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Craig Breslow rolling the dice on leaving Shane Drohan off the 40-man roster, exposing him to the Rule 5 Draft?
The Red Sox made a surprise decision to not add left-handed pitching prospect Shane Drohan to their 40-man roster ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.
Drohan’s omission from the 40-man roster will leave him exposed to the Rule 5 Draft in December and Boston potentially losing the prospect for nothing other than money.
The 24-year-old had impressive start to his 2023 season, posting a 5-0 record and a 1.32 ERA with the Portland Sea Dogs. Following his promotion on May 18, the hype around Drohan was real.
Unfortunately, the left-handed hurler struggled at the Triple-A level. Drohan made 21 appearances (19 starts) posting a 6.47 ERA, while seeing his velocity tick down and was inconsistent in finding the strike zone.
A calf injury caused the southpaw to miss some time during the summer. The injury caused him to miss the MLB Futures Game in Seattle.
Fatigue seemed to be an issue at times during Drohan’s starts this season. The lefty still possessed strong command of his fastball while working on attacking the strike zone, which is something WooSox skipper preached all season long not only to Drohan but to all of his young hurlers.
Drohan sits between 92-94 mph and tops out at 96 mph with his fastball. In addition to his heater, the lefty offers a cutter, changeup and curveball. Which may not fit the profile for what Craig Breslow will be looking for out of his minor-league pitchers moving forward.
The new Sox’ chief baseball officer was responsible for helping to overhaul the Cubs’ minor league pitching operation beginning in 2019. Most notably, Breslow was responsible for the impact made by left-hander Justin Steele, who posted a 16-5 with a 3.06 ERA and made his first All-Star team.
Steele doesn’t offer the best fastball from a velocity perspective. He throws his fastball and slider roughly 97 percent of the time. The southpaw does a great job with offering deception on his pitches and movement.
Drohan and Steele have similar profiles when it comes to fastball velocity, Steele averaged a 91.8 mph heater last season. The concern around Drohan, is whether or not his stuff will play beyond the Double-A level. Breslow values pitchers with higher velocity on their fastball and the ability to throw strikes. Drohan struggled to do that consistently with the WooSox.
It’s understandable as to why that Breslow would exclude Drohan off the 40-man roster, however, it’s puzzling to not try and trade the lefty before the rosters needed to be set.
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