Red Sox right-handed pitcher Anthony Ranaudo, who was limited to 37 2/3 innings with Double-A Portland this year due to a succession of injuries, had his participation in the Puerto Rican Winter League came to a premature end after he suffered a right groin injury in his outing on Nov. 28.
Ranaudo lasted just 2/3 of an inning in his most recent start, permitting two runs (one earned) on two hits for Caguas before being lifted due to the injury. While a Red Sox source said that the injury was not considered as serious as the one that sidelined him for April (an injury that he incurred in the last week of spring training, then aggravated in early April), the team didn't want to take any chances of the pitcher suffering a more serious physical setback in his winter league.
The 23-year-old, who had been slated to work approximately 25-30 innings in Puerto Rico, was instead limited to just 9 1/3 innings in four outings, finishing with a 6.75 ERA, seven strikeouts and two walks. He alternated two terrific outings (three no-hit innings in his Caguas debut, and four shutout innings of one-hit ball in his third outing) with a pair of outings in which he allowed a combined eight runs (seven earned) in 2 1/3 innings.
Ranaudo, who entered the year rated the No. 4 overall prospect in the Red Sox system by Baseball America, saw his prospect stock slip considerably due to his health issues and his struggles while on the mound. The Sox, however, remain hopeful that the 2012 season will prove an aberration given the pitcher's excellent makeup and the fact that he did, at times, show the makings of an above-average fastball and curveball (pitches that proved wildly inconsistent in 2012, however) while also making some strides with his changeup.
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