Boston adds lefty Britton to bullpen

Boston adds lefty Britton to bullpen

OAKLAND -- A tumultuous journey spanning a five-year Minor League career, Tommy John surgery and an arrest for driving under the influence has finally led to left-hander Drake Britton joining the Major League ranks for the first time.

Britton, 24, joined the Red Sox for Sunday's series finale against the A's -- the last game before the All-Star break -- with Jack Bradley Jr. headed to Triple-A Pawtucket to free the roster spot.

"We felt like we needed to add another arm to the bullpen given the number of left-handers that this lineup has," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We felt like Drake was a good fit to give us a third lefty. It's also part of what we wanted to see with our young, internal pitchers, to take a look at them in the early part of July. And he comes to us having thrown the ball well late."

Britton, Boston's No. 12 prospect,  went 7-6 with a 3.51 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 97 1/3 innings as a starter with Double-A Portland and surrendered five runs in 5 1/3 innings in his debut for Pawtucket last week. With Brandon Workman making his first Major League start Sunday, Britton's promotion may just be a preemptive measure in case Workman falters early.

"I don't know yet," Britton said when asked what he foresees regarding his role with the team. "I'm just coming in here fresh and ready to do whatever they ask me."

While he's had success on the field lately, Britton is still dealing with legal matters after he was arrested in March on DUI charges after allegedly driving 111 mph in a 45-mph zone near the team's Spring Training facility in Fort Myers, Fla.

"It was very tough, very embarrassing," Britton said. "I'm extremely remorseful, first for bringing that negative attention not only to myself, but to the organization. It was a very big learning experience for me and I've learned a lot. Now, I'm just concentrating on making things right and focusing back on baseball."

Jeff Kirshman is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.