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Rich Sauveur on Minor Details: ‘I can see [Henry Owens] being a No. 1 or No. 2 starter for the Boston Red Sox’ 08.14.14 at 9:27 pm ET
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PawSox pitching coach Rich Sauveur suggested that left-hander Henry Owens showed top-of-the-rotation stuff in his Triple-A debut. (Jillian Souza/Pawtucket Red Sox)

PawSox pitching coach Rich Sauveur suggested that left-hander Henry Owens showed top-of-the-rotation stuff in his Triple-A debut. (Jillian Souza/Pawtucket Red Sox)

Pawtucket Red Sox pitching coach Rich Sauveur joined WEEI.com’€™s Alex Speier on the Minor Details podcast to discuss his first impressions of Henry Owens with the PawSox and the large influx of plus pitching in the organization. To listen to the interview, go to the WEEI podcast audio on demand page.

Owens, Boston’€™s top pitching prospect, has impressed at the Triple-A level, posting a 1-0 record with a 3.09 ERA and 14 strikeouts in two starts (11 2/3 innings). Owens was particularly dominant in his first outing Aug. 4 against Columbus, holding the Clippers to two hits and no earned runs over 6 2/3 innings while recording nine punchouts.

“Well, being actually the first time I’ve seen him throw, yes, I’ve seen him throw a couple times down in spring training, but to actually see him up here pitching for me was pretty exciting. … Obviously, by the outcome, striking out the side in the first inning, and seeing the poise on the mound was just outstanding. This kid is 22 years old, and again, striking out the side on three plus pitches — the fastball and the curveball and the changeup — it was an outstanding time for me,” Sauveur said.

Sauveur added that both Owens’€™ confidence on the hill and his impressive repertoire of pitches make it easy for him to project the southpaw as a top-of-the-line starter in the major leagues.

“Going on one start, I can say that I see this guy being a No. 1 or No. 2 starter for the Boston Red Sox. … [His] poise on the mound is ridiculous,” Sauveur said. “€œThis kid reminds me of Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. I mean, just a goofball in the clubhouse and having a good time, and when he steps between those two wide lines that go down each side of the field, it’s game on. … Talking about his stuff, the fastball velocity was decent, the command was outstanding … and then he showed two plus pitches. … Of course, if this kid strikes out nine guys in a Triple-A game, something is going on.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Anthony Ranau, henry owens, minor details, Rich Sauveur
Finishing touches: Anthony Ranaudo hopes tweaked mechanics, new pitch position him for breakthrough 06.14.14 at 10:30 am ET
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PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Two weeks ago during a bullpen session, Anthony Ranaudo decided that something needed to change. The righty felt that his fastball command was not as consistent as it could be.

While the tall righty has been among the most consistent pitchers for Triple-A Pawtucket so far this season, he thought he could be even better. Ranaudo, who sports a 2.79 ERA with a 1.296 WHIP, 8.1 strikeouts per nine innings, always felt more confident throwing his fastball out of the stretch than he did out of the windup.

PawSox pitching coach Rich Sauveur began to brainstorm with Ranaudo about what the two could do to improve the 24-year-old’s control over his four-seamer. After some discussion, Sauveur and Ranaudo concocted a solution to the righty’s concerns.

The two decided to make Ranaudo’s windup simpler by having it more closely resemble the righty’s motion out of the stretch.

“It’s always a small adjustment that seems to make things go,” Sauveur said. “Moving him in a forward direction, it doesn’t need to be something big and that’s what it was with him. He’s done a nice job. He’s always working very hard. He knows when he’s not happy. He’s frustrated because he knows that command is not where it wants to be and he’s always looking to get better.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: alex wilson, anthony ranaudo, Rich Sauveur,
Red Sox calling up Rubby De La Rosa, optioning Alex Wilson 06.14.13 at 11:47 am ET
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With the Red Sox bullpen depleted once again following Thursday night’s 13-inning, 5-4 loss to the Orioles, the Red Sox are summoning Rubby De La Rosa from Triple-A Pawtucket. De La Rosa, who has been starting all year in Triple-A, will be available to the Sox out of the bullpen, according to a major league source. To clear a spot, right-hander Alex Wilson — who took the loss despite pitching well, allowing one run in 2 2/3 innings — was optioned back to Pawtucket after Thursday’s loss.

De La Rosa is 0-1 with a 3.29 ERA in 11 starts (38 1/3 innings) with the PawSox this year. Most of those outings have been with restricted workloads, as the Sox have been proceeding carefully with the 24-year-old given that a) he is pitching his first full, healthy season since undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2011 and b) he has never thrown more than 111 innings in a minor league season. Still, he’s been making steady progress within those strictures, working a season-high five innings in just 70 pitches in his most recent outing.

In his last eight outings dating to April 23, De La Rosa has a 1.14 ERA with 31 strikeouts and 14 walks in 31 2/3 innings. His ability to garner strikeouts in volume has fluctuated ‘€” Saturday marked the second time in three outings that he had just one punchout ‘€” but in an interesting suggestion that, in contrast to his early-season struggles, the 24-year-old is now showing the ability to execute consistently, he has allowed no more than two earned runs in any of his last eight starts. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: alex wilson, pedro martinez, Rich Sauveur, rubby de la rosa
Red Sox prospect Weiland’s career takes a right turn against lefties 06.10.11 at 1:11 pm ET
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Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to go under the knife today, undergoing Tommy John surgery that will sideline him well into the 2012 season — perhaps even for all of that. That, in turn, affects the depth of the Sox’ rotation.

At the major league level, with Tim Wakefield now in the rotation, Alfredo Aceves serves as an insurance policy. In Pawtucket, Felix Doubront — who impressed the Sox as both a starter and reliever last year in his big league debut — continues to build back up after spending time on the sidelines with a groin injury. He has a 2.33 ERA in seven starts, most recently having allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings on Thursday.

Yet other options are starting to emerge in Triple-A. Most notably, right-hander Kyle Weiland is positioning himself as a potential starting option down the road.

Weiland commands four pitches: the curveball, the two-seam fastball, the change up, and now a cutter. PawSox pitching coach Rich Sauveur says that arsenal should translate into major league success for Weiland.

‘€œIt’€™s the command that is impressive,’€ Sauveur said recently.

That command has translated into a .217 opponent’s batting average this season, a 3.00 ERA in 63 innings over 12 starts, and 69 strikeouts — more than one per inning.

Sauveur says it’€™s not just Weiland’€™s command that he likes, but also his maturity.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Daisuke Matsuzaka, kyle weiland, Pawtucket Red Sox, Rich Sauveur
Left-Handed Knuckleballers 03.08.09 at 9:07 am ET
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Red Sox fans may know Rich Sauveur as the pitching coach in Triple-A Pawtucket. Yet the 45-year-old represents something as a result of a most unusual playing career that spanned just 34 major-league appearances over a 15-year span (from 1986-2000). His statistics at the major-league level suggest little glory: an 0-1 record, 6.07 ERA, no saves, 24 walks and 28 strikeouts in 46 innings.

Why is any of this of interest? Sauveur concluded his career as a practitioner of the knuckleball’€”an unusual enough class of major-league pitcher. But he was not just a knuckleballer, he was a left-handed knuckleballer.

How rare a breed is that? According to baseball-reference.com, there have been 1,625 pitchers who have made a major-league appearance this decade. According to this fascinating list, exactly one was a left-handed knuckleballer.

How did Sauveur become the entirety of that class? Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: knuckleball, Rich Sauveur, Terry Francona,
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