Owens ends year with confidence going forward

Despite loss, rookie lefty believes he belongs in Majors, has chance to be in 2016 rotation

Owens ends year with confidence going forward

CLEVELAND -- The results for Henry Owens on Friday night weren't as relevant to the big picture as the way lefty answered one question after his final start.

"I believe I belong, yes," said Owens.

Owens made 11 starts for the Red Sox in his first taste of life in the Major Leagues, and many were better than Friday, when he gave up 10 hits and seven runs over 4 1/3 innings in an 8-2 loss.

The lanky lefty feels he's a couple of minor adjustments away from turning into a consistent Major League starter.

"Continue to refine my delivery and make it as repeatable as possible, make it muscle memory, and everything drives off the fastball," said Owens. "It's just fastball command. That's what I've been doing in my five years of playing professional baseball. Now I'm here. You're constantly trying to refine your delivery and get better."

In his 11 starts after the recall from Triple-A Pawtucket, the 23-year-old Owens went 4-4 with a 4.57 ERA.

There were enough positives that Owens could land a spot in Boston's 2016 rotation depending on what other moves the club makes this winter.

"I think he's done a great job, and everyone that's watching him and evaluating him is very impressed with what he's doing," said interim manager Torey Lovullo. "He had a natural increase in innings. I know it was mid-180s. I think he threw 160 last year. He's right on. As far as his development goes, he just keeps getting better.

"Those are the types of conversations that we have in the offseason. Those are things we'll talk about as a group. For me, in my evaluation of Henry, what I said to him after the game is he should be really proud of the year that he had. He got to the big leagues, he did a very good job while he was here, he grew up a little bit, and it will prepare him for a better 2016."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.