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Red Sox minor league notebook: What pitching prospect Michael Kopech still needs to work on 08.25.16 at 10:37 am ET
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Michael Kopech has been on a roll with High-A Salem. (John Wacher/Salem Red Sox)

Michael Kopech has been on a roll with High-A Salem. (John Wacher/Salem Red Sox)

1. Top pitching prospect Michael Kopech is dominating High-A Salem.

The right-hander is 4-1 with a 1.23 ERA in 10 starts with the club and over the 51 1/3 innings pitched, he’s totaled 81 strikeouts. In his last start Wednesday night he went a career-high seven shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out 10, while walking two. Over his last five starts, in four of them he’s had 10 or more strikeouts.

While he’s dominating at this level, the Red Sox still want him to work on pitches other than his fastball, as while he can succeed in High-A with his high 90s fastball, it won’t work in Double-A, Triple-A and especially the majors.

“At that level you’re going to get by with velocity,” Red Sox minor league pitching coordinator Ralph Treuel said. “We’ve seen at the major league level you have to have that second and third pitch. Velocity is not enough and a lot of guys in the big leagues who are throwing in the mid-90s, they have to have something to complement the fastball. Otherwise, they aren’t going to get through the lineup more than one time.”

Given he missed the first two months of the season after breaking his hand during an altercation with a teammate during spring training, he hasn’t thrown as many innings as most other Red Sox starters. With this in mind, there’s a good chance he pitches in the Arizona Fall League.

It will give him an opportunity to work on his stuff, while going against perhaps better competition than he’s facing now.

“It continues to be the mix. Don’t just fire fastballs. Work on your secondary pitches. Keep working on the slider, which has really become a good pitch for him,” Treuel said. “The big thing for me is to use a changeup more often. Major league starters have changeups. He has to realize that and he does realize that and he has picked up the usage I think the last couple outings.”

Kopech has one of the best fastballs in minor league baseball, but as has been seen first-hand at the big league level with Joe Kelly, Kopech needs to develop another pitch/pitches to be successful.

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Read More: Jason Groome, michael chavis, michael kopech, rafael devers
Red Sox lineup: David Ortiz sits in series finale vs. Rays 08.25.16 at 10:24 am ET
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David Ortiz

David Ortiz

Less than 18 hours after hitting his 30th home run of the season, David Ortiz will get the afternoon off in the series finale against the Rays.

Hanley Ramirez will be the DH in his absence, while Travis Shaw will play first base and Aaron Hill will play third base as the Red Sox go up against Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi.

Bryan Holaday will catch Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz.

Outfielder Andrew Benintendi predictably isn’t in the lineup after suffering a knee injury Wednesday night.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Mookie Betts, RF
Hanley Ramirez, DH
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Chris Young, LF
Aaron Hill, 3B
Travis Shaw, 1B
Bryan Holaday, C
Drew Pomeranz, LHP

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

Read More: David Ortiz,
Saturday Red Sox Farm Report: Mauricio Dubon homers in Sea Dogs win; 2016 4th-round pick Bobby Dalbec continues hot start in Lowell 08.20.16 at 10:25 am ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system Friday.

William Cuevas

William Cuevas

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (66-60): L, 7-4, at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees)

— Pitching in relief, William Cuevas allowed four runs (two earned) over the final three innings to take the loss. This spoiled a decent start from Sean O’Sullivan, who went five innings and allowed three runs on six hits, while striking out four. Cuevas is now 6-7 with a 4.35 ERA.

— Right fielder Brennan Bosech paced the offense with three hits. He had been in a recent funk, as he was just one for his last 16. With the PawSox this year he is batting .238.

— Rusney Castillo and catcher Dan Butler had two hits apiece in the game as well. Castillo has seemed to have found something of late as in his last 10 games the outfielder is batting .355, while collecting eight walks in that span. For the season, he’s hitting .265

— Continuing his rehab, Chris Young went 1-for-4 with a walk, a strikeout and a RBI. In six rehab games, he’s 4-for-19 with six strikeouts.

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Read More: Bobby Dalbec, mauricio dubon, Sean O'Sullivan,
Red Sox minor league notebook: 3B Rafael Devers could hit ’20 or 30′ home runs in big leagues 08.18.16 at 10:57 am ET
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High-A Salem third baseman Rafael Devers is viewed as a 20-30 home run player. (David Kohl/USA Today Sports)

High-A Salem third baseman Rafael Devers is viewed as a 20-30 home run player. (David Kohl/USA Today Sports)

1. What a difference a few months have been for High-A Salem third baseman Rafael Devers.

The 19-year-old batted just .138 in April and has now raised his average to .281 on the year, due in large part to a monster second half of the season where he’s hit .337 with seven home runs and 37 RBIs.

“I think just the processes of him working on staying behind the ball and using the whole field and being more patient,” Salem manager Joe Oliver said of what has changed with him at the plate. “Working with our hitting coach Nelson Paulino finally started to settle back in and his natural ability and swing started to click and he started putting more balls in play and wasn’t so pull happy. He showed a lot more patience and good pitch selection as opposed to what he was doing earlier in the year.”

Devers is a special talent. He was named to the Futures Game as an 18-year-old last year, but didn’t get invited back this year because of his poor start. Although the numbers weren’t there earlier in the season, he was still considered a step below Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada in terms of how much the organization values him, and thus was not dealt at the trade deadline despite numerous inquiries on him.

“This young man is one of the best third baseman I’ve seen — not just in the Carolina League, I’m talking he’s pretty special,” Oliver said. “Really the sky is the limit for him. His struggles offensively, he could have taken it out to the field on defense and he didn’t let that happen. He’s played All-Star caliber defense and really has saved our ballclub and our pitching staff numerous hits and runs by the excellent defense that he’s played. A special talent.

“The young man has an internal clock that is built in that special players have that he knows how fast each runner is whether they are going to first or second. He doesn’t rush or hurry anything. He knows how hard and how quick he has to be to get the ball across the diamond.”

Although he stands just 6-feet, 195 pounds, he has extremely quick hands, similar to Mookie Betts and can hit the ball a long way. Oliver wouldn’t be surprised to see him hit 20 or 30 homers a year in the big leagues one day.

“I don’t see why he couldn’t hit 20 or 30 home runs in the big leagues,” Oliver said. “He has that type of swing and as long as he stays within his approach and doesn’t become pull happy, he can hit the ball out. He gives himself a good opportunity to hit it anywhere.”

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Read More: Jason Groome, michael kopech, rafael devers, Red Sox Minor League Notebook
Red Sox lineup: David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia sit; Hanley Ramirez returns vs. Tigers 08.18.16 at 9:58 am ET
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Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez

After getting a few hours of sleep, the Red Sox are back at it for an afternoon game with the Tigers.

Given their travel schedule, the lineup resembles one from spring training, but they do get Hanley Ramirez back from the bereavement list. As the corresponding move, Marco Hernandez was sent back to Triple-A Pawtucket.

David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia both get the day off — at least to start — as Sandy Leon will DH, Deven Marrero will play second base and Aaron Hill will play third base against Tigers lefty Matt Boyd.

Bryan Holaday will catch Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Aaron Hill, 3B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Mookie Betts, RF
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Sandy Leon, DH
Bryan Holaday, C
Deven Marrero, 2B
Andrew Benintendi, LF
Clay Buchholz, RHP

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

Read More: David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, hanley ramirez,
Source: Red Sox 1st-round pick Jason Groome tentatively scheduled to make pro debut Monday 08.15.16 at 9:00 pm ET
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It appears Jason Groome will be appearing in a real game relatively soon.

According to a source, the Red Sox’ first-round pick (No. 7 overall) is tentatively scheduled to make his professional debut with the Gulf Coast Red Sox next Monday if his bullpen session goes as planned this week.

Groome has been in Fort Myers the past few weeks after signing getting on the Red Sox’ throwing program and working with the Red Sox’ staff, all leading up to making his debut.

As a senior this past year at Barnegat High School in New Jersey, the tall left-hander posted a 0.77 ERA with 90 strikeouts and 15 hits allowed in 39 2/3 innings.

MLB.com was first to report the news.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Read More: Jason Groome,
Red Sox recall INF Deven Marrero, INF Marco Hernandez, RHP Health Hembree in series of roster moves 08.15.16 at 10:56 am ET
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Marco Hernandez

Marco Hernandez

Following Sunday’s win, the Red Sox announced several roster moves.

Right-hander Steven Wright was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sore shoulder and also placed first baseman Hanley Ramirez on the three-day bereavement list in addition to sending left-hander Roenis Elias back to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Prior to Monday afternoon’s game in Cleveland, the team made the three corresponding moves.

Infielders Deven Marrero and Marco Hernandez as well as right-hander Heath Hembree were recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket and will be in uniform for the game.

Hernandez is batting .303 in 52 games with the PawSox, while Marrero is having a tough year batting just .196 in 87 games. Both will give the team options off the bench in the infield.

Hembree has seen extensive time in the majors this season with the Red Sox and is 4-0 with a 2.41 ERA.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Read More: deven marrero, heath hembree, Marco Hernandez,
Red Sox lineup: Mookie Betts batting cleanup vs. Indians 08.15.16 at 10:19 am ET
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Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

A day after hitting three home runs for the second time this season, Mookie Betts will do something he hasn’t done in his career — bat cleanup.

Betts is batting fourth as the Red Sox take on the Indians for just a one-game series, which is a makeup game from Opening Day that was postponed because of rain.

With Hanley Ramirez on bereavement list, Travis Shaw will play first base and Aaron Hill will play third base as the Red Sox go up against Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin.

Bryan Holaday will catch Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Mookie Betts, RF
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Aaron Hill, 3B
Travis Shaw, 1B
Bryan Holaday, C
Andrew Benintendi, LF
Drew Pomeranz, LHP

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

Read More: mookie betts,
Red Sox minor league notebook: When will Jason Groome make professional debut? 08.11.16 at 11:08 am ET
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1. Red Sox first-round pick Jason Groome has been in Fort Myers for a few weeks now working towards making his eventual professional debut.

The 17-year-old has been working on the club’s throwing program, arm strengthening routines and general workouts with Goose Gregson, the Red Sox’ Latin American pitching coordinator and also one of the pitching coaches for the Red Sox’ Gulf Coast League squad.

Most recently Groome has been throwing bullpens, which have gone very well according to those who have seen them. The biggest question now is when the tall left-hander will make his professional debut?

According to a source, the plan is for him to throw in a couple of simulated games next week and then make his debut shortly after that. So, it’s getting closer.

After signing on July 15, it had been roughly two months since he appeared in a live game and after only logging 39 2/3 innings this spring, Groome had a lot of ramping back up to do. Being so young the Red Sox wanted to be extremely cautious with him.

The plan since he signed was to get him to short-season, Single-A Lowell for at least a start or two and with about three weeks left in the Spinners’ season, if all goes according to plan, Groome may get to do so.

2. Top prospect Yoan Moncada suffered a Grade 1 ankle sprain last Friday night and it was learned he would miss roughly a week of action. That timetable is still on track, as according to a source, he will be back in the lineup before the week is over. The injury likely pushed back any potential immediate promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket. This isn’t suggesting it won’t happen before the season is over, it just likely won’t be immediate.

In 34 games with Double-A Portland, the second baseman is batting .285 with eight home runs and 22 RBIs. He’s beginning to get work at third base and in the outfield as it’s likely his future with the Red Sox is not at second base.

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Read More: Jason Groome, Red Sox Minor League Notebook, Travis Lakins, yoan moncada
Red Sox minor league notebook: How Yoan Moncada could potentially help big league club this season 08.04.16 at 7:00 am ET
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Yoan Moncada could potentially help the Red Sox out this season. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports)

Yoan Moncada could potentially help the Red Sox out this season. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports)

1. With Andrew Benintendi being promoted to the Red Sox this week, the next question is when will it be Yoan Moncada’s turn?

The two are a little different as Benintendi was a two-year college player, while Moncada just came to the United States from Cuba last year. The second baseman also needs to likely begin playing another position — which he already has started by getting pregame work at third base and in the outfield — so there will be some time before he’s in Boston, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen this year.

A likely scenario is Moncada gets promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket in the very near future and then once major league rosters expand in September, Moncada could get his first taste of the big leagues. It’s also unlikely he gets any meaningful every day playing time, but the Red Sox could use his speed as a pinch-runner off the bench.

It’s worth mentioning president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was asked in Seattle this week about that being a possibility and he said he doubted it would work out that way, but it’s still over a month away and a lot can change between now and then.

It just wouldn’t make sense to have a player like Moncada and his speed not used to the Red Sox’ benefit.

The Red Sox were 11th in baseball in stolen bases going into Wednesday, stealing 63 bases and Moncada alone has 44 in 54 attempts between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland this year. Last year he stole 49 bases in 81 games with Single-A Greenville.

As it stands now, Moncada has the most stolen bases at any level in the Red Sox’ organization this season and by a good margin as the next highest is Danny Mars’ 27 with High-A Salem.

“His first step is unbelievable on the bases and defensively,” Portland manager Carlos Febles said to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford of what makes him such a good base stealer in addition to pure speed. “He’s a beast.”

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Read More: brian johnson, henry owens, michael kopech, Red Sox Minor League Notebook
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