|07.19.16 at 9:36 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (50-46): L, 7-5, at Toledo (Tigers)
— The PawSox fell to Toledo despite totaling 13 hits, including four from Ryan LaMarre. The 27-year-old had three doubles in the game, the most two-baggers in a game from a Pawtucket batter in the last two years. He also had an RBI and two runs scored.
LaMarre, who is averaging .517 in his last eight games, also has safely reached base in the past 25 games. He is slashing .339/.410/.508 in 49 games with Pawtucket. His batting average leads the team.
— Right-hander William Cuevas received the loss, giving up six runs (five earned) on 11 hits, both season highs, in six innings. He did strike out five without walking a single batter. Monday’s game was the first loss for Cuevas since June 14. The 25-year-old is 6-4 with a 3.63 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. He leads all Pawtucket pitchers in innings pitched (96 2/3).
— Infielder Mike Miller went 3-for-4 with a walk. He now has hit safely in his last four games and in eight of his last 10. The 26-year-old is batting .257/.320/.311 in 61 games with both Pawtucket and Portland.
— Chris Dominguez drilled a solo home run in the third inning to score the game’s first run. It was his eighth homer of the season, good for second best on the team. Dominguez, 29, is averaging .371 in his last 10 outings and is hitting .243/.271/.446 this season.
|07.19.16 at 9:22 am ET|
The Red Sox will send Rick Porcello to the mound on Tuesday to kick off a two-game series against the Giants. He will be opposed by former Red Sox right-hander Jake Peavy.
Porcello has been quietly efficient for the Red Sox, recording an 11-2 record with a 3.66 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. His 11 wins are fourth best in the American League, and he has yet to lose a start at Fenway this season. He has won his last three starts, with his most recent victory coming against Tampa Bay on July 9. The right-hander gave up just one run on six hits in seven innings, striking out five and walking none in a 4-1 Red Sox win.
“There’s no question he feels comfortable on the mound here,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “His sinker works well here, and more than anything, his walk rate is at a career low. He’s doing a great job at limiting the overall baserunners.”
In three career starts vs. the Giants, Porcello is 1-1 with a 6.19 ERA. His last game against San Francisco was on June 7 of this season, when he let up three runs on five hits in six innings while striking out six in a 5-3 Red Sox win.
|07.18.16 at 10:46 pm ET|
Being just 18 years old and in his first professional season, Anderson Espinoza was scared.
The right-hander had just been traded from the Red Sox to the Padres in exchange for All-Star pitcher Drew Pomeranz. All he had known professionally was the Red Sox and now he was on the other side of the country.
But, after fully realizing what happened, Espinoza is now taking the trade as a positive.
“It was scary because I didn’t know what was going on after I heard that,” Espinoza told reporters in Fort Wayne, Indiana through a translator, including Jessica Starbard with WANE. “What is going to happen to me now? After talking to my agent and my family and they said every change is for you to be better. It’s going to be better for your life and your career so I started feeling a little bit better with that and I started to get happy because I know this trade is going to be big for me and give me a big chance to be in the big leagues.”
Espinoza is now with the Fort Wayne TinCaps, the Class-A affiliate of the Padres. He will make his Padres debut on Wednesday night. With Single-A Greenville this year, Espinoza was 5-8 with a 4.38 ERA, while totaling 72 strikeouts in 76 innings. He was limited to 85-90 pitches per outing.
At just 18 years old, he was the Red Sox’ best pitching prospect and now is the best prospect in the Padres system according to Baseball America.
“I don’t think too much about that,” he said. “I just go out there and compete. I don’t read much like Instagram, Twitter, whatever they say about me. I know I am good. I am just happy to know that I am very good. Whenever I pitch I don’t think about it.”
Ironically, Pomeranz will make his Red Sox debut Wednesday night as well.
|07.18.16 at 3:19 pm ET|
The Angels claimed infielder Sean Coyle on waivers from the Red Sox on Monday, hoping perhaps lightning can strike again 16 years later.
In 2000, the Red Sox placed infielder David Eckstein on waivers to add WEEI’s own Lou Merloni to the roster. The Angels scooped up the diminutive Eckstein, and a year later he finished fourth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting before embarking on a successful 10-year career that included two All-Star Games with the Cardinals and two World Series titles — one with the Angels in 2002 and another with the Cards that saw Eckstein named World Series MVP in 2006.
Listed at just 5-foot-6 and 170 pounds, Eckstein overcame size limitations to carve out a nice career. Coyle hopes to do the same. Generously listed at 5-8, 175, Coyle broke out at Double-A Portland in 2014, mashing 16 homers and compiling an .883 OPS.
He has struggled since, however, and hit just .125 at Triple-A Pawtucket this year. The 24-year-old was designated for assignment last week to make room for utilityman Michal Martinez on the 40-man roster.
The odds of Coyle’s career following in the footsteps of Eckstein’s may be low, but the Angels felt he was a worthy gamble to stash at Triple-A, particularly since they lack middle infield depth.
Jon Heyman of the MLB Network was the first to report the move.
|07.18.16 at 9:36 am ET|
Well, Fulmer was taken exactly one spot behind where the Red Sox selected Andrew Benintendi in the 2015 draft. This doesn’t mean by any means the Sox outfield prospect should immediately be rushed to the majors to keep pace, but it is another reminder that Benintendi’s time might not be far away.
Right now, Benintendi is doing his thing in Double-A Portland. After a slow start, he has seen his batting average and OPS climb to .277 and .819, respectively. Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski already suggested last month every aspect of the 22-year-old’s game is major league ready with the exception of his offense.
And now, with the jump in offensive acumen, the front office’s acceptance for Benintendi to help at the major league level might be growing.
“He’s making steady progress in Double-A,” said Red Sox general manager Mike Hazen. ” The consistency of his at-bats day in and day out have gotten better and better and better. There’s usually a transition to every level. Again, that’s why you’re not banking on that performance. You’re not counting on offensive performance, but you’re hoping they can do those other things.”
As we sit here, there wouldn’t seem to be an overriding need for outfield help at the major league level, particularly with Brock Holt coming back to serve as the left-handed-hitting complement in left field. And it appears as though Blake Swihart might be on the verge of making some rehab assignment appearances while returning from his ankle injury.
But there’s still a ways to go.
Jacoby Ellsbury in 2007. Xander Bogaerts six years later. Few thought at this time of year either would be playing pivotal roles in the Red Sox’ October runs, but there they were.
Ellsbury didn’t find his way onto the big league roster back in ’07 for more than a few days until September call-ups in ’07, while Bogaerts’ first introduction to the bigs came on Aug. 20, 2013. By the time the World Series came around in each of those seasons, both players found themselves as starters.
In ’07, Ellsbury started his season with 17 games at Double-A before playing 87 games with the Pawtucket Red Sox. Bogaerts began 2013 by playing in 56 games with Portland before his 60-game stint in Triple-A
“Once we send him to Triple A you’re not always saying he’s going to be a completely finished product by the time he has to go to the major leagues,” said Red Sox general manager Mike Hazen. “You’re hoping you’ve built in enough depth that you’re not forced into a decision, but you have to have some understanding that it could end up that way. So you have to be comfortable with that when you send a guy to Triple-A.
“You don’t assume, especially on the offensive side, there is going to be a contribution. You want them to be able to go up and pick up the ball, run the bases very well and contribute any way. You’re not banking on any time of offensive performance. And most of our lineups that we’ve had, and this one would be the same way, it’s not like this player would have to carry an offensive load. You want them to be a productive hitter, a productive member of the lineup, but more than anything else you want them to play really good defense, be able to run the bases and do what the manager and the team needs them to do to contribute. So those are the bigger factors. Everybody focuses on the offense because they want the players to come up and hit right away, but that’s not usually the way it works.”
Then there is the notion that Triple-A wouldn’t be needed, a scenario Dombrowski recently hinted at. It’s a progression the Red Sox have executed before when calling up outfielder Josh Reddick at the end of July in 2009, while having also allowed Jackie Bradley Jr. to start the 2013 season in the majors without any Triple-A experience.
While the players making such a move can have immediate success due to the lack of scouting reports, or an existence at the bottom of the batting order, there is also the flip-side. The ability for the player to overcome the eventual adversity they will face when jumping two levels is always a concern.
“That’s a risk you’re taking,” Hazen said. “If they’re good enough players they will figure it out. You’re never going to be 100 percent certain.”
The case for Benintendi being called upon to contribute during the pennant drive (and possibly beyond) hinges on injuries to Holt and/or Swihart, or one of the infielders, which would necessitate Holt moving into more of a utility role. Or perhaps the production at the position from the left side dips so dramatically, like it did when the doors opened for Ellsbury and Bogaerts, Benintendi is deemed the club’s best option.
There is also a scenario that could put Benintendi’s Double-A teammate, Yoan Moncada, in the mix for meaningful big league action when it counts the most. Except the case for the second baseman is slightly different than his Sea Dog brethren.
One of the staples for recent Red Sox postseason teams is to carry a designated pinch-runner. Consider it the Dave Roberts/Quintin Berry spot. Right now, Michael Martinez would fill that role, but considering he has just four stolen bases in his 237 big league games, there would seemingly be a need for an upgrade.
In 162 minor league games, Moncada has stole 92 bases in 104 chances. That would seem to be a pretty lethal weapon come the postseason.
With crunch-time on the Red Sox’ doorstep, and a legitimate pennant race upon us, it’s all something certainly to think about.
|07.18.16 at 8:42 am ET|
“No,” said Hazen when asked if the Red Sox on the verge of introducing another position to the 21-year-old second baseman. “We want him to get comfortable at second base. He’s showing very well at second base right now. He’s developing at Double-A. We want him to go day in and day out, learn a position, master a position. We’ll tackle that as we need to.”
The timetable for Moncada moving off second base — a maneuver that would seem to be just a matter of time due to the prospect’s progression and Dustin Pedroia’s presence — is line with Hazen’s previously stated blueprint.
When asked in spring training how the organization approached such a move, the GM said, “”No. 1, we have to make sure the base position is always taken care of first. So we won’t just rush into a decision to move a guy around until the base position is in a good spot. So wherever that primary spot is, we usually like to take care of that first, and if that comes along the way we like it to, great. Sometimes that happens in Double-A and sometimes that happens in Triple-A. When we get to that point, that’s where we more start exploring the opportunity to be exposed to different places.
“We’re taking care of the base position. You need to be a good defender at the major league level. One of the downsides of switching positions is that if you end up being mediocre at multiple positions that doesn’t fly that great with the major league staff, who want proficiency. So we need to make sure that base position is proficient. And usually at the lower minors, in Double-A, we’re still working on those things. So for a young kid especially who has limited reps, we want to make sure that that base position is taken care of.”
At this point, the Red Sox may be looking to cover themselves at second base if anything were to happen to Pedroia over an extended period of time. But even if such a scenario took place, the likelihood would be that the club initially utilizes Aaron Hill and/or Marco Hernandez at the position.
For now, Moncada’s most likely path to seeing major league time this season may simple be as a September call-up, getting the opportunity to help the club with his base-stealing acumen. (The switch-hitter is 43 for 52 in stolen base attempts this season.)
Offensively, Moncada is hinting he might not be far from being major-league ready.
With Double-A Portland, he is hitting .325 with five homers, seven stolen bases and a 1.039 OPS in 20 games. In his last four games Moncada has reached base 11 times in 18 plate appearances, drawing a pair of walks in each contest.
All of this after garnering MVP honors for the Futures Game in San Diego during the All-Star Game festivities.
|07.18.16 at 8:31 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system Sunday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (50-45): W, 6-0, vs. Charlotte (White Sox)
— In Pawtucket’s third straight win, Roenis Elias threw 6 2/3 innings of scoreless ball, letting up only two hits while striking out four. The southpaw didn’t allow a hit until the end of the fourth inning.
“His effort level was under control and his breaking ball was really good today,” PawSox manager Kevin Boles told MiLB.com. “He got those guys swinging early.”
Elias, 27, is 7-1 in his last 10 starts, pitching at least five innings in all of those appearances. He is 7-4 with a 3.90 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 15 minor league outings this season. His 76 strikeouts rank second among Pawtucket pitchers.
— Marco Hernandez did more than enough on offense to secure the win for Pawtucket, going 1-for-4 with a season-high four RBIs. His second home run of the year came in the third inning, driving in three. He also drove in a run with a ground out in the opening frame.
The 23-year-old infielder has hit safely in his last three games and is slashing .315/.362/.444 this season. He ist third on current PawSox in RBIs.
|07.18.16 at 1:14 am ET|
Jonny Gomes won’t get to model his American Flag blazer again for President Obama this week.
Despite being a member of the World Series-champion Royals last year, Gomes wasn’t invited to Thursday’s meet-and-greet at the White House with President Obama. Gomes told FoxSports’ Ken Rosenthal that he’s crushed by the snub.
“I’ve been sent down. I’ve been non-tendered, whatever,” Gomes told Rosenthal. “But this is probably the worst news of my professional baseball career.
“I’m not trying to throw an egg on anyone’s face. But a lot of people are asking me, ‘Hey, are you going to wear that American flag jacket? Is Obama going to ask you to make that speech again?’ It would be pretty cool. This is probably going to be Obama’s last championship team before he leaves office.”
Gomes met Obama after the Red Sox won the title in 2013 and sported the aforementioned patriotic apparel. He played an integral role on that team. The Royals left him off the invite list because they said they could only include a limited number of guests, and Gomes wasn’t on their postseason roster. He joined the club on Aug. 31 in a waiver deal and batted just .167 in 12 games.
The 35-year-old opened this year in Japan, but returned in May. Reports at the time erroneously claimed he was retiring. Gomes told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford that he didn’t plan to hang them up, though he has yet to hook on with another team.
|07.18.16 at 1:02 am ET|
NEW YORK — The Red Sox continue to wait.
David Price has had his moments this year. He has looked very good at times.
But he has yet to really dominate an opponent and win a game on his own. Such was the case Sunday night against the Yankees when he once again did just enough to lose in a 3-1 defeat.
Considering that the Yankees pounded Price for 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings, it could’ve been worse. But fact is, the Red Sox gave Price a 1-0 lead in the first on Dustin Pedroia’s solo homer, and he gave it back during a three-run fourth.
“I’m definitely not satisfied,” Price said. “It was a bad fourth inning. Even when I was ahead, I couldn’t execute whatever pitch I was throwing to get an out. That’s tough. They gave me a lead there in the first inning with a home run by Pedey, and I couldn’t capitalize.
“That’s all it takes, one bad inning, one bad pitch. At this level, that’s enough to lose your team a ballgame. That was the case today. Those are always the tough ones.”
|07.17.16 at 11:39 pm ET|
NEW YORK — If David Price is planning to embark on a dominant second-half run, as he suggested to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford recently, it didn’t start Sunday night.
Once again tasked with protecting a slim lead, Price once again faltered against the Yankees. He allowed three runs in the fourth and generally struggling to put away one of the more pedestrian offenses in the American League in a 3-1 loss that snapped Boston’s six-game winning streak.
“The finishing pitch might not have been there as it was the last few times out for him but still, despite the combination of hits in that one inning, he kept the game very much under control,” manager John Farrell said. “He might not have been as sharp or as powerful as recent times out, but they string together 11 hits, got to go to the bullpen to shut things down and we did.”
Price needed to be perfect to outduel Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka. After Dustin Pedroia gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead with a solo homer in the first, Price struggled right from the start, allowing a line drive to left by leadoff Brett Gardner that Brock Holt snared with a diving catch.
The Yankees peppered Price for 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings, including two each from Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Carlos Beltran atop the order.
That said, the Red Sox carried a 1-0 lead into the fourth before Price faltered. Didi Gregorius started things with a one-out single and scored on Starlin Castro’s double to left. Price had a chance to keep the game tied, but after striking out Rob Refsnyder, he allowed RBI singles to Austin Romine and Ellsbury.
Price was lifted with two outs in the sixth after allowing singles to Gardner and Ellsbury, leaving the mound after a disappointing performance that left his ERA at 4.36 and at least temporarily dashed hopes that he’d start the second half the same way he finished the first, with eight strong innings against the Rays.
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