“Both he and Rubby have been throwing well, much better strike-throwing ability with their fastball of late,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said prior to Boston’s game Thursday against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. “But the overriding thing, knowing that there wasn’t any additional injuries to make a spot on the roster, that brings us to Webster.”
If the Red Sox recalled De La Rosa, they would have had to put a player on the disabled list, which made the Webster call-up an easier choice.
De La Rosa was up with the team last weekend in Baltimore before being sent back to Pawtucket. Players need to spend 10 days in the minors once they’ve been sent down, unless there’s an injury.
Webster has struggled with his control in Triple-A with Pawtucket, but Farrell is confident in the rookie’s stuff.
“He’s got much better command, in particular with his fastball,” Farrell said. “He’s worked deeper into games and has been more efficient. His stuff has been very consistent and similar to what we’ve seen here in the two starts and what he showed us in spring training. We’re looking forward to seeing him Saturday.”
Webster’s control issues got him ejected from two games in a span of less than two weeks in the minors.
“There was never anything physically (wrong) because everything has been consistent every time he walks out to the mound,” Farrell said. “When you’re dealing with young pitchers, they’re still on their development curve and part of that is settling in to what intensity works best for them. And how fine with pitch execution they need to be or don’t need to be, and in his case with very good stuff.”
The right-hander is 5-1 with Pawtucket with a 2.98 ERA.
“What he showed in spring training was his willingness to trust it,” Farrell said. “Trust the ability to throw the ball over the plate, get good hitters out in the strike zone, and he’s been doing that more of late.”
In two starts with Boston this season, he has an 11.74 ERA in 7.2 innings.
In his last start on May 8 against Minnesota, Webster lasted one and two-thirds innings, allowing eight earned runs on six hits and three walks.
“He just had a hard time getting ahead of the count," said Farrell. "He got predictable against a good fastball-hitting team. I think he learned an important lesson, or at least one challenging experience that has served him well as he continues to develop.”
Webster is the No. 4-ranked Red Sox prospect by MLB.com entering the 2013 season.
* No update on Ross: Farrell said catcher David Ross was examined in Pittsburgh by neuropsychologist Dr. Micky Collins on Thursday as planned, but he didn’t know what the results were.
Collins is MLB's consultant on concussions at the University of Pittsburgh's Medical Center.
Ross was not examined there the first time he went on the DL back on May 12 for concussion symptoms that sidelined him for 11 games.
“We do know there was an additional foul tip,” Farrell said. “And the ringing of the ears and some of the clarity that didn’t follow after that. I can’t say this is completely new.”
He was placed on the DL again on June 18 and missed this third game Thursday.
Ross returned to Boston and Farrell didn’t know if he’d be joining the Red Sox in Detroit this weekend.