|Red Sox minor league notebook: High-A Salem loaded with talent||04.07.16 at 11:18 am ET|
1. The Red Sox’ High-A Salem team is not only the most talented in terms of prospects in the organization, but it might also be one of the most talented teams in terms of prospects in all of minor league baseball. Salem has three of the top-20 prospects as ranked by Baseball America in second baseman Yoan Moncada (No. 3), outfielder Andrew Benintendi (No. 15) and third baseman Rafael Devers (No. 18). It doesn’t stop there, either, as there are more top prospects in shortstop Mauricio Dubon, first baseman/outfielder Nick Longhi and pitcher Travis Lakins. The majority of the players played in Greenville last season and are progressing through the organization together. It would not be a surprise to see Moncada and/or Benintendi be promoted to Double-A Portland at some point during the season. Regardless, the Salem team will be very fun to watch.
“There’s 25 guys on that team and a lot of them played together last year,” Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett said. “There are some that are back in Salem for a second time. I think those relationships develop over time. You’re hoping guys are pushing each other and are competitive off the field in terms of the way they are working. As each individual player pushes each other, they are all getting better.”
2. Moncada will look to build on his first season in America, especially his second half of the season with Greenville, where he hit .310 with seven home runs. The second baseman also became much more comfortable as the season went on with every part his game and even off the field as he was adjusting to life in America.
“He had a pretty good spring,” Crockett said. “Obviously, had the groin issue that pushed him back sort of right in the middle and slowed him up a little bit. Overall, continued to focus on the routines defensively and being consistent with that. He came in wanting to work and spent most of offseason in Fort Myers working on the physical side of his game and continuing to work out with our strength coaches here.”
Many have speculated with Dustin Pedroia occupying second base for years to come, the organization may look to give Moncada more versatility and have him shift to a new position, potentially the outfield, but those conversations haven’t taken place yet. The Red Sox remain focused on him at second base.
|Jason Varitek not a likely candidate to replace Gary Tuck||01.30.13 at 3:06 pm ET|
There will come a time, and it may be in the near future, that former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek can commence his big league coaching career with virtually his pick of jobs. But for now, even though the Red Sox have a newly created need for a bullpen coach and catching instructor on their big league staff with the sudden retirement of Gary Tuck, it does not appear that Varitek is being considered — or even wants to be considered — for a full-time return to uniform, according to a major league source.
Varitek retired because he wanted to spend time with his family, and while the 40-year-old embraced the opportunity to return to the Sox as a special assistant to GM Ben Cherington, that job seemingly represents the work-life balance that Varitek would like to maintain for now. There’s little question that a coaching future is available to him, but for the present, he’s likely to remain in his role.
That, in turn, means that the Sox must work to find a replacement for Tuck with less than two weeks before the official reporting date for pitchers and catchers. Given that compressed timetable, while the Sox had yet to contact candidates about interviews as of Wednesday afternoon, the team plans to select from an internal pool of candidates already within the organization.
Three stand out as fairly obvious:
— Chad Epperson spent the last two years as the Sox’ roving catching instructor, a capacity in which he’s worked with the likes of Ryan Lavarnway and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (as well as minor leaguers such as Dan Butler, Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart) for years. Last year, when Tuck had to take a leave of absence for personal reasons, Epperson joined the big league staff as his fill-in. He also knows a number of the team’s homegrown pitchers, having coached or managed players like Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Daniel Bard, Ryan Kalish, Felix Doubront and Daniel Nava while they were coming up through the system. Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox pitching coach search takes shape: Curt Young impresses||10.26.10 at 4:10 pm ET|
According to a baseball source, the Red Sox interviewed former Oakland pitching coach Curt Young on Monday about the vacancy for the position of pitching coach that was created by the departure of John Farrell, who left to become the manager of the Blue Jays. Young, according to the source, was the most impressive of the external candidates with whom the club has talked thus far.
Young spent the last seven seasons as the Athletics pitching coach. In 2010, the young Oakland staff led the American League with a 3.58 ERA. But after 27 years in the A’s organization as a player and coach, Young turned down the team’s offer on Sunday, and he appears to be a strong early candidate to succeed Farrell.
That said, the interview process remains ongoing for the Sox. Later this week, the team will interview a pair of internal candidates: Mike Cather, who served as an advance scout in 2010 after three years working in Double-A Portland (2007-09) and one with High-A Wilmington (2006), and Ralph Treuel, who has spent the last four years as the organization’s roving minor league pitching instructor. Treuel also spent part of the 2006 season as the Sox bullpen coach, and served briefly as the team’s pitching coach in Sept. 2001.
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