Jay Groome's return to the mound doesn't go quite as planned

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It's easy to say any year is an important one for a minor league baseball player. It's even easier to proclaim when it comes to Jay Groome.

Groome has been in professional baseball since being taken with the 12th overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. Heading into Wednesday night, the 22-year-old had pitched in just four innings since 2017.

And now, beginning with his start for Single-A Greenville, he finds himself at a crossroads when determining his future with the Red Sox.

The all-important 2021 journey hasn't gotten off to a great start.

Serving as the Drive's Opening Day starter, Groome allowed five runs on six hits over just two innings, striking out three and walking three.

The best news coming out of Greenville's 9-2 loss was the performance of Danny Santana, who is rehabbing after undergoing Tommy John surgery and enduring a spring training foot infection. Santana came away with a hit in his debut.

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