Dominic LoBrutto has bounced around a lot this season.
The left-handed reliever twice has been promoted to Double-A Portland, spent a brief rehab stint in the Gulf Coast League and is currently in his third tour with the Salem Red Sox in a four-month span.
The Carolina League has been good to him.
Entering Friday’s home game against Lynchburg, LoBrutto was 1-1 with a 1.90 ERA across 14 appearances for Salem. In 23 2/3 innings, he’s struck out 22 batters while walking only three, contributing to a 0.877 WHIP that ranks the best among Sox pitchers with at least 10 innings.
LoBrutto isn’t overpowering. The 23-year-old tops out in the low 90s with his fastball, complementing that pitch with a high-80s cutter and a low-80s slider.
Command, then, is crucial for him, and he struggled with it during his tenure at Florida International University. He walked 25 batters over 44 1/3 innings his first two seasons. While he improved that as a junior in 2017, he went 1-5 with a 4.80 ERA to slide into the 18th round of the draft, where Boston picked him and signed him for a $100,000 bonus.
LoBrutto started this season in Salem and surrendered only one earned run in his first nine Carolina League outings. His most recent run with the team began with a rocky appearance against Frederick on July 15, but he’s been solid in four outings since. He picked up a victory on Monday with a scoreless ninth inning against Myrtle Beach.
Given his history, LoBrutto could be on the move again soon. But the Salem Sox will take him as long as they can get him as they chase a second-half title.