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Red Sox prospect Kyle Weiland to debut Sunday

Kyle Weiland, Carlos Lee

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Kyle Weiland throws a pitch to Houston Astros’ Carlos Lee during the first inning of a spring training baseball game Friday, March 11, 2011 in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)


Rather than turn to reliever Alfredo Aceves or add veteran Kevin Millwood from Pawtucket, the Red Sox have chosen 24-year-old Kyle Weiland to make his major league debut and start Sunday in Jon Lester’s place.

Weiland, a 2008 third-round pick out of Notre Dame, is 8-6 with a 3.00 ERA and a 99/37 K/BB ratio in 93 innings for Pawtucket this season. He’s second in the International Legaue in strikeouts and fifth in ERA.

The plan could be for Weiland to make a couple of starts before Clay Buchholz comes off the DL. His control is a little iffy, but he has a nice low-90s fastball with a curveball that serves as a strikeout pitch and a surprisingly good changeup. If he gets better at spotting his fastball as times goes on, he could turn into a viable middle-of-the-rotation starter for Boston.