Tuesday was the deadline for the Rule 5 Draft, which means MLB teams had to decide which prospects to keep on their 40-man roster and which ones to make eligible for the draft, where they can be claimed by other teams.
While not every prospect can be protected, of course, teams typically try to guard their best prospects if possible. That makes one of the Boston Red Sox's decisions especially curious.
Red Sox Rule 5 Draft
The Red Sox elected not to protect pitcher Shane Drohan, making him eligible for the Rule 5 Draft.
This is surprising for a couple of reasons. For starters. Boston has only filled 39 spots on the 40-man roster, so it still has an open roster spot. Why not give it to Drohan?
Additionally, Drohan is arguably one of the best pitching prospects in an organization that, as we all know, has struggled mightily to develop homegrown starting pitching over the past few decades.
To be fair, Drohan's minor-league career has been uneven, but he's still shown signs of promise. He went 5-0 with a sparkling 1.32 ERA in 6 starts at Double-A last year before moving up to Triple-A, where he struggled to make the adjustment. Drohan went 5-7 with a 6.47 ERA in 21 appearances (19 starts) for Worcester, indicating that he still needs a bit more seasoning before he's ready for the big leagues.
Still, Drohan is so close. Why potentially give up on the 24-year-old lefty now when he's only one step away from the majors?
New Red Sox CBO Craig Breslow was a pitcher himself, so perhaps he sees something we don't. Maybe he thinks Drohan's control issues (6.4 BB/9 and 1.9 HR/9 at Triple-A) last season aren't fixable.
Then again, he only rejoined the organization a few weeks ago, so how familiar with Drohan can he really be?
This move is puzzling, to say the least, not to mention risky. Hopefully another team doesn't scoop up Drohan, otherwise he might be striking out Red Sox batters for years to come.
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