In a move that shouldn't come as a surprise, the Boston Red Sox have shipped out Kevin Youklis. They aren't getting much in return for the fast-fading veteran.
ESPN's Jim Bowden tweeted out the confirmed details of the deal.
The Red Sox unloaded Youk and are going to pay part of his salary. They are also getting back two players who are going to have a hard time sticking with the club. The focus here, though, is on right-handed pitcher Zach Stewart and what he will bring to the table.
Stewart is a 25-year-old starter who currently doesn't have the stuff to be a legitimate part of a major league rotation. While he has shown some signs of promise in the minors, his limited arsenal leaves him struggling in the big leagues.
What should the Red Sox do with Stewart?
In 97 major league innings, he has an ERA of 5.92. He has mostly done this with two pitches. He has a solid slider, which is his best pitch, and a fastball that hovers in the low 90s range. Stewart is also working on a changeup, with varied degrees of success.
That pitch will be the key to his success going forward. If he can continue to develop this pitch, he can extend his career.
However, he has a long way to go in this regard. In the meantime, he is better suited for the bullpen.
Stewart's best role in the pen would be as an innings eater, and Boston may try and use him in this role. Either that, or they will ship him down to the minors and allow him to continue to develop while hoping he pays off further down the road.
Whichever route they go with him, Boston fans shouldn't expect much of a contribution from Stewart this season.