|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: A step forward for Daniel Bard; Justin Germano’s decision; Garin Cecchini on a tear||07.03.12 at 12:02 pm ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox minor league system on Monday…
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 2-1 WIN VS. ROCHESTER (TWINS)
– Daniel Bard, for the first time since his move back to the bullpen, pitched for a second straight day, with promising results. He tossed a perfect inning, getting all three batters he faced to ground out, while throwing eight of his 10 pitches for strikes. Bard told reporters that he was able to carry the positives forward from the end of an outing on Sunday, when he threw eight of his last 11 pitches for strikes, and repeat his delivery with similar results on Monday. It was the second time since Bard got to Pawtucket that he worked a clean inning.
– Zach Stewart, in his second start since joining the Red Sox in the trade that sent Kevin Youkilis to Chicago, allowed one run on five hits (three singles, two doubles) in six innings while walking none and striking out a batter. The 25-year-old has a 1.54 ERA in his two starts with the PawSox; he’s struck out five and has yet to walk a batter in 11 2/3 innings.
– Alex Wilson recorded his first save since being moved to the bullpen, tossing a pair of scoreless innings while walking one and striking out two. He’s now 4-2 with a 2.86 ERA with 32 strikeouts and 13 walks in 34 2/3 innings of relief. Opponents are hitting .234 against him. However, he has yet to make an appearance on fewer than two days of rest.
– Justin Germano informed the Red Sox in the middle of the day on Monday that he was exercising his right to opt out of his minor league deal, given that he has not been added to the major league roster. The Red Sox now have until Wednesday (July 4) to make a decision about whether to add him to the roster or grant him his release for the purposes of making him a free agent.
Germano is 9-4 with a 2.40 ERA and has struck out 72 while walking just 13 in 105 innings, performing as one of the more effective starters in the International League (indeed, he was named an International League All-Star last week). With Daisuke Matsuzaka potentially going on the disabled list, it remains to be seen whether the Sox will be prompted to create a roster spot for Germano or if the team will let him walk, given that Stewart now joins the group of Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz (currently on the DL), Felix Doubront, Franklin Morales, Aaron Cook and Matsuzaka as potential Sox starters who are already on the 40-man roster.
– Lars Anderson went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and he’s now driven in runs in four straight games.
– Scott Podsednik went 1-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts while playing the complete game in center field. In three rehab games, he’s now 1-for-11 with a walk.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 12-4 LOSS, 5-3 LOSS VS. TRENTON (YANKEES)
– Jackie Bradley Jr. went 1-for-3 with a walk in the first game of the double header before going 1-for-4 in the nightcap, with the second contest snapping a streak of seven straight games in which he’d reached base at least twice. The 22-year-old has a .433 OBP with Portland and a .473 OBP on the year between his two minor league levels, a mark that leads all of minor league baseball among players with at least 100 plate appearances.
– Pete Hissey, displaced from center to left field by Bradley, went 3-for-7 in the two contests, and he’s now hitting .321/.361/.446/.807 with five steals in 17 games since returning from a broken hand.
– Bryce Brentz walked in both halves of the doubleheader, and now has taken 16 walks in his last 21 games after walking just 14 times in his first 56 contests of the year. He had a .348 OBP in those first 56 contests, compared to a .407 mark since he started becoming a walks machine.
– Carl Crawford is set to play with Portland starting on Tuesday. He sat down with Sea Dogs play-by-play man Mike Antonellis to discuss the course of his rehab.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 4-3 LOSS AT MYRTLE BEACH (RANGERS)
– Travis Shaw, who had been in a 2-for-19 slump over his previous five games, bounced back with a 3-for-4 contest in which he slammed three doubles. He has now tied former teammate Jackie Bradley Jr. for the Carolina League lead with 26 doubles, and he ranks second in the league with 41 extra-base hits. The contest marked the second time this year that he’s had three extra-base hits in a game. All three of the doubles were of the opposite-field variety for the left-handed hitter.
– Salem’s pitchers have seen their ERA soar to 7.05 in the second half, nearly double the team’s 3.57 mark in the first half. There is one prominent difference on the second half roster, chiefly the absence of Bradley, considered an otherworldly defender in center. While it would be an exaggeration to suggest that Bradley’s absence is solely responsible for the dropoff, it is no slight to the players who have replaced him to suggest that the center fielder’s departure has impacted the performance of Salem’s staff.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 6-5 LOSS AT CHARLESTON (YANKEES)
– Garin Cecchini hit his first homer in 23 games dating to May 30, a two-run, game-tying shot in the ninth inning as part of a 2-for-5 night. He has a 10-game hitting streak since the All-Star break, and is hitting .436/.522/.641/1.163 with a homer, three doubles, a triple, seven steals, seven walks and five strikeouts during that span.
– Keury De La Cruz went 3-for-5 with a double for his eighth three-hit game of the year.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 2-0 LOSS VS. TRI-CITY (ASTROS)
– Outfielder Williams Jerez, a 20-year-old who was taken by the Sox in the second round of the 2011 draft based on his five-tool potential, went 1-for-2 while notching a pair of firsts, working his first walk and stealing his first base in Lowell.
– Right-hander Justin Haley, a sixth-round pick out of Fresno, made his pro debut, allowing a run in two innings while walking two and striking out two.
– Right-hander Pat Light, the Sox’ supplemental first-round pick in the 2012 draft, is expected to make his pro debut on July 9 at Batavia.
ROOKIE LEVEL GCL RED SOX: 6-2 WIN VS. GCL ORIOLES
– Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury went 1-for-2 with a homer and a walk while playing six innings in center field for the Rookie Level GCL Red Sox. In three games in the GCL that started on Friday, Ellsbury is 2-for-6 with a double, homer, four walks and two strikeouts.
The 2011 American League runner-up in MVP voting has been out since suffering a subluxation of his right shoulder while sliding into second base on April 13. With Ellsbury out for all but seven games this year, the Red Sox’ production from their center fielders has ranked among the worst in baseball, as the players at that position have combined to hit .253/.294/.337/.630 with four homers and four steals.
– Right-hander Chris Carpenter, who underwent surgery on his elbow in spring training (shortly after the Red Sox acquired him from the Cubs as compensation for the departure of former GM Theo Epstein), tossed a scoreless inning in his first game with a minor league affiliate this year. He permitted a hit while getting two groundball outs.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 9-2 LOSS AT DSL RANGERS
– Catcher Alixon Suarez went 1-for-4 with a double and drove in a run. The 17-year-old now has 10 extra-base hits (nine doubles and a homer) in 25 games, surpassing his total of nine in 62 games last summer in the DSL.
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- SoxProspects Video of the Week: Matt Barnes
- Cup of Coffee: Henry, Diaz propel Pawtucket to blowout victory
- Cup of Coffee: Spring's walk-off grand slam lifts Portland
- Bradley: "Everything's back to normal"
- Cup of Coffee: PawSox, Drive produce walk-off wins
- PawSox activate Jackie Bradley, Jr. from disabled list
- Weekly Notes: De La Rosa, Betts take center stage
- Cup of Coffee: Shaw leads 18-hit attack in Sea Dogs rout
- Cup of Coffee: Gedman, big Salem seventh key system’s only win