|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Why Daniel Bard remains confident despite struggles; Jose Iglesias, Xander Bogaerts red hot||08.15.12 at 12:45 pm ET|
A brief look at the action in the Red Sox system on Tuesday . . .
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 9-7 WIN AT SCRANTON WILKES-BARRE (YANKEES)
–Daniel Bard had his ugliest outing in some time. He faced five batters, none of whom made contact, as he struck out one but walked four. It was the most walks he’s given up in any of his 27 games in Pawtucket. In his last five appearances, Bard has walked 10 in 4 2/3 innings, and he now has 27 walks and 30 strikeouts in 28 innings in Triple-A. He also threw just 10 of 27 pitches for strikes.
Bard said last week that he has stopped thinking about when he might get called up to the majors, and is instead focused on trying to rediscover the mechanics that got him to the big leagues in the first place. He’s been through this kind of struggle before, of course, when he had a 7.08 ERA at two levels in the minors in 2007 while making his professional debut as a starter. In fact, Bard said that his struggles that season — which preceded his shift to the bullpen and a dominant rise to major league success — offer him reassurance about his 2012 season.
“It’s similar in a lot of ways. I know myself a lot better as a pitcher, as a person. But honestly the issues I faced both times were very similar. It was basically trying to mold myself into a starting pitcher,” Bard said of how 2007 compares to 2012. “Nobody had any bad intentions. … Before you know it make a bunch of little tweaks, the end product looks nothing like what you started with, and it looks nothing like what you started with. … The biggest thing going through this year, I know I’ve been through it before and came out a way better pitcher on the other end, so there’s no reason that this isn’t going to end the same way.”
– Jose Iglesias went 2-for-4 with another double to extend his hitting streak to nine games. En route to a hearty .320/.382/.420/.802 line in 12 games in August, he now has five extra-base hits this month — his most in any month in his two seasons in Triple-A. (He had seven extra-base hits in April 2010 in Double-A Portland and five in May of that year.)
– Juan Carlos Linares went 4-for-5, his second four-hit game since his promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket. He’s hitting .321/.371/.503/.874 in 44 games in Triple-A this year.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 13-2 WIN AT ALTOONA (PIRATES)
– Brandon Workman had an outstanding Double-A debut, tossing six shutout innings in which he permitted just two hits, walked none and struck out six. Over his last five outings (four in High-A Salem and now one in Double-A), the 23-year-old has walked just one batter while striking out 28 in 25 innings. Among Red Sox starters with at least 25 innings pitched this year, Workman is tops in the organization with a 5.65 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
One noteworthy aspect of Workman’s season: While there are questions about the degree to which his delivery works for a starting pitcher, he has a 1.20 ERA in the sixth inning this year, suggesting that he’s able to sustain the ability to compete deep (in relative terms) into an outing.
– For the second time in four games since his promotion to Double-A, Xander Bogaerts went deep. The 19-year-old is carrying his hot finish in High-A to the next level, as he’s now 8-for-19 with two homers, two doubles and a .421/.421/.842/1.263 line in Double-A. Though he hasn’t walked, he’s struck out just twice.
– Travis Shaw went 2-for-4 with pair of doubles. He now has eight extra-base hits (seven doubles and a homer) in his last nine games. He’s also walked and struck out in equal measure in Double-A (10 times in each category), and so while his .250 average is modest, he has a robust .426 OBP, .528 slugging mark and .953 OPS.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 10-9 LOSS AT WINSTON-SALEM (WHITE SOX)
– Matt Barnes, after being skipped in the rotation on Friday out of deference to the fact that he seemed to be hitting a wall, bounced back with his first shutout outing in more than two months. He tossed five scoreless innings, allowing just one single. He walked three and struck out three while lowering his High-A ERA to 3.40.
– Michael Almanzar continued his eye-opening season by going 2-for-3 with a pair of homers and a walk. His 11 homers are a career high. The 21-year-old corner infielder is hitting .305/.356/.468/.824 for the season.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 5-0 LOSS VS. ROME (BRAVES)
–Left-hander Henry Owens had his worst start of the year, getting knocked out after just one inning while giving up three runs on three hits (including a homer) while walking two and striking out two. Owens has walked 11 (while striking out 16) in his last 14 innings over four starts.
– Henry Ramos, who had been 2-for-24 in his prior eight games, went 1-for-3 with a double. Though his .255 average is lower than the .262 mark he posted last year in Single-A Greenville, he has made strides in OBP (.299 to .333) and his slugging mark (.383 to .395).
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: OFF
ROOKIE LEVEL GCL RED SOX: 7-5 WIN AT GCL RAYS
– Jose Colorado, a 21-year-old outfielder, went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles to improve to .307/.402/.438/.840 for the season.
– Cody Kukuk, a 2011 seventh-round selection, recorded his first professional win with two perfect innings in which he struck out three.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 7-6 LOSS (10 INNINGS) AT DSL METS
– Center fielder Manuel Margot continued his recent strong play by going 2-for-4 with a walk. He now has a .271/.368/.402/.769 line for the year, along with 30 walks (compared to 24 strikeouts) and 29 steals.
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