|Henry Owens, Brian Johnson, Rafael Devers among players re-assigned out of big league camp||03.14.17 at 9:27 am ET|
The Red Sox made a few roster moves Tuesday as spring training rolls on.
Left-handed pitchers Brian Johnson and Henry Owens and right-handed pitcher Brandon Workman were optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket, and third baseman Rafael Devers, outfielder Junior Lake, and catcher Jordan Procyshen were reassigned to minor league camp.
The Red Sox now have 52 players in big league camp, including 37 players from the 40-man roster and 15 non-roster invitees.
All the moves were pretty much expected. In Owens’ case, he still continues to work on his control, which has been the case virtually his entire career with the Red Sox. He was the only player to have any chance of making the big league team, but even that was a long-shot.
Devers is expected to start the year in Double-A.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|Friday Red Sox Farm Report: LHP Brian Johnson solid in PawSox loss; Portland RHP Teddy Stankiewicz tosses 6 shutout innings||09.02.16 at 8:49 am ET|
Here’s a look a the action in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (71-67): L, 2-1, vs. Syracuse (Nationals)
— Left-hander Brian Johnson pitched well in his final start of the season, allowing one run on four hits in 6 1/3 innings. The 25-year-old, a first-round draft pick in 2012, walked three and struck out three. After allowing two of the first three batters to reach base, he retired 16 of the next 18.
“He worked with a consistent tempo, his delivery was repeatable and he attacked the zone,” manager Kevin Boles said (via MiLB.com).
In 15 games with the PawSox, Johnson is 5-6 with a 4.09 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. He has allowed one run or fewer in five of his last seven starts.
— Right-hander Williams Cuevas relieved and was charged with the loss after surrendering the go-ahead run in the eighth inning. He finished his night allowing five hits and a walk with two strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings. Righty Heath Hembree came on to record the final out of the ninth with runners on the corners.
— The PawSox had just four hits, with Rusney Castillo, Ryan LaMarre, Bryce Brent and Allen Craig recording one apiece. Chris Dominguez drove in Pawtucket’s lone run on a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.
— Second baseman Mike Miller made a nice leaping catch in the ninth inning to keep the score close, snagging a soft liner with runners on the corners and two outs.
|Tuesday Red Sox Farm Report: Marco Hernandez hits go-ahead homer for PawSox; Bobby Dalbec a double short of cycle for Lowell||08.23.16 at 10:17 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (67-61): W, 2-1, vs. Syracuse (Nationals)
— With the game tied in the bottom of the seventh inning, Marco Hernandez came through, with his go-ahead home run giving the PawSox the win. It was his fifth minor league home run of the season.
“He’s got great impact to his pull side,” Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles told MiLB.com. “He’s been a spark plug for us.”
Hernandez, who went 3-for-4, has hit the ball out of the park in his last two home games. The 23-year-old is slashing .308/.344/.449 in 55 games.
— Brian Johnson performed well in the start, limiting Syracuse to one run on five hits in 5 1/3 innings. He fanned five and walked three.
“I’ve just been keeping it simple,” Johnson said. “I’ve been attacking the glove and going pitch to pitch.”
In his last five starts, Johnson has accumulated a 1.76 ERA after sporting a 5.25 ERA at one point this season. Boston’s No. 7 prospect at MLB.com now has a 3.19 ERA to go along with a 5-6 record in 17 minor league starts.
— Ryan Lamarre joined Hernandez as the only other PawSox player to collect multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. He crossed home plate on a passed ball in the second inning after drilling his 15th double of the season and advancing to third on a ground ball. Lamarre, 27, has hit safely in his last seven games. He is now batting .300/.371/.430 in 76 minor league games.
— Joe Kelly picked up his second minor league save thanks to two shutout innings. He struck out four in the impressive outing. The 28-year-old right-hander has a 0.69 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 10 relief appearances with the PawSox. Overall, he is 1-1 with a 2.00 ERA in 17 outings.
|Wednesday Red Sox Farm Report: Brian Johnson has quality start for PawSox; Salem’s Rafael Devers, Greenville’s Michael Chavis deliver walk-off hits||08.17.16 at 9:39 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (65-58): L, 1-0, at Lehigh Valley (Phillies)
— Brian Johnson pitched well despite picking up the loss, holding Lehigh Valley to one run on four hits in seven innings. The 25-year-old southpaw had a no-hitter through four innings and struck out two in the effort. Boston’s No. 7 prospect at MLB.com, Johnson saw his three-game winning streak snapped with the loss. He now is 5-5 with a 3.48 ERA in 15 minor league starts.
— Jantzen Witte had three hits for the PawSox, who failed to plate a run despite totaling 10 hits. Witte, 26, has hit safely in five consecutive games. He is slashing .279/.354/.402 with 29 doubles in 98 games with both Pawtucket and Portland.
— Ryan LaMarre 2-for-4 on the night. He has a hit in three straight games after going four games without one. The 27-year-old outfielder is batting .297/.373/.434 with 32 RBIs in 256 minor league at-bats.
— Noe Ramirez pitched a hitless eighth inning, striking out one in the frame. That’s now seven of his last eight outings that Ramirez has not allowed a run. The 26-year-old right-hander been impressive coming out of the bullpen for Pawtucket, totaling a 2-3 record with a 2.04 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 24 appearances. Opponents are batting only .239 against him.
|Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: Cousins Deven, Chris Marrero each homer for PawSox; Cody Decker homers twice for Portland||08.11.16 at 10:01 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (57-54): W, 5-4, vs. Durham (Rays)
— The Marrero cousins both went deep. First, Deven parked a solo shot in the second with two outs. Then, Chris took Bulls starter Alex Cobb deep an inning later for a solo blast of his own. The victory marked the PawSox’ fifth straight home series win, the first time they’ve accomplished that in 12 years.
— Rusney Castillo, Marco Hernandez and Brennan Boesch each went 2-for-4, with Castillo and Hernandez each smacking a triple.
— Brian Johnson, while not tossing his best outing, kept the PawSox in the game over 6 1/3 innings. The Red Sox’ No. 7 prospect on MLB.com allowed eight hits and three runs while striking out two and walking one. The 25-year-old lefty is now 5-4 this season with a 4.14 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.
“After the first inning, [Johnson] was able to command his mix,” manager Kevin Boles said (via MiLB.com). “There were some late swings, some chase swings, and I thought he did a good job.”
— The bullpen was stout, with Joe Kelly coming in and getting the hold over 1 2/3 innings of work, allowing no runs, hits or walks while striking out a pair. Noe Ramirez got his fifth save of the year, allowing a home run while striking out three in his one inning pitched.
|Friday Red Sox Farm Report: Rusney Castillo stays hot by going 4-for-4, LHP Brian Johnson delivers 2nd consecutive strong start for PawSox||08.05.16 at 11:27 am ET|
Here’s a look at what happened in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (58-54): W, 3-1, at Rochester (Twins)
— The Rochester pitchers had no answer for Rusney Castillo. Castillo went 4-for-4 with an opposite-field RBI triple and a run scored. Rochester pitchers being unable to retire Castillo has been a theme throughout the three-game series, as Castillo has gone 9-for-14 over the last three days. Since July 27, Castillo is 16-for-33 (.485). During Castillo’s hot streak his batting average has risen from .233 to .257. The 29-year-old Cuban is hitting .257/.299/.342 in 76 games with Pawtucket.
— Brian Johnson turned in his second consecutive strong start., pitching six innings and allowing just one run, three hits and three walks with six strikeouts. In his last two starts (12 innings), Johnson has given up just one run. The 25-year-old lefty is 4-4 in 10 starts with a 4.13 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP for Pawtucket.
— Heath Hembree earned his fifth save of the year by striking out the side in the ninth. Hembree has dominated in Triple-A, striking out 16 of the 30 batters he has faced while getting out 23 of the last 24 hitters he has seen. Hembree was demoted to Pawtucket on July 24. With Boston, Hembree was 4-0 with a 2.41 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP in 27 games.
|Red Sox minor league notebook: How Yoan Moncada could potentially help big league club this season||08.04.16 at 7:00 am ET|
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.”
|Brian Johnson ‘tentative’ in 1st outing back with PawSox, ‘still some work left to do’||07.27.16 at 12:00 pm ET|
After about a month of down time in Fort Myers working his way back from taking a leave of absence with anxiety, left-hander Brian Johnson pitched in a game with Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday.
The left-hander went just three innings and allowed four runs on six hits, while walking four and striking out one. This came after two dominant outings with the Lowell Spinners where he threw a five-inning shutout on July 14 and a six-inning shutout on July 19.
“The other night was, I guess the best way to describe it is somewhat tentative where his games in Lowell there might have been a little bit more freedom to the stuff and the attack of the strike zone,” manager John Farrell said Wednesday. “I think the ball-strike ratio kind of reflected the tentativeness and the walks that were issued. First start back there, a step in the right direction, but still he’s got some work left to do.”
Johnson wasn’t himself this year with Pawtucket before taking the leave because of anxiety. The biggest thing was his lack of control as he walked 22 batters in just 33 innings and the biggest reason for his success to this point in his career has been his control.
The Red Sox are hopeful Johnson can regain his 2015 form, which saw him make his major league debut before being shutdown for the year with a elbow injury. If he can put together a couple of consistent starts with the PawSox, he could potentially help the big league club once rosters expand in September.
|Monday Red Sox Farm Report: LHP Brian Johnson loses in return to PawSox; Yoan Moncada strikes out 5 times for Portland||07.25.16 at 9:53 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system Sunday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (51-51): L, 5-2, at Columbus (Indians)
— Making his first start for the PawSox since May 14, Brian Johnson took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits in just three innings. His control wasn’t great, as he fanned just one batter while walking four. Johnson, 25, made four rehab starts with both Lowell and the Gulf Coast League Red Sox as he dealt with an anxiety issue before returning to Pawtucket. The left-hander is 2-5 with a 4.00 ERA in 12 starts this season. He is Boston’s No. 5 prospect and No. 2 pitching prospect at MLB.com
— Pawtucket did not get on the board until the fifth inning, when catcher Dan Butler lined a two-run double to left field, cutting the Clippers’ lead in half. Butler, who finished 1-for-3, is averaging .364 in the month of June. The 29-year-old is slashing .304/.398/.461 with Pawtucket.
— Henry Ramos was one of two Pawtucket batters to record multiple hits, finishing the game 2-for-4 with a run scored. Boston’s No. 20 prospect at MLB.com crossed home plate on Butler’s double in the fifth frame. Ramos, 24, has hit safely in the last four games and is batting .267/.308/.415 in the minors.
— Keith Couch relieved Johnson and lasted 3 1/3 innings, allowing just one run. He gave up five hits and did not strike out a batter. Sunday’s game was the second non-start for the 26-year-old righty, who’s a 7-7 with a 3.79 ERA in 17 outings.
|Red Sox minor league notebook: Despite addition of Jason Groome, organizational pitching depth still an issue||07.21.16 at 7:00 am ET|
1. While the Red Sox added No. 12 overall pick, high school left-hander Jason Groome to their organization last week, it doesn’t mean their overall pitching depth is where it needs to be.
Keep in mind, the Red Sox traded away their best pitching prospect in Anderson Espinoza for Drew Pomeranz on the same day Groome agreed to sign. And while the trade likely wouldn’t have happened without knowing Groome would sign, it doesn’t mean the pitching depth improved because it wasn’t very strong to begin with — essentially, Groome just replaced Espinoza.
With the loss of Espinoza, the Red Sox’ top pitching prospect is now Michael Kopech, who is most recently known for recording a 105 mph fastball. The hard-throwing right-hander is currently with High-A Salem after being suspended for 50 games last season when he was with Single-A Greenville and then missing all of spring training with a broken hand after getting in a fight with a teammate.
Kopech’s stuff is impressive, but still has a lot to prove given his off-field issues.
Groome likely slides in as the next best pitching prospect. This past spring with Barnegat High School in Barnegat, New Jersey, the 6-foot-6 lefty posted a 0.77 ERA with 90 strikeouts and 15 hits allowed in 39 2/3 innings. While he has high upside, as he once was considered to be the top overall pick, it’s hard to rely on a 17-year-old and really project just how good he will be.
Behind Kopech and Groome there is a huge drop off.
Henry Owens is struggling in Triple-A and Brian Johnson is working his way back from a leave of absence because of anxiety. The No. 7 overall pick in the 2013 draft left-hander Trey Ball has been unimpressive to this point. Right-hander Travis Latkis, selected in the sixth-round last year, had a lot of promise, but has had his ups and downs this season. Besides that group there’s lefty Jalen Beeks and Teddy Stankiewicz in Portland along with Justin Haley in Pawtucket, while Josh Pennington is working his way back from Tommy John surgery in Lowell, but still hasn’t been on the mound enough to fully prove himself.
Overall, behind Kopech and Groome, there aren’t a lot of names who seem destined for the majors. Improving the pitching depth has been a major emphasis, especially this year. While they’ve made some strides, the organization knows it still can improve.
“I think it’s better and I feel better about it, but I am not by any means satisfied,” Red Sox minor league pitching coordinator Ralph Treuel said. “I think there are some guys who can do a little bit better and become a little bit more consistent. Some guys have made strides. I think a lot of our converted relievers have made some really good strides.”
Relief pitchers aside, the Red Sox’ minor league pitching depth is something to keep an eye on as it’s clear developing homegrown talent is a much better approach than overspending on starters via free agency.
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