Webster to make 2014 debut on Sunday

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- It was a coin-flip decision earlier this season, manager John Farrell said, between calling up Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster from Pawtucket when the Red Sox needed a starter. Webster lost.

Webster’s luck improved considerably on Saturday. Scheduled to pitch Saturday night for Pawtucket in Scranton-Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, Webster instead received a summons here, where he will start in place of the traded Jake Peavy. Ordinarily, Brandon Workman probably would have gotten the call, but he just pitched Thursday, so the timing of Peavy’s trade broke right for Webster.

“We’ll kind of see where we go after this turn through the rotation,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “There’s been nothing set going forward from there.”

This will be the first appearance in Boston for the 24-year-old Webster in 2014; he was 1-2 with an 8.60 ERA in eight appearances (seven starts) in 2013, though he pitched well in Pawtucket last season: 8-4, 3.60 ERA in 21 starts, with 116 strikeouts and 43 walks (and 16 hit batsmen) in 105 innings.

This season, Webster has made 21 appearances (20 starts) and is 4-4 with a 3.10 ERA, with 100 strikeouts and 44 walks in 122 innings.

“He has been able to maintain the overall command of his stuff better than a year ago,” Farrell said. “He's in the process of transitioning to our level here.”

In addition to Workman, young right-hander Anthony Ranaudo and knuckleballer Steven Wright figure to get looks before the end of the season.

“Workman has been up a couple of times and done a good job,” general manager Ben Cherington said. “I think it’s fair to say we’d like to find an opportunity to get him back at some point. We don’t know when that will be exactly, but we’d like to do that.

“There may be other guys we’d look to get opportunities for, but we’re not quite there yet and I’d rather not speculate on specific names.”