1 ER, while striking out 8 and walking one. Consistency is exactly what the Red Sox are hoping to see – and a stretch such as this one will begin to make management ponder about a promotion, if he remains consistent.
There’s plenty to like about Durbin Feltman, but as he continues to work through some hiccups with his control, it’s best that he remains in the minors. An arm such as this is hard to find, but it’s likely that we won’t see Feltman at Fenway until September at the earliest.