Red Sox minor league roundup: Progress for Allen Webster; Alex Hassan raking; Xander Bogaerts streaking; Jamie Callahan dominates; Sean Coyle returns
|07.27.13 at 1:03 pm ET|
A brief look at the action in the Red Sox system on Friday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 4-3 LOSS VS. LEHIGH VALLEY (PHILLIES)
— Allen Webster, five days removed from a mess of a start (1 1/3 innings, 7 runs, 5 walks) that had the Sox wondering if they might have to alter his routine to recalibrate his fastball command, took a step in the right direction on Friday. He threw six innings, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out four.
His command wasn’t exactly pinpoint — he walked three and hit a batter — but in contrast to his prior outing, he was able to self-correct when his command went astray and thus was able to do enough to harness his stuff in the strike zone to offer reminders of his vast potential. He threw his first five pitches of the game for balls, then gathered himself to straighten out his fastball and start the game with 4 1/3 no-hit innings. He again lost his command for a stretch in the late fourth and fifth innings, but after he gave up two runs on three singles in the fifth, he restored order to pitch a perfect sixth to conclude his night.
It was easily Webster’s best outing since being sent back down to Triple-A. He is 0-2 with a 10.50 ERA, 11 strikeouts and nine walks in 12 innings since moving back down to Pawtucket.
— Like Webster, Jackie Bradley Jr. has been struggling since being sent down. He went 0-for-4 on Friday (his first game since being sent down in which he failed to reach base), and in nine games since his recall, he’s hitting .179/.273/.359, dropping his season totals to .277/.372/.500. His OBP is at its lowest point since April 27.
— Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout to extend his streak of consecutive games on base to 23. He has nearly as many walks (22) as strikeouts (27) in 38 Triple-A games.
— Outfielder Alex Hassan continued his torrid stretch, going 3-for-4 with a double and a homer. Since he started his season in Pawtucket on June 14, Hassan is tied for eighth in the International League in average (.333), second in OBP (.441), eighth in slugging (.542) and fourth in OPS (.982).
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 7-5 LOSS VS. HARRISBURG (NATIONALS)
— With a single, walk and RBI, Garin Cecchini extended his hit streak to eight games, marking his longest streak since being promoted and his second-longest of the season (his longest was 11 games). During the life of the streak, the third baseman is batting .364/.382/.424 with one walk, two doubles and five RBI. Cecchini’s walk on Friday was actually his first in eight games, an unusually long stretch for the 22-year-old, who despite striking out 25 times and drawing 18 walks in 32 games with Portland, still has drawn two more walks than he has strikeouts on the season between Portland and High-A Salem. Cecchini is batting .336 with a .421 OBP for Portland, and while he doesn’t have enough at-bats in Double-A to count as a qualifier, his OBP is lower than just two qualifiers in the Eastern League.
— Second baseman Derrik Gibson had the only multi-hit effort of the day for Portland, going 2-for-4 with three runs scored. Prior to Friday, the 23-year-old had hit only .136 in his last nine games, though he had drawn six walks and one of his three hits in that span was a home run. Gibson has compiled a .243/.337/.343 line through 60 games for Portland this season.
— Shortstop Heiker Meneses went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk, coming around to score two of Portland’s five runs on the day. In his last seven contests, Meneses is batting .348/.400/.436 with two doubles and two RBI. The 22-year-old has collected 13 doubles, four triples, and three home runs on the season, and is batting .270/.329/.375 through 81 games for Portland.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 3-2 LOSS (16 INNINGS) AT FREDERICK (ORIOLES)
— Mike Augliera started what became the longest game in the Carolina League this season, throwing seven innings of shutout, two-hit ball, walking one and striking out one. For the right-hander, it was his third scoreless outing of the season, and longest start since his last shutout, in which he went eight innings back on July 4. Augliera has been solid all season for Salem, posting a 4.33 ERA and 6-6 record in 20 starts, striking out 59 and walking 29 in 106 innings.
— Henry Ramos finished the day without a hit, going 0-for-6 with a walk. The outfielder is batting only .125 over his last nine games, but three of his four hits went for extra bases, and he’s drawn seven walks in that span. Over his last six games, Ramos has only one hit in 22 at-bats, drawing four walks (two intentional) and getting hit by a pitch while striking out six times. Ramos, who was hitting .278/354/.454 before the slump, has fallen to .264/.347/.438 through 98 games on the season.
— Right-hander Nate Striz gave Salem three innings of scoreless, hitless relief, allowing only one baserunner on a hit by pitch from the 11th to 14th innings. The 24-year-old has gone 8 1/3 scoreless innings in his last five appearances for Salem (there’s a brief trip up to Portland in the middle, in which he allowed two runs in three innings), giving up only one hit and one walk in those five games. Striz has finished out 21 games for Salem, recording six saves and posting a 3.14 ERA in 29 appearances. He’s walked 16 batters while striking out 42, and hasn’t allowed a single home run. In fact, keeping the ball in the ballpark is one of Striz’s strong suits; he’s given up only seven home runs in 174 1/3 innings in four professional seasons.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 7-6 LOSS AT LAKEWOOD (PHILLIES)
— Outfielder Kendrick Perkins had his second straight multi-hit game, going 3-for-4 with a double and a steal. The 21-year-old went 2-for-5 on Thursday to snap an 0-for-15 stretch since returning to Greenville from Lowell.
— Shortstop Jose Vinicio went 2-for-4 with a pair of stolen bases. The 20-year-old switch-hitter has now stolen 13 straight bases without getting caught since the beginning of June. Between his speed and defense, he has the secondary skills to be an interesting player, but it remains to be seen whether the undersized middle shortstop will hit enough to propel himself to the big leagues. He’s hitting .222/.260/.288 with 12 walks and 80 strikeouts in 83 games.
— Francellis Montas had a better-than-the-line-score outing in which he gave up five runs on five hits (three singles, two doubles) while getting five strikeouts and five groundball outs. The power pitcher’s control was flawed (four walks), but the groundballs and the fact that he didn’t give up any homers (an area of concern earlier in the year) for the fourth straight outing suggest that the 20-year-old was able to use his pitch mix to avoid hard contact.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 6-0 WIN, 3-2 LOSS AT CONNECTICUT DEFENDERS
— Right-hander Jamie Callahan, a second-round pick in 2012, had a dazzling outing, allowing just one hit, walking none and striking out eight in six shutout innings. Callahan showed an 89-95 mph fastball and elicited 11 swings and misses in his outing. The innings and strikeouts both represented a season- and career-high for the 18-year-old, who had once previously made a start this year in which he gave up one hit (in his first start of the year, he worked five shutout innings).
As an 18-year-old — the youngest pitcher in the New York-Penn League — Callahan is holding his own. Despite a 4.55 ERA, he has a solid 23-to-9 strikeout-to-walk rate in 27 2/3 innings, showing a willingness and ability to attack the strike zone.
— Shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin went 2-for-4 in the first game but then went 0-for-4 with three punchouts in the nightcap. Given his advanced feel for the strike zone and bat-to-ball skills, he’s amidst a somewhat surprising rough patch, having struck out 15 times (against three walks) in his last 10 games. Prior to that, he had 14 walks and 16 strikeouts in the first 22 games of the season. The 19-year-old is hitting .250/.338/.339.
— Outfielder Forrestt Allday went 3-for-8 with a walk and two steals in the doubleheader. He’s reached base in all 10 of his professional games since joining the Sox as an eighth-round selection in this year’s draft, amassing a .313/.488/.406 line that has offered early validation to the Sox’ impression of him as a player with considerable on-base abilities.
— Left-hander Daniel McGrath yielded two runs on five hits (four singles and a double) in 3 2/3 innings, though he struck out five and walked one. In two starts with Lowell since his promotion from the GCL, he has nine punchouts and one walk in 9 2/3 innings.
ROOKIE LEVEL GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX: 7-3 WIN AT GCL TWINS
— Sean Coyle, playing for the first time since May 29 (he’s been on the DL for High-A Salem with a knee injury), went 1-for-3.
— Outfielder Bryan Hudson snapped a four-game, 13 plate appearance stretch in which he hadn’t reached base by going 3-for-4 with a walk. Despite his recent slump, he’s hitting .277/.400/.354 in his pro debut.
— Wendell Rijo, 17, went 1-for-3 with a single and has now reached base in 15 straight games, a stretch during which he’s hitting .404/.500/.577.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 3-1 LOSS AT DSL ATHLETICS
— Left-hander Luis Ramos pitched a season-high six innings, allowing one run on three hits while striking out four and walking none. Ramos has a 27-to-2 strikeout-to-walk rate in 43 innings spanning nine starts. He has a 1.88 ERA and has yet to give up a homer. Opposing lefties are just 2-for-23 against him.
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