The groin injury recently suffered by Boston Red Sox pitching prospect Anthony Ranaudo will not prevent him from being ready for spring training, according to this report from the Providence Journal’s Tim Britton.
WEEI’s Alex Speier had previously reported that the right-handed Ranaudo had been shut down in the Puerto Rican Winter League after being injured while pitching in a November 28th game. It was the final setback in a season filled with disappointment and injuries for the prospect, whose star dimmed in 2012.
Ranaudo was a first-round pick (39th overall selection) of the Red Sox in the 2010 MLB draft out of LSU. He went 9-6 with a 3.97 ERA in the minors in 2011, which was his first professional season. This led to him being named Boston’s top pitching and fourth-best overall prospect last January by Baseball America.
But everything went wrong for Ranaudo this past season. Pitching in Double-A, he was injured for much of the year and made a total of just nine starts. And he wasn't very good when he was on the field, going just 1-3 with a 6.69 ERA.
Ranaudo went to the winter league looking to get in work to build back his strength for the upcoming season. According to Speier, Ranaudo was expected to throw 25-30 innings in Puerto Rico, but wound up with just 9.1 because of his injury.
Fortunately, it doesn't appear that Ranaudo suffered any long-term setbacks, and he will be ready come spring training. Britton quoted Ben Crockett, Boston’s director of player development, as feeling optimistic about the pitcher’s prognosis:
At this point, we're not anticipating any kind of issue going forward in the offseason. We did a bunch of tests, and there's no tears— nothing more than muscle spasms. Based on the history of the injury, we wanted to be more on the cautious side. With it being only one more start on the docket, we figured there was no reason to push it. He did what we hoped he'd do, which is get some innings, get some experience, finish the year on the mound. He's in a good place mentally right now to go into spring training.
Regardless of his health, Ranaudo has an uphill battle in 2013. He fell off Baseball America’s most recent top Red Sox prospect list, having been surpassed by fellow Boston minor league pitchers Matt Barnes, Allen Webster and Henry Owens.
Despite the setbacks, it appears Ranaudo is ready to put his disastrous 2012 season behind him and focus on the future. He made those feelings clear in a recent tweet from his personal account:
Ranaudo will have to work to regain the promise he held as a top draft pick. Although this past year didn't go as he and the Red Sox hoped, he will be healthy and ready to hopefully get back on track in 2013.
Statistics via BaseballReference