|Red Sox pregame notes: Team hopes momentum continues to build in wake of walk-offs||08.02.13 at 5:58 pm ET|
Like most who saw Thursday’s incredible come-from-behind 8-7 win over Seattle, some of the Red Sox woke up Friday morning still in awe that they had pulled off the improbable victory.
“There was a time this morning just sitting around having a cup of coffee when you think, ‘I still can’t believe we won last night,’” said manager John Farrell.
Farrell quickly added that perhaps he shouldn’t be so surprised.
“I think we might be getting to the point where, personally, I think about the guys in our clubhouse and I can’t say they’re not capable of meeting any challenge that comes their way,” Farrell said.
The natural reaction following the last two games — the Red Sox won in walk-off fashion on Wednesday as well — would be to put that excitement in the past and turn the page to Friday’s series-opener against a Diamondbacks team with which they have little familiarity.
Although they will do that to an extent, Mike Napoli noted that it’s OK for the excitement to carry over.
“I don’t think it’ll ever go away, especially with this ballclub,” said the Sox first baseman. “We all care about each other and we’re all happy for each other.”
Farrell said wins like these last two, which were the Red Sox’ 10th and 11th walk-off victories of the season, can create a bit of a snowball effect as the season goes on.
“To what extent I don’t know, but there is an effect, and I think it’s a cumulative one given the number of late-inning wins we’ve had here,” Farrell said. “Our dugout was very loose last night. There wasn’t added pressure. It was a matter of one guy at a time putting together the best at bat he could. People always want to say, ‘What can this mean going forward?’ I think it’s a continued growth that we have as a team.”
|Red Sox minor league roundup: Taking stock of who’s on third; Jackie Bradley learns about the rumor mill; Anthony Ranaudo returns to form; Luis Diaz emerging in Greenville||07.31.13 at 12:18 pm ET|
With Jose Iglesias being dealt to the Tigers in a three-team deal that brought Jake Peavy to Boston and “nothing imminent” regarding a trade for an infielder, according to general manager Ben Cherington, it’s time for the Red Sox to bring an infielder up from Pawtucket to man third base.
Obviously one of those options would be Will Middlebrooks. Middlebrooks has not played in a major league game since June 20, and is batting .257/.323/.451 in 36 games with the PawSox. Middlebrooks has shown some signs that he’s improved his approach at the plate since being sent down, though he’s hit a cold streak after notching two hits in four straight games. He’s 2-for-his-last-18 with a single and a run scored on Tuesday. He also drew a walk, his third in his last five games, and struck out, his fourth time in the same span.
“I’m being more picky with what I’m swinging at,” Middlebrooks told Rob Bradford late last week. “I was really overaggressive and I got in a hole early in the year so I was trying to do too much to get everything back at once. I was trying to get three hits at once. You can’t do that, and pitchers know that.”
Since rejoining the PawSox, Middlebrooks has improved on what was a very lopsided strikeout to walk ratio in the big leagues this year. In 53 major league games, Middlebrooks walked only nine times (about 4 percent of his plate appearances) while striking out 60 times (a 28 percent rate). In 30 games in his second stint with Pawtucket this season (he spent a brief period there on a rehab assignment), Middlebrooks has already drawn more walks than he did in the majors this season, with 10 free passes, meaning his walk rate is up to about 7 percent, well above his career rate of 4.4 percent. He’s also cut down on the strikeouts, fanning 25 times in 134 plate appearances, or 18.7 percent of the time.
Middlebrooks may not have compiled a slash line that makes one think that he’s forced his way back into the majors, but he has been quite productive for the PawSox. For a few weeks, the third baseman was averaging just about one RBI per game, and while that rate has slowed, he’s still driven in 23 in 30 games since returning to Triple-A. In his time with Pawtucket, he’s hitting .340/.411/.680 with runners in scoring position, with a .333/.407/.750 line in the same situation and two outs.
Another option for the third base job would be top prospect Xander Bogaerts. He’s spent only 42 games in Triple-A, but what a spectacular 42 games they’ve been. Bogaerts has acclimated well to every level he’s played at, and Pawtucket is no different. The shortstop, who is getting his first exposure to third base, is batting .273/.381/.473 with six doubles, eight home runs and 24 RBI since joining the Triple-A club. Bogaerts just finds ways to get on base, while his power is starting to really develop. The highly-regarded prospect went 0-for-3 on Tuesday, only his second time in his last 11 games that he’s failed to reach base on a hit. He did reach base twice and scored twice, however, reaching on a walk and a hit by pitch. Bogaerts has posted good strikeout to walk ratios in just about every stop on his way through the system, and has been exceptional in that department so far in Triple-A, drawing 24 walks while striking out 31 times in 176 plate appearances.
But, at least for the time being, Brock Holt will get the call. Holt has something that neither Bogaerts nor Middlebrooks have: experience playing second base.
With Iglesias gone, the Red Sox currently have no one on the 25-man roster who could serve as a back-up at second base, and Holt has plenty of experience there. He’s played only seven games at third base in his minor league career, but he held his own in 10 games at the hot corner in his first stint with the Red Sox. In those 10 games, Holt was impressive with the bat as well, batting .290/.333/.290 with eight RBI, drawing three walks while fanning only twice, and coming through in some big situations for the Sox.
The 25-year-old, who went 1-for-4 with a single while playing second base on Tuesday night, is hitting .276 with a .290 OBP in eight games since returning to Pawtucket. Holt has not had an extra-base hit in his last 26 games (that stretch includes games both in the majors and minors), but Holt is not known for his power. In fact, he has only four doubles and a home run in 69 games this season. Holt also provides a bit of speed, having swiped eight bases in 11 chances for Pawtucket this season. At this point, though Holt will be the one to receive the promotion on Wednesday, Middlebrooks or Bogaerts will likely get the call before too long.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 5-4 WIN AT NORFOLK (ORIOLES)
– Twitter was abuzz with trade speculation when Jackie Bradley Jr. was lifted in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s game, pinch-hit for with the bases loaded and nobody out in what was, at the time, a two-run game. But Bradley was removed from the game because of a minor elbow injury, when he felt some discomfort in his throwing arm after making a throw from the warning track to third base earlier that inning. The injury was a minor tweak for Bradley, who hopes to be in the lineup on Wednesday. Prior to being lifted, he was 1-for-2 with a single, walk and run scored.
“It’s crazy,” Bradley told Tim Britton of the Providence Journal about the speculation regarding his inclusion in a trade. “Everyone has to make some kind of assumption, got to have something exciting to talk about. You might as well start off with me coming out of a game…. It’s weird hearing that. Everybody’s fighting to get who they want.”
– Ryan Rowland-Smith, who missed over a month with appendicitis, made his return to the PawSox on Tuesday, going two-thirds of an inning and allowing two walks while striking out one. Rowland-Smith has had a great year for Pawtucket, posting a 1.02 ERA in 44 1/3 innings, walking 13 and striking out 39. The left-hander is a solid option for the big-league club should they need another reliever; he’s been extremely tough against both lefties and righties this season, with opposing hitters batting just .173/.240/.224 against him.
– Alex Wilson made a rehab appearance for the PawSox, working his way back from a sprained right thumb. The right-hander went an inning and gave up a run on two hits, including a line drive into the gap that allowed the tying run to score. Wilson also walked a batter and struck out one. He was credited with the win in the end, but also received a blown save. However, Wilson said he felt good during the outing, and the plan is to rest on Wednesday and then pitch in back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday, then reevaluate. Wilson pitched to a 4.88 in 27 2/3 innings with the Red Sox this season.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 4-0 LOSS AT RICHMOND (GIANTS)
– There was also some trade speculation when starter Anthony Ranaudo was lifted from the game, right around the time Bradley was pulled from his game in Pawtucket. But both were just a coincidence, and Ranaudo was pulled because he had thrown 98 pitches, while there were two runners on with two outs in the seventh inning. Ranaudo wasn’t hit particularly hard on Tuesday, but did give up two solo home runs in his 6 2/3 innings, allowing a total of four earned runs on four hits and a walk, receiving his fourth loss of the season. The encouraging sign, however, is that Ranaudo’s command was back. After walking 16 and striking out 17 in his last five outings (30 innings), the 23-year-old issued only one walk on Tuesday while striking out seven batters, his highest strikeout total since his 13 strikeout performance back on June 13. Ranaudo threw 63 of his 98 pitches for strikes.
– The Sea Dogs offense was quieted by Richmond starter Ryan Vogelsong, making a rehab appearance on his way to rejoining the San Francisco Giants. But Shannon Wilkerson was able to notch two hits in two at-bats with a single and a double, while also laying down a sacrifice bunt. Wilkerson, 25, is struggling for the most part in his second season with the Sea Dogs, batting .221/.298/.311 in 93 games with 14 doubles, four triples and three home runs on the year. Prior to the two-hit day, the center fielder was mired in a particularly ugly slump, batting just .095/.132/.111 in his previous 19 games.
– Michael Almanzar has been slumping recently, a trend that continued as he went 0-for-4 on Tuesday. In his last six games, the 22-year-old has only two hits and a walk. Almanzar is enjoying a fine season for the Sea Dogs, however, batting .269/.332/.431 with 63 RBI in 103 games this year.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 6-5 WIN (10 INNINGS) VS. POTOMAC (NATIONALS)
– Keury de la Cruz may be heating up again. The outfielder reached on two hits for his second day in a row, this time with a single and his fifth triple of the year. He also drove in a run, adding to his team-leading total of 75. De La Cruz had come back to earth after a ridiculous showing in June (in which he hit .387), hitting only .235/.296/.382 in 26 games this month. On the season, the 21-year-old has offered very solid production, slashing .284/.323/.430 with 29 doubles and seven home runs in 104 games. De La Cruz also swiped two bases on Tuesday, part of Salem’s base-stealing attack on Potomac; Salem runners stole seven bases without any runners being caught on Tuesday. De La Cruz has stolen 24 bases in 30 attempts. He also had an outfield assist, his seventh of the season.
– Second baseman Mookie Betts reached base safely three times on Tuesday, going 1-for-3 with a double, two walks and two runs scored. Betts still has drawn more walks than he has strikeouts (seven walks to six strikeouts) in Salem after drawing 18 more walks than strikeouts in his time with Greenville. Betts has struggled a bit in High-A, batting .239/.304/.423 in 20 games, and is batting only .143 in his last eight games, though he has reached on five walks. Betts was one of the six players to steal a base on Tuesday, his eighth swiped bag with Salem. He has yet to be caught by a High-A catcher.
– Matt Price earned the win for Salem, throwing two shutout innings while allowing just one hit but walking two. Price had previously allowed runs in his last two outings after an 11 1/3-inning scoreless streak. The right-hander has closed out 24 games for Salem, recording five saves and fives wins and posting a 2.62 ERA in 44 2/3 innings pitched. He’s issued 18 walks while striking out an average of 9.5 batters per nine innings.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 5-1 WIN AT GREENSBORO (MARLINS)
– The Drive lost two members of their pitching staff when Francellis Montas and J.B. Wendelken were involved in the deal that brought Peavy to the Red Sox. Montas, 20, was 2-9 with a 5.70 ERA for Greenville this year, with the hard-throwing righty striking out 96 batters in 85 1/3 innings. Wendelken, who made his last appearance for Greenville on Tuesday, throwing a perfect ninth inning, was 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA pitching in relief, with 20 walks and 54 strikeouts in 65 innings.
– Starter Luis Diaz turned in a fine performance, going six scoreless innings while allowing five hits and a walk and fanning eight batters. The 21-year-old righty has compiled an impressive 4.19 strikeout-to-walk ratio with 67 strikeouts and 16 free passes in 70 innings this season. Diaz has pitched to a 1.33 ERA in his last eight starts, allowing just seven earned runs in 47 1/3 innings. In that span, opposing batters are hitting .195/.238/.254 against him. Overall on the season, Diaz is 6-4 with a 2.44 ERA and 1.114 WHIP.
– Reed Gragnani hit the first home run of his professional career on Tuesday, going 3-for-4 and driving in three runs. Gragnani, a 22-year-old second baseman who was drafted in the 21st round this year, hit .333/.411/.417 with the Spinners before earning the promotion to Greenville. In 14 games with the Drive, he’s slumped, hitting .231/.317/.288 with only one extra-base hit. He’s drawn five walks as compared to seven strikeouts, and has stolen two bases.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 6-4 WIN VS. AUBURN (NATIONALS)
– Second baseman Cleuluis Rondon was the other member of the Red Sox organization to go over to the White Sox in the Peavy deal. The 19-year-old was batting .276/.326/.350 in 37 games for the Spinners.
– Left fielder Kevin Mager had a big day for Lowell, going 3-for-5 with a triple (his first this season) and three runs batted in. Mager, who has split time between Greenville and Lowell this year, is batting .423/.444/.615 over his last seven games, and currently owns a five-game hitting streak. The 24-year-old is batting .314/.394/.436 in 39 games with the Spinners this year.
– Forrest Allday, the Red Sox eighth round pick in the 2013 draft, continues to hit well in his first professional season, going 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBI on Tuesday. Allday has walked 13 times in his 63 plate appearances while striking out only 11 times, and currently owns a line of .313/.476/.375 in 15 games.
– Ty Buttrey was solid in his seventh start, giving up a run on five hits and three walks in four innings. He struck out four. Buttrey, a 20-year-old right-hander, has allowed only two earned runs in his last four starts (19 1/3 innings), good for a 0.93 ERA, allowing seven walks while recording 14 strikeouts. Buttrey has posted a 2.23 ERA and 1.206 WHIP in his first seven outings with Lowell, though he’s walked almost as many batters as he’s struck out (13 walks compared to 17 strikeouts).
ROOKIE LEVEL GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX: 3-1 LOSS VS. GCL RAYS
- Jake Drehoff, who was drafted in the 12th round this year, made his professional debut on Tuesday, going an inning and giving up a run on three hits. Drehoff, a 21-year-old drafted out of the University of Southern Mississippi, is a tall lefty who throws a fastball in the high-80s to low-90s, a changeup and a slider.
– Center fielder Jordon Austin went 2-for-3 with a double, his third extra-base hit this season. Austin, a 18-year-old drafted in the sixth round out of Forest High School in Ocala, Florida this year, is hitting only .229 in his 18 games with the GCL Red Sox, though he has drawn a total of 18 walks (as well as 18 strikeouts), and owns a .439 OBP.
– Wendell Rijo’s 16-game on-base streak was snapped when he went 0-for-4 on Tuesday. The 17-year-old hit .415/.508/.585 during the streak, and is batting .310 with a .430 OBP in 26 games, drawing 16 walks while clubbing nine doubles.
– Sean Coyle went 0-for-4 in his third game with the GCL Red Sox. Coyle is working his way back from a knee injury and playing his third game in almost two months.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 12-2 LOSS AT GCL MARINERS
– First baseman Darwin Pena provided most of the offense for the DSL Red Sox, going 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and run scored. For the 20-year-old, it was his third double and seventh extra-base hit of the season. Pena is batting .244/.305/.317 in 46 games on the season.
– 18-year-old Carlos Garcia was knocked around a bit in his 10th start, giving up four runs (though only three were earned) on six hits, one of those being a home run, his third home run allowed in 44 1/3 innings this season. Garcia didn’t walk a single batter for only the second time this year. In his first four starts, Garcia managed t strike out 26 batters, but since then, he’s totaled only nine in his last 27 1/3 innings. Garcia owns a 2-3 record and 3.45 ERA in his second year in the DSL.
|Source: No trade involving Jackie Bradley Jr. imminent||07.30.13 at 9:26 pm ET|
Red Sox Triple-A outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was removed for pinch-hitter Justin Henry in the sixth inning of Tuesday night’s game in Pawtucket. However, while that raised suspicions about the possibility of a deal — particularly since there was no apparent injury to force Bradley from the game — an industry source said that no trade involving the center fielder was imminent.
Bradley, who was 1-for-2 in the PawSox contest, is hitting .278/.377/.489 with the PawSox. He continues to project as a hitter with the on-base skills to be a leadoff hitter while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense in center. That combination of skills is believed to make him virtually untouchable in trade talks, though of course, the Sox (like most teams) have a blanket never-say-never approach to the trade market. All the same, given his standing in the organization and the fact that he represents a fairly critical player should Jacoby Ellsbury depart as a free agent, the mere mention of his removal of the game was enough to ignite considerable surprise.
Anthony Ranaudo was also removed from his start for Double-A Portland, but given that he’d thrown 6 2/3 innings and that his seventh inning of work had just been extended by an error after 98 pitches, his removal appears to have been workload-related.
|Red Sox minor league roundup: Xander Bogaerts keeps launching homers; Ill-timed command issues for Anthony Ranaudo; Rubby De La Rosa rebounds; Jose Contreras dominating||07.25.13 at 12:22 pm ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 5-3 WIN AT NORFOLK (ORIOLES)
– The drumbeat of homers and walks for Xander Bogaerts continues to beat in Triple-A. The 20-year-old went 1-for-3 with a homer and a walk on Wednesday, and though his average has dipped to .256, he is seventh in the International League with eight homers (in 36 games) since his promotion from Double-A, and with 20 walks in that time, he also has a .360 OBP to complement his .465 slugging mark. So, although seven years younger than the league average, Bogaerts’ .256/.360/.465 line is nonetheless more impressive than the league average of .259/.333/.396.
He is the first 20-year-old with as many as eight homers in the International League since 2010, when Jesus Montero (21) and Freddie Freeman (18) did so over full seasons spent in Triple-A. On the year, Bogaerts now has 14 homers and 35 extra-base hits in 92 games between Portland and Pawtucket.
– Third baseman Will Middlebrooks is showing signs of improvement at the plate. He went 2-for-4 with a double for his third straight multi-hit game on Wednesday, going 6-for-14 (.429) in his last three games and 9-for-24 (.375) in his last five with a pair of doubles, a walk and seven strikeouts in that span. In 24 games since being sent down, Middlebrooks is now hitting .265/.306/.441 with five homers, six walks and 21 strikeouts in 24 games.
– Right-hander Rubby De La Rosa earned his first win in four weeks, allowing one run on three hits (two doubles and a single) in five innings while walking three and striking out three. While De La Rosa is holding opponents in Triple-A to a .224 average this year, showing the ability to handle both righties (.228 average against) and lefties (.220), his high walk rate (4.8 per nine innings) raises some question about his ability to impact the big league team in the near term should he be summoned either as a starter or relief option. Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox minor league roundup: Anthony Ranaudo and the trade question; impressive debut for Jose Contreras; Rubby De La Rosa struggles; Henry Ramos raking||07.20.13 at 10:54 am ET|
Technically, Anthony Ranaudo had stayed on his turn of the rotation over the last couple weeks, pitching every fifth day. But, as he made a pair of one-inning stints in showcase games — the Double-A Eastern League All-Star Game and the All-Star Futures Game — he unquestionably was taken out of his normal routine. That may or may not have contributed to his struggles in those two contests (the fastball command that had permitted Ranaudo to overpower the Eastern League wasn’t evident), but either way, it was time for Ranaudo to get back to a more normal work schedule.
He did so on Friday, working around seven hits to limit his opponents to two runs through six innings before giving up a solo homer and a double while recording one out before getting pulled in the seventh. He wasn’t dominant by any stretch of the imagination, striking out just four while walking three.
It’s an interesting time to assess the big right-hander’s season. One year ago, he’d been shut down for the year and wasn’t a consideration for other teams as the trade deadline approached. This year is different. Ranaudo has reminded people of why he was such a highly regarded prospect during his college career at LSU, holding opponents to a .205 average, forging a 2.87 ERA and striking out just over a batter an inning (98 in 97 1/3 frames).
Of late, he’s been inconsistent, alternating dominant Eastern League outings with pedestrian ones while forging a 4.64 ERA in his last seven starts. Still, the overall impression he’s made this year has been a positive one that is certain to make him a prominent subject of interest as the trade deadline approaches.
“When I saw him this spring, he looked great in the spring — up to 95, great downhill plane, very good curveball and an improving changeup with a little bit of sink. He’s going to have to maintain his delivery and that changeup still needs a little bit of work, but if he can stay healthy, I think he has the profile of definitely being a No. 3 guy, maybe a No. 2 if everything goes right,” said one AL scout. “With the way he’s throwing now, the angle is huge. The breaking ball is swing and miss. I was a little surprised how tight his spin was. It really has progressed since when I had seen him in high school. Some guys don’t make that progression. It was exciting to see. As long as he stays healthy, he should definitely be a main guy in Boston’s rotation at some point.”
That is, of course, assuming that Ranaudo is not dealt. Given that the Red Sox have considerable depth in the upper levels among their pitching prospects, most conversations between now and July 31 will invoke the names of many of those pitchers, including Ranaudo. That could create an odd sort of limbo for the pitcher, but Ranaudo didn’t seem terribly unnerved by the prospect.
“We can’t predict what’s going to happen as far as a trade,” said Ranaudo. “You have to focus on trying to make it up to the big leagues with the Red Sox. That’s where we’re at right now. All of us believe we have the talent and ability to do it, and we’re all having pretty good years. We know that any time, any one of us can get called up. It’s something all of us have all put in the work for, we’ve all prepared for, and it’s something we’re looking forward to.”
PROGRAMMING NOTE: This week’s Down on the Farm will explore potential Red Sox trade chips. Guests this week are Keith Law of ESPN and pitching prospect Henry Owens of High-A Salem. Tune in on Sunday at 8:30 am on WEEI.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 9-7 WIN AT DURHAM (RAYS)
– Rubby De La Rosa was not sharp on Friday, going only 3 1/3 innings while allowing four runs on five hits and five walks while striking out one. The right-hander struggled with his command and was hit hard throughout his 3 1/3 innings. De La Rosa got himself into jams in both the first and second inning, but escaped unscathed. A walk, single, sac fly and a hit batter in the fourth inning led to the starter being lifted. He threw 80 pitches with only 41 going for strikes.
Over his last three outings, De La Rosa has allowed a total of 13 earned runs in nine innings, and has walked 10 after a string of three starts in which he didn’t issue a single free pass. Those 10 walks come in comparison to only seven strikeouts. Opposing hitters are batting .421/.529/.579 against De La Rosa in those three starts. The recent stretch of bad outings has caused De La Rosa’s ERA to rise to 3.90 on the season. The starter has fanned 68 batters in 67 innings while issuing 35 walks.
– Signed to a minor league contract earlier in the day, veteran righty Jose Contreras made his debut in the Red Sox system, throwing a scoreless inning and two-thirds, allowing a hit and walk and striking out three. The 41-year-old was released by the Pirates earlier in the season after posting a 9.00 ERA in five innings and seven appearances.
– Will Middlebrooks, who has been mired in a bit of a slump as of late, broke out of it with a big game on Friday, going 3-for-5 with a double (his second since returning to Pawtucket) and two RBI, bringing his total to 19 in 20 games with Pawtucket. With the three-hit day, Middlebrooks managed to raise his slash line from .231/.277/.436 to .253/.295/.458 in his second stint with the PawSox.
– Catcher Dan Butler hit his seventh home run of the season, a three-run shot to left field in the second inning. Butler finished the day going 2-for-3, adding a single and two walks. Butler also drove in a season-high four runs. Butler had been struggling since his last multi-hit game, batting .150/.320/.200 with a doubles and a RBI in his last seven games. On the year, the 26-year-old, who is on the Red Sox 40-man roster, is batting .243/.353/.422, walking 29 times with 42 strikeouts through 56 games.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 4-3 LOSS VS. READING (PHILLIES)
– Stephen Drew, in his second rehab game with Portland, went 1-for-3 while batting leadoff and playing five innings at shortstop.
– Garin Cecchini went 0-for-4, just the second time since his promotion to Double-A Portland that he’s failed to reach base. In his last seven games, he’s just 4-for-27 with a .148/.258/.333 line, though with four walks and six strikeouts, suggesting that he’s still commanding the strike zone. while hitting .326/.434/.494.
– Right-hander Noe Ramirez threw 2 2/3 shutout innings, allowing just one hit, walking no one while punching out four. In his last four appearances, he’s allowed three runs in 10 2/3 innings with 13 strikeouts and no walks.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 9-8 LOSS AT FREDERICK (ORIOLES)
– Henry Ramos continues to amass strong plate appearances, going 1-for-3 with two walks and his 10th steal of the year on Friday. The 21-year-old is walking in 11 percent of plate appearances, hitting for average (.279), getting on base (.359 OBP) and showing some pop (.455 with 11 homers and 30 extra-base hits). More to the point, he’s now been one of the better players in the Carolina League for some time. Since June 3, he ranks among Carolina League leaders in average (.333, 6th), OBP (.402, 7th), slugging (.577, 4th) and OPS (.979, 4th). He’s young enough that both his approach and his performance merit notice.
– Left fielder Keury De La Cruz went 3-for-5 with a homer. His sixth homer of the year ended an 11-game stretch without an extra-base hit. The 21-year-old hasn’t reached a spectacular plateau like the 20/20 season he posted last year, but he’s nonetheless more than holding his own at a level where he’s a bit below the league average for position players, hitting .288/.324/.429 with six homers, 37 extra-base hits and 10 steals in 94 games.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 6-0 WIN VS. ASHEVILLE (ROCKIES)
– Right-hander Luis Diaz keeps dealing. The 21-year-old fired seven shutout innings, his third start in his last four turns in which he logged seven innings. In his last five starts, he’s been outstanding, going 4-0 with a 0.56 ERA while holding opponents to a .156/.191/.211 line, punching out 30 and walking just five in 32 1/3 innings while showing a fastball that has bumped 95.
– Shortstop Jose Vinicio went 2-for-4 with a steal, his second straight multi-hit game with a stolen base. He’s now 10-for-10 in stolen base attempts since the start of June (and 7-for-7 in 14 games this month), showing signs of the dynamic middle-of-the-field skill set that made him an intriguing prospect with his age 18 performance in Greenville last year.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 4-2 LOSS AT STATE COLLEGE (CARDINALS)
– Starter Daniel McGrath, making his first start for the Spinners after being promoted from the Gulf Coast League, threw six solid innings in his debut, allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out four. It was smooth sailing for McGrath through the first five innings, but he gave up a two-run home run in the sixth. McGrath, an Australia native signed as an international free agent in January, was dominant in his four GCL starts, allowing only three earned runs and eight hits while striking out 30 batters in 20 innings. The left-hander turned 19 on July 7.
– Cleuluis Rondon went 2-for-4 with his third double of the season. The second baseman has been on a tear recently, hitting .400/.423/.480 in his last seven games. The 19-year-old is enjoying his best professional season to date, hitting .273/.326/.364 with 10 RBI in 26 games with the Spinners.
– Outfielder Jose Colorado was also promoted from the GCL, and enjoyed a successful first game with the Spinners this season, hitting a solo home run, his first of the season. Colorado has split time between three teams this year, beginning the season with Greenville. He’s struggled between the three clubs, batting .177/.268/.182 through 20 games.
ROOKIE LEVEL GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX: 4-2 WIN VS. GCL TWINS
– Right-hander Willie Ethington, 19, allowed just one unearned run on four hits and a walk while striking out three in five innings. He has 16 strikeouts and just two walks in 18 innings spanning five outings in the GCL.
– Outfielder Bryan Hudson once again found his way on base multiple times, going 1-for-3 with a walk. The 15th-rounder is hitting .313/.452/.417 with 13 walks and 17 strikeouts in 18 games.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 3-2 WIN (COMPLETION OF 7/3 SUSPENDED GAME), 4-0 WIN AT DSL DODGERS
– Left-hander Luis Ramos, an 18-year-old from Panama, threw five shutout innings, permitting just three hits, walking none and punching out five. In eight starts spanning 37 innings, he has a 1.95 ERA, 23 strikeouts and just two walks.
– Third baseman Victor Acosta went 2-for-4 with a double while plating a pair of runs. The 17-year-old’s 24 RBI lead the DSL Sox and are tied for 14th in the league.
|Red Sox prospect Garin Cecchini added to All-Star Futures roster||07.12.13 at 12:27 am ET|
The Red Sox will be well represented at the All-Star Futures Game in New York on Sunday, as third baseman Garin Cecchini became the third Sox prospect named to the team on Thursday. Cecchini — who finished second in voting for the final spot on the U.S. roster — was named an injury replacement for Rangers prospect Joey Gallo.
Cecchini ranks among the leaders in all of the minors (full-season affiliates) in OBP (.474, second) and average (.358, third) based on his combined work in High-A Salem and Double-A Portland, went 0-for-3 for the Sea Dogs on Thursday night, snapping a streak of 17 straight games reaching base to start his Double-A career. Still, in 18 games with Portland, he’s hitting .385/.487/.538, cementing his claim to one of the best seasons of anyone in the minors. In addition to his exceptional average and OBP, Cecchini — A 2010 fourth-round pick who was signed away from a commitment to LSU for a $1.31 million bonus — has also shown improving pop this year, with 34 extra-base hits (24 doubles, four triples, six homers) in 81 games.
Cecchini will join Portland teammate Anthony Ranaudo at the Futures Game as well as Pawtucket shortstop Xander Bogaerts. This marks the first time that three Red Sox minor leaguers have been named to the Futures Game.
|Red Sox minor league roundup: Xander Bogaerts keeps mashing; Will Middlebrooks struggling; Sergio Gomez dominating; Jon Denney hitting the ground running; Brian Johnson returns||07.11.13 at 11:01 am ET|
A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 9-4 LOSS AT LEHIGH VALLEY (PHILLIES)
– Xander Bogaerts hit safely in his fifth straight game and extended his on-base streak to 12 games when he drove an 0-2 pitch to left field for his sixth Triple-A home run. He also played his second game at third base, though not a single ball came his way all evening.
In only 27 games, Boagerts is tied for fifth on the team in home runs with six in 97 at-bats, and has already matched the number of long balls he had in 56 games with Portland this season. Through his 12-game on-base streak, Bogaerts is batting .359/.468/.513 with two home runs and eight walks, though he hasn’t drawn ball four in four straight games after a streak of eight consecutive games with a walk.
In 27 games so far with the PawSox, Bogaerts has made a smooth transition to the higher level, but if there’s one thing he’s had trouble with, it’s hitting lefties. In 21 at-bats against southpaws, Bogaerts has only four hits, though one of them was a home run. Through 27 games with Pawtucket, Bogaerts is hitting .268/.360/.454 with 17 RBI, 19 strikeouts and 14 walks. On the year, between Portland and Pawtucket, Bogaerts now has 12 homers, third most in the Sox farm system.
– Will Middlebrooks failed to reach base by a hit or a walk for his third straight game, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He also flied out to right and grounded into a double play. The mini-slump has caused Middlebrooks’ line to fall from .304/.347/.587 to .241/.279/.466 in 14 games since being sent to Triple-A. Read the rest of this entry »
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