When I was sitting in the press box yesterday afternoon watching Henry Owens pitch in the first inning, all I could think to myself is what happened to the next great Red Sox pitcher that was supposed to be him.
All of the surrounding media were in disbelief and honestly felt sorry for him, as he could not locate any of his pitches. Most of his fastballs were reaching 89, with some hitting 91 if he got lucky. His curveball was going in around 75, but they almost hit every guy that stood in the box. He was a step below Rick Ankiel and his "yips" in the 2000 MLB playoffs. You want this guy to do well, but he appears to have no confidence.
His first inning started out with a walk of course, followed by a hit, wild pitch, hit, and than proceeded to hit a batter. It somehow got uglier from there. He proceeded to walk 2 more, one with the bases loaded and then a 2 run double. Before you knew it was 4-0 Fisher Cats. There was also a wild pitch or two mixed in there.
I never expected him to make it out of the first inning, so I suppose going four innings was a bright spot yesterday. The Sea Dogs ended up losing 10-3 to a lackluster of a Fisher Cats club. If he can't throw strikes against a minor league team, do we expect him to ever make it back to the major leagues? Before we know it he is going to be back in High School again working on his delivery to home plate.
Over his last six starts these are his walk totals(8,4,8,6,5,6). I have never seen anything like it. Owens was in Portland in 2014 and he was unstoppable, now three years later it appears his career may just be coming to an ugly halt. He is only 24 years old, but we are way past thinking he is the next Clayton Kershaw. We can only hope he can learn how to throw strikes and become a serviceable lefty out of a bullpen in the future.
Notes: He was Bostons 3rd pick in the 2011 MLB draft, 36th overall. He was the supplemental selection for the loss of Victor Martinez to the Tigers.
Unfortunately I was unable to get comments from him regarding his start after the game.
Photo Credit:( Portland Sea Dogs)