|As the roster churns: Why the Red Sox made six roster moves with more to come||05.24.13 at 6:03 pm ET|
It is the busiest transaction day of the year for the Red Sox, who made six roster moves with more to come in the coming days. Here’s a look at the moves that were made and the moves that likely will be made, with a brief explanation for each:
SHANE VICTORINO PLACED ON 15-DAY DL (LEFT HAMSTRING STRAIN), RETROACTIVE TO MAY 21
Victorino had been unable to play for the last three games. The Red Sox roster is currently running thin, given that the bullpen was nearly emptied in Thursday’s 12-3 blowout loss to the Indians and that Victorino and Will Middlebrooks both faced injuries. While the Sox had planned to wait until closer to the one-week mark of Victorino’s stretch of being unable to play before making a decision on him, the need to summon reinforcements from the minors somewhat forced the Sox’ hands. So, too, did the fitful progress he’d made since suffering the injury. It hadn’t been a straight-line improvement, but instead an up-and-down trajectory. Given that, the Sox, according to manager John Farrell, felt that Victorino was “in need of this extended time and treatment.”
Victorino is hitting .283/.343/.362 while playing dazzling right field defense in 34 games this year. He’s missed 14 games due to back injuries and the hamstring. This is his first stint on the DL this year.
WILL MIDDLEBROOKS PLACED ON 15-DAY DL (LOWER BACK STRAIN) Read the rest of this entry »
The Red Sox executed a flurry of roster moves Friday, calling up both pitcher Alfredo Aceves and infielder Jose Iglesias while putting outfielder Shane Victorino (hamstring) and third baseman Will Middlebrooks (back) on the 15-day disabled list. The Sox also activated catcher David Ross from the seven-day concussion DL, optioning Ryan Lavarnway to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Victorino’s DL stint is retroactive to May 21.
Iglesias, who just started playing third base last week, is hitting .202 with a .262 on-base percentage in 33 games for Pawtucket. He is just 5-for-35 (.143) in his last 10 games. Aceves last pitched May 17, allowing three runs (one earned) over five innings. In four appearances for the PawSox, the righty has 3.13 ERA in 23 innings, striking out 21 and walking 11.
Iglesias gets the start at third base against the Indians Friday night, going up against Indians’ starter Justin Masterson. The third baseman will hit ninth.
Here is the rest of the Red Sox’ lineup:
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Daniel Nava RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Mike Napoli 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Mike Carp LF
Stephen Drew SS
Jose Iglesias 3B
|Red Sox minor league roundup: Making sense of Francellis Montas, Jose Iglesias debuts at third, Bryce Brentz being Bone Buhner?||05.22.13 at 10:24 am ET|
What to make of the hardest throwing pitcher in the Red Sox system, at a time when he’s beginning to string together some dominant starts?
Francellis Montas has long had a reputation that preceded him. Even before he pitched in the States, word started to circulate about the teenager who could reach triple-digits with his fastball. Still, in his first couple seasons in pro ball, he struggled to harness his power, as evidenced by the fact that he walked 30 (the same number that he struck out) in 34 1/3 innings in the Dominican Summer League in 2010 and 2011.
Last year, however, he took a considerable step forward while spending most of the year in the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League. He struck out 41 and walked just 12 in 40 2/3 innings.
This year, despite a 1-4 record and 5.08 ERA, he’s been even better than that while facing more age-appropriate competition in the Single-A South Atlantic League. The 20-year-old Montas continued what has been a string of eye-opening starts by tossing five innings in which he permitted just one run on one hit (a solo homer), walked one and struck out eight.
On the year, Montas now has 49 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 39 innings. His 11.3 strikeouts per nine rank 18th in all of minor league baseball. Of the 17 players who are ahead of him on the list, only one (19-year-old Tyler Glasnow) is younger. Of the 58 players with 10.0 strikeouts per nine innings (or more) this year, his rate of 4.9 strikeouts per walk ranks sixth. So, he’s in a somewhat elite class when it comes to having power stuff (a fastball that, as a starter, sits in the mid- to high-90s, along with a slider that has made considerable progress to become a wipeout pitch) while having the willingness to attack the strike zone with it.
And Tuesday continued what has been an increasingly impressive stretch for the right-hander. In his last five starts, he’s punched out 31 and walked just four in 23 innings (12.1 strikeouts and 1.6 walks per nine) with a 3.13 ERA. Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox minor league roundup: Jose Iglesias getting versatile; Jackie Bradley remains under wraps; Brian Johnson flashes promise||05.21.13 at 8:52 am ET|
Shortstop Jose Iglesias collected his first extra-base hit in the month of May, slamming a solo homer — his career-high fourth of the year — in the bottom of the ninth for Triple-A Pawtucket. The homer snapped an 0-for-13 stretch. Iglesias now is hitting .160/.232/.220 in the month of May, with a .204/.263/.306 line on the season.
However, more significant was something that Iglesias did defensively — and outside the confines of the game. As reported by Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal, Iglesias took grounders at third base on Monday prior to Pawtucket’s game, the first time in his career that he’s taken grounders at the position, with game exposure to the position expected to come soon — perhaps as soon as Tuesday in Pawtucket. MacPherson also reported that Iglesias has been taking grounders at second base, and that he will see game activity there once PawSox manager Gary DiSarcina is comfortable with the idea that Iglesias is comfortable with the double-play pivot from that angle.
DiSarcina suggested that the move is being made with an eye toward increasing Iglesias’ versatility so that he can serve as a source of depth at multiple positions. For instance, when Will Middlebrooks suffered his recent rib injury, it was Brock Holt — a player capable of playing third, short and second — who was on call to come up from the majors, with Iglesias not in position to offer utility depth. In exposing him to multiple positions, the Sox are laying the groundwork for the 23-year-old to have more roster value.
“He’s a shortstop,” DiSarcina told the Journal. “He’s going to be a major league shortstop. But the goal is just to give him a tool — not just for himself, but for the organization.”
Moreover, as MacPherson notes, increasing Iglesias’ versatility could allow the Sox to sidestep a potential bottleneck if the organization decides it wants to promote Xander Bogaerts to Triple-A. The ability to have both Iglesias and Bogaerts (who played some third in the WBC) play multiple positions would make it easier to get both players into the lineup.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 8-4 LOSS VS. INDIANAPOLIS (PIRATES)
– Jackie Bradley Jr. is heating up, at a time when outfielder Shane Victorino is once again contending with injuries. Bradley went 2-for-4 with a homer (his first of the season) and double. In three games back in the PawSox lineup, he’s now 4-for-11 with one of every kind of hit along with two walks and an HBP, good for a .364/.500/.909 line. Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox minor league roundup: The uniqueness of Mookie Betts; Anthony Ranaudo strong in struggle; Garin Cecchini’s standout year continues||05.19.13 at 11:29 am ET|
Daily Feats of Mookie: Mookie Betts went 2-for-4 with a homer (his seventh of the year and fifth in his last 11 games) and a walk for Single-A Greenville. During his current 13-game hitting streak, he’s now hitting .429/.533/.837 with 10 extra-base hits (five homers, five doubles). On the year, he’s now hitting .256/.413/.488.
The run remains singularly shocking, since prior to the streak, Betts had shown excellent excellent plate discipline but no real ability to drive the ball. He had just four extra-base hits in his first 25 games this year after collecting nine (with no homers) in 71 games in 2012 with the Lowell Spinners. So, in his last 11 games, with those 10 extra-base hits, he’s nearly matched his total from his previous 97 games as a professional.
The out-of-nowhere power-hitting stretch is even more impressive since it has occurred without Betts selling out his characteristically disciplined approach at all. During his hitting streak, he’s walked 11 times (including once in each of the last four games) and struck out just four times — meaning he has more than twice as many extra-base hits as strikeouts.
Context: Here’s the complete list of players in the minors with at least seven homers and at least as many walks as strikeouts:
Since 2001, the only player in the big leagues with at least seven homers in a season and twice as many walks as strikeouts has been Barry Bonds. The last player to do it who wasn’t Bonds was Mark Grace, who did it in 2000. The people who accomplished the feat in the 1990s: Tony Gwynn, Gary Sheffield, Wade Boggs, Eric Young, Mark Grace, Lenny Dykstra, Frank Thomas.
It remains to be seen what this remarkable run means for Betts. After all, he didn’t hit a home run all of last year. But for now, Betts is performing as a player with a profile that does not currently exist in pro ball, and that few have displayed in the last 25 years.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 6-3 LOSS VS. INDIANAPOLIS (PIRATES)
– Franklin Morales yielded three runs while giving up three hits, a pair of homers and walking three in four innings. Despite the walks total, he was aggressive in the strike zone, throwing 43 of 65 pitches (66 percent) for strikes. However, he didn’t have overpowering stuff, as he elicited just four swings and misses in his four innings of work. Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox minor league roundup: Allen Webster’s command issues, Jose Iglesias readjusts, Garin Cecchini avoids another scare, Sean Coyle slumps, a daily Mookie-ism||05.15.13 at 11:42 am ET|
A brief look at Tuesday’s action in the Red Sox farm system . . .
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 5-3 WIN VS. GWINNETT (BRAVES)
– Shortstop Jose Iglesias went 1-for-2 with a walk and a sacrifice bunt in four plate appearances. In seven games since returning to the lineup following a four-game spell in which manager Gary DiSarcina had him sit, Iglesias, 23, is hitting .192/.300/.192. However, DiSarcina told Tim Britton of the Providence Journal that more important than the shortstop’s numbers has been his approach to the game since returning to the field.
“One of the great traits he has is his love for the game. Sitting down for a couple days, he realized how much he loves the game, how much he misses playing with that joy,” DiSarcina said. “When he plays free and plays creative, he’s a lot of fun to watch, and I’m sure he has a lot of fun doing it because he has skills other people don’t have.
“The five or six games he’s been back, that’s kind of what we wanted from him. Enjoy yourself. You have an opportunity to go out there and be a leader out there. He’s been doing it.”
– Right-hander Allen Webster, in his first start back in Pawtucket since getting shelled for eight runs in 1 2/3 innings in a big league start, worked around issues with his fastball command (which led to both a solo homer and four walks) to allow just one run on three hits in five innings. He struck out five, recorded seven groundball outs and produced 11 swings-and-misses.
While Webster, 23, had enjoyed an eye-opening spring in which he demonstrated an ability to attack the strike zone that ran counter to his minor league career norms, he’s shown some regression during the season. He’s now issued 10 walks in 25 innings, a rate of 3.6 per nine frames, and on Tuesday, he threw strikes on just 53 percent (49 of 92) of his pitches. Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox minor league roundup: Xander Bogaerts, Jose Iglesias take their walks, Mookie Betts is unstoppable, Brian Johnson gets a ‘W’||05.11.13 at 12:50 pm ET|
A brief look at Friday’s action in the Red Sox minor league system:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 3-1 WIN AT CHARLOTTE (WHITE SOX)
– Though Jose Iglesias went 0-for-2, he drew a pair of walks — the first time all year that he’s drawn multiple free passes in a game. He had gone 17 straight games without drawing a walk before Friday. His on-base percentage now sits at .287.
– Right-hander Graham Godfrey, acquired from the A’s this offseason in a trade from offseason nomad Sandy Rosario, delivered his most impressive outing to date for the PawSox. He gave up just two hits in six shutout innings while walking two and striking out five. The 28-year-old, who has been working mostly in piggyback starting duty, is now 2-2 with a 3.60 ERA.
– Catcher Ryan Lavarnway went 2-for-4 with a double. The 25-year-old is sixth in the International League with a .417 OBP.
– Brock Holt, who had been on call in Boston in case Will Middlebrooks had to go on the DL (something that likely would have resulted in Pedro Ciriaco starting at third, with Holt serving as the utility backup man), rejoined the PawSox in Charlotte and went 0-for-4 while playing third base.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 6-4 WIN, 6-0 LOSS AT NEW BRITAIN (TWINS)
– Xander Bogaerts went 0-for-3 in the first game, bringing his nine-game hitting streak to an end, then collected one of Portland’s two hits in the second game, going 1-for-2 with a single and HBP. The 20-year-old has now reached base in 20 consecutive games dating to April 11. In that time, he’s hitting .313/.400/.530, with his .930 OPS ranking sixth in the Eastern League during that time — an impressive feat over a full month given that he is the youngest position player in the league.
Bogaerts has also left behind questions that may have loomed entering the year about whether he would be too aggressive against advanced pitching. During his current stretch of games, he’s walked 11 times in 96 plate appearances — 10 more than he walked in 97 plate appearances in Portland at the end of last year. Read the rest of this entry »
- Red Sox recall Iglesias, Aceves; place Victorino, Middlebrooks on DL
- Cup of Coffee: Morales sharp in rehab outing as Sea Dogs roll
- Red Sox ink veteran lefty Rafael Perez to minor league deal
- Cup of Coffee: Vazquez nearly hits for cycle in Portland’s walk-off win
- Players of the Week, May 13-19: Mookie Betts and Matt Price
- Cup of Coffee: Montas strikes out eight in Greenville loss
- SoxProspects.com Podcast #34
- ESPNBoston: De La Rosa finding his way in Pawtucket
- Cup of Coffee: Bradley, Holt shine in PawSox loss
- Xander Bogaerts, Portland to headline Futures at Fenway