Manny Delcarmen, born February 16, 1982, in Boston, Massachusetts, is a right-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. Delcarmen is the son of Manuel Delcarmen who spent time as a shortstop in the Phillies’ minor league system. Manny Delcarmen grew as a fan of the Boston Red Sox, eventually becoming a part of the team after treading a long and bumpy road.
Manny Delcarmen was drafted in the second round (62nd overall) of the 2000 amateur draft and on August 22, 2000, he signed his first professional contract, becoming a member of the Red Sox organization. This, however, would not immediately be known by Delcarmen. As he revealed during an interview on WEEI, a Boston-based sports radio station, when the Red Sox called his house to tell him that he had been drafted, his parents, family, and the media were there, but he and his girlfriend were missing. Apparently oblivious to the date of the draft, the young couple had taken a trip to the Old Country Buffet for lunch, leaving the draft party at home without its cause for celebration.
Delcarmen began his minor league career as a starting pitcher. His first taste of pro ball was in the rookie level Gulf Coast League where he pitched 11 games throwing 46 innings with a 2.54 ERA and striking out 62 en route to an excellent 3.26 strikeout to walk ratio. Further, he did not allow a home run; this power-dampening trend would prove not to be a fluke for Delcarmen as his career progressed. He started 24 games for single A level Augusta in 2002, putting up a 4.10 ERA in 136 innings while striking out exactly one batter per inning.
After throwing only four games in 2003 with high-A level Sarasota before Delcarmen was told that he needed to undergo what used to be considered a pitcher’s death sentence: Tommy John surgery. Since the procedure has been practiced more and more and is becoming increasingly refined for the better, more and more pitchers are not only successfully returning from the procedure – they are often coming back stronger and with more fastball velocity. This would prove to be the case for Delcarmen as he went from sitting in the low 90s (in MPH) to sitting in the mid 90s and hitting as high as 98. Combining his added velocity with 12-to-6 curveball and an effective changeup gave him the tools to eventually become a frontline prospect and eventually a Major League pitcher.
When he returned, Delcarmen spent just one more season as a starting pitcher before being converted to a reliever. He hit the ground running, speeding through the minor league system, and earning his first taste of the major leagues just a few months after becoming a reliever. He made his major league debut for the Boston Red Sox on July 26, 2005 at Tropicana Field against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, throwing a one-two-three inning. He bounced between the minors and the majors for the rest of the season, pitching ten games for Boston, holding the opposition scoreless in nine of those ten appearances.
2006 was Delcarmen’s rookie season with the Boston Red Sox as he tallied 53.1 innings, 45 strikeouts, 17 walks, only two home runs allowed, and a 5.06 ERA. At the start of the 2007 season, the Red Sox had a full bullpen, pushing Delcarmen back to AAA once again. He earned his way back to the bigs with 37 strikeouts in 29.1 innings in AAA. As an increasingly important member of Boston’s bullpen, Delcarmen posted a 2.05 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 44 innings. With the Red Sox, Delcarmen became a member of a World Series championship team in 2007.
Manny Delcarmen had his best season in 2008. Serving in a setup role out of the Red Sox’s bullpen, Delcarmen threw a career high 74.1 innings with a 3.27 ERA and .205 opponents’ average, striking out 72 batters, and picking up 18 holds and a pair of saves. His 2009 season was marred by injury as Delcarmen put up his worst numbers as a Major Leaguer (4.53 ERA, 1.64 WHIP). His 2010 started out shaky, but through two months of the season he has regained his form and posted a 1.88 ERA and .127 opponents’ average through 24 innings.