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Closing Time: Bryce Brentz, Red Sox bullpen pave way in win over Rays 07.08.16 at 10:30 pm ET
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Aaron Hill recorded his first hit and RBI as a member of the Red Sox Friday night. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Aaron Hill recorded his first hit and RBI as a member of the Red Sox Friday night. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

It wasn’t as easy as many of their wins have been of late, but the Red Sox were still able to keep their momentum going.

With the game tied the sixth inning, Bryce Brentz lined a two-out single up the middle, scoring Hanley Ramirez to give the Red Sox a 5-4 lead — a lead they wouldn’t relinquish as the Red Sox held on for a 6-5 win Friday night at Fenway Park.

It was their second straight win and they have now won four out of their last five games since their blowout loss to the Angels last Saturday night.

Aaron Hill picked up his second RBI of the game with a single to right in the eighth inning to give the Red Sox an insurance run in his first game as a member of the Red Sox.

“Definitely made me forget I got up at 4:30 in the morning, that’s for sure,” Hill said of the crowd. “The electricity in this place is always solid and you always wondered on the visiting side what it’s like over here, and just to get a taste of it is pretty neat.”

In relief of starter Sean O’Sullivan, the Red Sox bullpen did its job as four relievers closed out the game. Robbie Ross Jr. went 1 1/3 innings to pick up the win (his first as a Red Sox), then Heath Hembree went two-thirds of an inning, Matt Barnes an inning and then finally Koji Uehara (not Craig Kimbrel) pitched the ninth.

Uehara allowed a home run to Evan Longoria to make it a 6-5 game, the eighth home run he’s allowed this year.

(After the game it was revealed both Kimbrel and Junichi Tazawa were unavailable. Kimbrel suffered a knee injury before the game and Tazawa has had shoulder soreness since his last outing.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: bryce brentz, David Ortiz, Sean O'Sullivan,
Red Sox lineup: Brock Holt rests, Bryce Brentz starts in left field vs. Rangers 07.06.16 at 3:22 pm ET
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Brock Holt

Brock Holt

After playing three straight games, Brock Holt will get Wednesday night off as continues to get back to full strength after returning from a concussion last Friday.

Speaking on WEEI’s Dale and Holley earlier in the afternoon, manager John Farrell said it was just part of his progression and nothing his physically wrong.

Bryce Brentz will start in left field in Holt’s place as the Red Sox go up against Rangers left-hander Martin Perez.

Ryan Hanigan will catch Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Bryce Brentz, LF
Travis Shaw, 3B
Ryan Hanigan, C
Steven Wright, RHP

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

Read More: Brock Holt, bryce brentz,
LF Chris Young (hamstring) to disabled list, corresponding move not yet known 06.23.16 at 7:27 pm ET
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Chris Young will go on the disabled list with a right hamstring injury. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Chris Young will go on the disabled list with a right hamstring injury. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox outfield took another hit Thursday when Chris Young pulled his hamstring rounding first base after ripping a ball off the Green Monster in the second inning in the Red Sox’ 8-7 extra innings win over the White Sox.

Young fell to the ground in serious pain grabbing the back of his right leg and needed help off the field from the trainer and manager John Farrell.

It was a severe enough strain that the team was able to already say he would be going on the 15-day disabled list after the game.

“This is significant enough that we can make the DL call right now,” Farrell said.

Young is hoping it isn’t as serious as it looked in the field at the time and he will feel a little better when he wakes up on Friday.

“I have never had it before. I have never had that feeling before, so I really don’t know how it is going to respond,” Young said. “I mean it feels OK right now, so I mean I think that is a positive. Coming off the field I didn’t think I would be able to feel like I feel right now, so I am trying to be as optimistic as possible and see how it feels in the morning.”

As for his spot on the roster, Farrell said the team didn’t know who that would be, although he did rule out Brock Holt, who is still rehabbing with Triple-A Pawtucket as he works his way back from a concussion.

Another player it won’t likely be is Andrew Benintendi, as the 2015 first-round pick had just 456 minor league at-bats and just 123 in Double-A prior today. Given what has happened in the past with the organization in rushing players to the big leagues, it would seem they will take their time with him and thus he’s not an option.

The more likely player is Bryce Brentz, who is currently on the 40-man roster, and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski name-dropped him on Monday following the demotion of Rusney Castillo as an outfielder who is performing well. Brentz came into Thursday batting .278 with three home runs and 17 RBIs in 38 games with Pawtucket this season.

Also, the team will likely only need this roster spot for a few days as Holt is set to play nine innings over the weekend and if everything goes as planned and he comes out of it feeling good, it appears he could be ready for a return early next week.

But, on a larger scale, Holt is not best served as an everyday left fielder. He’s better off as a utility man, so with the injuries to Young, as well as Blake Swihart, the team could be adding left field to their list of needs before the trade deadline.

Read More: Brock Holt, bryce brentz, Chris Young,
Tuesday Red Sox Farm Report: Bryce Brentz leads way for Pawtucket; RHP Anderson Espinoza tosses shutout ball for Greenville 05.31.16 at 10:34 am ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system Monday.

Bryce Brentz

Bryce Brentz

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (24-27): L, 6-5, at Gwinnett (Braves)

— Bryce Brentz led the way for Pawtucket offensively, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs against the Braves. He contributed right away, as his two-out RBI double in the top of the first inning gave the Red Sox an early lead. He also singled in the seventh inning to bring home a run and tie the game at 5.

Brentz, Boston’s No. 30 prospect at MLB.com, is on a nice streak at the plate, as he is batting .450 in his last five games. He has hit five doubles and plated six runs in that same span. On the season, the 27-year-old is hitting .324/.370/.441 in 19 games with Pawtucket.

— Another strong showing at the plate came from designated hitter Justin Maxwell, who led Pawtucket with four hits and crossed home plate twice. Monday’s performance gives the 32-year-old Maxwell a .250/.352/.368 batting line. He is third on the team in runs (19) and RBIs (18).

— The Gwinnett bats were kept mostly silent until the fourth inning, when they drove home five runs against Pawtucket pitcher Roenis Elias to take the lead. Despite being roughed up in the inning, Elias had a decent outing, allowing four earned runs and six hits in five innings of work. He struck out four and walked four.

In eight games (seven starts), Elias, 27, is 2-3 with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP. The Cuba native ranks second among Pawtucket pitchers in innings pitched (45), and his 45 strikeouts lead the team.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: anderson espinoza, bryce brentz, Jalen Beeks, josh ockimey
Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: LHP Roenis Elias fans 13 in PawSox win 05.19.16 at 11:23 am ET
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Here is a look at what happened in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (20-20): W, 3-2, vs. Norfolk (Orioles)

— Starting pitcher Roenis Elias fanned 13 batters, which is the most strikeouts by a Pawtucket pitcher in the 21st century and made him the seventh pitcher in Pawtucket history to strike out at least 13 in one game. The last PawSox pitcher to sit down at least 13 was Jin Ho Cho, who struck out 15 in 1999. Elias ended up going 7 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on five hits with no walks in picking up his first win of the season.

“I’ve worked with pitching coach [Bob Kipper] a lot,” the 27-year-old Cuban  said through teammate William Cuevas after the game. “I’m really happy that I threw strikes and didn’t walk anybody because that’s what I was working on.”

Added manager Kevin Boles: “He was aggressive to the zone and had great fastball command. Terrific mix of pitches, he threw strikes and was very efficient — just a terrific performance today.”

In six games with the PawSox this season Elias has gone 1-3 with a 4.96 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP. Acquired from the Mariners in the offseason, Elias has appeared in one game with Boston this season.

— Chris Marrero got Pawtucket on the scoreboard in the second inning with a solo home run. Marrero’s bat stayed hot in the sixth inning with a two-out double to right field. Marrero has hit five home runs in the month of May and his seven home runs this season are third most in the league. He is hitting .289/.340/.516.

— Bryce Brentz went 2-for-2 with a walk, a double and two runs scored. In nine games with the PawSox since his call-up from Double-A, Brentz is hitting .310/.355/.414.

— Anthony Varvaro picked up his first save of the season in his third opportunity. Varvaro retired the last four batters of the game, striking out three of them. He is 1-1 with a 3.78 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 11 appearances and 16 2/3 innings.

— The PawSox won the final two games of the three-game series against Norfolk to complete the team’s first winning homestand of 2016. Over the series Pawtucket pitchers struck out 41 batters.

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Read More: bryce brentz, Justin Haley, rafael devers, Roenis Elias
Bradfo Show: Alex Cora says not to worry about Rusney Castillo 01.11.16 at 1:21 pm ET
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A quick look at Rusney Castillo’s most recent foray into winter baseball might elicit a bit of panic.

Heading into Monday night’s Puerto Rican Winter League playoff game, Castillo was 1-for-16 with six strikeouts since joining Caguas for its postseason run.

But Castillo’s manager this offseason — former Red Sox infielder Alex Cora — is adamant that Red Sox followers shouldn’t worry. As he explained on the Bradfo Show podcast, there is still a belief that Castillo will be the player the Red Sox envisioned when signing him to a seven-year, $72.5 million deal.

“He’€™s been working. Right now, in the playoffs, pitchers are way ahead,” explained Cora, who also managed Castillo last offseason during the outfielder’s 10-game stint with Caguas. “But you can see the approach is there, it’€™s just a matter of getting more at-bats. But if he doesn’€™t do it here, that doesn’€™t mean he’€™s going to struggle at the big league level. I think he has a plan, he understands what he wants to do. He’€™s going to be OK this season.

“The pressure is on those guys (in the Red Sox lineup, such as David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts, etc.). It can’€™t be on Rusney Castillo. I still think he’€™s going to be a guy who is going to hit for average, he’€™s going to get some home runs, he’€™s going to get some doubles, he’€™s going to steal bases. ‘€¦ .280, 15 home runs, 20 bags. That’€™s the Rusney Castillo I envision.”

Here are some other things we learned from Cora when appearing on the Bradfo Show:

CORA DOESN’T AGREE WITH THE NARRATIVE THAT HAS FOLLOWED CASTILLO

“I was kind of surprised last year when he came down, there were a lot of people up there doubting him as far as his baseball instincts. But being around him day in, day out, it was the other way around. He has a good sense of the game, who he is and what he needs to do. That’€™s a good sign

“He’€™s played for two years and all of a sudden you want him to perform at the highest level in the best league in the world, it’€™s not easy to do. But I do think he’€™s in a good place, and he will be successful, not only offensively but defensively.”

CASTILLO IS STEP AHEAD OF HIS CUBAN TEAMMATES, HECTOR OLIVERA, DIAN TOSCANA

“Comparing those two with Rusney, the kid understands the way we play the game, the American way. If he can just go to Boston again, be himself and stay inside the ball, drive the ball to right-center and hit the breaking ball off the wall.”

BRYCE BRENTZ REMINDS CORA OF DUSTIN PEDROIA

“It takes certain guys to handle that environment, and just watching him go about his business, day in and day out, talking to him about baseball, he fits the mold. Coming down here I thought he would be a free-swinger who strikes out a lot and doesn’€™t hit the ball the other way, but it’€™s the other way around.

“Talking to Dustin all these years, he has the Dustin Pedroia syndrome. He feels he can be that good. The difference between those two is Pedey is 5-foot-6 and Bryce is a big guy. I like him. Defensively, he has a strong arm, can play right field. He has a good sense what he can and can’€™t do defensively. But he puts himself in a spot where he can make plans. I don’€™t know if it’€™s going to be in spring training, halfway through the season, or in September, but he will make a difference. I feel that way about him. The way he goes about things is the most important thing, I really like him.”

CORA BELIEVES CAGUAS RELIEVER PAT LIGHT WILL HELP RED SOX SEASON THIS SEASON

“Loved him. I think he has a pretty good idea of who he is, and what he can do. He has a big arm, 96-97. His split/slider combo, it’€™s OK. It got better. ‘€¦ He would come in the middle of the game and shut people down, we did that and he was very successful. Hopefully for the Red Sox he can be a big contributor in August, at the end of the season because he can help.

“I know spring training for him is very important, but regardless of the results if they’€™re great or bad, it really doesn’€™t matter. I think this kid is going to contribute with this team in this season and be big part of if they make it to the playoffs.”

Read More: Alex Cora, bryce brentz, pat light, Red Sox
Monday Red Sox Farm Report: Salem pitching dominant in second straight shutout win; Miguel Celestino struggles in Pawtucket loss after solid start from Henry Owens 06.15.15 at 10:07 am ET
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A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday:

Bryce Brentz

Bryce Brentz

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (32-32): L, 4-3, vs. Toledo (Tigers)

— Right fielder Bryce Brentz hit a solo shot to left in the bottom of the ninth inning to cut Toledo’€™s lead to one, but the comeback fell short and Pawtucket dropped back to .500. Brentz finished the day 2-for-5 and now is hitting .231 with eight home runs and 24 RBIs.

— Miguel Celestino took the loss as he came on in the seventh inning with a 2-1 lead but gave up the tying run and failed to record an out. The 25-year-old right-hander allowed a leadoff single and made a throwing error on a pickoff attempt, allowing the runner to advance. He then gave up a walk, a sacrifice bunt and another single before he was pulled. Celestino was tagged for three runs on two hits and a walk. Celestino is 0-4 in 17 appearances this season.

— Right-hander Jonathan Aro was solid in relief of Celestino, but the damage was done. After the inherited runners scored in the seventh, Aro tossed two perfect innings and finished the day with four strikeouts. In 18 1/3 innings of work over eight games for Pawtucket this season, Aro has a 1.96 ERA and 23 strikeouts.

— Left-hander Henry Owens started for Pawtucket, giving up just one run on four hits and one walk with seven strikeouts in six innings of work. He lowered his ERA to 3.45 but remained 2-5 on the season.

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Read More: bryce brentz, jose vinicio, Kuehl McEachern, simon mercedes
Red Sox minor league roundup: Eduardo Rodriguez’s electrifying first impression; Bryce Brentz mashing; Henry Owens finding his way 08.27.14 at 12:37 pm ET
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Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez has been dominant in five starts for Portland. (Lynn Chadwick / Portland Sea Dogs)

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez has been dominant in five starts for Portland. (Lynn Chadwick / Portland Sea Dogs)

A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 9-3 WIN AT BUFFALO (BLUE JAYS)

(BOX)

— On a night when he walked his most batters (4) and threw just 61 of his season-high 105 pitches for strikes (58 percent), left-hander Henry Owens overcame his struggles to limit his opponents to three runs on eight hits. His efforts were helped by his eight punchouts in 6 1/3 innings. In his five starts with Pawtucket, Owens is now 2-1 with a 3.66 ERA, 35 strikeouts and 10 walks in 32 innings. Opponents are hitting .248 against him with three homers in that span, up from the .201 average to which he held opponents in Double-A this year. In short, there’s an adjustment to a higher caliber of opposing hitters to which Owens is still adjusting, though he’s holding his own amidst that transition.

— Right-hander Dalier Hinojosa was dominant, retiring eight of nine batters he faced. The 28-year-old has a 2.03 ERA since the beginning of June with 26 strikeouts and eight walks in 26 2/3 innings. After he entered July with a 5.51 ERA, he’s dropped that mark to 3.90.

Bryce Brentz can mash against left-handers with good stuff. He went deep against highly regarded Blue Jays prospect Daniel Norris, his 12th homer in 58 games in Pawtucket this year. Against southpaws, Brentz is hitting .304/.355/.725 with eight homers in 76 plate appearances (one for every 9.5 trips to the dish). His performance both against lefties and overall since his return from a groin injury (.260/.333/.558) suggest someone who might be getting close to capable of contributing at the big league level. Yet as much as the Sox’ recent acquisitions of outfielders such as Yoenis Cespedes, Allen Craig and Rusney Castillo has raised questions about the future of a player like Shane Victorino in the organization, the questions are just as significant for players like Brentz and Alex Hassan, who now find themselves behind a considerable crowd of corner outfielders. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: bryce brentz, dalier hinojosa, eduardo rodriguez, gabe speier
Red Sox minor league roundup: Garin Cecchini, Bryce Brentz heat up; Manuel Margot hits ground running in Salem; Teddy Stankiewicz emerging 08.18.14 at 12:40 pm ET
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Garin Cecchini is in the middle of an eight-game hitting streak. (WEEI.com)

Garin Cecchini is in the middle of an eight-game hitting streak. (WEEI.com)

A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 6-5 LOSS VS. SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE (YANKEES)

(BOX)

— Feats of Mookie: Another triumphant trio. Mookie Betts went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, the 14th time in 99 minor league games and the seventh time in 45 contests in Pawtucket that he’s had at least three hits, and the fifth time (and third this month) that he’s had two doubles in a game this year. In 45 games in Pawtucket, he’s hitting .335/.417/.503 with 19 extra-base hits, 26 walks and 30 strikeouts; over the full minor league season, the 21-year-old is hitting .346/.431/.529 with 61 walks, 50 strikeouts, 33 steals and 46 extra-base hits.

— Outfielder Bryce Brentz went 2-for-4 with a homer, giving him 10 longballs in just 51 games this year in Pawtucket. The 25-year-old has been producing since his return to Pawtucket following roughly two and a half months on the sidelines (and rehab assignments) while rehabbing a hamstring injury. In 12 August games, he’s hitting .286/.345/.571 with four homers. That uptick in production has coincided with a somewhat more aggressive approach at the plate that has been characteristic of Brentz throughout his career; Brentz has walked 7.3 percent of the time since returning from the DL, after walking in 12.7 percent of plate appearances prior to the injury. Of course, he was also struggling to a .230/.335/.430 line in April and May.

— The good news for Garin Cecchini: He launched his seventh homer of the year, matching (in 101 games) his home run output from 2013 (from 129 games between High-A and Double-A). The bad news: He struck out twice and now has 86 strikeouts, matching his total from a year ago.

Those season numbers aside, Cecchini looks like he’s amidst his best offensive run of the year. He has an eight-game hitting streak in which he’s hitting .394/.429/.697 with two homers, four doubles, two walks and seven strikeouts. In the process, he’s lifted his season line to .250/.323/.354. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: bryce brentz, garin cecchini, manuel margot, mookie betts
Red Sox minor league roundup: Henry Owens, Red Sox pitching prospects and the innings question; Bryce Brentz back big; Kevin McAvoy, groundball machine 08.05.14 at 1:40 pm ET
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The Red Sox‘ pool of top starting pitching prospects has reached a point in their development paths where the Red Sox are eager to challenge them. Brandon Workman, Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster and Anthony Ranaudo, all of whom spent much of the early year in Triple-A, have all seen varying degrees of time in the big leagues.

Henry Owens just moved up to Triple-A Pawtucket last week, and in his PawSox debut, he delivered a dazzling outing. Though the youngest pitcher in the International League, Owens looked polished beyond his years in carrying a no-hitter through 5 1/3 innings before ultimately putting the finishing touches on 6 2/3 shutout innings in which he punched out nine, allowed two hits (both singles, one of the infield variety), hit a batter and walked three.

It was a dazzling performance that merits a glimpse to confirm that, yes, Owens can spin a curveball to round out a three-pitch mix:

Your browser does not support iframes.

The 22-year-old is now 15-4 with a 2.47 ERA in 21 starts with 9.5 strikeouts and 3.5 walks per nine innings this year. He’s been dominant between Double-A and Triple-A.

But for a number of reasons, there’s a very good chance that Owens won’t see the big leagues this year. Among those reasons: In his age 21 season (he didn’t turn 22 until July), he’s close to cruising past his career high in innings. By the time he gets through another handful of starts in Triple-A, he’ll be at some approximation of the innings threshold where the Sox would like to see him wrap up his year. It’s not worth transforming the 40-man roster solely for the sake of one big league start. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: bryce brentz, henry owens, kevin mcavoy, manuel margot
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