|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Daisuke gets first win of 2012; making sense of Brentz; a late bloom for Josh Fields?||08.22.12 at 11:40 am ET|
A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday . . .
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 3-0 WIN VS. ROCHESTER (TWINS)
– Daisuke Matsuzaka had a dominant rehab outing, allowing just one hit in seven shutout innings. He punched out seven and walked four — with two of those walks coming at the start of the eighth inning. It was easily Matsuzaka’s best performance during his current rehab assignment, during which he has made five starts with Pawtucket while forging a 2.78 ERA, striking out 21 and walking 10 in 22 and 2/3 innings (less than five innings per start). Sox manager Bobby Valentine said that the team would check in with Matsuzaka on Wednesday, at a time when he could bypass Aaron Cook to become a sixth starter for the Sox.
Matsuzaka was credited with the victory — his first in 18 starts in 2012 between the minors (where he’s started 13 times) and the majors (5 starts). He now has a 1-7 record.
– Josh Fields, a former first-round pick by the Mariners, continued to give signs that he may have had a eureka moment in his career. The right-hander, who has been dogged by comand woes throughout his career, continued a run in which he has been pounding the strike zone with impressive results. In two innings on Tuesday, he did not allow a hit or run, walked one and struck out four while pouring 21 of 29 pitches into the strike zone. In five outings in Triple-A, he has yet to allow a run while striking out 13 and walking just two in nine innings. Overall this year, between Portland and Pawtucket, he has a 2.18 ERA, 72 strikeouts (12.1 per nine innings), 18 walks (3.0) and a .190 opponents batting average.
– Jose Iglesias sat out a second straight game after banging his knee while sliding into the catcher on Sunday. He’s hitting .348/.423/.420/.843 with five doubles and nine walks in 18 games this month.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 4-2 WIN (15 INNINGS) AT NEW BRITAIN (TWINS)
– Bryce Brentz went 2-for-7 with a double and four strikeouts. The four strikeouts, however, should not obscure what has been a solid performance down the stretch. The 23-year-old is hitting .364/.417/.564/.980 with seven extra-base hits in 14 games this month. On the year, Brentz is hitting .284/.348/.460/.807 with 15 homers and 43 extra-base hits in 114 games this year in Double-A. Those numbers are solid but modest in comparison with the .306/.365/.574/.939 line — which included 30 homers and 59 extra-base hits — in 115 games a year ago, a season split between Single-A Greenville and High-A Salem. He has not been driving the ball into the gaps and over fences with the same consistency that he did a year ago.
Brentz, as might be expected, has had a modest increase in strikeouts while playing in Double-A, going from one every 4.4 plate appearances last year to one for every 3.8 plate appearances this season. However, he’s also walked with increased frequency, with one free pass every 11.8 plate appearances this year (compared to one for every 12.7 plate appearances a year ago).
– Xander Bogaerts went 0-for-7 with four strikeouts. It marked just the second Double-A contest in which he’s struck out multiple times. Overall, he has 10 strikeouts in 11 Double-A games; he has yet to take his first walk at that level. Of course, he also has nine extra-base hits.
– Bogaerts’ arrival in Portland has led to some position movement at the level. Derrik Gibson has added some third base to his resume to accommodate Bogaerts at short, with Marquez Smith adding some second base work to his primary position at third. Smith, 27, continues to perform well since the Sox signed him out of an indy league this year. He went 3-for-6 with two doubles, a homer and a walk on Tuesday, and in 61 games, he’s hitting .300/.353/.483/.837 with seven homers for Portland.
– Jackie Bradley Jr. sat out of the game one day after suffering an ankle injury while running the bases, but a team source said that the injury is considered “very minor” and the outfielder is day-to-day.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 3-2 LOSS AT MYRTLE BEACH (RANGERS)
– Sean Coyle went 1-for-3 with a single and a steal. He’s 13-for-13 in stolen base attempts this year.
– Brandon Jacobs went 1-for-4 with a double, just his second hit in 40 plate appearances over his last 11 games. In that span, he’s hitting .065/.275/.130/.405.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 6-5 LOSS (SECOND GAME OF DOUBLE HEADER POSTPONED BY RAIN) VS. AUGUSTA (GIANTS)
– Garin Cecchini went 1-for-3 with a walk, single and three more steals. The 21-year-old now has 43 steals in 47 attempts (91.5 percent) this year. No Red Sox prospect since Lew Ford in 2000 (52-of-56, 92.9 percent) has had a success rate of 90 percent or greater while stealing 40 or more bases.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 6-3 LOSS AT ABERDEEN (ORIOLES)
– Supplemental first-rounder Pat Light was roughed up a bit for three runs on six hits in 2 1/3 innings, the most runs and hits he’s allowed in his first pro summer. He walked one and struck out one. He now has 23 strikeouts, five walks in 21 1/3 innings, during which he’s forged a 3.38 ERA.
– Aneury Tavarez went 1-for-3 with a homer (his fourth for Lowell) and walk, improving to .306/.368/.471/.839 in his age 20 season. He’s showing the ability to do some damage against fastballs, though his ability to handle off-speed stuff remains an open question.
ROOKIE LEVEL GCL RED SOX: 9-4 WIN VS. GCL ORIOLES
– Right-hander Austin Maddox tossed two shutout innings with one walk, one strikeout and five groundouts. The third-rounder has now allowed one run in five innings over three starts to commence his pro career.
– Second baseman Mike Meyers, a 12th-round pick out of high school in Nevada, continued his strong start to his pro career. He went 3-for-3 with a double, two walks and drove in four. In 27 games the 18-year-old is now hitting .291/.349/.418/.767.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 3-1 LOSS VS. DSL PIRATES
– Junior Estrella, a 19-year-old infielder, went 2-for-4 to improve to .310/.431/.405/.836 in 12 games this year.
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