Red Sox minor league roundup: Steven Wright dominating; Garin Cecchini avoids injury; Nick Longhi, Carson Blair streaking
|07.10.14 at 2:25 pm ET|
A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 3-1 WIN AT COLUMBUS (INDIANS)
— Though Garin Cecchini had to be removed from Wednesday’s game after a collision at home plate, with the injury having been described as a shoulder having popped out of and then right back into its socket, the 23-year-old felt fine after the game. The Red Sox expect to know more about the injury in the coming days, but the initial sense was that the prospect had avoided any significant harm. Cecchini was 1-for-2 with a double and a walk before exiting the contest.
— Knuckleballer Steven Wright continued his dominance, tossing eight shutout innings in which he’s allowed two hits, walked three and struck out eight. Wright has gone at least seven innings in four straight starts. In eight starts in Triple-A (after a season-opening stint on the DL), Wright is 4-1 with a 2.04 ERA, 8.2 strikeouts per nine and 2.0 walks per nine. Opponents are hitting .194 against him.
— With Christian Vazquez in the big leagues and Red Sox GM Ben Cherington saying that the team has no immediate plans to promote Blake Swihart to Triple-A, Dan Butler once again appears to be in line for regular playing time in Pawtucket. Butler went 1-for-4 with his third homer of the year on Wednesday, with his line for the year now sitting at .233/.316/.344. A year ago, Butler struggled early while relegated to part-time duty behind Ryan Lavarnway, hitting .196/.311/.348 through mid-June, but then thrived when he assumed primary catching duties for the duration of the year, finishing with a .262/.350/.479 line that had him (in combination with his solid defense) on the radar of many big league clubs. He has an opportunity to do the same this year.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 6-1 LOSS, 1-0 LOSS AT BINGHAMTON (METS)
— Third baseman Michael Almanzar delivered Portland’s only run of the day, going 3-for-6 with a solo homer in the double header. Since the Rule 5 draftee was returned to the Red Sox from the Orioles, Almanzar is 9-for-25 with a double, homer, two walks and three strikeouts in eight games.
— Despite allowing just one hit in the second game, the Sea Dogs suffered a 1-0 loss. Starter Mike McCarthy allowed the lone hit (a single) in four innings of work in which he struck out three and walked five.
— Right-hander Aaron Kurcz pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts. The 23-year-old extended his scoreless innings streak to 13 games and 15 2/3 innings, and his stretch without permitting an earned run to 17 games and 19 2/3 innings. For the year, he has a 1.99 ERA with 25 strikeouts and 12 walks in 22 2/3 innings, and his control has gotten better as the year has progressed and as he’s gotten further removed from his Tommy John surgery.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 8-1 LOSS VS. FREDERICK (ORIOLES)
— Right-hander Justin Haley allowed just one run on three hits in six innings. He walked none and punched out six. The 23-year-old now has a 2.73 ERA with 7.2 strikeouts and just 2.3 walks per nine.
— Catcher Carson Blair snapped a stretch of nine games without an extra-base hit, going 2-for-3 with a double and walk. He’s reached base in 22 consecutive games, posting a .416/.505/.570 line in that time to elevate his season line to .266/.390/.480 with seven homers and 23 extra-base hits in 50 games.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 13-6 LOSS AT CHARLESTON (YANKEES)
— Right-hander Jamie Callahan allowed a three-run homer before retiring a batter in the first inning, but then managed to reel the game back in and deliver five innings in which he didn’t allow any additional runs. The 19-year-old gave up a total of six hits (the homer, a double and four singles) while walking one and striking out five. Despite his struggles this year (2-8 record, 6.84 ERA), Callahan has remained largely aggressive; Wednesday marked the fifth time in nine outings that he walked one or no batters.
— Carlos Asuaje, playing second base, went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles. The 22-year-old now has 41 extra-base hits on the year (tied for 28th in the minors) and he is one of four players in the minors to reach double digits in doubles, triples and homers. For the year, Asuaje is hitting .311/.399/.548.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 5-3 LOSS VS. STATEN ISLAND (YANKEES)
— Nick Longhi went 1-for-4 with a double to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. The 18-year-old is hitting .386/.438/.500 during the stretch, and .346/.373/.474 on the year. He ranks fifth in the New York-Penn League in average.
— Third baseman Jordan Betts went 2-for-4 and has now reached base in 12 straight games, hitting .362/.400/.596 during the stretch. The 22-year-old is hitting .316/.349/.595 with five homers for the year. A year ago, no one in Lowell had more than two homers. Betts would appear to have a shot at being the first player in Lowell with 10 or more homers in a year since Luis Sumoza did the trick in 2008.
ROOKIE LEVEL GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX: RAINED OUT
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 1-0 WIN AT DSL ROCKIES
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