Henry Owens isn't worried about what is going on with the major league rotation. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Next wave of Red Sox starters not thinking about Rick Porcello's contract extension, other starters' contracts

Ryan Hannable
April 07, 2015 - 4:45 pm
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PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Following the Red Sox extending starting pitcher Rick Porcello through the 2019 season on Monday, the Red Sox' rotation is pretty set and stone for the next few years. Aside from Justin Masterson who will be a free agent after this season, Clay Buchholz is under team control until 2017, Wade Miley and Joe Kelly until 2018 and then Porcello until 2019. With the organization having some of their top pitching prospects reaching Triple-A at the start of the season, itching to get their chance in the big leagues, it's not an unreasonable question to ask where will some of these pitchers -- Henry Owens, Brian Johnson, Eduardo Rodriguez, Matt Barnes -- fit in? These players aren't even thinking about that, as they are solely focused on themselves and getting better, preparing themselves for whenever that call comes. "My personal thought is if you think about other things that are our of your control, you're not going to have as much success as you could," Johnson said Tuesday at PawSox media day. "If you just focus on the task at hand and you work hard usually it works out." Johnson, who experienced his first major league camp this past spring and is the No. 5 ranked prospect by Baseball America in the Red Sox system, will make his Triple-A debut Thursday night as the PawSox' Opening Day starter in Lehigh Valley. Owens, the No. 2 ranked Red Sox prospect by Baseball America, spent his second spring in major league camp, and is entering his first full season in Triple-A. He too isn't looking much at what is happening with the big league club. "I try not to fall in the victim of that," said Owens. "I just try and continue to work every single day so that when I get that call I know I am ready." "You can't think like that," he added. "You just have to ready for when that call comes just in case a void needs to be filled. If there is they will call upon you because they are confident in you to fill it and they know your ready." If one of Johnson or Owens were to become the next full-time member of the Red Sox rotation, they would look forward to working alongside Porcello, a guy they both now look up to even after a short two months together at spring training. "You just congratulate the guy on his success," Owens said of Porcello's extension. "I mean, it's well deserved. It's great that he will be in a Boston uniform for years to come because he's a great pitcher." While looking up and seeing four out of the five spots in the big league rotation likely secured until at least 2017, it could be easy to put a lot of pressure on themselves to get that spot. But, with the nature of how baseball is, everything has a way of playing itself out. Injuries, trades, decisions, etc. can happen at anytime and as a player you have to be ready for anything, which means controlling only what you can control. "All I really worry about is taking things one thing at a time," Johnson said. "Right now I am worried about my next bullpen and then after that I will be worried about my start. That is all I can think about to be honest."

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