|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Are Daniel Bard’s struggles best addressed in Pawtucket?||07.14.12 at 10:33 am ET|
Daniel Bard continued to endure dramatic inconsistency, throwing just 10 of 22 pitches for strikes while walking two and uncorking a pair of wild pitches and permitting one run (on no hits) in an inning. He did strike out a batter, getting a pair of swings and misses against one of the top Mets prospects (Matt Den Decker) in the process.
Amidst his outing-to-outing struggles to command the strike zone, there are some in the organization who feel that the right-hander would benefit from time away from an affiliate, perhaps heading down to Fort Myers so that he can focus on recovering the consistency of his mechanics away in an environment where proximity to the majors is not a relevant topic. But farm director Ben Crockett counters that Pawtucket has been a productive environment for the right-hander.
“I’m pretty comfortable with that,” said Crockett. “It’s a matter of continuing to find that consistency, be able to deal with it on a day-in, day-out basis with consistent results. Those outings where he’s attacked the strike zone, been aggressive, stayed within his delivery, he’s had a lot of success. We’re not talking about someone whose stuff isn’t playing at this level.”
Still, 14 appearances into his minor league stint, he has an 8.22 ERA, 17 strikeouts, 12 walks, six hit batters and eight wild pitches in 15 1/3 innings. He’s made no more than two straight scoreless appearances. The flashes in which Bard finds his delivery and release point are reminders of what the right-hander can do when in his customary rhythm on the mound, but those flashes have not been sustainable. Until that changes, it will be fair to wonder whether another change of scenery such as Fort Myers will offer Bard a more appropriate context in which to search for his form.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 8-2 LOSS VS. BUFFALO (METS)
– Carl Crawford went 0-for-4 with a walk, strikeout, RBI groundout and stolen base in his second game in Pawtucket. He played all nine innings in left field.
– Jose Iglesias left the game prior to the top of the fourth inning after having fouled a ball off of his left knee in a second-inning at-bat. According to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal, X-rays were negative, and Iglesias might be out for “a day or two” with a contusion.
– Lars Anderson went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles. Anderson is having a sneaky-good season. His .258/.362/.435/.797 line (with nine homers and 31 extra-base hits) doesn’t necessarily leap off the page, but this tremendous look by Matt Eddy of Baseball America at prospect performance adjusted for the context of league suggests that Anderson — prior to Friday night’s game — was having one of the better offensive seasons in the minors among first-base prospects at 14 runs above average.
– For the second straight outing, Junichi Tazawa recorded all three outs by strikeout. (He also hit a batter and threw a wild pitch.) In his last three outings, he has 10 strikeouts in four shutout innings.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND: 4-3 WIN, 3-1 WIN VS. NEW HAMPSHIRE (BLUE JAYS)
– Bryce Brentz blasted a homer in each half of the doubleheader, going 3-for-7 with two homers, four runs batted in and a steal. He now has a dozen homers this season.
– Chris Carpenter, continuing his rehab from surgery in spring training on his right elbow, struck out three batters in two innings (his first multi-inning outing of his rehab assignment) while walking none and giving up a run on two hits (a triple and single).
– While Chris Balcom-Miller has been working out of the bullpen for roughly the last four weeks, each of his last two relief appearances have lasted five innings. In those 10 innings, he’s permitted just one run on six hits. On Friday, he attacked the strike zone (41 of 58 pitches) while striking out four and getting eight groundball outs.
– Jackie Bradley Jr. was hitless in the doubleheader, and is now 0-for-17 over his last five games. His OBP is now at .394 in Double-A — just the third day all year that he’s had an on-base percentage of less than .400 at either of the two levels at which he’s played.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 1-0 LOSS VS. LYNCHBURG (BRAVES)
– Yeiper Castillo matched a career-high by tossing seven innings in which he permitted just one run on five hits (four singles and a double) while walking one and striking out six. In two starts since his promotion to Salem, the 23-year-old has a 1.38 ERA with 10 strikeouts and five walks in 13 innings.
– Heiker Meneses spared Salem from the ignominy of a no-hitter, collecting the team’s only two hits while going 2-for-4 with a double. The 21-year-old is now hitting .323/.370/.444/.815 with nine extra-base hits in 25 games since being sent down from Double-A Portland.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 3-1 LOSS AT AUGUSTA (GIANTS)
– Keury De La Cruz went 1-for-4 with a double, extending his hitting streak to a season-high 15 games. He drove in Greenville’s lone run of the game.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 7-4 LOSS VS. MAHONING VALLEY (INDIANS)
– Shortstop Deven Marrero went 1-for-4 with his fifth double in seven games while also working a walk. In his last seven games, he’s 10-for-30 with five doubles, three walks and just two strikeouts.
– Kendrick Perkins went 1-for-3 with a double and, for the first time in Lowell, two walks in a game. The double came against a right-hander, as the left-handed Perkins continued to batter righties. He’s hitting .290/.380/.452/.832 against right-handed pitchers.
ROOKIE LEVEL GCL RED SOX: 4-1 WIN VS. GCL ORIOLES
– Sergio Gomez, an 18-year-old right-hander out of Colombia, continued to deliver consistently solid results. He allowed one run on three hits in five innings, his third straight start in which he’s given up a single earned run while pitching exactly five frames. He struck out a season-low two batters on Friday but walked none. On the year, he has 23 strikeouts and four walks in 22 innings.
– Outfielder Iseha Conklin went 1-for-3 while launching the first homer of his pro career.
– J.B. Wendelken, a right-hander out of Reddick U, submitted the second straight scoreless outing at the start of his pro career, earning the win with two shutout innings in which he struck out two and walked none.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 5-4 WIN (12 INNINGS) AT DSL RANGERS
– Shortstop Raymel Flores went 3-for-6, the second time this season that the 17-year-old switch-hitter has had a game of at least three hits. The first was a four-hit game on June 12, near the start of the DSL season.
– Catcher Alixon Suarez went 2-for-4 with a double and a walk. The 17-year-old (he turns 18 on July 25) is now hitting .286/.419/.420/.839 with a team-high 11 doubles.
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