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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Witty Minor League Thread Title Here

After a busy weekend in Baltimore and then a couple of off days (thanks rain!) I figured today might be a good time to throw up a minor league thread.  The Red Sox minor league system is probably as uninteresting as it has been in several years with graduations and trades emptying things out.  That does not mean there is not anything to talk about.  Without further ado…

1B - Josh Ockimey - Salem (Hi A) -  The big 21 year old lefty swinger has come out of the blocks quickly.  He earned Player of the Week honors last week and has already bashed eight extra base hits (4 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR) in 16 games.  I saw Ockimey a few times in Lowell and while a tall, strong fellow he is fairly lean.  He doesn’t come with some of the concerns (weight, lack of athleticism) that power hitters often have.

2B - Ryan Court - Pawtucket (AAA) - The 29 year old career minor leaguer is a bit intriguing.  He has a whiff of Brock Holt(!) to him and with the Sox not exactly flush with right handed infield options Court is probably one Josh Rutledge injury away from his big chance.  He is not a slugger by any means but he can bring a bit of pop to the party.

3B - Rafael Devers - Portland (AA) - The heir apparent to Pablo Sandoval (any time now Dave) has started better at Portland than he did in Salem last year.  If you want to nitpick he has drawn just one free pass in 13 games.  On the plus side his K rate (20%) is not anything to be especially concerned about.

SS - Deven Marrero - Pawtucket (AAA) - Maybe you were reading my note about Court above and said “hey, what about Deven Marrero?”  Well, what happened is the guy who never could hit before is off to a truly horrifying start with a .253 OPS in 11 games.  Yes, that says OPS.  Regardless of what you think about the concept of “hot” that is not going to get it done.

OF - Aneury Tavarez - Portland (AA) - Unable to stick with Baltimore after being a Rule 5 pick Tavarez is vaporizing the Eastern League to a .408/.492/.531 tune.  Tavarez had some time in Pawtucket last year and I would assume he is not long for Portland.

C - Blake Swihart - Pawtucket (AAA) - Swihart is off to a slow start in Rhode Island.  The good news for the Sox is that Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez are channeling their inner Carlton Fisk so that minimizes the impact for now.  Swihart has joined the arms race those guys have throwing out 6 of 10 would be base stealers so far.

SP - Shaun Anderson - Greenville (Lo A) - The Florida product is viewed as a likely reliever in the long term.  However, he has been thrust into the rotation for now and in four starts (21.2 IP) he is under 1.00 for both ERA (0.83) and WHIP (0.923).

RP - Brandon Workman - Pawtucket (AAA) - Workman has jumped out fast in three appearances fanning ten and allowing just two base runners (one hit, one walk) in seven innings.  Workman’ poise and stuff served the Sox well both in the rotation and later the bullpen in 2013 and I find it hard to believe that he would not be a better option than Fernando Verybad.

Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: April 25, 2017 at 07:22 PM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: April 26, 2017 at 12:28 PM (#5442965)
Tavarez had some time in Pawtucket last year and I would assume he is not long for Portland.
Pawtucket has in the outfield:

610 Junior Lake
786 Rusney Castillo
573 Bryce Brentz

Who do you cut? If it were me I'd want to see if Lake can convert to pitching. He seems like he has an excellent arm and doesn't seem to excel at much else. Alternatively Castillo might be giving them a sell-high opportunity.
   2. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: April 26, 2017 at 01:38 PM (#5443039)
Any of them?

I mean Lake and Brentz are valueless at this point and if they aren't going to consider calling up Castillo why not cut him? I mean you gotta pay him anyway. Tavarez at the least seems to have some kind of a future (4th outfielder probably) whereas I'd be shocked if any of the other three do anything other than make an emergency appearance in a Red Sox uniform. Put Tavarez where is most appropriate for his development and figure out where those other guys go.
   3. villageidiom Posted: April 27, 2017 at 10:00 AM (#5443431)
Is Nick Longhi getting reps at 1B and not in the outfield because they've soured on him for the outfield? Or is there a logjam keeping him at 1B? If they let go of, say, Brentz, then Tavarez gets promoted and the domino effect opens up room for Longhi to play outfield again.
   4. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: April 27, 2017 at 01:13 PM (#5443619)
Minor league pitcher Kevin Steen critically injured in a car accident in Fort Myers.
   5. Norcan Posted: April 27, 2017 at 03:32 PM (#5443782)
That's awful for Steen. Good thing is apparently his injuries aren't considered life threatening.
   6. Norcan Posted: April 27, 2017 at 03:40 PM (#5443789)
I saw Groome's first start for Greenville on video and it went about as the ugly box score indicated. Aside from a couple of squib hits, the Lexington batters teed off his fastball with one hard drive after another. As promising as Groome is with his size and curveball, he definitely looked like he has a long way to go. The first thing I think he has to address is finishing his fastball and driving through to the completion of his delivery. More than any pitcher I can recall, he tries to throw faster by moving his arm faster. When pitchers try to throw harder, then tend to go all out, with their whole body. Groome just tries to punch his fastball and stops short. No wonder he strained his oblique.
   7. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: April 28, 2017 at 09:48 PM (#5444645)
After two disappointing professional seasons, Austin Rei has started the 2017 season by batting .354/.436/.625.
   8. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: May 01, 2017 at 12:10 AM (#5445453)
Someone suggested on the Twitterz that he needs to be referred to as Catcher in the Rei. I approve.
   9. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: May 03, 2017 at 11:47 AM (#5447571)
Rafael Devers was 5 for 5 with two homers last night and has 4 homers in his last 4 games. The 20 year old is hitting .324/.351/.606 thru 18 games. He is the second youngest player in the Eastern League (Gleyber Torres is younger) and according to Baseball Reference has not had an at bat against a pitcher younger than him since 2014.

He's not ready
He's not ready
He's not ready
He's not ready
He's not ready
He's not ready

I'm going to keep telling myself this because while I'm sure it is true he is likely already better than the Panda/BrockStar/Marco no Nickname triumvirate.
   10. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: May 05, 2017 at 05:18 PM (#5449559)
Jake Cosart has an 18:11 K:BB ratio in 8 innings so far this year. That stat line prompted me to take a look and see how Daniel Bard's comeback attempt is going. Not so great.

Does anyone have any idea what's going on with Cosart though?
   11. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: May 05, 2017 at 06:30 PM (#5449608)
Just looking at his numbers he's never been a pinpoint control type and that jump to AA can be tricky. The hitters read pitches better and don't Chase like they would at A ball. That's just my guess though., I haven't read anything about him.
   12. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: May 07, 2017 at 08:14 PM (#5450399)
2 more home runs for Chavis over the last two days. Now hitting .361/.459/.736 with 7 home runs, 11 walks and 16 strikeouts in 85 PA.

Of course, he had a great start last season before the finger injury.
   13. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: May 08, 2017 at 07:08 PM (#5451355)
Devers player of the week in the Eastern League, Brian Johnson pitcher of the week in the International League. I'm not in any rush to see Kendrick get a long leash. Johnson may not be great but I trust him to at least not get blown out more often than not.
   14. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: May 09, 2017 at 11:18 AM (#5451682)
Yeah, Kendrick just seems like a slightly better Sean O'Sullivan. Hard to have much optimism in a guy with a career K/9 of 4.9. Sadly, Owens is looking less and less like a viable rotation option with every start (18 walks in 26.2 innings, though he does have 32 strikeouts).
   15. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: May 17, 2017 at 10:02 AM (#5457304)
Someone suggested on the Twitterz that he needs to be referred to as Catcher in the Rei. I approve.


2/36 in his last 10 games and his slash line is down to .213/.321/.362. Somehow this is my fault.
   16. villageidiom Posted: May 18, 2017 at 02:07 PM (#5458626)
Comment withdrawn, as John DiFool2 posted the same link in another thread, and let's not overdo it.
   17. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: May 22, 2017 at 12:59 PM (#5460920)
Chavis now hitting .336/.420/.696 with 10 home runs in the Carolina League. He's hitting more line drives (30.5%) than ground balls (29.5%).
   18. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: May 23, 2017 at 03:30 PM (#5461758)
Sam Travis called up to the Majors to replace Velazquez on the roster. Mildly interesting because it means that at the very least it's not Velazquez making the start in that fifth starter spot. I wonder if with Price pitching tomorrow the hope is to maybe go with a bullpen game (maybe Kelly getting the start).
   19. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: May 23, 2017 at 09:57 PM (#5462029)
Sam Travis called up to the Majors to replace Velazquez on the roster. Mildly interesting because it means that at the very least it's not Velazquez making the start in that fifth starter spot. I wonder if with Price pitching tomorrow the hope is to maybe go with a bullpen game (maybe Kelly getting the start).


Brian Johnson? His last start was May 20th.
   20. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: May 23, 2017 at 10:15 PM (#5462035)
Ah, that would make sense.
   21. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: May 26, 2017 at 10:34 AM (#5463562)
Tzu-Wei Lin has a career minor league line of .241/.314/.317 and had never hit more than 2 home runs in a season. So far, he's batting .337/.424/.512 with 3 home runs in 100 PA in Portland. This is his third trial in Portland, but he's 23 years old, so it's not like he's old for AA. Not the largest sample size either but I think it merits some attention given how poorly he'd hit prior to this year, especially when he has some versatility (he's played SS and some CF).

Shawaryn has a 69:10 K:BB ratio in 47 innings in Greenville.
   22. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: May 26, 2017 at 10:45 AM (#5463573)
I've read lots of good things about Shawaryn. He's a bit old (22) for LoA but it seems like the Sox are hopeful he can move up sooner than later. His teammate Shuan Anderson is kind of in the same boat.
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: May 26, 2017 at 11:26 AM (#5463618)
Brian Johnson? His last start was May 20th.
Yes, he is getting the start tomorrow.
   24. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: May 27, 2017 at 09:57 PM (#5464205)
That went well.

In other news I got to Portland today. Only saw the first seven innings (had to get home to coach little league) and Devers looked a bit out of sorts. One of the Sox Prospects guys was there too apparently and he Tweeted that Devers looks like he was pressing a bit. He looked more like Moncada than Benintendi as he got carved up by a junk baller for Trenton. Still a bit worried about the defense too. Not writing him off, just an observation.

Don't really have much to offer on Lin. He doesn't look bigger or anything to me, made a couple of nice defensive plays.

It was the classic high sky today. Four balls that were easy plays were either dropped or just flat out lost (two by each team). Incidentally one was by new Seadog right fielder Jeremy Son of Jesse Barfield.
   25. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: May 30, 2017 at 11:27 AM (#5465211)
   26. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: June 06, 2017 at 10:45 PM (#5470405)
Bryan Mata's first three starts in Greenville have gone quite well (15 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 5 BB, 16 K). He just turned 18 a month ago.
   27. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 07, 2017 at 09:03 AM (#5470532)
There seems to be a lot of excitement about Mata. Hatfield noted that he's already pitched into the sixth inning twice in three starts something Espinoza did twice in 24 starts.
   28. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 12, 2017 at 04:39 PM (#5474380)
Start number four continued the trend; 6 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 0 BB, 4 K. In fact the 6-4-1 portion of that line has been the same across each of his last three starts. It's probably worth noting that he just turned 18 last month so he has exclusively faced hitters older than him. Just for fun, here is the Red Sox starting lineup the day he was born (a 12-11 walk-off loss in Oakland). This should make you feel old;

Jose Offerman - 2B
John Valentin - 3B
Brian Daubach - 1B
Nomar Garciaparra - SS
Troy O'Leary - LF
Reggie Jefferson - DH
1/2Creighton Gubanich - C
Trot Nixon - RF
Darren Lewis - CF
Mark Portugal - P

1 - Donnie Sadler PR
2 - Jason Varitek C
RP - Rheal Cormier, Derek Lowe, Mark Guthrie, Kip Gross, Tim Harikkala
   29. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: June 13, 2017 at 10:21 PM (#5475393)
Henry Owens' line tonight:

4.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 8 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 107 pitches, 52 strikes

I'd love for someone to find a worse K:BB ratio than that. He's now walked 48 batters in 58 innings this year. Maybe it's time for him to move to the bullpen.
   30. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 15, 2017 at 11:16 AM (#5476566)
Jay Groome has been assigned to Lowell.
   31. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 19, 2017 at 11:44 PM (#5478982)
Groome 2.1 innings, 1 hit, 1 walk,no runs three strikeouts before the game was suspended due to the rain.
   32. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: June 20, 2017 at 12:04 AM (#5478988)
Just promote Devers to AAA already. He's now at 14 home runs and slugging well over .700 this month.
   33. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: June 22, 2017 at 10:42 PM (#5481350)
Kyle Kendrick gave up 10 runs on 11 hits in 5 IP tonight. ERA now up to 6.94 in 59.2 innings, he's given up 18 home runs.
   34. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 22, 2017 at 10:45 PM (#5481356)
They moved Chavis to Portland today. EL all star game is July 9, wonder if they are waiting to move Devers up.
   35. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 22, 2017 at 10:45 PM (#5481358)
Kendrick got taken off he 40 man today.
   36. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: June 23, 2017 at 11:26 PM (#5482061)
Owens with his second 8 walk performance in his last three starts. That's now 60 walks in 69 innings.

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