The Boston Red Sox bullpen has been a reoccurring problem all season.
With star closer Craig Kimbrel also struggling over the past month, there is worry about the bullpen’s ability to perform with the playoffs approaching.
In the 2018 MLB Draft, the Red Sox selected closer Durbin Feltman from Texas Christian University in the third round with the 100th-overall pick. Feltman was looked at as the best reliever in the draft, and the most MLB-ready player.
As the all-time saves leader at TCU, Feltman can get the job done in tight situations. The Texas native throws a 95-to-99 mph fastball with a fantastic wipeout slider he used to record 43 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings in his junior year at TCU.
Feltman’s dominance followed him into the minors. In four games with the Lowell Spinners, hitters went 0-for-13 against him with seven strikeouts. He earned a promotion to the Single-A Greenville Drive where he threw seven total innings earning three saves with a 2.57 ERA and 14 strikeouts.
In less than a month, the TCU Alumni was called up to the Class A-Advanced Salem Red Sox, where he is playing now. Feltman has a 2.19 ERA in 12 1/3 innings pitched and one save. With the Red Sox bullpen’s recent struggles, his dominance and college track record are enough to give the 22-year-old a shot in the big leagues.
With his control of the strike zone and the deception he creates with the spin of his slider from an elevated fastball, Feltman would be a great addition to the Sox bullpen. Kimbrel obviously will not lose his spot as his experience and talent guarantee his closing position, but the third-rounder could be a great setup man.
Dave Dombroski certainly could have made the move to put Feltman on the 40-man roster, but it would be pointless to add him now. For Feltman to be involved in the postseason he would have had to be on the 40-man roster before 11:59 PM on Aug. 31. The pitching prospect could get some MLB experience, but would not be able to appear in the playoffs for the Red Sox where he would be of most use.