Red Sox minor league roundup: Xander Bogaerts, Jose Iglesias take their walks, Mookie Betts is unstoppable, Brian Johnson gets a ‘W’
|05.11.13 at 12:50 pm ET|
A brief look at Friday’s action in the Red Sox minor league system:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 3-1 WIN AT CHARLOTTE (WHITE SOX)
– Though Jose Iglesias went 0-for-2, he drew a pair of walks — the first time all year that he’s drawn multiple free passes in a game. He had gone 17 straight games without drawing a walk before Friday. His on-base percentage now sits at .287.
– Right-hander Graham Godfrey, acquired from the A’s this offseason in a trade from offseason nomad Sandy Rosario, delivered his most impressive outing to date for the PawSox. He gave up just two hits in six shutout innings while walking two and striking out five. The 28-year-old, who has been working mostly in piggyback starting duty, is now 2-2 with a 3.60 ERA.
– Catcher Ryan Lavarnway went 2-for-4 with a double. The 25-year-old is sixth in the International League with a .417 OBP.
– Brock Holt, who had been on call in Boston in case Will Middlebrooks had to go on the DL (something that likely would have resulted in Pedro Ciriaco starting at third, with Holt serving as the utility backup man), rejoined the PawSox in Charlotte and went 0-for-4 while playing third base.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 6-4 WIN, 6-0 LOSS AT NEW BRITAIN (TWINS)
– Xander Bogaerts went 0-for-3 in the first game, bringing his nine-game hitting streak to an end, then collected one of Portland’s two hits in the second game, going 1-for-2 with a single and HBP. The 20-year-old has now reached base in 20 consecutive games dating to April 11. In that time, he’s hitting .313/.400/.530, with his .930 OPS ranking sixth in the Eastern League during that time — an impressive feat over a full month given that he is the youngest position player in the league.
Bogaerts has also left behind questions that may have loomed entering the year about whether he would be too aggressive against advanced pitching. During his current stretch of games, he’s walked 11 times in 96 plate appearances — 10 more than he walked in 97 plate appearances in Portland at the end of last year.
– Brandon Workman had his roughest outing of the year, allowing season highs in runs (5) and hits (8) while striking out six and walking two in 5 1/3 innings. Still, he threw 60 of 92 pitches for strikes (65 percent) and got 11 swings and misses.
– Travis Shaw launched his second homer of the year, and his second in three games, in the first game of the double header. There are some parallels between his performance this year and what he did at the start of 2012 in High-A Salem, when he opened the season with just one homer in his first 39 games but posted excellent on-base numbers (a .418 OBP). His started hitting home runs in bunches in late May, however, launching eight in an 18-game stretch starting on May 26.
This year, Shaw had carried an OBP of .400 or better for virtually every day of the season but without going deep. Now, he’s hit two homers in three games, though he hasn’t walked in a season-high four straight games, and so his OBP has slipped from .411 to .379.
– Reliever Chris Martin logged another 1 1/3 scoreless innings with two strikeouts and a walk. He’s up to 21 shutout innings for the year, tied for the fourth-longest scoreless innings streak in Portland franchise history.
He won’t have an opportunity to extend it. Martin earned a much-deserved promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket following the game.
– Third baseman Michael Almanzar went 2-for-2 with a double and a walk, collecting his first extra-base hit in nine games. The 22-year-old is now hitting .304/.380/.504.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 5-1 LOSS AT MYRTLE BEACH (RANGERS)
– Right-hander William Cuevas continued his up-and-down year with a mostly strong start. The 22-year-old logged four shutout innings before a pair of singles, a walk a wild pitch and an error ended up hanging three runs (one earned) on his line. He pitched five innings, allowing six hits (five singles and a double) while striking out three and walking two. In six starts, he’s given up zero or one earned run in three of his outings, while permitting six in one and eight in another. His 1-4 record and 6.66 ERA point to a pitcher who’s been inconsistent rather than one who’s been wholly ineffective.
– Salem hit like a team that had boarded a bus for a six-hour ride at the crack of dawn. The team had five hits, all singles. Only one Salem player reached base twice. Outfielder Brandon Jacobs had a single and walk, snapping a three-game hitless streak during which he was 0-for-10.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 10-6 WIN VS. AUGUSTA (GIANTS)
– Mookie Betts, whose lack of aggressiveness on pitches he could drive had, at times, been an area where the Sox hoped he might improve, evidently was listening to whatever advice was being proffered. The 5-foot-9 second baseman went 4-for-5 with two doubles and his fourth homer of the year. After collecting just four extra-base hits in his first 25 games, he now has five in his last four (two homers, three doubles). All of a sudden, the 20-year-old is creeping up the South Atlantic League leaderboards thanks to a scorching stretch. In eight games this month, he’s hitting .423 with a .595 OBP and .769 slugging mark along with three steals. He’s now hitting .229 with a .409 OBP (12th in the league) and .417 slugging mark. He’s carrying a six-game hitting streak.
– Left-hander Brian Johnson recovered from a tough first inning in which he permitted three runs (all unearned) on two walks, an error and a double to earn his first professional victory. Johnson, a 2012 first-rounder out of the University of Florida, settled in and allowed just one run (a solo homer) and no walks after the first, logging five innings in which he permitted three hits, struck out three and walked two. He threw just 56 percent of his 87 pitches for strikes and got five swings and misses.
While the 22-year-old has not been dominant in Greenville, he’s been fairly steady and effective. He’s given up two or fewer earned runs in all five of his starts, and one or no runs in four of those. He has a 2.18 ERA for the year, and opponents are hitting .203 against him.
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