|Friday Red Sox Farm Report: PawSox LHP Henry Owens struggles with control; Ryan Court hits 2 triples, 1 HR for Portland||05.27.16 at 11:07 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday.
TRIPLE-A PATWUCKET RED SOX (23-24): L, 11-4, vs. Lehigh Valley (Phillies)
— It was a rough day for PawSox starter Henry Owens. In the first inning Owens let up two singles, a double, two walks and a sacrifice fly and he hit a batter before getting out of the inning. Owens was pulled from the game after 3 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on six hits (including a home run) and five walks with two strikeouts, and he hit two batters. Since rejoining Pawtucket after a brief stint with Boston, Owens has had trouble locating the strike zone. In three of his last four starts he has walked five batters. Owens is considered one of the top pitching prospects in the Red Sox farm system, but he has struggled this season. With Pawtucket the 23-year-old-left-hander is 3-2 in seven starts with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP. In three starts with the big league club Owens has not recorded a decision in 12 1/3 innings with a 5.11 ERA and a 2.10 WHIP.
— Rusney Castillo and Ryan LaMarre hit home runs for the PawSox. Castillo finished the day 2-for-5 with a strikeout and two runs scored. He now is hitting .254/.310/.331 in 33 Triple-A games this season. LaMarre went 3-for-4 with a strikeout and now is hitting .313/.358/.434 in 23 games with the PawSox.
— The bullpen was unable to help salvage the game for the PawSox. Robby Scott came on in relief for Owens and lasted 2 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits (two home runs) with three strikeouts. The 26-year-old left-hander has appeared in 11 games for Pawtucket this season, posting a 3.21 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Wesley Wright followed and allowed two runs on three hits (one home run) with one strikeout in two innings. Noe Ramirez closed things out with a scoreless ninth inning, allowing one hit and recording a strikeout.
|Red Sox minor league notebook: Could Sam Travis be Hanley Ramirez’s replacement at first base in 2017?||05.19.16 at 11:31 am ET|
1. There will be a lot of questions next offseason with the Red Sox’ big league club.
If David Ortiz does indeed retire, Hanley Ramirez likely will move from first base to designated hitter. Then, with Travis Shaw’s outstanding start to the year at third base and plenty of questions with Pablo Sandoval, it would seem Shaw will stay at third base.
This leaves first base open and the Red Sox may not need to look outside the organization, as prospect Sam Travis is proving he deserves a lot of consideration for the job.
Travis was drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft out of Indiana University and he’s performed well at every level he’s played.
In 40 games with short-season, Single-A Lowell after being drafted he batted .333 and was promoted to Single-A Greenville to end the 2014 season where he hit .290 with a slugging percentage of .495.
The first baseman started last season with Salem before being promoted to Portland at the All-Star break, after being named to the High-A All-Star Game. Between the two teams, the right-handed hitter batted .307 with nine home runs and 78 RBIs.
Now, 38 games into his Triple-A career, he’s batting .281 with five homers and 23 RBIs. He’s been the PawSox’ most consistent hitter to this point in the season despite being one of the youngest players on the team.
“You just get better playing every day and learning through experience, against better competition and getting your practice in,” Travis said. “Trusting the process, you’ll gradually get better.”
|Wednesday Red Sox Farm Report: Henry Owens bounces back, Yoan Moncada carries Salem||05.11.16 at 10:47 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (15-17): W, 3-0, at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees)
— Henry Owens, recently demoted following three starts with Boston, took the mound for the PawSox in their win over the RailRiders. In his fourth Triple-A start of the season, the southpaw tossed seven efficient innings, allowing no runs and only four hits. Owens also struck out five and walked five.
Owens picked up right where he left off in the minors, as Tuesday’s performance gives him a 0.72 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP with Pawtucket. He also ranks second on the team in strikeouts with 28. With Sean O’Sullivan pitching reasonably well at Fenway on Tuesday night, it is not clear whether Owens will be called up again anytime soon.
— On offense, it was right fielder Rusney Castillo who shined in the victory. The 28-year-old went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs. His double in the top of the second put him in position to score on a fielder’s choice later in the inning, giving the Red Sox the early 1-0 lead. He also touched all of the bases after hitting a single in the ninth inning and scoring on a Jantzen Witte double.
Castillo is batting .256/.311/.317 on the year to go along with five doubles and seven RBIs. He is tied for third on the team in doubles as well as stolen bases (3).
— It was a 1-0 score throughout most of the game, until the Red Sox scored two insurance runs in the final inning. Witte’s double brought in Castillo, and Sandy Leon’s triple sent Witte home to secure the 3-0 lead. Right-hander Noe Ramirez came into relieve Owens for the final two innings, earning the save and throwing three strikeouts in the process.
|Red Sox lineup vs. Yankees, plus a candid assessment of left-hander Henry Owens from manager John Farrell||05.06.16 at 6:21 pm ET|
The Red Sox visit the Yankees on Friday to open a three-game series with their reeling rivals. The weather, which the forecast projected could cancel the game, appears to have held off and we’re expected to get this one in.
The first place Red Sox will run their regular lineup out there, with Christian Vazquez catching Rick Porcello as the latter attempts to improve to 6-0.
Before the game, manager John Farrell discussed the demotion of left-hander Henry Owens and the summoning of right-hander Sean O’Sullivan to replace him.
Owens, who walked six in just three innings against the White Sox on Thursday, will head to Pawtucket with a mandate to improve his command and control. He walked 13 in 12 1/3 innings with the Red Sox.
“Henry needs to go back and look to command his fastball with more consistency,” said manager John Farrell. “He’s got an outstanding changeup to get back into some counts and get him away from some damage. The strike-throwing is the priority here.”
Owens has struggled to crack 90 mph with his fastball, but Farrell ruled out the possibility of injury.
“There’s no health issues at play here,” he said. “I think when a pitchers delivery is not in sync, yeah, he’s not maybe getting the most power out of it. And then with the strike throwing, there becomes a confidence factor where I don’t want to say he was tentative or there was a lack of aggressiveness, but I think when you’re feeling for pitches, to try to get the ball in the strike zone a little more, there might be that tentativeness that takes over.”
Farrell was asked if it’s fair to say Owens hasn’t done enough with his opportunity.
“Based on what he showed at this level last year, yes,” Farrell said.
The Red Sox replaced him with O’Sullivan, a journeyman who has discovered the ability to put hitters away in the minors. The 28-year-old owns a 32-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in Triple-A, where he’s 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA. Farrell said he’s a candidate to start on Tuesday, but for now represents bullpen insurance.
O’Sullivan nearly didn’t get the news of his arrival.
“I’m super excited to be here, to be able to put the jersey on for real, instead of just spring training,” O’Sullivan. “It was 1 in the morning and I missed the first 12 phone calls they made to me. We finally got my daughter to sleep, so we were stone-cold out, and I just happened to hear my phone vibrating on the ground for the 13th time, and rolled over and said, ‘Whoa, I’d better pick it up, because my manager has been trying to call me for 20 minutes.'”
Here’s the lineup:
RF Mookie Betts
2B Dustin Pedroia
SS Xander Bogaerts
DH David Ortiz
1B Hanley Ramirez
3B Travis Shaw
LF Brock Holt
CF Jackie Bradley Jr.
C Christian Vazquez
|Thursday’s Red Sox-White Sox matchups: Henry Owens vs. Erik Johnson||05.05.16 at 9:31 am ET|
The Red Sox close out their series with the White Sox on Thursday by sending lefty Henry Owens out against right-hander Erik Johnson, who was just called up from Triple-A.
Owens (0-0, 4.82 ERA, 1.92 WHIP) has made two starts for the Red Sox since his call-up from Pawtucket, and while he has no record to show for it, Boston won both games. After lasting just 3 1/3 innings and allowing three runs on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts in an April 24 game against the Astros, Owens faced the Yankees last Friday and went six innings, giving up two runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
Owens has not yet faced the White Sox in his 13-game MLB career.
Johnson, a second-round pick of the White Sox in 2011 out of the University of California, was called up this week when the team decided to cut ties with veteran left-hander John Danks.
In four starts this season with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights, Johnson is 1-1 with a 3.74 ERA and 1.38 WHIP.
The 26-year-old has started 16 games for the White Sox split almost equally over the last three seasons, compiling a record of 7-4 with a 4.17 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. Last year he went 3-1 with a 3.34 ERA and 1.40 in six starts, covering 35 innings.
His lone appearance against the Red Sox came on April 15, 2014, when he pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed one run on three hits and two walks with nine strikeouts but did not factor in the decision. Chicago eventually walked off with a 2-1 win, with the winning run scoring on a throwing error by Xander Bogaerts with two outs in the ninth inning.
|Red Sox notes: John Farrell talks urgency surrounding Clay Buchholz; Henry Owens to make next start||05.01.16 at 6:44 pm ET|
The question was in regard to how Red Sox manager John Farrell viewed his team’s first month of the season, one that it finished at 14-10.
But within the answer, the Red Sox’ biggest uncertainty to date was surfaced: Clay Buchholz?
“Finished better than we started,” said Farrell of his club’s first month. “I think the biggest thing is the guys in our lineup have developed that trust in one another. I the fact that we’ve added to the depth of power arms in our bullpen. We still have room for improvement, we know that. We’ve got to get Clay going, particularly. He’s an important part of our rotation, an important part of this team. We’ve got to get him on track. But this last turn to two turns through the rotation has been more consistent, we’ve been able to give our guys in the bullpen a little bit more regular rest. But there’s some elements to our offense that have been very, very encouraging. The all-field approach and the way we’ve run the bases has been very consistent.”
As Farrell noted, getting Buchholz going would seem to be of the utmost priority considering the rest of the starting rotation’s ERA is a full run better on days the righty doesn’t pitch.
The Red Sox are 0-5 in games started by Buchholz, who has allowed five runs in four of his five outings. The righty’s ERA stands at 6.51.
“I can’t say that it’s a glaring thing from a mechanical standpoint,” Farrell noted. “There are times when we’ve seen Clay execute pitches with a greater conviction to the pitch. There are other times where maybe he’s pitched away from contact maybe a little bit too much, and not attacked the strike zone. To me, there comes a point, or an attitude on the mound, that’s got to be prevailing.”
|Friday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Henry Owens vs. Masahiro Tanaka||04.29.16 at 9:24 am ET|
The Red Sox will send young lefty Henry Owens to the hill on Friday as they open a three-game series against the Yankees. He will be opposed by Masahiro Tanaka.
Owens will look to rebound after struggling through his first start of the season with the Red Sox on Sunday against the Astros. After his call-up from the minors, he lasted just 3 1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits. The biggest issue he ran into was issuing free passes, something that plagued him in his previous big league stint last year as well. He had four walks to go with four strikeouts and did not factor into the decision. The Red Sox would go onto win 7-5 in 12 innings.
In two career starts against the Yankees, Owens is 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA and 2.100 WHIP. He has struck out seven and walked three in 6 2/3 innings pitched. Coincidentally, both times Owens faced the Yankees, Tanaka was the opposing pitcher. Owens is looking forward to the third matchup.
“It should be fun,” he said. “It’s a rematch. It’s Tanaka again, so that should be good. Hopefully, I get a little redemption.”
Tanaka is off to a solid start in 2016, as he is 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA and 0.97 WHIP through four starts. In his last outing Sunday against the Rays, he went seven strong innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and one walk with strikeouts. He did not factor into the decision, but the Yankees wound up victorious, 3-2.
One interesting note on the 27-year-old Tanaka is that after surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow last season, he has not thrown his four-seam fastball nearly as often. He feels it is still a part of his pitching arsenal moving forward, however.
“Obviously, my four-seam fastball will be used,” Tanaka said recently. “For me, I don’t look at it so differently. There’s not that much velocity difference from the four-seam and the two-seam. But I’m moving the ball with the two-seamer and getting better results, so that’s why I’m leaning toward that way.”
In seven starts against the Red Sox, Tanaka is 4-2 with a 5.13 ERA and 1.240 WHIP. He has walked nine and struck out 32 in 40 1/3 innings of work.
|Sunday’s Red Sox-Astros matchups: Henry Owens vs. Scott Feldman||04.24.16 at 8:08 am ET|
Southpaw Henry Owens will take the hill for the Red Sox on Sunday night after being called up from Triple-A. He is set to square off against Astros right-hander Scott Feldman in the series finale.
The 23-year-old Owens joined the Red Sox rotation late in the 2015 season, making 11 starts from August to October. He went 4-4 over that span with a 4.57 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 63 innings of work. After a rocky spring training, he started the year in Pawtucket and has pitched well out of the gate. In three starts with the PawSox, Owens is 1-1 with a 1.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. He has walked 10 and struck out 23 over 18 innings. When Joe Kelly was placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, Owens was the first option to replace him in Triple-A. During the early stages of spring training, many felt it would be a battle between Kelly and Owens to earn the fifth spot in the Red Sox rotation.
“This is awesome. I remember in high school, it was the same thing, competing for a varsity spot,” Owens said during spring training. “The first big league camp I was at, after the won the World Series, I knew there wasn’t really a spot for me. Last year kind of the same thing. I knew there was a little competition, but it was kind of set in stone. This year I truly believe there’s a spot up for grabs, and everyone else knows that so we’ll be out there competing against each other.”
Sunday will mark Owens’ first career start against the Astros.
Feldman will be seeking his first win of the season Sunday, as he his record sits at 0-2 through three starts. In his most recent outing on April 19 against the Rangers, Feldman went five innings and allowed four runs (three earned). He walked three and struck out just one in a game the Astros would go on to lose 7-5.
“[Feldman] just couldn’t put away hitters,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said following the loss. “They had a lot of guys that put swings on the ball with two strikes and found a way to do something. … Every time we did something, they seemed to answer back.”
Feldman has appeared in 13 games against the Red Sox, including seven starts, going 1-4 with a 7.24 ERA and 1.783 WHIP. He has walked 21 and struck out 25 in 46 innings.
|Looking at potential Joe Kelly replacements for Red Sox starting rotation||04.19.16 at 11:40 pm ET|
After leaving Tuesday’s start after 23 pitches and four batters with right shoulder impingement, Joe Kelly will miss some time. Immediately after the game, manager John Farrell announced Kelly will be going on the disabled list.
Tuesday was the third time since August of 2014 that Kelly has needed to leave a game early because of injury.
With Kelly missing time, and Eduardo Rodriguez not quite ready to return from his knee injury, the Red Sox will need to call up a starter from Triple-A for at least likely two turns through the rotation. Here are a look at three possibilities:
Owens has got off to a great start in three games with Pawtucket. The tall, lanky left-hander has a 1-1 record, but has a 1.00 ERA as he’s allowed just two earned runs over 18 innings in three starts. He’s also struck out 23 batters. The one thing to watch with Owens, and has always been an issue with him, is the number of walks. He’s walked 10 batters in 18 innings so far in 2016.
From a scheduling perspective, Owens last pitched on Monday so he would be able to slide into Kelly’s spot in the rotation on one extra day of rest. The 23-year-old has limited major league experience, as he appeared in 11 games at the end of last season. In those 11 games, he went 4-4 with a 4.57 ERA. It seems likely Owens will be the player making the journey up I-95 and joining the Red Sox’ rotation.
|Tuesday Farm Report: LHP Henry Owens solid in PawSox win, improves ERA to 1.00 through 3 starts||at 10:23 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (7-5): W, 3-1, 10 innings, at Rochester (Twins)
— Left-hander Henry Owens delivered a solid performance, earning his seventh consecutive quality start in Triple-A dating back to last season. He went six innings, allowing one earned run on five hits and three walks with nine strikeouts. He did not factor into the decision despite the impressive outing, as the game wound up going to 10 innings before the PawSox won, 3-1. Owens now is sporting a nifty 1.00 ERA through three starts this season.
— Blake Swihart, recently optioned to Pawtucket by the Red Sox, showed off some late-game heroics with a go-ahead RBI single in the 10th inning. IT was his only hit in five at-bats. Rusney Castillo, who made the trip to Triple-A with Swihart, finished 2-for-3 with two walks and a strikeout.
— Right fielder Justin Maxwell had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double, one RBI, one walk and one strikeout. Also joining the party offensively was Sam Travis, who was 2-for-4 with a walk. His average now sits at .277.
— Kyle Martin was dominant out of the bullpen, throwing three perfect innings, striking out three and walking none. He picked up his first win of the season.
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