|Red Sox minor league roundup: Stephen Drew, Sean Coyle return; Garin Cecchini’s streak ends; Joe Gunkel’s unhittable start||05.24.14 at 10:32 am ET|
A brief look at the action in the Red Sox minor league system on Friday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 4-0 LOSS AT SYRACUSE (NATIONALS)
— Daniel Nava went 1-for-4 with a double off of left-hander Aaron Laffey, his second extra-base hit against lefties in Triple-A. Nava is still exhibiting significant splits that suggest that if/when he returns to the big leagues, it will likely be in a platoon capacity. With Friday’s double, he’s hitting .231/.276/.308 with nine punchouts in 28 plate appearances (32 percent) against lefties, compared to a .263/.377/.439 line with punchouts in 17 percent of his 69 plate appearances.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Nava and Portland shortstop Deven Marrero will be the guests on WEEI’s Down on the Farm, Sunday morning from 8:30-9 a.m.
— Left-hander Rich Hill turned in his most dominant outing of the year, contributing 2 1/3 innings of shutout ball in which he allowed one hit and struck out five. Hill had struggled in his prior two outings, allowing three runs in 2 1/3 innings, but his performance has been largely solid for Pawtucket, with 29 strikeouts and 11 walks in 25 innings, no homers allowed and a 3.24 ERA.
— Third baseman Garin Cecchini went 0-for-3, snapping a streak of 27 straight games in which he’d reached base. During that run, Cecchini hit .302/.413/.349.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 4-3 WIN (10 INNINGS) AT NEW HAMPSHIRE (BLUE JAYS) Read the rest of this entry »
|Morning notes: Dan Butler, Rich Hill, Dalier Hinojosa sent down; Jon Lester to stay away from Orioles||03.23.14 at 10:10 am ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox made a few roster moves Sunday morning in preparation of getting the regulars more playing time heading into the last week of spring training.
The Sox reassigned pitchers Rich Hill and Dalier Hinojosa to minor league camp, while catcher Dan Butler was optioned to Triple-A.
Hill has been impressive since arriving in camp after the death of his newborn son, not allowing a run in any of his three outings. The lefty does have an opt-out May 15.
“I thought he did a great job of somewhat catching up to speed under the difficult circumstances he came into camp under,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “And we just, it’s going to take a little more time to get back to the arm strength that we typically know him at, to have. Innings are starting to dry up a little more now that the starters are getting deeper. That was the move made.”
Hinojosa, who didn’t pitch at all in 2013 while executing his defection from Cuba, had somewhat of a rocky spring. The 28-year-old allowed eight runs on 14 hits over 8 1/3 innings.
“Impressed from the standpoint of what he was exposed to. much more structure and detailed that he’s come into in this camp,” Farrell said. “You marvel at a guy coming into a new culture, particularly with the way he got here. different baseball world. He’s got very good physical abilities. We’re going to send him to Pawtucket to pitch out of the bullpen there. if the need were to come up, he would best be suited to pitch in shorter stints out of the bullpen. Feel for three pitches. Not having pitched all last year because of the process he went through, he needs some time and some innings.”
Butler continued to impress, putting himself in position to crack the majors if the need arises, according to Farrell.
“Had a good feel for what he is,” Farrell said. “Continues to show that every time he walks in the field. As we mentioned to him on the way out, if the need were to arise, we’ve got one of three catchers we feel are a foul tip away to come up and replace someone if that need were to happen so Daniel is clearly in that mix.”
– Because he is slated to face the Orioles on Opening Day, March 31, Farrell opted to not have the lefty make his last scheduled start vs. Baltimore Wednesday. Instead the starter will appear in a minor league game. The same goes for Jake Peavy, who won’t pitch in the major league game Monday against the Rays in Port Charlotte.
– Craig Breslow‘s first spring training outing also won’t be against major leaguers, with the reliever joining Peavy in a minor league game, Monday. Part of the reason for Breslow not appearing in the big league game is due so the team could retroactively put him on the 15-day disabled list to March 22 (which wouldn’t be possible if he played in front of a paying crowd.
|Rich Hill returns to Red Sox camp after passing of his newborn son||03.06.14 at 9:42 am ET|
Hill relayed the information Thursday morning that Brooks passed away recently after being born with what Hill described as “multiple” health issues.
“We had a son on December 26 and he was born with multiple issues that we confronted and had to deal with, as we were moving through the last couple of months at Mass General,” Hill said. “Unfortunately he succumbed and he has passed. He taught us a lot of things, and unfortunately things didn’t work out. My wife has been extremely strong. Our son, who is 2 ½, is with us here down in Florida so we are going to enjoy our time here and obviously make the most of the opportunity that’s here to present itself to play baseball.”
The 33-year-old Hill, who is in camp on a minor league deal after making 63 appearances for the Indians in 2013, explained that the family issues were an impetus for identifying the Red Sox as a landing spot this offseason.
“It was a strong correlation there,” Hill said. “Fortunately I had the opportunity to come back. The Red Sox have been tremendous with this whole part of our life.
“I fully feel that the opportunity is here. I think that was also with a blend of the opportunity that is here and obviously with our family situation that we had. With the opportunity that is here, for myself to make the most of it and do everything I can on daily basis to perform.”
Hill was unsure of what his pitching progression will be, but did note how pleased he was to be back in a baseball clubhouse. The lefty had pitched with the Red Sox from 2010-12.
“I’m absolutely excited to be here and be playing baseball again, to get back into the normalcy of my profession and to be around a great group of guys,” he said. “Just to take that next step, a one day at a time approach. That’s where we’re at. Just really enjoy every day.”
|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Sox finally unveil Mercedes; Bogaerts does it again; Hill on the rehab trail||08.24.12 at 12:10 pm ET|
A brief synopsis of the action in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday . . .
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 2-1 LOSS AT CHARLOTTE (WHITE SOX)
— Outfielder Ryan Kalish, who was 0-for-14 in his first three games after being optioned back down to the minors, has shown a better approach in recent days. He went 1-for-3 with a walk on Thursday, and is now 3-for-11 with three walks in his last four games. Still, it has been a difficult run for Kalish in Triple-A. In the second half of the season, he’s hitting .190/.261/.238/.499.
— Rehabbing left-hander Rich Hill tossed a scoreless inning in which he permitted one hit, got a pair of groundouts and threw seven of 12 pitches for strikes. It was the first of back-to-back games for Hill, who has now made four straight scoreless appearances across three minor league levels.
— Zach Stewart threw a season-high seven innings while permitting two runs on four hits (including a homer) with four strikeouts and no walks. In 11 starts for Pawtucket (since the Sox acquired him for Kevin Youkilis), he has a 3.94 ERA with 6.4 strikeouts per nine innings and just 2.1 walks per nine innings.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 14-9 WIN AT BINGHAMTON (METS)
— Xander Bogaerts blasted his fourth homer in 13 Double-A games, and his third to the opposite field. He was then hit on the forearm in his second at-bat, but according to the Portland Press-Herald, while he had a bump from the drilling, he expects to return to the lineup soon. The youngest position player in the Eastern League is now up to 19 homers in 117 games this year. Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Middlebrooks recalls Futures at Fenway; Iglesias still hot; Pimentel, Almanzar maturing||08.18.12 at 10:25 am ET|
It’s a big day in the careers of a number of Red Sox prospects.
The Futures at Fenway doubleheader takes place on Saturday, with the Lowell Spinners and Pawtucket Red Sox leaving behind their usual home parks to play at Fenway Park. It’s a seminal moment in the careers of a number of the participants in those contests.
Some will never again have the opportunity to play in a big league ballpark. For others, the day is a harbinger of what is to come.
For Will Middlebrooks, it was the latter. In 2008, he’d mostly struggled through his first month and a half of pro ball. But on Aug. 9, while playing for Lowell, he delivered a walkoff single as part of a 3-for-6 day that also included a double that underscored a message that had been delivered by Lowell manager Gary DiSarcina about the young third baseman’s potential.
“I guess you could say that was a turning point. That’s really where things started to click, where I said, ‘I can do this,’ ” Middlebrooks said on Friday.
Not every player who takes part in the game will have such a defining moment. But for all of the participants, the event will be something of a revelation, an experience unlike anything that most have ever before encountered.
“Everyone’s goal in the minor leagues is to make the big leagues. Part of that is to play in big league stadiums, historic stadiums like Fenway. Just to be able to come in, play in that venue with pretty big crowds — that’s different for a lot of guys,” said Middlebrooks. “The thing that stands out the most is when you walk on the field, the structure of it. It’s hard to explain. It just feels different. It smells different.”
PROGRAMMING NOTE: The next episode of “Down on the Farm” will feature Portland right-hander Brandon Workman and Salem pitching coach Kevin Walker to discuss the development of pitch mixes at the minor league level. The show airs on Sunday from 8:30-9 a.m. on WEEI 93.7 FM and WEEI.com.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 8-5 LOSS AT SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE (YANKEES)
— Jose Iglesias continued his best stretch in Triple-A, going 2-for-4 with a walk. He’s now hitting .317/.394/.397/.791 with five doubles and eight walks this month. The eight walks match his career-high for any month in his professional career. A case can be made that now is the right time for him to be called up to the majors. PawSox play-by-play man Aaron Goldsmith recently checked in with Iglesias and Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler about the shortstop’s improved results.
— Juan Carlos Linares continued to mash, going 3-for-5 with a double and homer. Since the start of July, he’s hitting .327/.347/.532/.879 with seven homers. Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: The rare air of Xander Bogaerts and Keury De La Cruz, the struggles of Daniel Bard||08.17.12 at 1:36 pm ET|
A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday . . .
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 5-4 LOSS AT SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE (YANKEES)
–Daniel Bard allowed three unearned runs, allowing one hit and two walks while throwing 14 of 29 pitches for strikes. It marked the first time in just over a month that Bard — who threw just 10 of 27 pitches for strikes in his prior outing on Tuesday — had thrown more balls than strikes in consecutive outings. Though the runs were unearned, Bard’s command struggles prevented him from minimizing the damage in an inning that saw the PawSox commit two errors (with Bard committing one and Jose Iglesias committing the other). In his last four outings, Bard has now allowed nine runs; he’s given up 12 runs in his last seven appearances spanning 6 2/3 innings.
— Jose Iglesias continued to make the case that his career-best performance in May (prior to his back injury) was not a mirage. He went 1-for-3 with a pair of walks. He has seven walks (one shy of his career high for any month) and eight strikeouts in 15 games in August en route to a .305/.379/.390/.769 line. His overall Triple-A stat line this year (.260/.310/.301/.611) still show a picture of a player who needs to develop his offensive game in order to make his case for a regular big league job, but at 22, he is still young and showing signs of improving against his competition. In other words, while his extraordinary defense is a given, it remains premature to say whether he will or will not emerge as a viable big league starting shortstop, but for the Sox, the fact that the most recent signs have been decidedly positive for a player who remains younger than every member of the Red Sox’ big league roster is a promising one.
— Juan Carlos Linares slammed his sixth homer in 47 games in Triple-A, with the blast coming against former Red Sox left-hander Justin Thomas. Linares is hammering lefties to a .324/.378/.647/1.025 line in Triple-A, albeit in a small sample of just 37 plate appearances.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 2-1 WIN AT ALTOONA (CURVE)
— It’s a small sample, but thus far, it’s hard not to be impressed with what Xander Bogaerts is doing at the start of his Double-A career. On Thursday, he slammed a double to right-center, an extra-base hit notable for a number of reasons: Read the rest of this entry »
|Rich Hill (elbow) to see Dr. James Andrews||06.10.12 at 12:31 pm ET|
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said prior to Sunday’s game against the Nationals that relief pitcher Rich Hill, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list, will see Dr. James Andrews to determine why he has been experience tightness in his left elbow. Andrews performed Hill’s Tommy John surgery last June.
Valentine said that Hill told him three weeks ago that his arm was hurting him, but that it went away before recently popping back up. After throwing four curveballs to Bryce Harper on Friday ‘ one of which resulted in a Harper RBI single ‘ Valentine said Hill didn’t feel great about his elbow.
‘I didn’t think he was throwing much differently,’ Valentine said. ‘I thought his curveball just didn’t have the same late break, but I don’t know if that’s elbow-related or not.’
Mark Melancon will take his spot, who Valentine says has been playing “lights out” in Pawtucket recently. In 21 2/3 innings, the right-hander has compiled a 0.83 ERA.
“Every report was excellent,” Valentine said. “He regained command of his fastball, his curveball , I’m not sure if it got sharper, but it became a much more functional pitch, and he started throwing his changeup, also. He threw to both sides of the plate. He maintained his velocity. He pitched one and two innings. He did everything. He would have been back sooner if our bullpen wasn’t doing as well as it has been.”
Valentine also addressed the status of Aaron Cook, who went down last month with an injured knee. Valentine said that he pitched two innings yesterday and will meet up with the Red Sox this week in their series at Miami, where he will throw a bullpen.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, who made his return to the Red Sox yesterday, will make his next scheduled start on Friday. Matsuzaka returned to the hill to make his first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery and threw five innings, scattering five hits and four earned runs while striking out eight in the loss.
Valentine said that Carl Crawford is taking today off from throwing exercises, but that the outfielder is feeling ‘no ill effects’ from throwing the last couple of days. Crawford is rehabbing from left wrist surgery, which landed him on the 60-day DL on March 26.
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