Red Sox minor league roundup: Garin Cecchini’s hot August; Carlos Asuaje on fire; Javier Guerra, future breakout candidate
|08.28.14 at 11:24 am ET|
A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 5-1 LOSS AT LEHIGH VALLEY (PHILLIES)
— With a 2-for-3 night, Garin Cecchini has put togther multi-hit performances in three of his last four games. Cecchini had a couple of singles, a walk and drove in the PawSox’ only run on Wednesday night. He’s now 9-for-20 over a mini-five-game hit streak, and driven in five runs over his last four contests. The third baseman has been hot all month long after struggling at the plate for the better part of the season, hitting .341/.419/.537 in August with 10 doubles after collecting just 11 two-baggers in the previous four months combined.
– Jackie Bradley Jr. followed up his three-hit showing on Tuesday with an 0-for-4 night. Since being demoted to Triple-A, the outfielder is hitting .204 with a .220 OBP and a couple of extra-base hits. He’s drawn just a single walk, but his strikeout problems followed him to Pawtucket, where he’s fanned in 12 of 50 at-bats.
— Steven Wright was hit hard, lasting six innings but allowing five runs on 12 hits (which represents a season-high, and the first time he’s permitted double-digit hits in an outing) and two walks while fanning four. It’s the second outing in a row and third time in his last five starts in which Wright has allowed five earned runs. He owns a 5.56 ERA over his last five starts compared to a 2.37 mark through his first 10 outings of the season.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 5-2 LOSS VS. READING (PHILLIES)
— After three impressive starts upon returning to the Sea Dogs from an injury that sidelined him briefly, Keith Couch wasn’t sharp on Wednesday, going 6 2/3 innings but permitting five runs on eight hits. However, Couch didn’t walk a single batter on the evening after issuing seven free passes over his last 19 2/3 innings of work. The righty gave up a pair of home runs, which is unusual; he’d allowed just one through his previous 16 starts this season.
— On what was a rough night offensively for the Sea Dogs, Jonathan Roof managed to reach base three times, going 1-for-2 with a pair of walks. It was the first time the outfielder had drawn a walk since August 12. The 25-year-old has scuffled at the plate as of late, hitting just .162/.244/.189 over his last 12 games.
— Sean Coyle‘s slump continued with a hitless evening on Wednesday, though he did manage to work a walk. He’s hit just .180/.286/.344 over his last 17 games, and is .averaging over a strikeout per game over that span. The extra-base hits haven’t been coming as frequently either, with three home runs but just one double over that span. Even with the cold streak, however, Coyle’s line on the season stands at .296/.373/.508.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 3-1 LOSS, 5-4 WIN AT FREDERICK (ORIOLES)
— Carlos Asuaje followed a 1-for-3 performance in the first game with a 4-for-4 contest that included three more doubles in the second contest. The four hits, three doubles and three extra-base hits all represented season highs in what had already been an extremely impressive first full pro season. The five-hit day improved the 22-year-old’s line to a .348 average with a .409 OBP and .563 slugging mark through 33 games, following 90 contests in Single-A Greenville in which the 2013 11th-rounder hit .305/.391/.542. He has 64 extra-base hits in 123 games.
— Manuel Margot had a double to right in his only plate appearance of the first game, but was thrown out at third trying to stretch the hit into a triple and was removed from the game after the inning. He tweaked his ankle on the play and was removed for what was described as precautionary reasons. He’s hitting .333/.370/.548 with five extra-base hits in 12 games.
— After going 0-for-2 in the first game, shortstop Jose Vinicio went 2-for-2 in the second game, his fifth multi-hit game in six contests and his seventh in nine games. In the process, the 21-year-old has improved from .151/.192/.164 on the year to .240/.270/.288.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 8-0 LOSS AT CHARLESTON (YANKEES)
— First baseman Sam Travis celebrated his 21st birthday by going 2-for-4 with a double, delivering the only multi-hit game of the night for Greenville. The second-round pick has 13 extra-base hits (10 doubles, three homers) in 22 games with the Drive after collecting 10 extra-base hits (five doubles, a triple and four homers) in 40 games with Lowell prior to his promotion. Overall, Travis is hitting .317/.352/.468 in his pro debut.
— Though right-hander Ty Buttrey struck out a career-high eight and walked none, he also permitted nine hits (six for extra-bases) in five innings. The 21-year-old, a 2012 fourth-rounder who received a bonus in line with a first-rounder ($1.3 million), is 0-5 with a 7.43 ERA, with opponents hitting .306 against him in Greenville.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 5-4 LOSS AT CONNECTICUT (TIGERS)
— Raymel Flores went 3-for-5 on the night, his third three-hit performance of the season, driving in a pair of runs. The 19-year-old has looked solid at the plate as of late, batting .319 over his last 13 contests. The problem is that it’s been over 64 plate appearances since Flores’ last walk, while he’s struck out 17 times since that last free pass. The infielder has shown the ability to hit for average this season (a .271 mark through 56 games) but has shown little power, slugging .340 (six doubles, two triples and a home run).
— Starter Kevin McAvoy has not allowed a run over his last five starts, permitting just eight hits and three walks over his last 15 innings of work. The 20-year-old fourth-round draft pick has shown excellent command all season long; he hasn’t walked a batter in his last two starts, has yet to walk multiple batters in an outing, and has issued a total of just three walks in his 25 1/3 innings, or an average of just over one walk per nine frames. The Bryant College product owns a 2.13 ERA through his first 10 professional outings.
— Karsten Whitson made his first appearance in almost a month, tossing a scoreless fourth inning, allowing a hit and striking out two. Whitson struggled in his first two outings with the Spinners, giving up four runs on five hits and four walks while managing just one strikeout through his first 4 1/3 innings.
— Reliever Carlos Pinales endured a disastrous ninth inning, blowing a 4-1 lead and giving up four runs on three hits and a walk without recording an out. The 22-year-old has posted an ugly 7.45 ERA over his last nine games, with the opposition hitting .364 against him.
ROOKIE LEVEL GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX: 14-8 WIN AT GCL ORIOLES
— Shortstop Javier Guerra matched a season-high with three hits, going 3-for-6 with a homer while driving in a career-high five runs. The 18-year-old from Panama gets raves from evaluators thanks to the ease and fluidity that he demonstrates both at shortstop — where his range and arm suggest the tools to be an everyday big leaguer at his current position — and at the plate, where the sweet-swinging left-hander has shown an ability to drive the ball from gap-to-gap with the potential to grow into power as he fills out. He has a surprisingly low OBP (.286 with just five walks in over 200 plate appearances) given his calm demeanor at the plate; the team expects that he will develop patience, and the early signs of extra-base pop (20 extra-base hits in 51 games), a good swing and excellent defense all point to a player who in future years has a chance to develop into one of the Sox’ top prospects.
— Center fielder Trenton Kemp went 2-for-4 with a double, continuing a pro debut in which the 18-year-old 15th rounder has shown an intriguing if raw mix of power and speed. In 37 games, he’s hitting .224/.313/.345 with 10 extra-base hits, including a .250/.354/.411 line in August.
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