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After a hot start, Clayton Mortensen faded in the final months of last season.
He is not a potential star or a big-name player, but Clayton Mortensen was a great relief pitcher in the first three months with the Red Sox.
Then, he started getting shelled after the All-Star break.
Mortensen was acquired from the Rockies before the 2012 season in exchange for Marco Scutaro. The trade not only helped the Red Sox dump salary, but it also got them a former 36th-overall draft pick and a former No. 6 prospect from the St. Louis Cardinals farm system in return.
The lanky, 6'4" and 185-pound pitcher breezed through AAA, posting a 1.91 ERA and 0.96 WHIP, and he got a well-deserved early call-up to the big league level.
From May through July, Mortensen posted great numbers. He had a 1.17 ERA and 0.87 WHIP, allowing just three runs, two home runs, 13 hits and seven walks over 23.0 innings.
However, in the final three months, the former top 10 prospect was abysmal. The 27-year-old posted a 5.68 ERA and 1.63 WHIP, allowing 12 runs, five home runs, 19 hits and 12 walks over 19.0 innings.
Like the rest of the team, Mortensen faded in the final months of the season. The Red Sox closed out July with a 54-51 record, and Mortensen finished with a 1.17 ERA. Then, the team won just 15 of its last 57 games, and the reliever posted a 5.68 ERA over that span.
At least in games at Fenway Park, the lanky pitcher posted a 3.00 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and .213 BAA.
Unlike with Scott Atchison and Rich Hill, who both had better overall seasons, the Red Sox did not allow Mortensen to be a free agent this offseason.
The team should expect a bigger, more consistent year out of Mortensen, who came to Boston in exchange for the 2012 NLCS MVP.