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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

July 31, 2009 at 1:28 PM

Tim Lincecum’s Husky teammate, Nick Hagadone, goes to Cleveland in Victor Martinez deal

hagadone.jpg

The Boston Globe and other sources are reporting that Victor Martinez has been traded from Cleveland to the Red Sox for Boston pitcher Justin Masterson, and minor-league pitchers Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price (not the former Mariners’ pitching coach).

The name that jumped out at me was Hagadone, a lefty who has strong local ties. He pitched at Sumner High School and then for the Huskies, where he had a stint as Tim Lincecum’s closer and also started games, making first-team All-Pac 10 in 2007.

The Red Sox picked him in the supplemental first round in 2007 (55th overall), and he was on the fast track until undergoing Tommy John surgery in June of 2008. But he’s come back this season to start nine games at Class AA Greenville of the Southern League. Hagadone has an 0-2 record but a solid 2.86 ERA, with just 13 hits allowed in 22 innings, and 30 strikeouts. The fact that he’s pitched just 22 innings in nine starts tells me he’s on a strict pitch count.

Here are a few links about Hagadone. And one more: A story I did last October on the Red Sox’s Northwest connection.

Here’s the take of ESPN’s Keith Law on Hagadone: Left-hander Nick Hagadone, 23, is just 26 innings into his return from 2009 Tommy John surgery, but has shown most of the velocity he had before his elbow snapped (on a changeup, of all things) last April. As a reliever, Hagadone should sit in the mid-90s with a potential out-pitch slider and a much-improved changeup; he has the pitches to start but lacks starting experience and stretching his arm out so he can handle a full season’s workload in a rotation will take a long time. His command has been mediocre this year, but that’s usually the last thing to return after a pitcher has ligament-replacement surgery. The odds are good that either Price or Hagadone will start for Cleveland down the road, with the other and Masterson becoming impact relievers.

(Seattle Times photo by Jim Bates)

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