Sunday, March 9, 2014
Prediction: Robert Coello is going to be an effective reliever in the majors someday. Will he be with the Red Sox when that day comes?
To make room for newly-signed Afredo Aceves, Boston needed to remove someone from its 40-man roster. The Red Sox decided that someone would be Coello, 26, a reliever who began last year in Portland and finished in Boston.
Coello is a great story because he was a catcher when the Reds drafted him in 2004. Released after the 2006 season, the Angels signed him and made him a pitcher. Released after 2007, he pitched in the independent leagues before Boston signed him in 2009.
In 2010, in his fourth year as a pitcher, Coello found himself in Fenway Park.
He pitched well in Portland (3.32 ERA, 51 K in 43 IP) and OK in Pawtucket (4.22, 79 K in 64 IP), but his major league debut was a disaster.
Pitching against the Rays on Sept. 6, Coello allowed 3 hits, 2 walks and 3 earned runs over 1/3 of an inning.
"Just have to move on," Coello told me the next day.
He did. In his final five appearances for the Red Sox, Coello allowed 0 runs, 1 hit and 2 walks over 5 1/3 innings. So when you see his major league ERA of 5.67, it is a little deceiving.
Coello throws a fastball in the low 90's and a forkball. He is working on a change-up and spent part of the off-season in the Dominican Winter League, learning the pitch from former major league pitcher Roman Martinez.
Coello was invited to the Red Sox rookie camp in January - a sign that he was on the doorstep of pitching in the majors again.
Now the Red Sox are gambling that no one will claim Coello and that he will re-join Boston on a minor league contract.Tweet
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
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