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Red Sox to call up right-hander Alex Wilson, option Daniel Nava 04.23.14 at 12:48 pm ET
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An industry source confirmed a report by WEEI’s Lou Merloni that, with the Red Sox pitching staff taxed by a combined 11 innings of work on Monday and Tuesday, the team will call up right-hander Alex Wilson from Triple-A Pawtucket for Wednesday night’s game. In order to make room on the roster for Wilson, Daniel Nava will be optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. Shane Victorino will thus wait until at least Thursday for his activation from the disabled list.

Nava, a key contributor to the Red Sox’ title run in 2013 when he hit .303 with a .385 OBP and .445 slugging mark while playing four positions, never enjoyed consistent production in the season’s first three-plus weeks this year. He hit .149 with a .240 OBP and .269 slugging mark.

‘€œWe’€™re trying to get him going offensively,’€ Sox manager John Farrell said on Tuesday. ‘€œHe’€™s probably swung the bat a little bit more earlier in counts than we’€™ve seen in the past and that might be maybe some reflection of the current level of confidence. When he’€™s squared up some balls, he hasn’€™t seen the fruits of that too much. Like all players, they go through a little bit of a peak and valley and we’€™re trying to get him out of that right now. Fundamentally I can’€™t say it’€™s any one thing that he’€™s breaking down from a swing mechanic standpoint.’€

Wilson, who made his big league debut last year, has made eight scoreless appearances in Pawtucket this year, most recently when he recorded a season-high four outs on Monday. He’s struck out nine and walked five while showing an ability to get a considerable number of outs on the ground, effectively employing the two-seamer he developed last year while favoring his injured thumb that denied him his typical power on his four-seam fastball.

Victorino completed his third rehab game on Tuesday in Triple-A Pawtucket, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He has gone 1-for-11 with an infield single during his rehab assignment.

Read More: alex wilson, daniel nava, Shane Victorino,
Red Sox likely to promote a pitcher, wait to activate Shane Victorino at 12:07 am ET
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Right-hander Allen Webster could be brought up by the Red Sox on Wednesday. (AP)

Right-hander Allen Webster could be brought up by the Red Sox on Wednesday. (AP)

The Red Sox thought that they might activate Shane Victorino from the disabled list as soon as Wednesday, following the third game of his rehab assignment in Triple-A Pawtucket (in which the outfielder went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts). But with the Sox having gotten just 2 1/3 innings from Clay Buchholz on Monday and 4 2/3 frames from Jon Lester on Tuesday, the team felt that a taxed bullpen that had worked a combined 11 innings over those two games might require reinforcements. As such, manager John Farrell said that the team might consider a pitcher instead of activating Victorino on Wednesday.

“We’ve got to take a look,” said Farrell. “We may have a pitching move because of how deep we’ve had to go in the bullpen the last couple of days, so Shane is not a given for [Wednesday].”

If the Sox make a move for a pitcher, an obvious choice would right-hander Allen Webster, who is the scheduled starter for Pawtucket on Wednesday. Webster is on the 40-man roster, and he has some experience in the big leagues as a reliever at the end of last year. He could provide the Sox with length if they endure another game that requires the services of the ‘pen. The other option would likely be Alex Wilson, who pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings on Monday to give him eight scoreless appearances (spanning eight frames) this year in Pawtucket. Wilson would be able to give more than three outs, though he’s unlikely stretched out to the point of being able to provide long relief if needed, at a time when both Chris Capuano and Burke Badenhop likely will be unavailable.

None of the other options on the 40-man roster seem to fit for a one-day callup. Drake Britton pitched on Tuesday, making him a less-than-ideal callup. Brandon Workman started on Monday, so would not be a consideration. Anthony Ranaudo has never pitched in relief, and he’d be pitching on three days’ rest. Rubby De La Rosa — the best pitcher in Pawtucket to date — started on Tuesday night.

As for a move to open a roster spot for a pitcher and then Victorino, the Sox haven’t announced any decisions, but outfielder Daniel Nava met with Farrell behind closed doors following Tuesday’s game. Nava’s endured a season-long struggle, hitting .149/.240/.269, and he’s been out of the starting lineup in two of the last four games, including Tuesday night against right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.

“We’re trying to get him going offensively and [Jonny Gomes] gives us a little bit more of that right now,” Farrell explained before the game of the decision to start Gomes over Nava. “He’s probably swung the bat a little bit more earlier in counts than we’ve seen in the past and that might be maybe some reflection of the current level of confidence. When he’s squared up some balls, he hasn’t seen the fruits of that too much. Like all players, they go through a little bit of a peak and valley and we’re trying to get him out of that right now. Fundamentally I can’t say it’s any one thing that he’s breaking down from a swing mechanic standpoint.”

Nava has two options remaining, and so he can be sent down without exposing him to waivers.

Read More: alex wilson, allen webster, daniel nava, Shane Victorino
Red Sox minor league roundup: Is Mookie Betts top Red Sox prospect?; return of Anthony Ranaudo; Shane Victorino’s rehab begins 04.20.14 at 8:42 am ET
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Mookie Betts leads all of the minors in batting average with a .453 mark. (John Corneau/Lowell Spinners)

Mookie Betts leads all of the minors in batting average with a .453 mark. (John Corneau/Lowell Spinners)

Feats of Mookie: Defying superlatives.

Mookie Betts recovered from his two-game slump — a doubleheader on Friday in which he went 1-for-4 in both contests — by reasserting himself as an unstoppable force for Double-A Portland. The 21-year-old went 4-for-5, launching his second homer of the season in his final at-bat of the night, for his second four-hit game of the year and his sixth in his professional career (all of which have come in the last 12 months). In the process, he reclaimed the minor league lead in batting average (.453). He also leads the Eastern League in OBP (.492) and ranks third in slugging (.717).

Entering this season, there was some question as to whether Betts’ extraordinary breakout season of 2013 was real or a mirage. The contrast between his first two pro seasons — a 2012 campaign where he spent all year in Short-Season Lowell, hitting .267/.352/.307 with no homers and nine extra-base hits in 71 games, compared to a 2013 season where he tore through Single-A Greenville and earned a promotion to High-A Salem, getting better along the way en route to a combined .314/.417/.506 line with 15 homers, 55 extra-base hits and 38 steals in 127 games — created some pause about how highly he should be regarded in the Red Sox prospect rankings. Plenty of tools — bat speed, excellent plate discipline and hand-eye coordination, some power, quick-twitch athleticism that lent itself to both strong defensive range and great jumps as a baserunner — were on display, but it was hard to ignore the idea that his year might, just might, be a one-hit wonder that he might never match.

His start to the 2014 season, against a higher level of competition in Double-A, suggests that his performance of a year ago was no mere illusion. Obviously, his willingness to conjure a couple weeks of Nintendo numbers is unsustainable, particularly given his obscenely high batting average on balls in play (though it is worth noting that Betts may well be in possession of The Force, permitting him to bend the wills of weaker-minded opponents in a fashion that permits him to steer opposing defenders away from anything with which he makes contact and thus to sustain unusually high BABIPs). Nonetheless, the tools that proved so fascinating last year remain on full display this year, as Betts continues to show the ability to transform games in numerous ways.

And so, it is worth asking: Where does Betts rank right now among Red Sox prospects, at a time when he is laying waste to a league in which he is one of the youngest position players, someone who would be amidst his junior year of college had he not signed with the Sox out of high school? Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: alex wilson, anthony ranaudo, blake swihart, jackie bradley jr.
Brandon Snyder caps memorable week with key role in Red Sox victory 06.30.13 at 8:59 pm ET
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Third baseman Brandon Snyder delivered a pair of key hits on Sunday. (AP)

Third baseman Brandon Snyder delivered a pair of key hits on Sunday. (AP)

When Brandon Snyder stepped to the plate with one out and the bases empty in the ninth inning of a 4-4 game Sunday afternoon, he felt good about facing Blue Jays reliever Juan Perez.

The two have matched up a number of times in the minors in recent seasons, according to the Red Sox third baseman, and Snyder most recently watched Perez when the left-hander threw 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief for Triple-A Buffalo against Snyder’s PawSox on April 23.

So Sunday at Fenway Park, a 5-4 Red Sox victory, Snyder had a pretty good idea of what he wanted to do when he initiated the eventual game-winning rally with a 1-1 single through the right side.

“I kind of knew what he was going to try to do, and then once he threw me a slider [for a called strike to make it 1-1] I pretty much knew, ‘All right, he’s going to try to get another strike here,’ ” Snyder said. “So kind of just bear down and not try to do too much.

“I’m looking for a fastball because he throws upper 90s — he’s a good pitcher, so you can’t sit there and try to guess — but you have to sit on the fastball.”

It was a sinker, not a four-seam fastball, and it was only 93 mph, not high 90s, but the result was about as much as Snyder could ask for. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: alex wilson, brandon snyder, John Farrell, ryan lavarnway
Clay Buchholz, David Ross to DL; Red Sox call up Ryan Lavarnway, Alex Wilson 06.18.13 at 8:25 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz landed on the disabled list. (AP)

Clay Buchholz landed on the disabled list. (AP)

The Red Sox placed right-hander Clay Buchholz on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to June 9) due to what the team described as a neck strain, while also placing catcher David Ross on the 7-day disabled list for the recurrence of his concussion-like symptoms. In their places, the team called up catcher Ryan Lavarnway (in place of Buchholz) from Pawtucket and right-hander Alex Wilson (in Ross’ spot.

According to a team source, there has not yet been a decision about whether — with Buchholz sidelined — Allen Webster or Rubby De La Rosa will be called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to start this weekend. Still, barring another player getting placed on the DL, it would have to be Webster who starts, given that De La Rosa needs to remain in the minors for at least 10 days after being optioned (unless he is returned to the big leagues in place of a player who goes on the DL).

Buchholz threw a bullpen session off a mound prior to the night game of Tuesday’s day-night doubleheader, his first bullpen session since he suffered what was described as a sore trapezius muscle in his June 8 start. It was after that throwing session that news of his placement on the DL was announced. With his retroactive date, he could be activated as soon as June 24 (an off-day, followed by a game against the Rockies at Fenway on June 25).

The Sox announced that both Lavarnway and Wilson were expected to be available for the 8:05 game. However, Jarrod Saltalamacchia started the night game of the doubleheader after also starting the day game. Meanwhile, Wilson’s availability will be something of a question given that he threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings (punching out three) on Monday.

From the Red Sox press release: Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: alex wilson, Clay Buchholz, David Ross, ryan lavarnway
Red Sox minor league roundup: Impressive tune-up for Rubby De La Rosa; Bryce Brentz mashing; Sergio Gomez dominates at 2:09 pm ET
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A brief look at the limited action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 4-0 WIN AT COLUMBUS (INDIANS)

(BOX)

Right-hander Rubby De La Rosa earned his first win of 2013 on Monday. (AP)

Right-hander Rubby De La Rosa earned his first win of 2013 on Monday. (AP)

– Right-hander Rubby De La Rosa, back in Pawtucket after a one-day stint in the big leagues on Saturday, earned his first victory of the year, logging 5 1/3 shutout innings while giving up just two hits (one double, one single), striking out five and walking five. Both the five walks and the 5 1/3 innings represented season highs, as did De La Rosa’s 87 pitches (49 strikes; 56 percent).

In his last nine outings, De La Rosa — a candidate to start for the Red Sox in the big leagues on Saturday if Clay Buchholz lands on the DL — now has a 0.97 ERA with opponents in possession of a feeble .163/.283/.236 line against him. In that stretch, De La Rosa has 36 strikeouts and 19 walks in 37 innings.

Bryce Brentz continues to mash. He launched his fourth homer in six games on Monday while going 1-for-3 with his 14th roundtripper; he also got hit by a pitch. The 24-year-old is tied for fourth in the International League in homers and fifth with 49 RBI.

– In his first appearance since a brief big league callup, right-hander Alex Wilson was dominant, allowing no runs on one hit while striking out three in 1 1/3 shutout innings. Wilson now has 12 strikeouts and three walks in 10 2/3 minor league innings.

Brock Huntzinger, in his second appearance since a promotion to the PawSox, retired all six batters he faced, punching out one. The 24-year-old has delivered three perfect innings thus far in Pawtucket. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: alex wilson, brock huntzinger, bryce brentz, Chris Carpenter
Red Sox calling up Rubby De La Rosa, optioning Alex Wilson 06.14.13 at 11:47 am ET
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Right-hander Rubby De La Rosa will join the Sox in Baltimore on Friday. (AP)

Right-hander Rubby De La Rosa will join the Sox in Baltimore on Friday. (AP)

With the Red Sox bullpen depleted once again following Thursday night’s 13-inning, 5-4 loss to the Orioles, the Red Sox are summoning Rubby De La Rosa from Triple-A Pawtucket. De La Rosa, who has been starting all year in Triple-A, will be available to the Sox out of the bullpen, according to a major league source. To clear a spot, right-hander Alex Wilson — who took the loss despite pitching well, allowing one run in 2 2/3 innings — was optioned back to Pawtucket after Thursday’s loss.

De La Rosa is 0-1 with a 3.29 ERA in 11 starts (38 1/3 innings) with the PawSox this year. Most of those outings have been with restricted workloads, as the Sox have been proceeding carefully with the 24-year-old given that a) he is pitching his first full, healthy season since undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2011 and b) he has never thrown more than 111 innings in a minor league season. Still, he’s been making steady progress within those strictures, working a season-high five innings in just 70 pitches in his most recent outing.

In his last eight outings dating to April 23, De La Rosa has a 1.14 ERA with 31 strikeouts and 14 walks in 31 2/3 innings. His ability to garner strikeouts in volume has fluctuated — Saturday marked the second time in three outings that he had just one punchout — but in an interesting suggestion that, in contrast to his early-season struggles, the 24-year-old is now showing the ability to execute consistently, he has allowed no more than two earned runs in any of his last eight starts. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: alex wilson, pedro martinez, Rich Sauveur, rubby de la rosa
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