Kyle Weiland learned a couple of days ago that he was likely to start for the Red Sox on Sunday, but the 24-year-old pitcher was told not to share the news with his teammates, parents, or even his wife Rachel.
“I was under strict instructions to keep it quiet so you have to respect that and do what you’re told,” Weiland said.
(Photos courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
Mum is no longer the word. Red Sox manager Terry Francona told reporters on Friday afternoon that Weiland will make his major league debut on Sunday in place of the injured Jon Lester.
“It’s something that I’ve been working toward for a long time and it’s everybody’s dream and goal since they’re little kids,” Weiland said. “The fact that I’m getting the opportunity on Sunday is a tremendous honor and I’m really excited about it and can’t wait for it.”
Weiland says that as far as he knows, he’ll only be starting one game.
“I’m going in there to spot start and fill a role on Sunday,” Kyle said. “Obviously, I want to pitch the best that I can and if they need another spot starter or something else happens, then I would like to show them that I can be the guy to fill that role and help the Red Sox win games.”
After 17 starts for Pawtucket, Weiland is 8-6 with a 3.00 ERA and ranks 2nd in the I.L. in strikeouts with 99 (in 93 IP). The former Notre Dame closer has been especially dominant in his last 3 starts, going 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA.
“I don’t think (my confidence) could be any better than it is right now,” Weiland said. “In my last two starts I went out there and had all four pitches right from the get-go and my confidence is at its highest. I absolutely think that this is the best time for this to happen.
“It will be nice not to keep it a secret more than anything. I’m not a huge guy for the limelight and I don’t desire to be that guy – I just like to go about my business and do the best that I can and be a good team player.”
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