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Meet David Pauley

Posted by David Lefort, Boston.com Staff  May 31, 2006 12:36 PM

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So who is this David Pauley guy, anyway?

The 22-year-old starting pitcher from Double-A Portland will make his major league debut tonight for the Red Sox, and will be trying to stave off a three-game Toronto sweep.

The Red Sox provided us plenty of information on the young righthander, and we bring it to you, courtesy of the team's daily notes package (we also Googled him):

The Pauley file

2006 with Portland: Makes his first career big league start tonight in the finale of the 3-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre…makes the jump from Double-A, where he has gone 2-3 with a 2.39 ERA (16 ER/60.1 IP) in 10 starts this season for the Portland Sea Dogs…ranks 7th in the league in ERA and is tied for 9th with 60.1 innings pitched…has pitched 6.0 innings or more in 8 of his 10 starts, including a season-high 8.0 innings his last time out, Friday vs. New Britain…has also allowed 2 earned runs or fewer in 8 of his 10 starts…with 47 strikeouts and only 17 walks in 60.1 innings, is averaging 7.0 strikeouts and 2.5 walks per 9 innings…is limiting Eastern League batters to a .248 (54-for-218) average, including a .263 (25-for-95) mark by righties and a .236 (29-for-123) mark by lefties.

He has gone 0-2 despite a 2.90 ERA (10 ER/31.0 IP) in 5 May starts after going 2-1 with a 1.84 ERA (6 ER/29.1 IP) in 5 starts in April…is limiting the opposition to a .146 (7-for-48) average with runners in scoring position, including a .136 (3-for-22) mark in those situations with 2 outs…gets stronger the deeper he goes in a start, holding opponents to a .167 (5-for-30) average in the 5th inning, a .185 (5-for-27) average in the 6th inning and a .000 (0-for-9) average in the 7th inning…however, has been hit at a .341 (14-for-41) clip in the first inning…struck out a season-high 6 batters in 3 straight starts, April 23-May 4.

Last time out: Last got the nod for Portland on Friday vs. New Britain (Twins)…took the loss despite working a season-high 8.0 innings, allowing 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits…struck out 4 and walked one in the 4-0 loss.

2006 spring training: Made 3 big league starts for Boston in 2006 Spring Training, going 0-2 with a 8.18 ERA (10 ER/11.0 IP)…got the start in Boston's 9-5
exhibition loss on April 1 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia…received a no-decision after allowing 5 runs on 8 hits in 4.0 innings...struck out 4 and did not issue a
walk.

2005 in review: In his first season in the Red Sox organization, went 9-7 with a 3.81 ERA in 27 starts for Double-A Portland…his 9 wins, 27 starts and 156.0 innings were all career highs…ranked 8th among Sox farmhands in ERA…his 156.0 innings were 7th-most in the Eastern League and 2nd to only Tim Kester (165.1) in the organization…allowed 2 earned runs or less in 17 of 27 starts, including 8 of his first 10…went 3-1 with a 3.02 ERA (19 ER/56.2 IP) in his first 10 outings…walked one or less in 17 starts…named EL Pitcher of the Week for May 30-June 5, going 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA (4 ER/14.0 IP) in 2 starts…tossed his first career complete game in Game 2 of a July 11 doubleheader at New Hampshire, allowing an unearned run on 4 hits in 7.0 innings…lost both of his postseason starts despite allowing only 2 earned runs in 9.1 innings for a 1.93 ERA.

Career notes: Was acquired from the San Diego Padres with OF Jay Payton, INF Ramon Vazquez and cash considerations from the San Diego Padres for OF Dave Roberts on December 20, 2004…was named the No. 7 prospect in the Padres organization prior to the 2004 season by Baseball America…in the 2004 campaign, went 7-12 with a 4.17 ERA in 27 games, including a team-high 26 starts, for Single-A Lake Elsinore…led the Storm with 153.1 innings and 128 K's, 2nd most in the organization…tied for 4th in the Padres organization in 2003 with a 3.29 ERA for Single-A Fort Wayne…led all Padres minor leaguers and ranked 10th in the Northwest League in 2002 with a 2.81 ERA for Short-season Single-A Eugene…Made his pro debut in 2001 with Short-season Single-A Idaho Falls, where he led the league with 15 starts and tied for 2nd with 4 wins…originally signed with the Padres as an 8th-round pick in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft.

Here and there ...

  • Pauley today aims to become the first Sox pitcher to win his major league debut as a starter since Juan Pena beat Anaheim 6-1 on May 8, 1999 at Fenway, the first to do so on the road since Vaughn Eshelman won 8-0 at Yankee Stadium May 2, 1995.

  • At 22 years, 11 months and 14 days, Pauley would be the youngest Sox starter to win his major league debut since Pena (22 years, 10 months and 11 days).

  • He is the first Red Sox starter to make the jump from Double-A to the majors since Abe Alvarez in 2004…at 22 years, 11 months, 14 days, is also the youngest Red Sox pitcher to make his major league debut as a starter since Alvarez (21 years, 9 months, 5 days)…aims to be the first Red Sox starter to earn the win in his major league debut since Juan Pena accomplished the feat vs. Anaheim on May 8, 1999.

    Even more Pauley tidbits (courtesy of the Globe's Nick Cafardo)

    Sox manager Terry Francona said of Pauley, "We didn't think it would bother his progression. We have a day off the next day. It's not like he has to go eight. And hopefully some unfamiliarity with him will get him through. We think he can handle a start or two or whatever it ends up being."

    A second start would fall Tuesday at Yankee Stadium, though it's hard to see the Sox thrusting Pauley into that setting. Pauley is widely regarded as a fringe fifth starter in the big leagues with average to below-average arm strength, a scouting report he probably wouldn't dispute.

    "When I first got drafted [eighth round in 2001 by San Diego], I was basically an average guy -- four-seamers at 88 to 90 [m.p.h], curveball was inconsistent, and below-average changeup," he said.

    After being dealt to the Sox in December 2004 with Jay Payton and Ramon Vazquez for Dave Roberts, Pauley morphed into a sinkerball pitcher. He said he throws sinkers about 85 percent of the time, usually at 86-91 m.p.h.

    "My changeup has come a long way," he said. "And I have my curveball, too, as a strikeout pitch. And I can get ahead with it."

    Pauley said he's thankful to have started an exhibition game April 1 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, and he's somewhat thankful to have struggled (4 IP, 8 H, 5 R, including a three-run homer by Chase Utley).

    "If I hadn't pitched there I probably wouldn't know what was going on now," he said. "It's a pretty significant jump."

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