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SoxProspects News

September 21, 2020 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Houck dominates in debut; Wallace acquired for Pillar

 Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • In the most recent episode of the Podcast, Ian and Chris previewed Tanner Houck's major league debut, and also discussed MLB's decision to approve fall instructional camps. The remainder of the podcast focused on the ongoing negotiations between MLB and MiLB, and then they answered some reader mailbag questions. 
  • The 2017 Draft Retrospective posted last week, with Shawn McGrath covering each pick and then going in-depth on some of the main themes of the draft. While the draft has yet to produce a top-100 prospect, the early returns on Houck at the major league level have been positive. 
  • The 24-year-old Houck made his first two major league starts last week, going five shutout innings against the Marlins in his debut and then he allowed just an unearned run in six innings against the Yankees on Sunday. He struck out 11 in his 11 innings and allowed just three hits, but did walk six. He's featured a slider that batters are 0 for 8 against, mixed with a sinker that he puts down in the zone, and then a four-seam fastball that he places up in the zone. On a team bereft of pitching, Houck has been one of the few bright spots. 
  • The trade of Kevin Pillar to the Rockies was finalized, with the Red Sox receiving right-handed pitching prospect Jacob Wallace. Wallace was a consensus top-20 prospect in the Rockies system after being selected in the third round of the 2019 draft out of UConn, where he was one of the best relievers in college baseball in his junior season. Wallace was added to the Alternate Training Site, and is likely to open next season in the Salem bullpen. 
  • Another recent acquisition, Nick Pivetta (pictured, above), is now under team control through 2024 as he did not accrue enough service time this season to reach free agency after the 2023 season. There is a chance he makes his Boston debut in the last week of the regular season. 
  • To make room for Houck on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox transferred Kyle Hart to the 45-day injured list. To make room for Houck on the major league roster, Andrew Triggs was placed on the injured list with right radial nerve irritation. 
  • After being outrighted off the 40-man roster back in August, Jonathan Lucroy was released early last week. Lucroy appeared in only one game for Boston this season, but he was picked up by Philadelphia shortly after his release. 
  • 2020 first-round pick Nick Yorke was added to the Player Pool, and in his first at-bat at the Alternate Training Site he singled off of Bryan Mata. To make room for Yorke, Colton Brewer was removed from the Player Pool. Brewer holds a 5.61 ERA in 25 2/3 innings with Boston this year. 
  • With Darwinzon Hernandez being activated, Robinson Leyer was optioned to the Alternate Training Site. Leyer allowed 11 runs in only 4 2/3 innings with the Red Sox. 
  • Yairo Munoz has performed well in limited reps with the big league club, but he landed on the injured list with a low back strain. Cesar Puello was recalled from the Alternate Training Site to take his place, and Zack Godley was transferred to the 45-day injured list to make room for Puello on the 40-man. 
Photo Credit: Nick Pivetta by Kelly O'Connor