Former Barnegat Pitcher Jay Groome on Disabled List, Ends First Minor League Season

Sep 20, 2017
Photo by: Gwinn Davis/Greenville Drive SHUT IT DOWN: Barnegat’s left-handed flamethrower Jay Groome, drafted by the Boston Red Sox, suffered forearm strain in his last start, Aug. 22.

Even though the Greenville Drive were playing in the South Atlantic League championship series against the Kannapolis Intimidators last week, former Barnegat High School standout Jay Groome was not with the team. Instead, his season was over before the playoffs had started early in September.

Groome’s first full season with the Boston Red Sox Class-A affiliate ended just about the way it started – with the big lefthander on the disabled list. In Groome’s first start, on April 10 against the Lexington Legends, the 19-year-old lasted just 1-1/3 innings, giving up nine earned runs on seven hits, before an injury to his back forced him onto the DL.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Groome remained sidelined until June 19, when he was reassigned to the short-season Class-A Lowell Spinners for three rehab starts. Against the Rome Braves on July 4, Groome returned to the hill for the Drive and scored his first career victory with a five-inning, one-hit, seven-strikeout effort.

After taking the loss in three of his next four starts, Groome picked up his second win on Aug. 2 against the Asheville Tourists, as he allowed one hit through six scoreless innings and fanned a career-high eight batters. Groome won his next start as well, on Aug. 7 against Kannapolis, during which he gave up just three hits through five scoreless innings and struck out six.

On Aug. 12 against Rome, Groome pitched well, giving up two earned runs while scattering seven hits through five innings, but took the loss. He lost again on Aug. 17 against the Charleston RiverDogs, then allowed three runs without giving up a hit but walked six through three innings on Aug. 22 against the Columbia Fireflies.

Two days later, Groome was back on the disabled list with a forearm strain. In a report on MiLB.com, Red Sox vice president of player development Ben Crockett said Groome’s left arm looked good structurally, but with a limited amount of time left in the season, he was shut down.

For the season, Groome ended up 3-9 with a 5.69 ERA. With Greenville, he started 11 games and went 44-1/3 innings. He gave up 33 earned runs on 44 hits, including six home runs, and 25 walks while striking out 58. Opposing hitters batted .257 against Groome. With Lowell, Groome went 0-2 with a 1.64 ERA, comprised of three rehab starts and 11 innings of work.

David Biggy

biggy@thesandpaper.net

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