Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Brandon Workman graduates to Double-A; Travis Shaw doubling up
|08.08.12 at 2:30 pm ET|
It was time. Few pitchers in the Red Sox system had been as consistent this year as Brandon Workman, and so for some time, it had seemed a matter of when, not if, he would be promoted to Double-A Portland.
That moment has now arrived, following Workman’s final outing in High-A Salem on Tuesday. Though he allowed three runs (two singles and a three-run homer) before retiring a batter in the first, the big right-hander then settled to pitch shutout ball over his next six innings. He finished the night having allowed the three runs on five hits while striking out nine and walking none. He has 41 strikeouts and five walks over his last 37 innings spanning six starts. The 23-year-old also has 11 straight starts of six or more innings pitched.
Opinion is still divided about whether his big league future will be as a starter or reliever, but the 23-year-old has made considerable strides in making the case that he might stick as a starter. He has a high-effort delivery, and there would be times when his velocity would dip as he got deeper into outings, but his massive frame suggests a pitcher who can take on a starter’s workload, as does his willingness to attack the strike zone with a multitude of pitches (low- to mid-90s fastball, cutter, curve, change).
He’s made progress not just with his stuff but also with his mentality. Some evaluators were impressed by the fact that Workman would remain committed to his gameplan throughout outings, understanding the value of mixing pitches rather than becoming overly dependent on a narrower array of offerings following a bad outcome in a game.
The result has been a year in which Workman has gone 7-7 with a 3.40 ERA, 107 strikeouts and just 20 walks in 113 2/3 innings while holding opponents to a .244 average, a performance that positioned him for his next test as a starter in Double-A.
In corresponding moves, the Sox promoted newly acquired knuckleballer Steven Wright from Double-A to Triple-A and right-hander Mike McCarthy — amidst a 22-inning scoreless innings streak in Greenville, tied for the second longest in franchise history — to High-A Salem.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: OFF
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 3-1 WIN AT AKRON (INDIANS)
— Travis Shaw went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. He has now doubled in each of his last four games, and he has walked in five of his six games since his promotion to Portland. Through his first week of Double-A ball, he’s hitting .250/.400/.450/.850.
— Michael Olmsted required just nine pitches (six strikes) to fire a scoreless ninth inning for his first Double-A save (he had 16 in High-A Salem at the time of his promotion). He has now struck out 13 (or roughly half of the 27 batters he’s faced), walked one and allowed just two hits in eight innings in Double-A, with opponents hitting a paltry .077 against the hulking right-hander.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 6-2 LOSS VS. CAROLINA (INDIANS)
— Brandon Jacobs went 1-for-3 with a homer (his 11th of the year) and a walk. It was his first extra-base hit in nine games. During the eight games entering Tuesday, Jacobs was hitting .059 (2-for-34) with three walks and 13 strikeouts.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: OFF
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 1-0 LOSS VS. BROOKLYN (METS)
— William Cuevas turned in another sharp outing, tossing six innings and allowing one run on five hits (including a solo homer, the third he’s allowed in 56 innings this season). He struck out four and walked one, and is now striking out 8.0 and walking 1.9 batters per nine innings. He’s thrown at least six innings in five straight outings.
— First-rounder Deven Marrero went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, and is now 0-for-12 in his last three games and 4-for-35 with a .114/.279/.171/.450 line in his last 10 contests.
— First baseman Jake Davies went 2-for-4, and is now 8-for-17 in his last four games.
ROOKIE LEVEL GCL RED SOX: 11-4 LOSS AT GCL ORIOLES
— Nick Moore went 2-for-5 with his second homer in as many games. The 19-year-old started slowly, hitting .133 with a .496 OPS in his first 14 games, but since then, he has been one of the top performers in the GCL. Since July 10, he’s hitting .338 (5th best in the GCL in that span) with a .442 OBP (2nd), .488 slugging mark (7th) and .930 OPS (6th).
— Madison Younginer made his first appearance in a game in more than two months, tossing two innings and allowing a run on a hit while striking out three and walking none in a GCL game. He hadn’t pitched since June 3 for Single-A Greenville, where he was 1-6 with a 5.33 ERA in 11 games.
— Tzu-Wei Lin went 1-for-4 with a walk. He’s now reached base in 11 straight games and in 14 of 16 since starting his pro career after signing with the Sox for a $2.05 million bonus out of Taiwan. He’s hitting .259/.380/.310/.691 in the GCL.
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