On the Farm: Zink tosses two-hitter at Syracuse

Charlie Zink (9-2) continues to use his knuckleball with great success at Triple-A. In his latest start on Thursday, he earned a two-hit shutout of Syracuse Chiefs, going the distance using just 93 pitches for a 2-0 victory. Zink mixed his pitches well and whiffed eight Chiefs. In his previous start, he had given up five runs in six innings at Rochester, but bounced back in this one, showing some toughtness and maturity.

Zink has pitched 111 2/3 innings in 18 starts for Pawtucket this year, and has been nearly unhittable, holding opponents to a .199 average. His now has a 2.42 ERA, leading the International League. He has been consistently in the 2’s every month, and has not had a losing decision since May 5. Not bad for an undrafted rookie, which he was in 2002.

As if the Red Sox needed another starting pitcher knocking on the door. It’s possible that the 28-year old Zink could be an effective back-of-the-rotation starter (something like a younger Tim Wakefield) in the bigs, but unfortunately he’s just not in the Red Sox’s plans for the rotation. Some fans have mentioned trying him in the bullpen, but he poses the same problem as Wake in that role. It is a possibility, but would you have to take Jason Varitek out of the lineup every time you used Zink in a key situation? That doesn’t sound appealing. Smaller-market teams have shown mild interest, and he could be part of a deadline deal, though it would be a shame for Pawtucket to lose their best starter in the midst of their best season in years.


2 Responses to On the Farm: Zink tosses two-hitter at Syracuse

  1. Pat says:

    It was a shame the Gagne deal didn’t work out. David Murphy has blossomed in Texas. It feels like he was wasted (not that we had anywhere to put him), but that will happen. I really hope if we end up making a trade for some relief pitching, we end up with someone who will be useful long term.

    I’d hate to give up Zink to see him flourish in another team, without getting a decent return. We really need to be able to use our surplus to strengthen weaknesses.

  2. redsoxtalk says:

    Pat, I know that ideally we’d get someone who goes on to become a fixture on this team, but that is not likely to happen. If a player is that good, why would the other team trade him?

    The situation that is most likely to occur is we get a rental or at best 1.5 years of someone. The whole idea is to leverage young talent to get us someone solid for August and beyond. If we re-sign him and that turns into a beautiful relationship, great.

    Murphy is hitting .266/.306/.443 for Texas, providing positional flexibility and good defense. The Sox weren’t wrong that he’s a 4th outfielder, though he should improve with experience. The toolsy Engel Beltre is already looking like he could flame out in Single-A ball. I actually think the best piece the Rangers got was Gabbard, who got off to a great start before landing on the DL at the end of April.

    Zink is a solid talent too, but like these players, would not beat out any of our starters here. He just can’t crack a rotation of Beckett, Matsuzaka, Lester, Buchholz, Wakefield and Masterson.

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