Red Sox minor league roundup: Jackie Bradley Jr. bounces back, more offense from Jose Iglesias, Michael Almanzar’s run continues
|04.23.13 at 11:39 am ET|
A quick look at the action in the Red Sox minor league system on Monday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 8-2 WIN AT ROCHESTER (TWINS)
— Perhaps it was as simple as Jackie Bradley Jr. needing a couple of days to get his feet under him after being sent down to Triple-A. After a 1-for-8 start in his first two contests with Pawtucket, Bradley offered a reminder of why he opened the year in the big leagues in the first place. He went 3-for-4 — a single to right, a single to left, a double to left — and received an intentional walk in five trips to the plate. It still wasn’t quite vintage Bradley — not including the intentional walk, he saw just 10 pitches in the other five plate appearances — but the fact that he had his timing and was making hard contact after not doing so for his final weeks in the big leagues was noteworthy.
It was Bradley’s 10th career three-hit game and the 11th time that he’s reached base four or more times in a game.
— Ryan Lavarnway went 2-for-5 with a double, and for the fifth straight game, he did not strike out. In 11 games this year, he has seven walks and seven strikeouts, with the frequency of his walk rate and ability to put the ball in play reflected in a solid early batting average (.310) and OBP (.423).
— Jose Iglesias went 3-for-4 with a pair of singles to center and one to right, a season high for hits. It was his second multi-hit game since being sent to Pawtucket.
— Right-hander Chris Carpenter struck out the side in a perfect ninth, throwing 11 of 16 pitches for strikes. He now has an eye-opening 19 strikeouts (with seven walks) in 9 1/3 innings.
— Apropos of very little, Liam Hendriks pitched for Rochester. He’s right-handed.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 8-2 WIN VS. BINGHAMTON (METS)
— John Lackey tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings in which he struck out five (all looking), walked two and gave up three hits (all groundball singles). His fastball velocity was 88-91 mph, on a day when Lackey said he wasn’t trying to reach back. He got a steady stream of grounders while working down in the strike zone, and had an opportunity to work with his complete pitch mix over the course of his 67 pitches.
After the outing, Lackey told reporters that his right biceps is “not 100 percent,” but that it doesn’t represent a hindrance to him pitching. Barring a setback, he could rejoin the Red Sox rotation as soon as this coming weekend.
– Xander Bogaerts went 3-for-5 (all singles), giving him three three-hit games in his last seven contests. While he has yet to homer this year, his slow start (from a statistical standpoint) is now officially over. In his last seven games, he’s 13-for-28 (.464) with a .531 OBP and .571 slugging mark. For the year, the 20-year-old is hitting .290 with a .355 OBP.
— Text from a scout: “What’s gotten into Michael Almanzar? He was an overmatched, skinny third baseman last April. Now he’s mashing!” Almanzar went 2-for-4 with a double and drove in two runs on Monday. He’s now hitting .338 with a .386 OBP, .615 slugging mark and 1.001 OPS. He’s never had a 1.000 OPS in any month of his professional career.
— Right-hander Chris Martin punched in with his sixth straight scoreless appearances to open the year, recording four outs without allowing a hit, walking one and striking out one. He has 17 punchouts and three walks in 13 1/3 shutout innings thus far.
— Christian Vazquez went 1-for-2 with a double and two walks, pushing his on-base percentage to .396 (despite a .243 average). He’s walked nine times and struck out just four times this year.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 10-7 LOSS (11 INNINGS) VS. WILMINGTON (ROYALS)
— How do you generate buzz in a stadium? Hit 100 mph on the stadium scoreboard. That’s what Red Sox right-hander Matt Price did on Monday night.
However, the triple-digits reading was deceptive, as the gun at LewisGale runs hot because it’s positioned to the side of home plate. One talent evaluator had him at 93-95 mph. Another suggested that Price showed a good arm but was more accurately working at 91-95 mph with a fairly straight fastball on which he gave up a two-run homer. Still, he showed a good 81-83 mph changeup (along with a slurvy breaking ball) in two innings of work during which he permitted the two runs on two hits while punching out two and walking none.
Price, somewhat like Salem teammate Heri Quevedo, is intriguing due to his absence of professional track record since being taken by the Sox in the eighth round of the 2008 draft. He’s 23, so Salem represents an age appropriate level despite the fact that he’d entered the year with just three professional appearances due to Tommy John surgery that wiped out most of his 2011 campaign and a drug-of-abuse suspension that cost him last year.
— Shortstop Deven Marrero went 1-for-2 with a double and a walk, continuing his excellent early-season performance against left-handers. Marrero is now 7-for-16 with six doubles and four walks in 20 plate appearances against lefties, good for a line of .438/.550/.813. Against righties, his line is just .229/.325/.286.
Marrero left the game prior to the top of the fifth inning, however, due to a hamstring injury. Upon re-evaluation on Tuesday, Marrero was placed on the seven-day disabled list.
— Outfielder Keury De La Cruz, 21, went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles and a walk. He has four doubles and three walks in his last four games.
— Outfielder Brandon Jacobs went 1-for-2 to extend his hitting streak to five games. He was also hit by a pitch in the third inning and stayed in the game initially before departing in the seventh.
— Right-hander Mike McCarthy, now in the rotation after left-hander Miguel Pena was hit with a 50-game suspension, allowed four runs (two earned) in five innings while striking out five and walking none.
McCarthy writes a regular column for the Bakersfield Californian. In his latest, he discussed how members of the Red Sox minor league system are trying to organize efforts to assist victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. McCarthy is on twitter here.
— Belated hat tip to Salem broadcaster Evan Lepler for his Dr. Seuss-themed game notes on Monday.
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