Hottovy Making Most Of Opportunity…And Bump In Salary

Since being promoted to Boston exactly one week ago, Tommy Hottovy has been earning a pro-rated portion of the major league minimum salary of $414,500. 

(Photos courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)

The 29-year-old pitcher is not getting rich – at least not yet – but every little bit helps since he and his wife Andrea are expecting their first child in about a month. 

“Instead of going with the baby glider and ottoman that was on sale, I think we splurged and did a custom fabric on one that we wanted,” Hottovy said with a laugh.  “That’s basically our big purchase.”

Hottovy’s rise to the big leagues after more than seven years of minor league anonymity has been the feel-good story of the year for the Red Sox.  When he made his major league debut last weekend at Fenway Park, his parents, siblings, high school coaches, and some friends were there to see it. 

“We had 17 people fly out to Boston last weekend to come to the games, so it was an awesome, awesome time,” Tommy said.  “The only one that couldn’t make it was my wife because she’s 35 weeks pregnant so she had to stay home and watch it with friends.  She said there were a couple of places in Kansas City that had big parties going on to watch the game.”

The first time that I talked to Hottovy this year was with a few days left in spring training.  After adopting a full-time sidearm pitching motion, Tommy did not allow a run all spring, and I sensed a confidence level that I hadn’t seen last year.

“I felt really good and I was getting great feedback – not only from the coaching staff but from the hitters,” Hottovy said.  “Seeing the swings that they were taking and the contact that they were making – no one was hitting the ball very well.  Not giving up a run all spring added to my confidence.  I really felt like I was on the right path and I knew my role and what I needed to do to be successful.  I think I just carried that on into the season.”

His role in Boston is to be a LOOGY or Lefty One-Out GuY.  In his first weekend with the Red Sox, Hottovy retired Oakland’s David DeJesus three days in a row, and between the majors and minors this year, Tommy is holding left-handed batters to a .108 average (4-for-37). 

“I just need to be ready whenever they call my name,” Hottovy said.  “In my first five games with the Red Sox, I pitched in three and warmed up in the other two.  So I’m definitely getting a lot of work and I’m just trying to learn with I can do day-in and day-out to be ready to go.  But I love it.  I know when certain guys are coming up, so I have an idea when I need to start doing some exercises to get loosened up and ready to go.”

When Rich Hill suffered his season-ending elbow injury, Hottovy was the pick to replace him as the Red Sox left-handed relief specialist over Hideki Okajima and Felix Doubront.  Tommy says keeping the job is up to him.  

“I feel like they’re going to give me an opportunity to come in and get lefties out until I don’t execute,” Hottovy said.  ” To me, as long as I keep doing what I’ve been doing this year, they’re going to give me opportunities to come into those situations and get guys out.  I going to try to continue to get better and continue to work.”

His hard work has definitely paid off.  A new baby glider with custom fabric proves it.

* * * * *    

The PawSox will try to snap a 3-game losing streak on Friday as they conclude their series in Norfolk at 7:15.

I hope you’ll join us for radio coverage beginning with the pre-game show at 7:00 on the PawSox radio network and pawsox.com.

I’d love to hear from you.  The address is dhoard@pawsox.com.

If you Twitter, you can follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/Dan_Hoard

And I have finally joined Facebook.  Just search for Dan Hoard and look for the photo of me with the handsome lad.

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