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The Cap on Friday; scores, highlights

Posted by Craig Forde June 22, 2013 01:08 AM
Red Sox affiliates

Pawtucket – 5
Toledo – 8
WP: Hankins (3-3)
LP: Wright (3-5)
HR: PAW-Bogaerts (2), Butler (5)
HIGHLIGHTS: Toledo caught up to PawSox starter Steven Wright in the fourth and fifth innings, striking for five runs. The Mud Hens scored three more in the eighth for insurance and the PawSox (44-29) ninth inning rally fell short, snapping their four-game winning streak … Reliever Ryan Rowland-Smith allowed three runs in 1 1/3 innings, but only one was earned. On the season he has allowed just seven total runs of which only four were earned, in 41 2/3 innings. … Xander Bogaerts (1-for-4) hit a solo home run in the sixth inning, his second since joining Pawtucket. The home run snapped and 0-for-11 slump.

Portland – 2
Trenton – 9
WP: Allen (1-0)
LP: Britton (6-6)
S: Arrebato (1)
HR: TRN-Pirela (6)
HIGHLIGHTS: In the blink of an eye a Drake Britton gem turned into utter disaster. After taking a no-hitter and a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning, Britton got blasted for seven hits and eight runs in the frame, getting only one more out before being removed. … Just up from Salem Garin Cecchini doubled in the eighth inning for his first Double-A hit. It was also the only extra-base hit for the Sea Dogs who only had five total hits in the game.

Salem – 9
Wilmington – 2
WP: Pena (2-2)
LP: Moen (1-1)
HR: SAL-Natoli (1), Jacobs 2 (9); WIL-Raben (2)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Salem Sox returned to action following a four-day All-Star break, but showed little rust in jumping out to a 7-0 lead after two innings, allowing them to cruise to victory … Brandon Jacobs led the offense with two home runs, three RBIs and two runs scored. He has four home runs and 12 RBIs in June and is batting .280. … Nick Natoli hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot in the second inning.

Hagerstown – 13
Greenville – 9
WP: Henke (3-1)
LP: Montas (1-6)
HR: HAG-Renda (2)
HIGHLIGHTS: For the second straight night Drive pitching got tuned up, but despite some big offense of their own, they suffered their eighth straight defeat. During the current losing streak they have been outscored 71-26. ... David Chester went 2-for-5 with two doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored. Three other Greenville players had two-hit nights.

Tri-City – 0
Lowell – 4
WP: Callahan (1-0)
LP: Fant (0-1)
HIGHLIGHTS: 2012 second-rounder Jamie Callahan was sensational in his Spinners debut, twirling five innings of one-hit ball. The 18-year-old righty walked two and struck out three. ... Tzu-Wei Lin went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run from the leadoff spot. He also stole second base in the fifth inning, his first swipe of the season.

New England teams

New Britain – 4
Akron – 13
WP: Roberts (5-4)
LP: Stuifenbergen (1-1)
HR: NB-Rodriguez (10), Sano (2); AKR- Ramirez (3), Lowery (3)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Aeros piled up 12 runs by the fifth inning and the Rock Cats could not counter with enough of a comeback. It is the most runs allowed by New Britain this season. ... Reynaldo Rodriguez (2-for-4, RBI, 2 runs) continues to rake, hitting his fifth home run over his last ten games. In that span he is batting .361 with nine RBIs and eight runs. ... Miguel Sano hit his second home run since joining New Britain. He has one hit in each of his last three games.

New Hampshire – 6
Harrisburg – 7
WP: Grace (1-0)
LP: Spoone (3-3)
S: Barrett (14)
HR: HAR-Van Ostrand (4), Goodwin (5)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Fisher Cats had a solid 4-1 lead after five innings, but the Senators struck for six in the 6th-7th-8th innings to allow them to pull out the win. The Fisher Cats have lost four in a row and are 5-12 in June. ... In his first Double-A game after being called up from Class-A Dunedin, Andy Burns led the New Hampshire offense with a 3-for-5 night that included a double, triple, RBI and two runs.

Connecticut – 1
Vermont – 4
WP: Hansen (1-0)
LP: Bailey (0-1)
S: Duran (1)
HR: VER-Brugman (1)
HIGHLIGHTS: A four-spot in the sixth was plenty offense for the Lake Monsters who kept the Tigers (0-4) winless to start the season. ... Tigers second-rounder Jamie Callahan threw two scoreless innings, striking out three while not allowing a hit. ... Lake Monsters starter Brent Powers struck out six in four innings of work. Vermont pitching allowed just four hits on the day and struck out 13. ... Jaycob Brugman's grand slam provided all of the runs for Vermont. It was the first professional hit from the 2013 17th round selection.

Friday's pitching probables

Posted by Craig Forde June 21, 2013 01:13 AM

Red Sox affiliates

12:00 p.m.
Gulf Coast Red Sox – N/A
at Gulf Coast Twins – N/A

7:00 p.m.
Pawtucket Red Sox – Steven Wright (3-4, 4.60 ERA)
at Columbus Clippers – Derek Hankins (2-3, 3.13 ERA)

7:05 p.m.
Portland Sea Dogs – Drake Britton (6-5, 3.08 ERA)
at Reading Fightin’ Phils – Scottie Allen (5-3, 4.34 ERA)

Salem Red Sox – Henry Owens (5-2, 3.03 ERA)
at Wilmington Blue Rocks – N/A

Hagerstown Suns – Nick Lee (1-2, 5.32 ERA)
at Greenville Drive – Frank Montas (1-5, 5.82 ERA)

Tri-City ValleyCats – Randall Fant (NR)
at Lowell Spinners – Jamie Callahan (NR)

New England teams

7:00 p.m.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats – Marcus Stroman (3-1, 4.15 ERA)
at Harrisburg Senators – Rob Gilliam (2-2, 4.94 ERA)

7:05 p.m.
New Britain Rock Cats – Tom Stuifbergen (1-0, 8.00 ERA)
at Akron Aeros - Will Roberts (4-4, 4.33 ERA)

Connecticut Tigers – Jonathan Crawford (NR)
at Vermont Lake Monsters - Brent Powers (NR)

The Cap on Thursday; scores, highlights

Posted by Craig Forde June 21, 2013 12:34 AM

Red Sox affiliates

Pawtucket – 3
Columbus – 0
WP: Workman (2-1)
LP: House (1-7)
S: Kehrt (1)
HIGHLIGHTS: The PawSox (44-28) staked Brandon Workman a two-run lead before he ever hit the hill and he took care of the next seven innings, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out five. In his three starts since being promoted to Pawtucket he is 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA and has struck out 18 in 19 innings. … Mitch Maier went 1-for-4 and drove in two. He has hit safely in five straight games. … Alex Hassan’s first inning double drove in a run to help the cause. He has seven hits in the five games since returning to Pawtucket, five of them have been doubles, one a home run. … The PawSox have won four straight, their longest win streak since they won six-in-a-row May 6-11.

Portland – 5
Reading – 2
WP: Couch (5-2)
LP: Biddle (3-7)
S: McCarthy (7)
HR: POR-Thomas (7), Vazquez (4)
HIGHLIGHTS: In just his third start of the season Keith Couch shows up Phillies top prospect Jesse Biddle, to win his fifth game of the season for Portland. Both starters lasted six innings, but Couch allowed just two earned runs while Biddle gave up five on six hits and six walks. As a starter Couch is 2-0 with a 2.76 ERA. … Christian Vazquez went 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs, hitting his first home run since May 22nd. Although he is hitting just .175 in June, he has five hits and six RBIs in his last four games. … Heiker Meneses and Matty Johnson each had two hits apiece for the Sea Dogs.

Hagerstown – 14
Greenville – 1
WP: Mooneyham (3-1)
LP: Diaz (1-4)
HR: HAG-Martinez (1); GRE-Chester (11)
HIGHLIGHTS: David Chester got the Drive off on the right foot, launching his 11th home run in the bottom of the first inning. Then Hagerstown rained down seven runs in the fourth and followed it up with four more in the fifth to bury Greenville where they stood. It was the most runs that the Drive (22-48) have allowed all season. … Chester (2-for-3, RBI, run) was the only Greenville batter with a multi-hit game. It was his 13th multi-hit game of the season. …Drive batters struck out 11 times on the night.

Tri-City – 8
Lowell – 5 (11 innings)
WP: Minnis (2-0)
LP: Spalding (0-1)
S: Lo (2)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Spinners (2-1) were smooth sailing their way into sole possession of first place in the Stedler Division, up 5-0 after seven innings with barely a care in the world. Then the ValleyCats struck for three in the eighth, two in the ninth to force extras and three again in the 11th to pull off an improbable win. … Starter Simon Mercedes was sharp in his first outing of the season, allowing three hits and two walks over five innings. … DH Kevin Mager led the Spinners offense with a 4-for-5 effort, driving in two and scoring one. … Chris Carpenter pitched two scoreless innings of relief in his second rehab appearance with Lowell. The three relievers who followed – Jack McGeary, Dylan Chavez and Matt Spalding – allowed a combined six earned runs, six hits and five walks over four innings.

New England teams

New Britain – 2
Erie – 0
WP: Darnell (6-6)
LP: VerHagen (0-1)
HR: NB-Rodriguez (9)
HIGHLIGHTS: Both teams had only four hits apiece on the day as the pitchers ruled the roost. Both staffs had nine strikeouts each and there were only four total free passes handed out on the day between the teams. … Starter Logan Darnell became the first Rock Cats pitcher to notch a complete game shutout since Brett Jacobson did it back in June of 2011. He struck out a season-high nine batters for the second time in six starts. Darnell’s 96 2/3 innings are most in the Eastern League and his 2.61 ERA fourth best. … Kyle Knudson (2-for-3) was the only New Britain player with a multi-hit day. He has collected seven hits over his last four games, but has yet to get an extra-base hit since being called up from Fort Myers at the end of May. … Reynaldo Rodriguez’s ninth home run of the season was a solo shot in the second inning and turned out to be the game winner. He has hit three long balls in his last five games and is batting .362 in June.

New Hampshire – 4
Altoona – 7
WP: Ramos (1-0)
LP: Wright (1-3)
S: Sanz (6)
HR: ALT-Cunningham (14)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Fisher Cats (33-39) had just tied the game with a three-run seventh before Jarek Cunningham answered with a solo shot in the bottom half of the inning to snatch the lead right back for the Curve, who would not relent the rest of the way. … A.J. Jimenez went 4-for-5 with two doubles, two RBIs and a run. He has hit safely in all eight games he has played for New Hampshire and is batting .500. … Adam Loewen and Kevin Nolan each had two hits for the Fisher Cats. Loewen has hit safely in seven straight games and Nolan in five straight.

Connecticut – 1
Vermont – 5
WP: Torres (1-0)
LP: Mantiply (0-1)
S: Johnson (1)
HR: VER-Pinder (1)
HIGHLIGHTS: Chad Pinder’s first inning solo home run set the Lake Monsters (1-3) off on the right foot and with three more runs in the third they were able to cruise to victory over the winless Tigers (0-3). The home run was the first of Pinder’s pro career having just been selected in June’s draft, a second round pick of the A’s out of Virginia Tech. … Vermont’s Michael Soto went 2-for-3 with two doubles an RBI and a run. Soto now has two two-hit games in four played. … Connecticut’s Pat Leyland singled in the sixth inning to snap an 0-for-9 start to his season.

Thursday's pitching matchups

Posted by Craig Forde June 20, 2013 10:47 AM

Red Sox affiliates

7:05 p.m.
Pawtucket Red Sox – Brandon Workman (1-1, 3.00 ERA)
at Columbus Clippers – T.J. House (1-6, 5.46 ERA)

Portland Sea Dogs – Keith Couch (4-2, 4.31 ERA)
at Reading Fightin’ Phils – Jesse Biddle (3-6, 2.95 ERA)

Hagerstown Suns – N/A
at Greenville Drive – N/A

Tri-City ValleyCats - N/A
at Lowell Spinners - Simon Mercedes (NR)

New England teams

12:05 p.m.
New Britain Rock Cats – Logan Darnell (5-6, 2.87 ERA)
at Erie SeaWolves – Drew VerHagen (5-3, 2.81 ERA)

7:00 p.m.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats – Ryan Tepera (6-5, 4.22 ERA)
at Altoona Curve – Casey Sadler (7-4, 2.98 ERA)

7:05 p.m.
Connecticut Tigers – Joe Mantiply (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
At Vermont Lake Monsters – Jose Torres (NR)

The Cap on Tuesday; scores and highlights

Posted by Craig Forde June 19, 2013 11:24 AM

Red Sox affiliates

Pawtucket – 3
Columbus – 2
WP: De La Torre (3-1)
LP: Guilmet (2-4)
S: Carter (10)
HR: PAW-Bradley Jr. (3)
HIGHLIGHTS: The PawSox (42-28) made it three straight wins behind some more solid pitching and some very timely miscues by the opposition. With the game tied at two in the top of the ninth inning, Pawtucket managed to plate the go-ahead run without getting a hit as the Clippers committed three errors. … Jose De La Torre struck out four in 2 1/3 scoreless inning of relief to pick up the win. He has K’d nine batters over his last five innings of work. … Jackie Bradley Jr. hit his third home run of the season and first for the PawSox since May 27th. His last home run came on June 4th when he was up with Boston. … After stealing 12 bases in May, it took Jeremy Hazelbaker 13 games to log his first of June. He stole two bases on the night, giving him 18 on the season, sixth most in the International League. … Xander Bogaerts went 2-for-5 with two singles. It was his second multi-hit game in five appearances since being promoted to Pawtucket.

Portland – 1
Reading – 4
WP: Rosin (4-4)
LP: Barnes (3-4)
HIGHLIGHTS: Despite not allowing an earned run Matt Barnes only made it through four innings, needing 89 pitches to get to that point. He struck out six, walked two and allowed three hits. For the third straight game Barnes did not last more than four innings and picked up a loss. … Michael Almanzar, Travis Shaw and Derrik Gibson each had a single in the game, the only three hits the Sea Dogs could muster. … Peter Hissey stole his tenth base of the season.

Portland – 3
Reading – 0
WP: Haeger (3-3)
LP: Bramhall (0-1)
S: Perez (1)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Sea Dogs (36-33) bats were near lifeless again in game two, notching only four hits, but it took but just one whack from Travis Shaw in the third inning to do all the damage needed. Shaw, 2-for-4 in the game, cleared the bases with a double that provided the games only runs and the Sea Dogs only extra-base hit of the day. … Charlie Haeger worked 5 2/3 scoreless innings for the win, walking and striking out five while allowing four hits.

Lowell –
Connecticut – POSTPONED

New England teams

New Hampshire – 4
Altoona – 5 (10 innings)
WP: Kasparek (3-1)
LP: Brummett (0-4)
HR: NH-Van Kirk (1); ALT-Santos (3)
HIGHLIGHTS: A tug-of-war ensued over the eighth and ninth innings as the teams wrestled back and forth for this one, but the Curve got the upper hand in the extra frame when Adalberto Santos, who broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth, singled home Drew Maggi. … Brian Van Kirk, who has hit 49 home runs over the last four seasons, connected for his first of 2013. The three run bomb in the top of the ninth put New Hampshire on top before the Curve pushed the game to extras in the bottom half of the inning. … Kevin Pillar went 3-for-5 with a run. It was his second straight three-hit game and his seventh straight game with a hit.

New Britain – 8
Erie – 0
WP: May (6-3)
LP: Crouse (4-5)
HR: NB-Rodriguez (8)
HIGHLIGHTS: Trevor May was once again on for the Rock Cats (33-36), striking out nine and allowing only four hits and a walk in 7 2/3 scoreless innings. In three June starts he is 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA and 23 strikeouts. … The 1-2-3 hitters in New Britain’s lineup combined to go 9-for-13 with three RBIs and five runs. Danny Santana had four hits in the leadoff spot and Nate Hanson had three hits and three RBIs. … Miguel Sano went 0-for-4 and is now 1-for-15 in five games since being promoted from Fort Myers.

Vermont – 6
Tri-City – 9
WP: Minnis (1-0)
LP: Jimenez (0-1)
S: Lo (1)
HR: TRI-Kemp (1), Gulbransen (1)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Lake Monsters pounded out 12 hits on the night but were unable to keep the ValleyCats from racking up the runs as they put up seven over three innings to set up a possible sweep on Wednesday. Three Vermont errors led to five unearned runs. … Melvin Mercedes went 3-for-4 in the leadoff spot, driving in a run and scoring one. He was caught stealing second base in the fifth inning on his first attempt of the season. … B.J. Boyd also had a three hit game with an RBI and two runs scored.

Tuesday's pitching matchups

Posted by Craig Forde June 18, 2013 12:17 AM

Red Sox affiliates

6:05 p.m.
Portland Sea Dogs – Matt Barnes (3-3, 5.87 ERA)
at Reading Fightin’ Phils – Seth Rosin (3-4, 4.25 ERA)

Portland Sea Dogs – Charlie Haeger (2-3, 4.44 ERA)
at Reading Fightin’ Phils – Bobby Bramhall (0-0, 5.40 ERA)

7:05 p.m.
Pawtucket Red Sox – Chris Hernandez (3-2, 4.38 ERA)
at Columbus Clippers – Joe Martinez (2-5, 6.48 ERA)

Lowell Spinners – Mario Alcantara (NR)
at Connecticut Tigers – Jonathan Maciel (NR)

New England teams

7:00 p.m.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats – Marcus Walden (4-7, 3.58 ERA)
at Altoona Curve – David Bromberg (3-6, 3.66 ERA)

Vermont Lake Monsters – Deyvi Jimenez (NR)
at Tri-City Lake Monsters - Tanner Bushue (NR)

7:05 p.m.
New Britain Rock Cats - Trevor May (5-3, 3.95 ERA)
at Erie SeaWolves - Matt Crouse (4-4, 3.67 ERA)

The Cap on Monday; scores highlights

Posted by Craig Forde June 17, 2013 11:44 PM

Red Sox affiliates

Pawtucket – 4
Columbus – 0
WP: De La Rosa (1-1)
LP: Murata (0-3)
HR: PAW-Brentz (14)
HIGHLIGHTS: It was a mixed bag, but mostly filled with goodies for Rubby De La Rosa in his return to the PawSox rotation. He walked a season-high five batters, but only gave up two hits and struck out five over 5 1/3 innings to pick up his first win at the Triple-A level. …Alex Wilson (1 2/3 innings) and Brock Huntzinger (2 innings) helped the PawSox nail down their third shutout of the season. … Bryce Brentz hit a second inning solo home run, giving him 14 on the year, tied for fourth most in the Eastern League. It is his fourth home run in his last six games and he has nine RBIs in that span. … Jackie Bradley Jr. went 0-for-4 and is now hitless in his last 17 at-bats. He is batting .143 in seven June games.

Lowell – 1
Connecticut – 0
WP: Aro (1-0)
LP: Huber (0-1)
HIGHLIGHTS: For the second straight season the Spinners inch out a one-run victory over the Tigers on opening day, in the process earning manager Bruce Crabbe his 100th victory as Lowell’s bench boss. … It was all about the pitching in this one as Lowell starter Sergio Gomez (5 innings) and relievers Chris Carpenter (1 inning) and Jonathan Aro (3 innings) combined for 15 strikeouts, allowing only one walk and four hits. … Five Connecticut pitchers combined on a four-hit effort, striking out a combined nine Spinners on the night. Alex Phillips was solid in the starting role, lasting 4 2/3 innings while not allowing a walk. … Lowell’s Cleuluis Rondon and David Sopilka were both 2-for-3, accounting for all Spinners hits on the night.

New England teams

Vermont – 3
Tri-City – 9
WP: Comer (1-0)
LP: Paulino (0-1)
HR: VER-Rojas (1); TC-Kemmer (1)
HIGHLIGHTS: The ValleyCats jumped on Vermont early, scoring four runs in the first three innings while slugging out 15 hits as a whole on the night. It’s the second straight season opening loss versus Tri-City for the Lake Monsters. … Kelvin Rojas (2-for-3, HR, walk, RBI, run) hit a third inning solo home run to get the Lake Monsters on the board. In 35 games with Vermont last season Rojas did not hit any long balls. … B.J. Boyd, Oakland’s 13th best prospect per MLB.com, went 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored in his Lake Monsters debut.

Monday's pitching matchups, notes

Posted by Craig Forde June 17, 2013 03:23 PM

Red Sox affiliates
7:05 p.m.
Pawtucket Red Sox – Rubby De La Rosa (0-1, 3.29 ERA)
at Columbus Clippers – N/A
NOTE: After wearing a ‘B’ instead of a ‘P’ on his hat, Rubby De La Rosa returns to the PawSox after not being needed quite yet by the big club. His quick callup to Boston looks like an ‘in case of emergency’ situation, but now he can get back to his normal routine. De La Rosa was finally stretched out to five innings in his last start versus Syracuse back on the 8th, so now it’s just a matter of how much further the organization will let up on the leash. Considering he’s give up just four runs over his last eight starts, a little more slack wouldn't hurt.

Lowell Spinners – Sergio Gomez (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
at Connecticut Tigers – Alex Phillips (0-0, 18.00 ERA)
NOTE: Sergio Gomez has the honors of opening the season on the hill for Lowell. He did get a bit of a jump on his year last Tuesday when he pitched four innings in a start for the Greenville Drive. Gomez did make a start for the Spinners last season, striking out four in five innings. Much like Gomez, Connecticut starter Alex Phillips also got some work in last Tuesday, throwing two relief innings for West Michigan. Phillips made 18 relief appearances for Connecticut last year, going 1-0 with a save and a 2.51 ERA. He only walked six over 32 1/3 innings.

New England teams
7:00 p.m.
Vermont Lake Monsters – Gregory Paulino (NR)
at Tri-City ValleyCats – N/A
NOTE: Gregory Paulino makes his season debut tonight in Troy, however he does come in with plenty of pro experience. The 20-year-old Dominican right-hander has pitched in 33 games between the Dominican Summer League and the Arizona League A’s over the past two seasons. Paulino has solid command having only walked 35 batters in 130 1/3 innings.

New York-Penn League opens season tonight

Posted by Craig Forde June 17, 2013 01:43 PM

NYPL logo.gifMonday night will kick off the 74th season of New York-Penn League Baseball.

The 18-team, Short Season Single-A league features three teams from New England and we have a break down of what's in store for some of the youngest prospects in the region.

Here are the 2013 season previews for our New England based NYPL teams:

Connecticut Tigers

Lowell Spinners

Vermont Lake Monsters

When you are finished reading up on our local squads, you can check out my NYPL season preview at MiLB.com here.

Craig Forde can be reached by email at cforde@globe.com and you can follow him on Twitter @OnDeckBDC.

Lowell Spinners preview

Posted by Craig Forde June 17, 2013 01:23 PM

SpinnersCapLogo.jpgLowell Spinners (2012: 36-40, 2nd in NYPL Stedler Division)

Outlook: One of the top two professional baseball teams in Massachusetts return for their 18th season in Lowell.

The Red Sox have been dropping top-notch prospects in the Spinners laps for quite some time and this year is no different as they have a solid core of players from this year's draft to go along with players who have already dipped their toes in the pro waters.

Shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin, center fielder Manuel Margot and pitcher Ty Buttery are all top 30 prospects in the Boston system per Baseball America and there aren't many teams in the league who can boast that type of potential on their rosters.

The 18-year-old Lin, who signed for $2.05 million last June, joins a long line of stud Boston shortstop prospects and brings with him a few additional Taiwanese media members.

Buttery is a 20-year-old is hard-throwing righty who was selected in the fourth round out of high school a year ago.

Margot, also 18, brings blazing speed to the table, having stolen 33 bases over 68 games in the DSL last year.

Teddy Stankiewicz, a 19-year-old pitcher out of Seminole State College, was Boston's second round selection (45th overall) a year after being selected in the second round by the New York Mets out of high school.

The 6-foot-4 righty can get his fastball up to 96-miles-per-hour and is very confident in his four offerings.

Other 2013 draftees include LHP Corey Littrell (5th round), OF Forrestt Allday (8th), RHP Taylor Grover (10th) and INF Carlos Asuaje (11th).

Manager Bruce Crabbe returns for his fourth season with the Spinners, making him the longest tenured bench boss in team history.

Thoughts: We've seen lots of talent come through Lowell over the years, but as a whole this team...on paper...seems to be one of the strongest in recent memory at the start of a season.

The whole Lin, Margot, Buttery combo is a sensational showcase for the fans who have already heard much about these three.

I?ll be interested to see how returning guys like LHP Dylan Chavez and OF Kendrick Perkins respond after both have already seemingly worked their way up a level. Injuries and struggles see them both back in Lowell, but they each have tons of potential that could make this a brief stop.

I talked with Stankiewicz on Media Day (I'll have more from that in the next day or so) and the youngster seems very poised, full of energy and ready to start his career. He should be fun to watch.

Player to Watch: Margot - There is a reason I only mentioned him briefly above and that was because I was saving it for down here.

As it stands right now Margot is one of the top three or four outfield prospects for the Red Sox and he is only 18-years-old.

Baseball America has him at number 20 overall in the Sox system, as does MLB.com.

Signed as a free agent for $800,000 in 2011, he instantly created Margot-mania when he drove in six runs in his very first game as a pro.

He has five-tool potential carried by plus speed that is evident on the base paths and in the field where he is also capable of mowing down advancing runners with a great arm.

His power is continuing to blossom and his four home runs in the Dominican Summer League last year proved that he can provide the pop.

Margot will be an instant hit at LeLacheur Park this season.

Vermont Lake Monsters preview

Posted by Craig Forde June 17, 2013 12:52 PM

lake_monsters_logo.gifVermont Lake Monsters (2012: 33-43, last place in NYPL Stedler Division)

Outlook: Vermont celebrates 20 straight years of affiliated baseball at Centennial Field this season, giving the Burlington region much to celebrate this summer.

It was in 1994 when the Montreal Expos moved one of their minor league teams into town and through a name change and a few affiliate updates (Expos became the Nationals, A’s took over in 2011), the affection has never waned.

Now the likes of B.J. Boyd, Lou Trivino, Chad Pinder and Matt Stalcup will look to add to the history and lore of Vermont baseball.

Pinder enters the season as the highest drafted player out of this June’s first-year player draft.

The Virginia Tech product was taken in the third round, 71st overall, after entering the draft as the 22nd best positional player available per Baseball America.

A third baseman, Pinder is lauded for having an excellent approach at the plate, hitting .321 with eight home runs and 50 RBIs in his junior season with the Hokies.

Pinder is also a solid defender, having posted a .958 fielding percentage on 236 chances at the hot corner.

Boyd is the top ranked prospect on this year’s Lake Monsters squad, coming into the 2013 season ranked as Oakland’s 12th best prospect by MLB.com and 22nd by Baseball America.

A fourth-rounder out of the 2012 draft, Boyd chose baseball over football despite being heavily recruited as a running back and wide receiver.

There will also be some familiar faces returning to Burlington including Shane Boras, Austin Booker and Kelvin Rojas.

Thoughts: There are no names that jump off the page on the pitching staff, but Trivino is a notable option worth watching.

Trivino, an 11th round selection this year and tallest player on the team at 6-foot-5, had eight complete games (one no-hitter, five shutouts) in 12 starts for Slippery Rock as a junior, posting a 1.83 ERA and striking out a school record 92 batters.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Division 2 standout can carry this over, but this is the perfect level to provide a bit of stability and confidence to a player like Trivino.

Another point of note on the roster is the outfield, which is packed with eight players currently.

Expect Boyd to get plenty of playing time, so seven others will jostle for the other two open positions, which should provide some good competition in house.

Player to Watch: Boyd – Was drafted out of Palo Alto High School in California and Oakland was able to keep the highly touted football prospect close to home when they signed him for $300,000.

Baseball America says that he “has the components to be a future leadoff hitter” and that is backed by some blazing speed and an increased patience at the plate.

He is only 19-years-old, so he is still learning to work his 5-foot-10, 190-pound frame out of football mode and into 100% baseball mode.

He hit .301 and scored 37 runs in 39 games with the Arizona League A’s last year and stole 16 bases on 20 attempts.

He is far from a power hitter, but could be capable of providing some pop if he is works more at adjusting his swing, something that Oakland was tweaking in Arizona last season.

Boyd may not get the best breaks on balls in the outfield either, but with his speed he can correct mistakes in an instant and provide some flash.

Connecticut Tigers preview

Posted by Craig Forde June 17, 2013 10:51 AM

Conn Tigers.gifConnecticut Tigers (2012: 35-40, 3rd place NYPL Stedler Division)

Outlook: It should be a great summer of baseball in Norwich as Dodd Stadium welcomes back the Tigers for their fourth season. They will also play host to the New York-Penn League All Star Game on August 13th.

That’s enough cause for excitement right there, but look at the roster and there is plenty more to get the baseball juices flowing.

Starting with top-five Tigers prospect Austin Schotts who, at 19-years-old, comes in as a bit of a seasoned vet at this point, despite only being drafted a year ago.

The outfielder was a former safety in high school and is a burner on the base paths having already stolen 24 bases in his young career.

The recent draft provided the Tigers with a solid portion of their roster, with first rounder Jonathon Crawford the top name on that list.

The righty out of Florida was ranked as the ninth best pitcher by Baseball America prior to the draft and Detroit was happy to snag him with the 20th overall pick.

Detroit drafted six consecutive college pitchers to start their 2013 draft, so there may be others to follow, but the next one in-house after Crawford is 5th rounder Buck Farmer, a right-hander out of Georgia Tech who MLB.com says is “a strong, durable workhorse type…will mix four Major League average or better pitches.”

Other draft names of note with Connecticut include outfielder Ben Verlander, Jason’s younger brother, and third baseman Dominic Ficociello, a switch hitter taken in the 12th round.

Thoughts: The ballpark has been upgraded with two new bars, a Philly’s Cheesesteak stand and a couple of huge Adirondack chairs.

Tie in the extravaganza that will surround the All Star Game, showcasing the region, the team and the stadium, and Norwich, Connecticut may be the most exciting place to be in the New England, on a baseball level, over the next couple of months.

Keeping in mind that the pitchers who have just been drafted will only throw limited innings, guys like Crawford will be worth checking out whenever they get out there and Schotts provides the Tigers with a top-level prospect to spotlight.

Player to watch: Schotts – Coming into the season the 19-year-old outfielder was ranked as the fifth best Tigers prospect by Baseball America and tenth by MLB.com.

Drafted in the 3rd round (No. 121 overall) in 2012 out of Centennial High School in Frisco, Texas, Schotts already has 101 games as a pro under his belt.

Fast and athletic, he has a smooth stroke at the plate that generates some solid power for someone his size (5-foot-10, 164-pounds).

But it is his speed both on the base paths and in the field that will get him moving up the charts.

As it stands now, he’s coming down a bit after playing 59 games with Low Class-A Western Michigan this season where he batted .192 with one home run, 17 RBIs.

He did steal nine bases with the Whitecaps, but was thrown out five times. In 42 games between the Gulf Coast and Lakeland last season he had 16 steals and was only caught twice.

He will look to regain his form at the plate while with the Connecticut Tigers while boosting his success rate on the paths, and I would expect him to do just that, making him a must-see player this summer.

Worcester's Andreoli set for first pro All-Star Game

Posted by Craig Forde June 15, 2013 11:37 AM

Andreoli.jpgHe’s been named to All-State teams and was a second team All-Big East selection as a junior at UConn, but now former St. John’s Shrewsbury star John Andreoli is gearing up for his first All Star appearance as a professional.

In just his second full season of pro ball, the Daytona Cubs outfielder was selected to the Florida State League All-Star game, being held tonight in Dunedin, Florida.

A smooth hitting speedster, Andreoli has been peppering the opposition all season long to the tune of 70 hits and a .318 batting average in 57 games.

He played the entire 2012 season with Daytona and impressed with a .289 average and 55 stolen bases, earning post season All-Star honors in the Florida State League.

Now Andreoli will actually get to partake in the mid-summer festivities as he has shown no let down between season, raising his game with each step he has taken in his career.

“It’s a tremendous honor anytime you get an accolade like this,” said a humble Andreoli. “It just shows that all the offseason prep and in-season work was worth everything put into it. It’s a great honor.”

Coming into this season the Cubs had changed hitting coaches, bringing in two-time World Series champion Mariano Duncan.

Andreoli credits Duncan’s experience as something that has helped him gain an even greater appreciation for what he needs to do to get better at the plate.

“He has taught me how to attack each at bat,” Andreoli explained. “How to work deeper into counts and make pitchers make mistakes. He’s a guy with over 1000 big league at bats, so he knows what he is talking about.”

These lessons have helped Andreoli stay consistent at the plate throughout this year, hitting .319 in April, .316 in May and now .323 in nine June games.

The stolen base is another aspect of his game that makes him a stand out, having already swiped 78 bases in his young career.

Despite his 55 steals a year ago, he got caught 20 times and that is something he is also improving on, having already stolen 20 this season while only getting caught three times.

“Success rate means a lot,” said Andreoli who has been successful in his last 14 attempts, having not been thrown out since April 27th. “You don’t want to give the other team free outs. Baseball as a whole is about shifting up and getting free bases. It’s a huge part of the game.”

Another huge part of Andreoli’s game is on the defensive side where he is capable of handling any outfield position thanks to that speed that provides great range.

In 182 games he has made just nine errors on 351 chances and he has even gunned down 17 players that dared to advance a base on him.

Now, as he continues to improve at the Advanced Class-A level, Andreoli should have every opportunity to show off his tools and get a bump up to the next level, but it is not something that occupies too much of his time.

“I show up every day and play each game as if it’s going to be my last,” said Andreoli. “Just having the ability to play every day at this level is better than pushing to get time elsewhere. I’m just to continue to get positive at bats and continue to grow as a player every day.”

And as Andreoli continues to grow, so too should the experiences like he will bask in tonight.

The Cap on Tuesday; scores, highlights

Posted by Craig Forde June 12, 2013 01:01 AM

Red Sox affiliates

Pawtucket – 3
Syracuse – 4
WP: Maya (2-4)
LP: Wright (2-4)
S: Broadway (2)
HR: PAW-Henry (2), Brentz (12); SYR-Walters (12), Costanzo (9)
HIGHLIGHTS: A 2-hour and 22-minute rain delay forced the teams to concede their doubleheader and try to get in one nine inning bout. The PawSox (37-27) scored a run in each of the eighth and ninth innings, but fell just short. … Steven Wright went seven innings giving up four runs and seven hits for his fourth loss. He is 0-3 over his last six starts of which he has allowed eight home runs and 42 runs. … Justin Henry (1-for-4, HR, RBI, run) connected on his second home run of the season, besting the total number he hit over the last two seasons combined. … Jackie Bradley Jr. and Bryce Brentz both went 2-for-4 with Bradley picking up his ninth double of the season and Brentz going yard for the second time in as many games.

Pawtucket –
Syracuse – POSTPONED
HIGHLIGHTS: There has been no makeup date set as of yet for this wash out, but the PawSox do return to Syracuse in early August.

Erie – 0
Portland – 2
WP: Britton (5-5)
LP: Saupold (4-3)
HR: POR-Thomas (6)
HIGHLIGHTS: For the second straight start Drake Britton cruised, needing only one hour and 44 minutes to close out this game. Britton went the distance (seven innings), striking out three and allowing six hits and a walk. In his last four outings he has allowed just one earned run over 25 innings. … Tony Thomas went 2-for-3 with a home run, RBI and run scored to lead the Portland offense. … Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-2 with a walk. He has 24 walks and 25 strike outs since April when he had only 10 walks to 24 Ks.

Erie –
Portland – POSTPONED
HIGHLIGHTS: They will try again for a doubleheader on Wednesday night in an attempt to make up the one game lost on Tuesday. Twin bill set to begin at 6:00 p.m.

Wilmington – 1
Salem -3
WP: Cuevas (2-6)
LP: Sample (0-2)
S: Striz (4)
HIGHLIGHTS: William Cuevas was strong through six innings in earning his second win and first since April 21st. He allowed one earned run, five hits and two walks while striking out two. … The offense, which had ten hits on the night, was led by Keury De La Cruz who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. He has hit safely in 11 straight games, collecting 18 hits in that span. …Garin Cecchini went 2-for-4 with a walk, run and stolen base. He was also caught stealing and is 15 for 21 on attempts this season.

Charleston – 3
Greenville – 6
WP: Taveras (1-3)
LP: Vargas (2-3)
S: Rivera (1)
HR: CHA-Bird (5), Culver (4); GRE-Moanaroa (1)
HIGHLIGHTS: After 13 appearances out of the pen Francisco Taveras picks up his first win of the season in his first start. He went six innings, allowing three runs, four hits and a walk while striking out three. … Boss Moanaroa’s first hit of June turned out to be his first home run of the season. … Mario Martinez paced the offense with a 3-for-3 effort and two runs scored.

Charleston – 8
Greenville – 4
WP: Smith (3-3)
LP: Gomez (0-1)
HR: CHA-Cave (1), De Leon (4)
HIGHLIGHTS: The RiverDogs split the doubleheader by jumping on Greenville with an early three runs that they added to down the stretch. … In his first appearance of the season Sergio Gomez went four innings for Greenville in the starter’s role. He allowed three runs, five hits and two walks, and struck out five. Last season between Gulf Coast and Lowell Gomez made nine starts and had a 5-4 record and 2.89 ERA overall. … Cody Koback and Keaton Briscoe had two hits apiece for the Drive. Koback is hitting .393 in nine June games.

New England affiliates

Akron – 7
New Hampshire – 0
WP: Packer (4-5)
LP: Walden (4-7)
HR: AKR-Aguilar (7), Lowery (2)
HIGHLIGHTS: A 2-hour and 48-minute rain delay, coupled with the Aeros putting up seven runs over the last five innings helped to push this game past midnight. … Starter Marcus Walden picked up his second straight loss after giving up five runs and nine hits over six innings. The two home runs he allowed were the first in his last four starts, doubling the total amount he has given up this year… Brad Glenn (2-for-3, walk) was the only Fisher Cat with a multi-hit game. The team tallied only five hits on the night.

Altoona -
New Britain – POSTPONED
HIGHLIGHTS: These teams will make this one up as part of a double header on Wednesday starting at 5:35 p.m.

Twins top prospect Sano promoted to New Britain

Posted by Craig Forde June 11, 2013 10:35 AM

Sano.jpgMiguel Sano, considered by most to be one of the most exciting prospects currently playing minor league baseball, is moving to New England for a while.

The Minnesota Twins farmhand has recently earned a promotion from Advanced Class-A Fort Myers to the Double-A New Britain Rock Cats and is scheduled to debut at his new home tonight.

Coming into the season the Dominican third baseman was ranked the 11th best prospect in the game by MLB.com and number nine overall by Baseball America, both organizations ranking him as the Twins best overall prospect.

After tearing through three levels over his first three pro seasons, Sano started 2013 in Fort Myers and has been on fire from the first pitch of the season, putting together an impressive batting split of .330/.424/.655.

A recent selection to the Florida State League All-Star Game, he has slugged 16 home runs and 15 doubles, driving in 48 runs while scoring 51 times in 56 games.

Graded as having top-tier power, Sano has 71 home runs in 312 career games and is averaging a long ball every 16 at-bats of his young career.

On the flip side, he has also struck out 26% of the time that he has stepped to the plate, so expect to see him swinging.

Sano, who just turned 20-years-old on May 11th, was signed as a free agent by Minnesota in October of 2009, receiving a bonus of $3.15 million.

Check out former Boston Globe Correspondent Jonathan Raymond’s piece on MiLB.com about Sano’s promotion following a two home run performance on Sunday, a day after helping the Miracle clinch the Florida State League's South Division first half title.

Tuesday's pitching matchups

Posted by Craig Forde June 11, 2013 08:32 AM

Red Sox affiliates
10:30 a.m.
Pawtucket Red Sox – Steven Wright (2-3, 4.99 ERA)
at Syracuse Chiefs – Jeff Mandel (1-2, 6.08 ERA)

Pawtucket Red Sox –Terry Doyle (4-5, 5.14 ERA)
at Syracuse Chiefs – Yunesky Maya (1-4, 4.96 ERA)

4:30 p.m.
Charleston RiverDogs – Cesar Vargas (2-2, 3.17 ERA)
at Greenville Drive – TBA

Charleston RiverDogs – Daniel Camarena (0-3, 7.17 ERA)
at Greenville Drive – Francisco Taveras (0-2, 5.67 ERA)

6:00 p.m.
Erie SeaWolves – TBA
at Portland Sea Dogs – Drake Britton (4-5, 3.60 ERA)

Erie SeaWolves – Matt Crouse (4-4, 3.99 ERA)
at Portland Sea Dogs – Jeremy Kehrt (0-1, 3.57 ERA)

7:05 p.m.
Wilmington Blue Rocks – Tyler Sample (0-1, 0.87 ERA)
at Salem Red Sox – William Cuevas (1-6, 7.31 ERA)

New England teams
6:35 p.m.
Akron Aeros – Matt Packer (3-5, 3.22 ERA)
at New Hampshire Fisher Cats - Marcus Walden (4-6, 3.25 ERA)

Altoona Curve – Stolmy Pimentel (3-3, 3.84 ERA)
at New Britain Rock Cats – Pat Dean (3-6, 4.81 ERA)

The Cap on Monday; scores, highlights

Posted by Craig Forde June 11, 2013 12:13 AM

Red Sox affiliates

Wilmington – 0
Salem – 9
WP: Owens (5-2)
LP: Selman (4-5)
HR: Ramos (7)
HIGHLIGHTS: An eight run first for the Salem Sox (29-34) was a nice way to start their night and gave them more than enough to notch their third shutout of the season. The bats were able to run Wilmington starter Sam Selman from the game before he ever recorded an out. … Salem starter Henry Owens went five innings for his fifth win, allowing four hits and walk while striking out five. Owens came into the game have given up 11 walks over his last 15 innings. He has won two consecutive starts. … The 6-7-8 hitters in the Sox lineup (Henry Ramos, Stefan Welch and David Renfroe) were a combined 6-for-11 with four RBIs and three runs. … Reliever Matty Ott struck out five over three innings. He did the same in his last appearance on June 5th versus Winston-Salem.

Greenville – 7
Charleston – 3 (completion of susp. game from 6/5)
WP: Haley (3-6)
LP: Niebla (2-3)
S: Wendelken (4)
HR: GRE-Martinez (6); CHA-O’Brien (9), Rosario (1)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Drive got back to business in this suspended game, scoring five runs over the final three frames to take down the RiverDogs. … Mookie Betts and Alex Hassan both had three hits in the game and David Chester drove in three runs to pace the offense. … Justin Haley earned his third straight win after starting the season 0-6.

Charleston – 0
Greenville – 1
WP: Kukuk (3-6)
LP: Gerritse (5-4)
S: Olivares (1)
HIGHLIGHTS: The sweep of the day put Greenville at 5-2 in June, already giving them one less win than they had in all of May. … Cody Kukuk struck out a season-high nine batters over five innings, allowing just two hits and three walks to pick up his first win since April 25th. He has K’d 17 over his last eight innings. … Half of the Drive’s six hits were for doubles and David Chester was the only batter with two hits in the game. … Mookie Betts stole a base and is now 12-for-13 on steal attempts this season.

HIGLIGHTS: The game will be made up as part of a double header tomorrow starting at 10:30 a.m. with both games scheduled for seven innings.

Win tickets to Saturday's Portland Sea Dogs game

Posted by Craig Forde June 10, 2013 10:19 PM

Earlier on Monday our very own Pete Abraham tossed out the following tweet...


Indeed Bogaerts, the Red Sox top Minor League prospect, is blazing hot right now, batting .471 with 16 hits (nine for extra-bases) and 11 RBIs in his last ten games.

So @PeteAbe is probably right about that promotion coming in the near future, especially with Jose Iglesias now sticking with the big club.

The question is how soon will it be before the 20-year-old makes the leap to the doorstep level of Triple-A?

Now is most definitely the time to catch him as a Sea Dog and we want to give you the opportunity to do just that…if in fact he makes it to the weekend.

We are going to give you a chance to win two tickets to this Saturday’s Portland Sea Dogs game versus the Akron Aeros (Cleveland Indians) at Hadlock Field at 6:00 p.m.

Before the Aeros hit town the Sea Dogs will play a four game series against the Erie SeaWolves (Detroit Tigers) and all you have to do is tell us how many total hits and runs batted in you think Bogaerts will have in the series.

It's pretty simple really, just send an email to cforde@globe.com, include your full name and the total number of hits and total number of RBIs. Put 'Tickets' in the subject field and hit send...that's it!

In the case of a tie all winning entries will be placed into a random drawing and one winner from that group will be chosen. If no one has the exact numbers correct, we will select the closest to the final statistics. Winner will be notified by email on Friday.

All entries must be received prior to the start of Portland’s 6:00 p.m. doubleheader on Tuesday. If entries are received after the first pitch of game one on Tuesday, they will be deemed ineligible.

We cannot guarantee how many games Bogaerts will appear in during the series versus Erie or if he will appear in Saturday’s game, but it's worth a shot for some free baseball, right?!

Only one entry per email address and name.

Britton rewarded with Pitcher of the Week honor for gem

Posted by Craig Forde June 10, 2013 03:44 PM

Britton.jpgPortland Sea Dogs pitcher Drake Britton was named the Eastern League’s Pitcher of the Week for the period of June 3-9.

During the week Britton had only one start, but it was the best of his young career as he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning versus the Erie SeaWolves.

A leadoff double broke up the no-no, but would stand as the only knock that Erie could muster against Britton over eight innings. The only other blemish on Britton’s bright day was a second inning walk.

Britton faced 26 batters and used up just 88 pitches, striking out a season-high eight batters.

After the outing Britton said to MiLB.com, "All four of my pitches were working. I was throwing them all for strikes and staying in the zone the whole time. Their hitters were a little more aggressive and I pitched to contact and got a lot of ground balls and got them early. That allowed me to go into the seventh and eighth innings."

On the season Britton is 4-5 with a 3.60 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and .287 opponent’s batting average.

His 64 strikeouts are tied with teammate Matt Barnes for third most of any Red Sox minor leaguer.

He becomes the second Portland pitcher to win weekly honors this season, following Chris Martin who has since been promoted to Pawtucket.

Monday's pitching matchups, notes

Posted by Craig Forde June 10, 2013 03:27 PM

Red Sox affiliates
7:00 p.m.
Pawtucket Red Sox – Alfredo Aceves (2-1, 3.52 ERA)
at Syracuse Chiefs – Jeff Mandel (1-2, 6.08 ERA)
NOTE: It’ll be back-to-back starts versus the Chiefs for Alfredo Aceves who went 7 2/3 last Monday in a no decision, allowing four runs on six hits, three of those for home runs. Aceves has gone five or more innings in each of his five starts for Pawtucket and has walked just three in his last two starts after giving up nine over the first three. Jeff Mandel, who has 18 appearances out of the pen this season, makes his second consecutive start for the Chiefs. Last time out he got beat up for six runs and 11 hits by Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

7:05 p.m.
Wilmington Blue Rocks – Sam Selman (4-4, 4.29 ERA)
at Salem Red Sox – Henry Owens (4-2, 3.21 ERA)
NOTE: Recently selected to his first All-Star game as a pro, Henry Owens makes his 12th start of the season. He has allowed just 38 hits over 56 innings, least of any Sox minor league pitcher with over 50 innings this season. He is also second in the organization with 68 strikeouts. Wilmington's Sam Selman had his shortest outing of the season against the Salem Sox back on April 22nd, going 2 1/3 innings after allowing seven runs and five hits.

Charleston RiverDogs – Brett Gerritse (5-3, 4.76 ERA)
at Greenville Drive – Cody Kukuk (2-6, 5.26 ERA)
NOTE: For the fourth time in his last five appearances Cody Kukuk will face off against Charleston. In his three prior shows against the RiverDogs he allowed seven runs on three hits and 11 walks. His last two outings have come in relief after nine straight starts. As a reliever Kukuk has struck out 11 over seven innings. Brett Gerritse is scheduled to make his first start of the season for the RiverDogs after making 15 relief appearances. He let up three runs and four hits in an inning of work against the Drive on May 18th.

The Cap on Sunday; scores, highlights

Posted by Craig Forde June 9, 2013 10:21 PM

Red Sox affiliates

Pawtucket – 5
Syracuse – 3
WP: Workman (1-0)
LP: Torra (0-3)
S: Carter (9)
HR: PAW-Brentz (11), Holt (1); Owings (6)
HIGHLIGHTS: Brandon Workman went 5 2/3 innings to earn a win in his Triple-A debut. The 6-for-4 righty allowed three runs, eight hits, three walks and struck out four. …Anthony Carter worked a perfect ninth, striking out the side, to pick up his ninth save on the season. … Brock Holt (2-for-4, HR, RBI, run) connected for his first home run of the year. He had three last season and his career high is six, which came in his first pro run with short-season State College of the New York-Penn League … Bryce Brentz led the offense with a 3-for-5 day that included his 11th home run, a double, four RBIs and a run.

Portland – 4
Akron – 1
WP: Couch (4-2)
LP: Roberts (4-3)
S: Huntzinger (12)
HIGHLIGHTS: Keith Couch breezed in his first start of the season, allowing a run and three hits over five innings. Prior to the start Couch had made 15 appearances out of the bullpen for Portland. … Xander Bogaerts went 2-for-2 with a triple, walk, RBI and three runs. It is the fifth time in June that he has two hits in a game and he is batting .440 on the month. The triple, his sixth, ties him for the Eastern League lead. … Brock Huntzinger retired all four batters he faced for his 12th save, the most in the Red Sox organization.

Salem – 1
Lynchburg – 4
WP: Moore (7-4)
LP: Augliera (4-4)
HIGHLIGHTS: Despite outhitting the Hillcats 10-8, the Salem Sox were unable to get on the board until the seventh inning and it was not enough. … Starter Mike Augliera, who started the season 4-0 in his first seven starts, has lost four straight decisions. During the streak he has given up 17 runs and 28 hits. … Deven Marrero went 2-for-3 with a walk and run scored. Garin Cecchini and Keury De La Cruz both went 2-for-4 with Cruz pick up the lone RBI.

Salem – 7
Lynchburg – 4
WP: Scott (2-3)
LP: Hoyt (3-2)
S: Price (4)
HR: SAL-Renfroe (3); LYN-Skinner (8)
HIGHLIGHTS: Ten hits worked in the Salem Sox (28-34) favor in game two as they used a six-run fifth to pull away. … Robby Scott threw two scoreless innings in relief to pick up his second win of the season. In three June appearances he has yet to let up a run over 7 2/3 innings, striking out 11. … David Renfroe sparked the offense with a fifth inning grand slam. He went 2-for-4 with a double, home run, five RBIs and a run.

Hickory – 6
Greenville – 3
WP: Edwards (6-2)
LP: Dahlstrand (1-2)
S: Burns (1)
HR: HIC-Gallo (15)
HIGLIGHTS: After a 90 minute delay to start the game, the rains returned in the eighth inning to cut this one short, which might not have been a bad thing with Greenville only capable of one hit in the game. The Drive have had three games washed out in June. … One day after having his seven game hit streak snapped, Mookie Betts was back at it going 1-for-3 with a double, RBI and run. He has reached base in 31 straight games and has done so with a hit in 29 of those games.

New England affiliates

New Hampshire – 3
Erie – 2
WP: Stroman (2-1)
LP: Lobstein (5-4)
S: Antolin (2)
HR: ERI-Perez (3)
HIGHLIGHTS – After being swept out of Akron, the Fisher Cats (31-33) took their angst out on the SeaWolves, leaving Erie with a nice three game sweep of their own. … Marcus Stroman fanned a season-high eight, allowing only one run and four hits in five innings to earn his second win of the season. He has 24 Ks in 20 innings and has walked seven. Stroman did allow a home run for the fourth straight game. … Brian Van Kirk went 2-for-4 with two RBIs to pace the offense. Jack Murphy went 3-for-3 and Kevin Pillar went 2-for-3 with a run. … Dustin Antolin picked up his second straight save, the most he has had at any level.

New Britain – 11
Bowie – 10
WP: Ibarra (2-2)
LP: Zinicola (1-3)
S: Lanigan (1)
HR: NB-Santana (1), Rodriguez (6), Hanson (2); BOW-Urrutia (6), Waring (10), Joseph (12)
HIGHLIGHTS: A slugfest ensued in the rubber match of the series, with the Rock Cats tugging away victory in a 21 run, 24 hit, six home run, 12 walk, 18 strikeout affair. … Nate Hanson (3-for-5, double, HR, RBI, two runs) struck the decisive blow in the ninth inning, stroking a go-ahead solo home run with one out. … Reynaldo Rodriguez went 2-for-4 with a home run, four RBIs and two runs scored.

Sunday's pitching matchups

Posted by Craig Forde June 9, 2013 12:30 PM

Red Sox affiliates

2:05 p.m.
Portland Sea Dogs – Keith Couch (3-2, 4.78 ERA)
at Akron Aeros – Will Robers (4-2, 3.92 ERA)

Salem Red Sox – Mike McCarthy (3-2, 4.38 ERA)
At Lynchburg Hillcats – Navery Moore (6-4, 4.91 ERA)

Salem Red Sox – Mike Augliera (4-3, 4.76 ERA)
At Lynchburg Hillcats – Jarret Miller (4-3, 3.75)

4:05 p.m.
Hickory Crawdads – C.J. Edwards (5-2, 2.25 ERA)
At Greenville Drive – Jacob Dahlstrand (1-1, 4.61 ERA)

5:00 p.m.
Pawtucket Red Sox – Brandon Workman (5-1, 3.43 ERA)
at Syracuse Chiefs - Matt Torra (0-2, 6.19 ERA)

New England affiliates

1:35 p.m.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats – Marcus Stroman (1-1, 6.00 ERA)
At Erie SeaWolves – Kyle Lobstein (5-3, 3.19 ERA)

2:05 p.m.
New Britain Rock Cats – D.J. Baxendale (1-1, 6.17 ERA)
at Bowie Baysox – Jake Pettit (3-2, 3.95 ERA)

The Cap on Saturday; scores, highlights

Posted by Craig Forde June 8, 2013 10:38 PM

Red Sox affiliates

Pawtucket – 3
Syracuse – 4
WP: Garcia (1-0)
LP: De La Torre (1-2)
S: Broadway (1)
HIGHLIGHTS: The team traded runs and the lead a few times but the Chiefs prevailed after plating three in the seventh inning. The PawSox (36-26) were only able to muster five hits in the game. … Mitch Maier, batting leadoff, went 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored. … Starter Rubby De La Rosa went five innings, his longest outing of the season, allowing only a run on four hits and three walks. He has an ERA of 1.13 in his last eight starts.

Portland – 3
Akron – 4
WP: Cooper (2-2)
LP: Barnes (3-3)
S: Flores (6)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Sea Dogs (31-28) had only four hits on the night, one each from the top four batters in their lineup. … Despite striking out eight batters in four innings, Matt Barnes suffered his second straight defeat. He needed 89 pitches to get through four frames, but only walked one batter. … J.C. Linares picked up two RBIs on an eighth inning double.

Salem – 1
Lynchburg – 2 GAME 1
WP: Weber (4-1)
LP: Stroup (3-4)
S: Hyatt (8)
HIGHLIGHTS: Kyle Stroup had another solid start for Salem, allowing two runs and five hits over five innings, but it was not enough as both teams were only able to muster five hits in a pitcher’s duel…. Garin Cecchini (2-for-3) was the only Salem player with two hits in the game.

Salem – 5
Lynchburg – 1 GAME 2
WP: Kraus (1-0)
LP: Ross (2-3)
S: Striz (3)
HR: SAL-Ramos (6); Skinner (7)
HIGHLIGHTS: Kyle Kraus worked five innings in his second start with Salem, earning his first Advanced Class-A win by allowing just one run and four hits while striking out five. … Henry Ramos led the offense with a 2-for-4 effort that included a double and his third home run in four games. Ramos drove in two and scored twice. … Matt Gedman went 3-for-3 and is 5 for his last 7 at-bats.

Hickory – 5
Greenville – 1
WP: Parra (1-1)
LP: Diaz (1-2)
S: Claudio (10)
HR: HIC-Brinson (13), Mazara (5)
HIGHLIGHTS: Greenville’s (19-40) longest winning streak of the season, three games, was snapped as the Crawdads pounded out ten hits on the night. … Alex Hassan had his second straight multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with two walks. He now has seven hits in four games since returning to action. … An 0-for-3 night signaled the end to Mookie Betts most recent hitting streak of seven games. He did manage to walk two times and score a run and now has 41 walks on the season, second most in the South Atlantic League.

New England affiliates

New Britain – 11
Bowie – 8 GAME 1
WP: Hauser (1-0)
LP: Gurka (2-2)
HR: NB-Pinto (11); BOW-Bumbry (4), Waring (9)
HIGHLIGHTS: It took eight pitchers and a couple of extra innings to decide this one as the Rock Cats used 11 hits and a three-run ninth to pull out the victory. … Catcher Kyle Knudson, playing in just his sixth game with New Britain and batting in the nine-hole, went 3-for-5 with 4 RBIs. … Josmil Pinto (1-for-4, HR, walk, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) handled the DH duties, smacking his 11th home and third in the last five games.

New Britain – 4
Bowie – 6 GAME 2
WP: Prado (1-0)
LP: Darnell (5-5)
S: Zinicola (11)
HR: NB-Ortiz (7); BOW-Bumbry (5)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Rock Cats (30-32) took a 4-3 lead in the top of the sixth, but promptly gave it away in the bottom half of the inning as the Baysox scored three runs to earn the split. … Daniel Ortiz (2-for-3, HR, 3 RBIs, 2 runs) provided much of the offense for New Britain who managed only five hits in this game. … Starter Logan Darnell gave up 3 earned runs and eight hits and has now given up 31 hits over his last four starts.

New Hampshire – 6
Erie – 2
WP: Nolin (3-1)
LP: Larez (5-3)
HR: NH-Loewen (7), Schimpf (13), Glenn (7)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Fisher Cats (30-33) used the first two innings to grab a five run lead and starter Sean Nolin mowed down the SeaWolves through 6 innings. Nolin struck out a season-high nine batters, allowing just one earned run and three hits on the day. … Brad Glenn (2-for-4, HR, walk, RBI, 2 runs) hit his third home run in his last four games. He also picked up two hits for the fourth consecutive game. … Ryan Schimpf pulled within one of the Eastern League home run lead, slugging his 13th dinger of the season in the second inning.

Complete Red Sox draft list

Posted by Craig Forde June 8, 2013 07:22 PM

The Cap on Friday; scores, highlights

Posted by Craig Forde June 8, 2013 01:04 AM

Red Sox affiliates

Portland - 3
Akron - 12
WP: Brach (3-2)
LP: Haeger (2-3)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Aeros picked up five runs over the first three innings and cruised from there, handing the Sea Dogs (31-27) their fourth loss of June. ... Xander Bogaerts went 0-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout, snapping a nine-game hit streak. He has walked 11 times and struck out only three times in his last ten games. ... Portland pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts on the night, but also gave up 13 hits. ... Aeros left fielder Quincy Latimore had the most impressive batting line of the night; 3-for-4, single, double, triple, four RBIs, run.

Greenville – 17
Hickory – 8
WP: Ortega (1-1)
LP: Smith (4-2)
HR: GRE-Tavaez (3); HIC-Maloney (7), Williams (8), Brinson (11)
HIGHLIGHTS: It was only supposed to be a harmless conclusion to a game suspended from May 22nd, but then it turned into ultimate batting practice as the teams combined for 19 runs after resuming a 3-3 tie. ... Alex Hassan went 3-for-4 with a double and four RBIs. Since returning from injury Hassan has played in three games and is batting .500 with six RBIs, two runs, three walks and no strikeouts. ... Drew Turocy finished the game 3-for-4 with a double, triple, walk, three RBIs and four runs.

Hickory - 5
Greenville – 10
WP: Olivares (1-1)
LP: Smith (4-3)
HR: HIC-Guzman (2); GRE-Chester (10)
HIGHLIGHTS: And the momentum carried over into the regularly scheduled game as the Drive plated another ten runs on ten hits to remain undefeated in June at 4-0. After 24 losses in May they have suddenly become the hottest team in the Red Sox organization, outscoring their opponents in June, 42-18. ... Mookie Betts went 2-for-4 with a run scored. He has hit safely in seven straight games and has two hits in each of his last four games. ... Drew Turocy and Aneury Tavarez went 2-for-3 in the game with Tavarez driving in two runs while Turocy scored twice.

HIGHLIGHTS: The game was rained out and since it is the last time these two teams were scheduled to meet this season it is now listed as a cancelled game and it will not be made up. The bat promotion schedule for Friday has now been moved to June 30th.

Lynchburgh POSTPONED
HIGHLIGHTS: The scheduled double header for Friday will now force back-to-back twin bills due to rain. Saturday's doubleheader will begin at 4:05 p.m. and Sunday's will kick off at 2:05 p.m.

New England teams

New Hampshire – 2
Erie – 0
WP: Tepera (6-4)
LP: Clinard (0-1)
S: Antolin (1)
HR: NH-Glenn (6), Zazueta (1)
HIGHLIGHTS: There wasn't a ton of hitting to go around but thankfully for the Fisher Cats (29-33) they found enough to pull this one out. The teams combined for just eight hits on the night. ... Ryan Tepera tied a season-high by striking out seven batters over five innings. It was his fourth start where he allowed just three hits. ... Brad Glenn went 2-for-4 with a solo home run. He has gone 2-for-4 in the last three games, with two solo homers and two doubles.

New Britain
HIGHLIGHTS: The washout forces a Saturday double header beginning on Saturday at 5:35 p.m.

Salem Sox trio named to Carolina League All-Star team

Posted by Craig Forde June 7, 2013 09:56 PM

CALASG.jpgA trio of Red Sox prospects will make the cross-country trek to San Jose to represent the Carolina League versus the California League in the 17th annual All-Star game between the leagues.

On Friday it was announced that third baseman Garin Cecchini and catcher Blake Swihart were chosen as starters and left-handed pitcher Henry Owens was added to a stacked Carolina League All-Star pitching staff.

Cecchini1.jpgCecchini, a 22-year-old prospect who is rocketing up the charts for his all-around play, makes his third All-Star team in as many pro seasons.

Ranked as the 8th best prospect in the Sox system by MLB.com, Cecchini has been atop the leader boards in hitting for much of the season, carrying league bests in batting average (.346), on-base percentage (.461) and OPS (1.014).

Cecchini has 65 hits on the year, 25 for extra bases and has stolen 14 bases in 19 attempts.

Swihart1.jpgSwihart becomes an All-Star for the first time in his brief career.

The 21-year-old catcher from Rio Rancho, New Mexico continues to show improvement at the plate, following a .254 April with a .324 May.

On the year Swihart is batting .289 with 19 RBIs, 17 runs, 6 stolen bases and 17 extra base hits.

He also continues to improve behind the plate, gunning down 17 would-be base stealers in 43 games behind the dish.

Henry Owens, the youngest Salem Red Sox player at 20, makes his first official All-Star game after being named an MiLB.com organizational All-Star following his 2012 campaign.

Owens1.jpgComing into the season as the Red Sox 5th best prospect per MLB.com, Owens has strung together a 4-2 record with 3.21 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP in 11 starts this season.

Owens has K’d 68 batters in 56 innings, bringing his strikeouts-per-nine innings average to 10.9 to go along with an opponent batting average of .190.

Other notables for the Carolina League include Cleveland Indians top prospect 2B Francisco Lindor, RHP Luke Jackson, a Texas Rangers top 5 pitching prospect and Winston-Salem Dash infielder Jeremy Farrell, son of Red Sox manager John.

The California League roster boasts one of the Los Angeles Angels top two pitching prospects in RHP Matt Sappington and San Francisco Giants top 20 prospect LHP Ty Blach.

Last season Salem had four All-Stars; Michael Olmstead, Travis Shaw, Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr.

This year’s event is being hosted by the San Jose Giants at Municipal Stadium with first pitch scheduled for 10:35 EST.

Friday's pitching matchups, notes

Posted by Craig Forde June 7, 2013 12:55 PM

Red Sox affiliates
6:05 p.m.
Salem Red Sox – Kyle Stroup (3-3, 3.88 ERA)
at Lynchburg Hillcats – Greg Ross (2-2, 4.36 ERA)
NOTE: Kyle Stroup should be riding high after his last outing when he allowed just three hits and a walk over seven innings against Myrtle Beach. He has been solid in four of his last five starts and is 2-1 in that span. Stroup did have one of his better outings of the season against Lynchburg back on April 18th, allowing one run in 5 1/3 innings. In his six starts since arriving in Lynchburg, Greg Ross is allowing an average of 5 hits and over 2.5 walks per outing.

Salem Red Sox – Kyle Kraus (0-0, 2.25 ERA)
at Lynchburg Hillcats – N/A
NOTE: For the second time since being called up from Greenville, Kyle Kraus will get the nod in game two of a double header. He did an admirable job last time out, logging 4 innings while allowing just 1 run, 4 hits and a walk. This will equal the total number of starts from a season ago for Kraus, who worked in 13 games for the Drive out of the bullpen before being called up to Salem. The Hillcats had not named a game two starter by the time this was posted.

7:05 p.m.
Charlotte Knights – Jason Berken (4-5, 3.49 ERA)
at Pawtucket Red Sox – Rubby De La Rosa (0-1, 3.51 ERA)
NOTE: Will tonight be the night that Rubby De La Rosa works at least five innings and grabs a victory? Gary DiSarcina seems to want to reward the righty prospect, but not at the cost of stunting De La Rosa's development. He had a gem of a four inning outing against the Knights on May 11th, striking out seven and allowing only a hit and two walks. Knights starter Jason Berken has earned a decision in 9 of his 11 starts, including a loss against Pawtucket on May 11th after allowing four runs and six hits in six innings.

Portland Sea Dogs – Charlie Haeger (2-2, 3.79 ERA)
at Erie SeaWolves – Brett Brach (2-2, 4.67 ERA)
NOTE: Yesterday’s rainout means that Charlie Haeger is still on the docket to start for Portland. He has plunked 5 batters this season in only 35 2/3 innings with the Sea Dogs, tied for third most in the Eastern League. Akron’s Brett Brach went 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA in starts during a brief callup to Triple-A Columbus, but upon his return he has allowed 8 runs and 14 hits in 12 1/3 innings over 3 outings.

Hickory Crawdads – N/A
at Greenville Drive – Frank Montas (1-5, 5.23 ERA)
NOTE: Prior to the start of the regularly schedule game tonight, these two teams will complete their suspended game from May 22nd. In that ballgame the score is tied, 3-3, with the Drive batting in the top of the third inning and the bases loaded with two outs. Following that, Frank Montas takes the hill for his 11th start of the year, looking for his first win since April 29th. He does have two prior starts against the Crawdads having gone 10 2/3 innings, allowing 3 earned runs and 7 hits while striking out 15 batters.

New England teams
7:05 p.m.
New Britain Rock Cats – Tom Stuifbergen (2-3, 3.65 ERA)
at Bowie Baysox – Mike Wright (3-0, 3.30 ERA)
NOTE: Tom Stuifbergen will make his Double-A debut for the Rock Cats after starting the season in Fort Myers for the third straight season. In 11 appearances he went 2-3 with a 3.65 ERA and 28 Ks over 56 2/3 innings. Stuifbergen, a member of Team Netherlands in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, has had some solid command, allowing only two walks on the season. Mike Wright makes his third start against the Rock Cats, having gone 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 13 Ks in 11 innings.

New Hampshire Fisher Cats – Ryan Tepera (5-4, 4.50 ERA)
at Erie Seawolves – Matt Crouse (4-4, 4.38 ERA)
NOTE: Ryan Tepera comes into start number 12 with the Eastern League lead in hit batters, nine. He has allowed just 50 hits in 54 innings, but has coupled that with 25 walks. Since going 3-1 with a 3.42 ERA in his first five starts of the season, Tepera is 2-3 with a 5.53 ERA in his last six. Matt Crouse has split time between the pen and starting in his third professional season. He is 2-4 with a 5.03 ERA in eight starts for the SeaWolves this season.

The Cap on Thursday; scores, highlights

Posted by Craig Forde June 7, 2013 11:12 AM

Red Sox affiliates

Charlotte – 10
Pawtucket – 5
WP: Castro (2-6)
LP: Webster (5-1)
S: Moskos (1)
HR: CHA-McDade (4), Tolleson (5), Phegley (12); PAW-Victorino (1), Middlebrooks (2), Butler (3)
HIGHLIGHTS: Balls were flying out of McCoy Stadium at an alarming rate on Thursday with each team leaving the park three times. A five-run second inning had the Knights up early and they insured their lead with four more in the fifth. … Rehabbing Shane Victorino led off the bottom of the first with a home run on an 0-1 count. Will Middlebrooks, also on rehab assignment, belted his second home run in as many games. … Allen Webster’s night was cut short after only 3 1/3 innings. He picked up his first loss with the PawSox after allowing five earned runs on four hits and a walk. He allowed two home runs for the first time all season and has given up four long balls in his last three starts. In 130 2/3 innings last season he allowed just two home runs.

Winston-Salem – 5
Salem – 4
WP: Erben (2-0)
LP: Ramirez (2-1)
S: Winiarski (7)
HR: WS- Farrell (9); SAL-Jacobs (6), Ramos (5)
HIGHLIGHTS: Despite only allowing six hits on the night, the Salem Sox (26-32) could not get enough of their offense generated to overcome the Dash. … Center fielder Henry Ramos went 3-for-4 and hit his second home run in as many games. He also added an RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base on the night. … Left fielder Keury De La Cruz (2-for-4, double, 2 RBIs) has hit safely in five straight games, collecting two hits four times. In this span he is 9-for-18 (.500) with nine RBIs and three runs.

HIGHLIGHTS: The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader, in Portland, on July 11th as Thursday marked the last time that the Sea Dogs would be in Erie for the season.

Charleston POSTPONED
HIGHLIGHTS: Last night’s wash out also took with it the completion of Wednesday’s suspended game which is now set to be finished on Monday in Greenville. The makeup date for Thursday’s postponed game has yet to be determined.

New England teams

New Britain – 9
Richmond – 4
WP: May (5-2)
LP: Teller (1-1)
HR: RIC-Duvall (5), Oropesa (4)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Rock Cats (29-31) get back on the winning track, taking their fourth game of June by scoring nine runs on just five hits thanks to 13 free passes handed out by Richmond pitchers. … Reynaldo Rodriguez and Chris Pettit each walked three times in the game and accounted for three runs. … Danny Santana, Nate Hanson, Daniel Ortiz and Adam Petterson all had two RBIs in the game. Santana has hit safely in seven of his last eight games.

New Hampshire – 2
Akron – 7
WP: Murata (3-3)
LP: McGuire (3-6)
HR: NH-Nolan (6)
HIGHLIGHTS: It was a tough three-game set for the Fisher Cats (28-33) as they were outscored 21-6 while getting swept away by the Aeros. … Deck McGuire fanned a season-high nine batters, but picked up his third loss in his last four starts after giving up three runs and four hits over 5 2/3 innings. … Brad Glenn went 2-for-4 with two doubles. The first baseman now has 15 doubles on the season, tied for most on the team. … Nashua native Kevin Nolan (1-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs, run) connected on his sixth home run of the season and fourth on the road.

MLB Draft, day two primer

Posted by Craig Forde June 7, 2013 08:17 AM

Now we move to day two of the 2013 MLB Draft, where the Red Sox will work with eight selections over rounds 3 through 10.

Thumbnail image for Sox draft chart.png

Last year Boston went on a pitching run in the first two days, selecting eight consecutive hurlers from round 1 through round 7.

If yesterday was any indication they could be poised to make another such run this year and as the old adage has taught us, “you can never have enough pitching.”

That being said, getting two raw young talents with major upside at the top of the draft may sway Boston to start looking heavily at some bats and this is the area in the draft where the right strategy can really pay off.

To get a better understanding of what type of talent can be plucked in these rounds here are some of the Red Sox more notable selections over the past years in rounds 3-10:

Round 3: OF Mike Greenwell, 1982, No. 72 overall (Honorable mention: Tino Martinez, 1995, #75, did not sign)
Round 4: RHP Jonathan Papelbon, 2003, No. 114 overall (3B Jeff Bagwell, 1989, #110, traded to Houston)
Round 5: OF Dwight Evans, 1969, No. 109 overall (3B Will Middlebrooks, 2007, #174; OF Ryan Westmoreland, 2008, #172)
Round 6: 1B Cecil Cooper, 1968, No. 128 overall (1B Anthony Rizzo, 2007, #204; C Ryan Lavarnway, 2008, #202)
Round 7: 3B Wade Boggs, 1976, No. 166 overall
Round 8: 3B Kevin Youkilis, 2001, No. 243 overall (SS Jody Reed, 1984, #198; SS Tim Naehring, 1988, #199)
Round 9: 3B Mark Teixeira, 1998, No. 265 overall, did not sign (OF Ryan Kalish, 2006, #283)
Round 10: SS Lou Merloni, 1993, No. 275 overall (OF Brady Anderson, 985, #257; SS Shea Hillenbrand, 1996, #301)

The Red Sox will have the eighth pick on the day, number 81 overall, a slot that unfortunately has not yielded many household names in the past.

Interestingly, the Mets will get the third pick on the day, a compensatory pick for not being able to sign Teddy Stankiewicz a year ago.

There are still 41 players remaining from MLB.com’s Top 100 Draft Prospects list, with some of the better bats still on the board including 1B Rowdy Telez from Elk Grove High School in California, Yukon (Okla.) High School C Jon Denney and OF Cord Sandberg from Manatee High School in Bradenton, Florida.

This is the section of the draft where players coming out of high school will choose to uphold their commitment to colleges because teams cannot “wow” them with what oftentimes takes millions of dollars to change their minds.

With that risk in mind, the Sox could trend towards players with more college seasoning and two players with familiar last names come to mind as possibilities later in the day; L.J. Mazzilli, second baseman from UConn and son of former Mets outfielder Lee, and Vanderbilt outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, grandson of Red Sox legend and Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski.

Day two of the draft kicks off at 12:30 and coverage has moved from being televised on MLB Network to the internet at MLB.com.

Here are a couple of great pieces to check out while waiting for Round 3 to kick off:

WEEI.com's Alex Speier gets in depth on Trey Ball.

Jen McCaffrey of the Cape Cod Times breaks down the 23 former Cape League players chosen over the first two rounds.

And for your listening pleasure, the SoxProspects.com guys put up a podcast recapping the Red Sox efforts on day one.

Red Sox go young gunning on day one of draft

Posted by Craig Forde June 7, 2013 07:53 AM

With two picks on the first day of the 2013 MLB Draft the Boston Red Sox decided to pluck up some young, talented arms to add to an ever-growing stable of talented hurlers coming up the ranks.

With the seventh overall selection, the highest slot the Red Sox have held since 1993, they called on Trey Ball, a 6-foot-6, 18-year-old left-hander out of New Castle High School in Indiana.

Ball was projected as the top southpaw in the draft by Baseball America who referred to him as a “Wiry, athletic lefthander [whose fastball] sits 92-94 [miles per hour] with a good curveball and feel for a changeup.”

A two-way player, Ball has committed to play collegiately at the University of Texas, but should be signable with the 7th selection in the draft carrying a slotted salary of $3,246,000.

In ten games on the mound for New Castle this past season he went 6-0, with a 0.76 ERA, 93 strikeouts and only 13 walks over 46 innings pitched, reaching a high water mark of 15 Ks versus Marion on April 7th.

At the plate Ball, who plays in the outfielder when not pitching, had a .322 batting average with 10 home runs with 29 RBIs, helping his own cause with 8 runs batted in while he was on the mound. He also stole 21 bases.

Ball, who immediately drew comparisons to Red Sox top left-handed prospect Henry Owens, another tall, lanky flame-thrower, will turn 19 on June 27th.

Check out more on Ball in the following videos.

With the 45th overall choice in the draft the Red Sox once again grabbed a tall young hurler, this time getting Teddy Stankiewicz, a 6-foot-6, 19-year-old right-hander out of Seminole State College, a community college in Oklahoma.

Of Stankiewicz, Baseball America states that he got his fastball “up to 96 [miles per hour] this spring with an above-average slider.”

Highly touted as a “power” arm, Stankiewicz was drafted in the second round by the New York Mets last year, number 75 overall out of high school, but chose not to sign when New York offered him a salary under that of the slot in which he was taken.

Instead, after choosing to not go to Arkansas where he had originally committed, he opted to go to Seminole State where he would be eligible for the draft again this year, lending to the notion that he is eager to start his pro career, boosting his signability for Boston as the Sox should handily meet the slot salary of $1,229,600.

In his one season at Seminole he went 4-5 in 11 games with a 2.52 ERA while striking out 70 over 60 2/3 innings, averaging over 10 Ks per game.

Prior to that Stankiewicz was 12-2 with a 1.35 ERA and 135 strikouts in 93 1/3 innings as a senior at Fort Worth Christian High School in Texas.

Check out more on Stankiewicz and his stuff in these videos.

Thursday's pitching matchups, notes

Posted by Craig Forde June 6, 2013 03:30 PM

Red Sox affiliates
7:05 p.m.
Charlotte Knights – Simon Castro (1-6, 5.14 ERA)
at Pawtucket Red Sox – Allen Webster (5-0, 2.57 ERA)
NOTE: Allen Webster looks to make is six straight wins after not earning a decision over his first three starts for Pawtucket. In his recent stretch of victories he has allowed 7 earned runs over 28 innings, striking out 31 and giving up only 14 hits. Simon Castro makes his second start against the PawSox after catching a loss on May 10th when he allowed 3 runs and 4 hits over 8 innings, striking out 8 in the process.

Portland Sea Dogs – Charlie Haeger (2-2, 3.79 ERA)
at Erie SeaWolves – Matt Crouse (4-4, 4.38 ERA)
NOTE: Charlie Haeger did a solid job of forcing ground ball outs in his last start, getting 8 of his 19 outs by way of the grounder, to go along with 5 strike outs. He did still struggle with his command a bit in that game, walking 4 and hitting a batter. He has plunked 5 batters, tied for third most in the Eastern League. A 24th round selection of the Tigers in 2011, Matt Crouse has split time between the pen and starting rotation in his third professional season. He is 2-4 with a 5.03 ERA in eight starts for the SeaWolves this season.

Winston-Salem Dash – Chris Bassitt (5-2, 3.47 ERA)
at Salem Red Sox – William Cuevas (1-6, 7.51 ERA)
NOTE: It has not been a good stretch for William Cuevas who will make his tenth start of the season tonight. Over his last 6 outings he is 0-5 with an 8.06 ERA. The bright spot on his recent resume is that he has not allowed a home run over his last four starts. Dash starter Chris Bassitt, a White Sox 16th rounder in 2011, is 2-0 against Salem this season, allowing only 2 earned runs and striking out 14 batters in 13 innings of work versus the Sox.

Greenville Drive – Frank Montas (1-5, 5.23 ERA)
at Charleston RiverDogs – Rafael De Paula (6-2, 2.48 ERA)
NOTE: Prior to this game the teams will complete last night’s suspended action, picking up in the top of the third inning with two outs and a Drive runner on first. So long as the rains stay away, Frank Montas will get his 11th start of the season shortly thereafter. He has face the RiverDogs in two of his last three outings, going 0-1 after allowing a combined 5 earned runs and 8 hits over 9 innings. Between those starts Montas fanned 8 in a no decision against Hickory. Charleston starter Rafael De Paula has seen the Drive twice this season, including a winning effort back on May 16th when he struck out 11 batters. De Paula’s 83 strikeouts this season are a South Atlantic League best, 11 more than the next pitcher on the list.

New England teams
6:35 p.m.
New Britain Rock Cats – Trevor May (4-2, 4.17 ERA)
at Richmond Flying Squirrels – Carlos Teller (1-0, 2.45 ERA)
NOTE: Trevor May makes start number 12 tonight, his seventh on the road where he is 2-2 with a 3.09 ERA . His only start of the season versus Richmond came in game two of the season when he picked up a loss despite allowing just 1 earned run over 5 innings. At this point last year May was 5-3 with a 4.94 ERA with the Reading Phillies. Carlos Teller makes his fifth start for Richmond having given up just 12 hits in 18 1/3 innings. However he has allowed 17 walks in that span, including 11 in his last two starts.

7:05 p.m.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats – Deck McGuire (3-5, 5.40 ERA)
at Akron Aeros – Toru Murata (2-3, 4.02 ERA)
NOTE: Deck McGuire’s May started out well enough, 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA, but it finished in a heap of a mess, going 1-2 with a 7.41 ERA. The Blue Jays organization must be growing tired of waiting for him to come around, as this is a player that they would have most likely called on by now, based on some of their recent call-ups. McGuire has the ability, but needs to turn a corner and dominate and will need to do this for much of June. McGuire’s counterpart tonight, Toru Murata, was once a first round pick of the Yomiuri Giants in the Japanese Draft. This will be Murata’s eighth start for Akron and fourth since being sent back down from Columbus.

MLB Draft, day one primer

Posted by Craig Forde June 6, 2013 11:35 AM

Thumbnail image for 2013draft.jpgFor the first time in 20 years, and only the fourth time in team history, the Boston Red Sox will be making a pick in the top ten selections of the draft.

A forgettable 2012 campaign provided Boston with the seventh overall pick in this year's first-year player draft, set to begin tonight.

The last time they selected this high was in 1993 when they took Trot Nixon in the same slot.

Some other notable picks in the seventh slot over the years include Clayton Kershaw, Troy Tulowitski and Prince Fielder.

Tonight is the first of three days for the MLB Draft and will feature just the first and second rounds, all of which will be televised live on MLB Network with coverage beginning at 6 and the draft kicking off at 7.

So on Thursday night the Red Sox will have picks number 7 and 45 overall. The Sox have had the number 45 pick three other times, with Jed Lowrie (2005) being the most notable of their selections in that position.

Last season the Red Sox had four selections in the first two rounds; SS Deven Marrero (No. 24 overall), LHP Brian Johnson (31), RHP Pat Light (37) and RHP Jamie Callahan (87).

Some names of note that the Sox could be looking at around the seventh pick are Loganville (Georgia) High School center fielder Clint Frazier, University of North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran, Grayson High School (Loganville, Ga.) OF Austin Meadows and Saint Pius X High School (Houston) right-handed pitcher Kohl Stewart.

The 45th selection will obviously be a bit more of a crap shoot, but some of the names that Baseball America lists around that choice include UC-Irvine RHP Andrew Thurman, Manatee High School (Bradenton, Fla.) OF Cord Sandberg, Stephen F. Austin SS Hunter Dozier and Hazelwood (Missouri) West High School RHP Devin Williams.

We will update things at the end of the night with the Sox results and profiles of their selections from day one.

In the meantime prep yourself for the draft with another great piece by our own Pete Abraham here.

Some other great resources to peruse include the following:

The Baseball America Draft Map

SoxProspects.com complete draft package

This informative piece at Over the Monster, explaining the budgets for the slots where the Sox are picking over the first 10 rounds, is a must.

Rounds 3-10 will be held on Friday starting at 12:30 p.m. and rounds 11-40 begin at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Futures League kicks off summer baseball season

Posted by Craig Forde June 6, 2013 01:11 AM

Futures_League_Logo.jpgWith the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs upending the Torrington Titans, 7-4, on Wednesday night the collegiate summer baseball season in New England is officially under way with the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL) getting in their hacks first.

Now in its third season of action, the same nine teams from a year ago return to the FCBL for a 54-game season one year after the league expanded by more than double, with the Nashua Silver Knights looking to maintain their monopoly on league championships.

The Pittsfield Suns will be the gracious hosts of the second annual All-Star Game on July 25th, with game time set for 7:05 p.m. at historic Wahconah Park.

Rosters are made up of 26 players who are currently enrolled NCAA or NAIA sanctioned college or university, with 13 of those players required to reside in or attend school in New England.

As the league continues gain a respectable reputation as a legitimate platform for young players, the latest crop of talent looks to elevate things to even greater heights.

"We have some great talent here and it needs to be showcased in a professional environment,” said league president Chris Hall in an article on the FCBL website (read here), “We feel the mix of players from New England and across the country creates a competitive atmosphere for our fan base."

To get a better idea of the talent that will comprise the FCBL rosters, let’s go team-by-team and check out some notable players.

Brockton Rox
Local talent: INF Ryan Tufts, Virginia Tech – Tufts represents one of the cool little bonuses of the FCBL where recent high school grads who will continue their careers in college have the chance to get in more work before matriculating in the fall. Tufts, a BC High standout and Catholic Conference All-Star, will follow the likes of Rhett Wiseman (Vanderbilt) as D1 talents who played for Brockton before starting their college careers.
National: RHP Tyler Sapp, San Diego State – He chose to play his college ball just 2 hours from his Yacaipa, California home, but will be spending his summer a bit futher away as he crosses the country to join up with the Rox. As a senior at Yucaipa High School he was named to the Rawlings/Perfect Game Preseason California Region All High School Honorable Mention Team. He made 2 starts and 13 appearances in his freshman season with the Aztecs.

Martha’s Vineyard Sharks
Local talent: RHP Jack Roberts, Williams – Before he leaves his island home for the green pastures of Williams College the former Martha’s Vineyard High School legend will get to pitch a few more times at the Vineyard Baseball Park that he has called home for four high school seasons.
National: C Chris Miller, Seton Hill – An imposing figure behind the dish at 6-foot-4 and 225-pounds. The White Oak, Pennsylvania native saw limited action as a freshman at Seton Hill, collecting 6 hits and 5 RBIs in 14 games. He had a .960 fielding percentage and only had one passed ball credited to him.

Nashua Silver Knights
Local talent: Sean and Connor Lyons, Northeastern – The Bedford, New Hampshire brothers return for another title run in Nashua. Connor was an All-Star last summer while Sean split time between the outfield and the mound. Fan favorites, the duo will be looked to for leadership this summer, having both been here before.
National: LHP Chris Good, Belhaven College – The big lefty from Texas is another returnee to the two-time defending champions. After transferring to Belhaven from New Mexico, Good went 14-3 with a 2.18 ERA in 18 appearances. Last season with Nashua Good went 5-2 with a 1.57 ERA in 9 starts.

North Shore Navigators
Local talent: INF Alex Markakis, St. Joseph’s (Maine) – The former St. John’s Prep second base standout returns to roam the infield at Frasier Field for another summer. Played in 41 of the Monks 45 games as a junior, collecting 29 hits (1 home run), 11 RBIs, 17 runs and a stolen base. Alex is the cousin of Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis.
National: OF Conor Biggio, Notre Dame – After playing last season with North Adams of the NECBL, the son of Astros great Craig Biggio returns to the region for another summer, this time coming a bit more east to Lynn. In his sophomore season with the Irish he batted .263, collected 10 hits and 4 stolen bases in limited action.

Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide
Local talent: 3B Sam Canales, Bowdoin – The Saco native and Thornton Academy alum returns for his second season with the Tide. As a sophomore at Bowdoin he batted .274 with 13 runs as the Polar Bears finished with a 23-15 record.
National RHP Ryan Otero, RHP Adam Sargent and RHP Enrique Sosa, Miami – A trio of Hurricanes righties make their way north for the summer, giving Seacoast an ACC flair on the mound. They combined to make 13 appearances for a Miami team that finished 37-25.

Pittsfield Suns
Local talent: INF John Kinne, Columbia – The Suns are proud to welcome Kinne as their “first Bershire County-born” player. Having just completed his freshman campaign at Columbia, the former Monument Mountain Regional star returns to the Bershires for the summer. In his first season with the Lions he went 8-for-13 with 2 doubles, 4 RBIs and 3 runs in 12 games played.
National: INF Bo Slemons, Xavier – A redshirt sophomore at Xavier, the Hubbard, Ohio native batted .343 in 20 games, scoring 8 runs and driving in 6. Was a three time All-Country Team selection while at Hubbard High School, where he posted a .459 career batting average in four seasons.

Seacoast Mavericks
Local talent: LHP Jash Jacques, East Tennessee State – Not far from where he posted a 58-18 record at Somersworth High School, Josh Jacques returns to play some summer ball for the Mavs. In his first season with the Bucs he went 1-4 with a 4.60 ERA in 15 appearances, striking out 25 batters over 45 innings.
National: OF James Nevant, Notre Dame – A standout at T.C. Roberson High School in Asheville, North Carolina, Nevant saw limited action in his freshman season with the Irish. He had 5 hits, 2 RBIs, 3 runs, a stolen base and a 1.000 fielding percentage.

Torrington Titans
Local talent: LHP Tom O’Brien, Siena - After only getting in 9 innings as a freshman with Siena, the 6-foot-6, 250-pound lefty will be only 15 minutes away from homebase in Watertown, Connecticut while he gets in some more work.
National: RHP Rhett Jones, RHP Spencer Thomas & C Kaleb Holbrook, South Georgia College – A trio of southern ballers look to add their charm to the Titans season. All three are Georgia natives helped the Tigers to a 20 win season in 2013.

Wachusett Dirt Dawgs
Local talent: LHP Joe Saia, Suffolk- The Everett High School product, and former Greater Boston League All-Star, was 3-1 with a 4.94 ERA in his second season with the Rams.
National: INF Austin Sistrunk, Limpscomb - Was the District 11A Player of the Year in Tennessee following his senior season at Franklin High School. As a freshman at Lipscomb he started 30 of the 33 games he played in and and collected 23 hits (3 home runs), 15 RBIs and 12 runs.

You can reach Craig Forde by email at cforde@globe.com and follow him on Twitter @OnDeckBDC.

The Cap on Wednesday; scores, highlights

Posted by Craig Forde June 5, 2013 10:33 PM

Red Sox affiliates

Charlotte – 4
Pawtucket – 7
WP: Beato (3-1)
LP: Marinez (2-4)
S: Carter (8)
HR: POR-Hazelbaker (6), Middlebrooks (1)
HIGHLIGHTS: A power show in the seventh inning put the PawSox (35-24) over as they snap a two-game slide. The two teams combined for 23 hits with the Knights accounting for 14 to go along with 12 men left on base. … Pedro Beato worked 1 1/3 innings for his third win of the season. He has allowed just one run in his last six appearances. ... The rehabbing Will Middlebrooks carried a major part of the offense for his old mates, going 2-for-3 with a walk in his second rehab start. Middlebrooks launched a seventh inning homer and drove in 5 runs on the night. … Brock Holt is aiming down Mookie Betts recent 19-game hitting streak, an organizational high this season. Holt, 1-for-4 with an RBI, has extended his streak to 14 games and is now batting .281 on the season.

Portland – 6
Erie – 0
WP: Britton (4-5)
LP: Saupold (4-2)
HIGHLIGHTS: Drake Britton produced the game of his career in helping the Sea Dogs (31-26) snap a three game losing streak. A Hernan Perez leadoff double in the bottom of the seventh inning was the first and only hit the SeaWolves would get off of Britton who lasted 8 innings. He allowed a hit, a walk and struck out a season-high 8 batters, using only 88 pitches on the night. …Michael Almanzar (1-for-4, HR, RBI, run) hit a solo home run in the first inning that held up as all the scoring the Sea Dogs would require. He now has 11 home runs on the season, tied for third most in the Eastern League. … Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 9 straight games with a 2-for-4 effort that included a walk and his 6th home run, a solo shot in the third inning. It is the fourth straight game that Bogaerts has collected 2 hits and during the streak he is batting .516 with 4 home runs, 11 RBIs and 8 runs.

Winston-Salem – 0
Salem – 8
WP: Owens (4-2)
LP: Jaye (3-1)
HR: SAL-Gedman (2), Ramos (4)
HIGHLIGHTS: Salem (26-31) used three pitchers but got the same results as Portland, holding the Dash to just two hits on the night as they move to 3-2 in June. … The only hit allowed by starter Henry Owens was a second inning single by Joey DeMichele in which center fielder Henry Ramos cut down a runner at home to end the inning and preserve the shutout. Owens struck out 6 but lasted only 5 innings after allowing a season high 5 walks. On the night Salem pitchers served up 9 walks and struck out 11. … Besides the big assist from center, Ramos also went 2-for-3 with his fourth home run of the season, 2 RBIs and 12 runs scored. … Matt Gedman, who was 1 for his last 16 at-bats coming into the night, went 2-for-3 and hit his second home run of the season, a three-run shot in the third inning.

Greenville – 1
Charleston – 0 SUSPENDED
HIGHLIGHTS: The game was suspended with two outs in the top of the third inning and one on for the Drive who took a 1-0 lead in the first on back-to-back leadoff doubles by Mookie Betts and Cody Koback. The game is scheduled to be completed tomorrow prior to the regularly scheduled game at 7:05 p.m.

New England teams

New Britain – 2
Richmond – 3
WP: Snodgrass (5-1)
LP: Dean (3-6)
S: Maday (12)
HR: NB-Pinto (10)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Rock Cats (28-31) suffered their first loss of the month in a pitcher’s duel that saw only 1 walk issued by either side. The teams combined for 13 hits and the Flying Squirrels used a 2-run sixth to get the edge. … Starter Pat Dean lasted 6 2/3 innings, allowing 2 earned runs and 7 hits. In two consecutive starts versus Richmond, Dean has given up 3 earned runs over 13 2/3 and only walked one batter. ... Catcher Josmil Pinto (2-for-3, HR, RBI, run) hit his tenth home run of the season and second in his last three games. His .337 batting average is third best in the Eastern League.

New Hampshire – 2
Akron – 11
WP: Packer (3-5)
LP: Walden (4-6)
HR: NH-Glenn (5); AKR-Moncrief (7), Urshela (5)
HIGHLIGHTS: For the second consecutive night the Fisher Cats (28-32) watched a 2-0 lead evaporate. This time the Aeros didn’t wait for extras to cap it off though as they plated runs in each of the last five innings, sending New Hampshire to their fourth straight loss. … Leadoff hitter Kevin Pillar went 3-for-4 with an RBI, raising his average to .323, sixth best in the E.L. … Reliever Tyson Brummett allowed 8 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks over just 1 2/3 innings. The Fisher Cats staff allowed 14 hits and 6 walks on the night.

Wednesday's pitching matchups, notes

Posted by Craig Forde June 5, 2013 05:29 PM

Red Sox affiliates
7:05 p.m.
Charlotte Knights – Charles Leesman (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
at Pawtucket Red Sox – Chris Hernandez (3-2, 3.67 ERA)
NOTE: Chris Hernandez makes his first start of June and ninth of the season following a 3-0 May in which he logged 32 2/3 innings between 3 starts and 4 relief appearances. He did toss 5 scoreless relief innings against the Knights on May 11th, allowing just 1 hit and striking out 5 while earning the win. Charles Leesman, who Baseball America lists as the 11th best prospect in the White Sox system, will make his third start of the season since returning from a knee injury suffered against the PawSox in last season’s Governors’ Cup championship.

Portland Sea Dogs – Drake Britton (3-5, 4.11 ERA)
at Erie SeaWolves – Warwick Saupold (4-1, 2.42 ERA)
NOTE: Although he is 0-3 in his last 4 starts Drake Britton has given up 2 or fewer earned runs in three of those outings. He has not allowed a home run in his last 5 starts and has struck out 25. Erie’s Warwick Saupold hasn’t lost a start since April 12th, his second outing of the season.

Winston-Salem Dash – Myles Jaye (3-0, 4.07 ERA)
at Salem Red Sox – Henry Owens ( ERA)
NOTE: Henry Owens' last win came against the Dash back on May 11th, 5 starts ago. Since then he has tossed 19 innings, striking out 22 while allowing 20 hits and 12 earned runs. This is Owens’ 11th start of the season. Since a mid-May call up from Kannapolis, Myles Jaye is 3-0 in 4 starts for Winston-Salem, striking out 21 in 24 1/3 innings.

Greenville Drive – Justin Haley (2-6, 4.64 ERA)
at Charleston RiverDogs – Cesar Vargas (2-2, 3.15 ERA)
NOTE: The last two times Justin Haley hit the mound it was in the midst of 5-game and 4-game losing streaks respectively. This time he gets the pleasure of working with a two-game Drive win streak as he looks to extend his own two-game win streak in which he has allowed a combined 2 earned runs while striking out 11 in 11 innings. RiverDogs starter Cesar Vargas has made 2 starts against the Drive having not allowed a run and only 4 hits in 10 innings.

New England teams
6:35 p.m.
New Britain Rock Cats – Pat Dean (3-5, 5.05 ERA)
at Richmond Flying Squirrels – Jack Snodgrass (4-1, 1.97 ERA)
NOTE: Boston College product Pat Dean looks for three straight wins, ringing up an impressive 12 1/3 innings in his last two starts in which he has allowed 1 earned run, 11 hits and 1 walk while striking out 4 batters. Dean is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts versus the Flying Squirrels. Richmond starter Jack Snodgrass is 1-1 against the Rock Cats in two starts, with the win coming back on April 5th when he blanked the Cats over 6 innings.

7:05 p.m.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats – Marcus Walden (4-5, 3.13 ERA)
at Akron Aeros – Matt Packer (2-5, 3.25 ERA)
NOTE: Marcus Walden is 3-1 in his last four starts, with all three wins coming against the Portland Sea Dogs. He is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 5 starts away from Manchester and 4-3 with a 2.83 in night games, so he has those two factors working in his favor as he makes start number 12 tonight. Akron’s Matt Packer has allowed just 3 runs and has struck out 19 in his last 19 innings.

The Cap on Tuesday; scores and highlights

Posted by Craig Forde June 5, 2013 12:44 AM

Red Sox affiliates

Charlotte – 5
Pawtucket – 1
WP: Rienzo (5-3)
LP: Wright (2-3)
HR: CHA-Tekotte (2)
HIGHLIGHTS: The PawSox offense went cold for much of the night and the Knights took advantage in the middle innings to put up enough run support to back some solid pitching. … He did not allow a hit until the fourth inning but Steven Wright finished his night after giving up 5 runs and 7 hits in 6 innings . Wright did strike out a season high 7 batters. … Relievers Jose De La Torre and Oscar Villarreal worked a scoreless 7th, 8th and 9th innings, striking out a combined 3 batters. … Jeremy Hazelbaker and Jonathan Diaz collected 2 hits apiece. … Will Middlebrooks began a rehab assignment that is expected to last through Friday. The Red Sox third baseman went 1-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout.

Portland – 7
Erie – 8 (12 innings)
WP: Souza (4-1)
LP: Celestino (1-3)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Sea Dogs needed a 3-run eighth to tie the game and eventually send things to extra innings, but they a Michael Almanzar fielding error led to a 12th inning walk-off win for the SeaWolves. The teams combined for 27 hits, 13 walks and 22 strikeouts. … Starter Anthony Ranaudo let up a season high 4 earned runs and did not make it out of the fifth inning for the third time in his last four starts. It took him 101 pitches to get that far in the game after serving up 7 hits and walking 4 batters. … Leadoff hitter Shannon Wilkerson went 4-for-5 with a triple, 2 RBIs and 3 runs. He is batting .390 over his last 10 games and has raised his average to .277. … Xander Bogaerts (2-for-4, double, 2 walks, RBI, run) extended his hitting streak to 8 games.

Winston-Salem – 12
Salem – 5
WP: Blough (3-4)
LP: Augliera (4-3)
HR: WS-Hawkins 2 (10); SAL-Swihart (1)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Dash put up an 8-spot in the first inning, sinking the Salem Sox (25-31) hopes early. … Starter Mike Augliera was only credited with a 1/3 of an inning of work, but he saw plenty of action, giving up 7 earned runs on 7 hits, including a 3-run homer to Courtney Hawkins. Augliera has now lost three straight starts and have given up 14 runs and 20 hits in those games. … Blake Swihart (2-for-3, double, HR, walk, RBI, 2 runs) hit a solo homer in the fifth inning, his first dinger of the season.

Greenville – 6
Charleston – 2
WP: Dahlstrand (1-1)
LP: Niebla (2-2)
S: Kukuk (1)
HR: CHA-O’Brien (8)
HIGHLIGHTS: It may be high time to break up the Drive (17-39), winners of two straight games for only the third time this season. They are outscoring their opponents 15-5 in their two June games. … Cody Koback sparked a 4-run first inning rally and went 3-for-4 with 2 doubles, 2 RBIs and 2 runs to lead the offense. … Mookie Betts (2-for-5, double, 2 runs) has hit safely in 6 straight. ... Cody Kukuk worked 3 innings of relief, striking out a season-high 8 batters, to earn his first career save. ...Alex Hassan began a rehab assignment with the Drive, batting third in the designated hitters role. He went 1-for-2 with a run and two walks. Hassan is working back from a calf issue that has sidelined the former BC High star all season long.

New England teams

New Britain – 4
Richmond – 1
WP: Baxendale (1-1)
LP: Westcott (3-6)
S: Hauser (1)
HR: Herrera (7)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Rock Cats (28-30) make it a perfect 3-0 in June behind some early runs and a dominant performance from starter D.J. Baxendale. In his second Double-A start he struck out 7 in 7 innings and allowed just one run off of 3 hits and 2 walks, picking up his first won on this level. You can read more about the efforts of New Britain’s latest young gun in this MiLB.com piece by former Boston Globe correspondent Jake Seiner. … The Rock Cats did all their scoring in the first two innings, plating 2 in each frame. Danny Santana went 3-for-5 with a run and James Beresford went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run.

New Hampshire – 2
Akron – 3 (12 innings)
WP: Flores (5-1)
LP: Wright (1-2)
HR: NH-Loewen (6); AKR-Lowery (1)
HIGHLIGHTS: It’s now three straight losses for the Fisher Cats as their offense did not show up to complete the job in this game after taking a 2-0 lead in the fifth. … Starter Marcus Stroman struck out 3 and allowed one earned run on 3 hits in 5 innings of work. It’s the second time in four starts that he has gone 5 innings and allowed a run or less and 4 hits or less. … Adam Loewen took care of the scoring for New Hampshire, smacking a 2-run homer to give them a mid-game lead. He has hit safely in 7 straight games.

Betts, Chester named SAL All-Stars

Posted by Craig Forde June 4, 2013 07:14 PM

Thumbnail image for SALASGlogo.pngOn Tuesday the South Atlantic League announced the rosters for their upcoming All-Star Game set for Tuesday, June 18th at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, New Jersey, and in the face of a 16-39 record the Greenville Drive had two standouts recognized with selections to the 54th annual event.

First baseman David Chester was chosen as the starting designated hitter for the Southern All-Stars and second baseman Mookie Betts was named to the team as a utility infielder.

It is the first All-Star game for both players since being selected as members of the 2011 draft class; Betts picked by Boston in the 5th round and Chester in the 33rd.

Thumbnail image for Mookie.jpgBetts started the season ice-cold, batting .157 in April, before becoming a bit of a sensation thanks to a season-high 19 game hitting streak.

A .356 average in May has Betts currently batting .280 with a .417 on-base percentage and .926 OPS.

In 48 games Betts has 49 hits, 23 for extra bases, including 8 home runs (he had 0 in 71 games with Lowell last season) to go along with 17 RBIs, 38 runs and 11 stolen bases.

Chester.jpgChester, at 6-feet 5-inches and 270-pounds, has a tendency to put baseballs into orbit when he gets it on the sweet spot as proven 9 times so far this season.

In his 52 games he has collected 50 hits, 42 RBIs and 22 runs while batting .260 with a .464 slugging percentage.

"It is always nice to be recognized for your play on the field and I'm sure that David and Mookie are excited about being selected,” said Drive manager Carlos Febles in a story released by the team earlier today (read here). "These guys are prime examples of the kind of players that the Red Sox hope to develop in their minor league system, and we couldn't be prouder."

Other players of note selected to the South Atlantic League All-Star Game include former Pirates second-round pitcher-turned-slugger Stetson Allie (North), New York Mets highest rated catching prospect Kevin Plawecki (North), South starting pitcher Rafael De Paula a 'Top 10' Yankees prospect and one of the San Francisco Giants top pitching prospects in Chris Stratton (South).

The Carolina League, set to face the California League on June 18th, will announce their All-Star roster in the coming days and Salem Red Sox third baseman Garin Cecchini should be a lock while others like Blake Swihart, Mike Augliera and Henry Owens will have to wait and see.

You can still vote for other Red Sox minor leaguers to make their respective All Star teams:

Vote for your favorite Portland Sea Dogs to make the Eastern League All-Star Game here. (Game to be played in New Britain, Connecticut on July 10th)

Vote for your favorite Pawtucket Red Sox to make the Triple-A All-Star Game here. (Game to be held in Reno, Nevada on July 17th)

Tuesday's pitching matchups, notes

Posted by Craig Forde June 4, 2013 02:42 PM

Red Sox affiliates
7:05 p.m.
Charlotte Knights – Andre Rienzo (4-3, 6.71 ERA)
at Pawtucket Red Sox – Steven Wright (2-2, 4.64 ERA)
NOTE: Knuckle-baller Steven Wright takes to the bump for his tenth start of the season, looking for his first win since May 9th. He has allowed 29 walks this year, sixth most in the International League, and has given up 6 home runs in his last 5 starts after not allowing 1 in his first 4 starts. Andre Rienzo, one the Chicago White Sox top pitching talents, has not allowed a home run in his last four starts and has a 1.95 ground-out/fly-out ratio this season.

Portland Sea Dogs – Anthony Ranaudo (6-1, 1.48 ERA)
at Erie SeaWolves - Ramon Garcia (1-5, 6.45 ERA)
NOTE: If there was such a thing in Minor League Baseball, Anthony Ranaudo would certainly be a candidate for ‘must see TV’ whenever he starts. He was spectacular in his last outing, tossing 7 innings of 1-hit ball versus New Hampshire while striking out 8 batters. Ranaudo has allowed just 3 runs over his last four starts and hasn’t given up a home run in that span. Ramon Garcia was recently sent down to Erie from Triple-A Toledo following three straight starts of allowing 5 or more earned runs.

Winston-Salem Dash – Bryan Blough (2-4, 5.43 ERA)
at Salem Red Sox – Mike Augliera (4-2, 3.70 ERA)
NOTE: After a 4-0 start to his season Mike Augliera is 0-2 over his last three starts, which may have a little something to do with the long ball. In his first 7 starts he did not allow one ball to leave the park, but has given up 4 home runs in his last 3 outings. Augliera is most successful when he is keeping the ball down in the zone and forcing ground ball outs...like most pitchers I suppose. Winston-Salem’s Bryan Blough has given up 19 hits and 11 walks over his last three starts, all no decisions.

Greenville Drive – Justin Haley (2-6, 4.64 ERA)
at Charleston RiverDogs – Luis Niebla (2-1, 6.62 ERA)
NOTE: Now let’s see how Justin Haley reacts in the face of no major pressure at all! Having won his last two starts to halt some long Drive losing streaks, Haley gets the ball tonight with Greenville having won their last game. In 8 1/3 innings pitched against Charleston this season Haley has allowed 2 earned runs on 9 hits and 4 walks while striking out 14 batters. Luis Niebla makes his third start of the season having allowed 3 or more runs in each of his 4 appearances this season (two in relief).

New England teams
6:35 p.m.
New Britain Rock Cats – D.J. Baxendale (0-1, 13.50 ERA)
at Richmond Flying Squirrels – Craig Westcott (3-5, 3.88 ERA)
NOTE: In his second Double-A start D.J. Baxendale will have the honors of trying to make up for his first as he faces Richmond once again. His first time out, last Wednesday, Baxendale allowed 7 earned runs and 9 hits over 4 2/3 innings. It was his first loss of the season after going 7-0 with High Class-A Fort Myers. Richmond starter Craig Westcott is 1-1 against the Rock Cats in three starts, having picked up his win in that game last Wednesday.

7:05 p.m.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats – Marcus Stroman (1-1, 8.10 ERA)
at Akron Aeros – Will Roberts (4-2, 4.08 ERA)
NOTE: After getting smacked around in his last start at Portland, the ever-positive Marcus Stroman took to Twitter to exult in the tutelage provided to him after the game from non-other than Pedro Martinez. If the Sox pitchers that Martinez has worked with this season are any indication (see De La Rosa, Rubby) than Stroman is in for a quick turnaround following his 1 inning performance last Wednesday. Akron’s Will Roberts has collected wins in his last three appearances.

The Cap on Monday; scores, highlights

Posted by Craig Forde June 4, 2013 01:09 AM

Red Sox affiliates

Winston-Salem – 4
Salem – 5
WP: Ramirez (2-0)
LP: Cose (0-1)
HIGHLIGHTS: A quick 3 runs in the first got things started on the right foot for Salem who picked up 2 more in the fourth, then held on despite the Dash scoring 4 times in the fifth inning. … Reliever Noe Ramirez worked 2 2/3 scoreless innings for his second win in as many appearances. He struck out 2 and did not allow a base runner. … Keury De La Cruz led the offense, going 2-for-4 with a triple and 4 RBIs.

Winston-Salem – 3
Salem – 6
WP: Younginer (1-0)
LP: Marin (3-5)
S: Price (3)
HR: WS-Hawkins (8), Curley (9)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Salem Sox completed the sweep of the night, bouncing back with three late runs after blowing an early 3-run lead. … Kyle Kraus, fresh off the plane from Greenville, allowed just 1 run and 4 hits over 4 innings in his first start for Salem. … Madison Younginer allowed 3 hits and 2 runs in 1 1/3 relief innings, but managed to pick up his first win at the High Class-A level. … Garin Cecchini (2-for-2, 2 runs) and Henry Ramos (1-for-3) had 2 RBIs apiece to pace the offense.

Syracuse – 6
Pawtucket – 5
WP: Roark (3-2)
LP: Martin (0-1)
HR: SYR-Brown 2 (9), Costanzo 2 (8)
HIGHLIGHTS: It was a back-and-forth affair in which the PawSox could not hold on to a 1-run lead in the ninth, allowing the Chiefs to push the game to extra innings where they would pull it out in the 11th. … Alfredo Aceves served up three home runs on the night. He went 7 2/3 innings, his longest outing since arriving in Pawtucket, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits while striking out 6. … Brock Holt and Mitch Maier both had 3 hits on the night for the PawSox. Holt has now hit safely in 12 straight games and has already collected 7 hits in three June games.

Monday's pitching matchups, notes

Posted by Craig Forde June 3, 2013 02:52 PM

Red Sox affiliates
5:30 p.m.
Winston-Salem Dash – Jake Cose (4-3, 1.72)
at Salem Red Sox – Mike McCarthy (3-2, 4.02 ERA)
NOTE: This will be Mike McCarthy’s fifth straight start and eighth of the season. He is 1-0 and has allowed just 4 earned runs in his last three starts. McCarthy faced the Dash back on May 5th, earning a win after allowing only a run in 5 innings. Jake Cose gets his first start for Winston-Salem after being promoted from Kannapolis where he had 63 strikeouts in 57 2/3 innings.

Winston-Salem Dash – Jason Van Skike (2-1, 1.71 ERA)
at Salem Red Sox – Kyle Kraus (2-0, 1.96 ERA)
NOTE: The Salem Sox have received Kyle Kraus from Greenville and will immediately put the right-handed reliever to work to start game two. In 13 appearances out of the pen with the Drive, Kraus had allowed just 4 earned runs in 18 1/3 innings. He struck out 20 and walked only 2. Jason Van Skike makes just his fourth start of the season for Winston-Salem. He pitched a scoreless inning of relief against Salem back on May 3rd.

7:05 p.m.
Syracuse Chiefs – Danny Rosenbaum (5-3, 3.54 ERA)
at Pawtucket Red Sox – Alfredo Aceves (2-1, 3.13 ERA)
NOTE: Alfredo Aceves returns to the Pawtucket rotation after a brief callup to Boston. He has eaten up 23 innings over 4 starts for Gary DiSarcina and the PawSox. This will be his third start at McCoy Stadium where he is 1-0 with a 0.83 ERA. Danny Rosenbaum gets his 11th start for Syracuse coming off of his shortest outing this season, 1 1/3 innings versus Gwinnett.

Ex-UConn star Springer named Texas League Player of the Week

Posted by Craig Forde June 3, 2013 01:17 PM

Springer.jpgFormer UConn and Avon Old Farms star George Springer was named Player of the Week in the Texas League for the period of May 27-June 2.

Playing for the Corpus Christi Hooks (Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros), the center fielder has been putting on a hitting clinic for much of the season as he lived up to the billing of being the 11th overall selection in the 2011 draft.

Springer went 12-for-30 during the period with 4 doubles, 4 home runs, 12 RBIs and 8 runs scored as he carried on through a current nine-game hitting streak, including 4 hits during a Sunday doubleheader.

Springer also went 2-for-2 in stolen base attempts to bring his season total to 17, third most in the league.

He currently has the best slugging percentage (.640) and OPS (1.057) in the Texas League and also leads the league with 17 home runs, 47 RBIs and 46 runs and is sixth in batting at .310.

In three years with UConn Springer batted .346 with 46 homers and 196 RBIs before the Astros plucked him up with their first round pick two years ago.

Springer jumped from Class-A Lancaster to Corpus Christi last season and could make the jump to Triple-A Oklahoma City soon if he continues to rake at this rate.

He becomes the third Corpus Christi player, and first batter, to nail down weekly honors this year, joining pitchers Asher Wojchiechowski and Jake Buchanan.

Best of May: New England affiliates

Posted by Craig Forde June 3, 2013 12:37 PM

We have more monthly honors to bestow to the two other New England affiliated teams that were in action in May. By the end of the month this list will multiply by two (Connecticut Tigers and Vermont Lake Monsters), but for now we focus on the Best of May from New Britain and New Hampshire.

New Britain Rock Cats
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Rock Cats logo.gifBatter: Josmil Pinto – Danny Santana made a solid case for the nod, but Pinto’s May could not be ignored even though it was somehow not as good as his April. He did post the same batting average in both months, hitting .333, but upped his on-base percentage from .413 to .441 after drawing 19 walks. Pinto hit 3 home runs and had 18 RBIs and 17 runs scored.
Pitcher: Logan Darnell – Darnell turned into an innings eater for New Britain, tossing 41 2/3 frames over 6 starts. He went 2-3 on the month but posted a 2.38 ERA and 1.13 WHIP, highlighted by a scoreless 8-innings on May 23rd versus Binghamton when he struck out a season-high 9 batters. In 15 1/3 more innings than Darnell pitching in April he walked 5 less batters, giving up only 7 free passes in May while K’ing 33.

New Hampshire Fisher Cats
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for new-hampshire-fishercats-new-logo-colors.jpgBatter: Kevin Pillar – Continuing to set the table at the top of the Fisher Cats order Pillar pumped out 41 hits in May, giving him an Eastern League best 76 hits. He scored 22 runs, drove in 13 and collected his first two triples at the Double-A level. Pillar had 13 extra-base hits on the month and was 5-for-8 on stolen base attempts
Pitcher: Sean Nolin – He arrived from extended spring training after recovering from a groin injury and wasted no time in making his mark. In May he went 2-0 in four starts with a 1.77 ERA and 1.28 WHIP with 20 Ks in 20 1/3 innings. Nolin made his big league debut in the middle of the month, but returned to New Hampshire and returned to form following a tough start with the Blue Jays.

Best of May: Red Sox affiliates

Posted by Craig Forde June 3, 2013 11:50 AM

Before we completely turn the page to what is normally the busiest month of the baseball season, let us take a quick moment to reflect back on the achievements of the past month as we present to you the Best of May from the Red Sox farm system, as voted on by me…for whatever that’s worth to you.

Pawtucket Red Sox
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for PawSoxlogo.gifBatter: Bryce Brentz – It was a tough call here thanks to the efforts of Brock Holt, but Brentz is the choice based on his overall production. He appeared in 26 of the teams 30 games in May, highlighted by his 3-run walk off homer on the 17th to dispatch of the Gwinnett Braves. For the month Brentz equaled his April home run total with 5 and drove in 21 runs while scoring 11 times. He batted .288 with a .472 slugging percentage and he stole his first base at the Triple-A level.
Pitcher: Ryan Rowland-Smith – The PawSox bullpen was very strong in May and this honor could have easily gone to the likes of a Jose De La Torre or Anthony Carter, but Rowland-Smith was lights-out in his 9 relief appearances making him a no-brainer selection. Over 16 innings of work the Aussie yielded just one earned run and has only allowed 2 all season. He struck out 15 batters, walked only 4 and let up 7 hits. He went 1-0 in the month, earned his first save since 2011 and, if he keeps up at this rate, he may soon pick up a voucher for the Pawtucket-to-Boston shuttle.

Portland Sea Dogs
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for SeaDogslogo.gifBatter: Xander Bogaerts – The Sox top prospect flipped the power switch on in May after going homerless with only 8 RBIs in April. Of his 28 hits in May 14 were for extra bases, including 2 triples and his first 5 long balls of the year. He plated 22 runners and scored 20 times himself while stealing 2 bases in the process. More importantly his walks went up from 10 to 16 while his strikeouts went down from 24 to 21. Bogaerts batted .277 in May with a .535 slugging percentage and .915 OPS.
Pitcher: Matt Barnes – It was more of a quiet storm for Barnes in May. He was steady despite not having any particularly eye-popping outings. In 6 starts he went 2-0 with a 2.65 ERA with a 1.06 WHIP. He struck out 37 batters, walked 9 and lasted 5 or more innings in each start that he made.

Salem Red Sox
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for SalemSoxlogo.gifBatter: Blake Swihart – The catcher raised his average 36 points with a .324 May and showed an all-around improved patience at the plate, running up a .420 on-base percentage after drawing 12 walks. Swihart drove in 11 runs on the month and scored 8 times, had 6 doubles and 2 triples, and stole 4 more bases to bring his season total to 6, matching his stolen base total from a year ago.
Pitcher: Matt Price – The Virginia Tech product came into the season with only 3 1/3 innings of work in pro ball under his belt, but has continued to show improvement as he gains experience. In 7 relief appearances in May he went 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA and 0.86 WHIP while converting the first two saves of his career. He whiffed 15 batters in 14 innings and allowed only 3 walks.

Greenville Drive
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Drivelogo.gifBatter: Mookie Betts – A league and organizational high 19-game hitting streak put Betts, who batted just .157 in April, in another stratosphere as he raised his batting average a whole 118 points in just 26 games. He showed a major power burst, slugging the first 6 home runs of his professional career to go with 13 doubles, 9 RBIs and 23 runs scored. Betts also went 8-for-8 on steal attempts and ended the month on a 4-game hit streak, picking up just one game after his 19-game streak was snapped.
Pitcher: Justin Haley – The start of May was not pretty for Haley after going 0-2 with a 12.15 ERA in his first two starts. Two solid relief appearances and two very strong starts later and he seems to have righted a ship that was lost at sea. Over those four appearances Haley was 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA after allowing just 3 earned runs over 17 innings. He struck out 26 batters in 23 2/3 innings during May, including a season high 8 versus Charleston on the 24th.

The Cap on Sunday; scores, highlights

Posted by Craig Forde June 3, 2013 12:30 AM

Red Sox affiliates

Syracuse – 3
Pawtucket – 10
WP: Doyle (4-5)
LP: Torra (0-2)
HR: SYR-Perez (3), Walters (11); PAW-Maier (3), Snyder (9)
HIGHLIGHTS: Rubby De La Rosa was one out away from being in line for his first victory of the year. His 4 2/3 innings were a season high as were his 83 pitches. De La Rosa tied a season high with 7 strikeouts and gave up 3 hits, 2 walks and 2 runs, both off of homers. He has allowed just 7 hits over his last four starts. … Brandon Snyder (3-for-5, double, HR, 3 runs) and Mitch Maier (1-for-3, 2 walks, 2 runs) each had 3 RBIs to pace the PawSox offense. … Brock Holt went 2-for-5 with an RBI, extending his hitting streak to 11 games.

Altoona – 13
Portland – 6
WP: Sadler (6-3)
LP: Barnes (3-2)
HR: ALT-Lambo (13), Dickerson 2 (5), Cunningham 2 (11); POR-Spring (6)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Curve put on a display of power Sunday, connecting for 16 hits, 5 of which were home runs. A 7-run second inning for Altoona put the Sea Dogs (30-25) behind the 8-ball early. … Matt Barnes suffered his worst outing of the season, lasting only 1 2/3 innings after allowed 7 earned runs and 6 hits (3 home runs). He did have a shorter outing in his season debut (1 innings), but was pulled from that game due to an inning pitch limit. … Xander Bogaerts went 2-for-4 and has hit safely in 7 straight games. He is 11-for-23 with 9 RBIs and 6 runs in that span.

Myrtle Beach – 2
Salem – 3
WP: Stroup (3-3)
LP: VanMeter (0-3)
S: Ott (2)
HR: MB-Skole (1), Robinson (2)
HIGHLIGHTS: Despite getting only one hit on the night the Salem Sox (23-30) snatched victory from the Pelicans thanks to some solid pitching and plate discipline. Sox batters drew 9 walks and the pitching held on in the face of a late-inning Myrtle Beach rally. … Starter Kyle Stroup put forth his best campaign of the season, striking out 5 and allowing only 3 hits and a walk in 7 innings. He has allowed just 2 earned runs and 9 hits over his last 14 innings of work. … Garin Cecchini went 0-for-1 with a run and a stolen base to go with three walks. On the year he has earned 32 free passes to only 27 strikeouts. The stolen base was his 13th in 18 attempts. … Brandon Jacobs collected the only hit on the night for Salem, a two-run double in the fourth inning. He is batting .316 with 6 RBIs and 8 runs over his last ten games.

Asheville –
Greenville – POSTPONED
HIGHLIGHTS: Sunday’s game was rained out. Asheville took 2-of-3 games while at Fluor Field. The Drive move on to play three games in Charleston before returning home for 6 games.

New England affiliates

Bowie – 4
New Britain – 5
WP: Darnell (5-4)
LP: Pettit (3-2)
S: Turpen (1)
HR: BOW-Waring (8); NB-Sobolweski (2), Pinto (9)
HIGHLIGHTS: A 3-run bomb by Josmil Pinto in the sixth inning put the Rock Cats (27-30) up for good as they took 2 of 3 games from the Baysox. Pinto is batting .387 over his last ten games with 7 RBIs, 6 runs, 7 walks and only 4 strikeouts. … Logan Darnell worked 7 innings for his fifth win of the year. The 10 hits he allowed ties a season high and the 4 runs he allowed are the most since a May 6th start when he gave up 5. Darnell’s 75 innings this season are second most in the Eastern League. … Daniel Turpen worked 2 scoreless innings to become the fourth Rock Cat pitcher to earn a save this season.

Binghamton – 7
New Hampshire – 2
WP: deGrom (2-5)
LP: Nolin (2-1)
HR: BIN-Puello (8); NH-Robinson (5)
HIGHLIGHTS: With only 6 hits on the day the Fisher Cats (28-30) could not combat what Binghamton had in store for them. The Mets put up 5 runs in the fifth to take command of the game for good. … Clint Robinson (2-for-4, double, HR, RBI, 2 runs) had the only multi-hit game for New Hampshire. He is 4-for-8 o start June following a dismal May in which he batted .223. … Former UMass-Lowell hurler and BMets reliever Jack Leathersich had a 1-2-3 eighth inning to bring his ERA down to 1.37 on the season.

Sunday's pitching matchups, notes

Posted by Craig Forde June 2, 2013 03:58 AM

Red Sox affiliates
1:00 p.m.
Altoona Curve – Casey Sadler (5-3, 3.09 ERA)
at Portland Sea Dogs – Matt Barnes (3-1, 4.50 ERA)
NOTE: Fresh off of a successful May, Matt Barnes makes start number 11 on the season. Although he did go 2-0 (with a 2.65 ERA) last month, Barnes has not recorded a decision in four straight starts. Barnes has walked 1 batter in each of his last three outings.

1:05 p.m.
Syracuse Chiefs – Matt Torra (0-1, 5.73 ERA)
at Pawtucket Red Sox – Rubby De La Rosa (0-1, 3.45 ERA)
NOTE: He has yet to have the opportunity to work long enough into a game to earn a win, but Rubby De La Rosa has certainly done enough to almost always put his team in position for victory. He allowed just 1 earned run in May, throwing 16 innings and striking out 17 batters.

4:05 p.m.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans – Joe Van Meter (0-2, 2.54 ERA)
at Salem Red Sox – Kyle Stroup (2-3, 4.50 ERA)
NOTE: Kyle Stroup is coming off of a sound 7-inning no decision versus Potomac in which he allowed 2 earned runs and 6 hits. Of his 9 starts he has allowed 3 or fewer runs 7 times. Stroup has made two starts against Myrtle Beach, allowing 7 earned runs and 11 hits over 9 innings.

Asheville Tourists – Ben Hughes (5-4, 5.88 ERA)
at Greenville Drive – Jacob Dahlstrand (0-1, 7.04 ERA)
NOTE: Jacob Dahlstrand has made two appearances for Greenville, one relief and one start, and has posted similar results having allowed 3 earned runs, 7 hits and 2 walks in each of those outings. He did allow a home run in his last game equaling the number he allowed last year with Lowell in 55 innings of work.

New England teams
1:35 p.m.
Bowie Baysox – Jake Pettit (3-1, 3.64 ERA)
at New Britain Rock Cats – Logan Darnell (4-4, 2.51 ERA)
NOTE: Logan Darnell has been solid as a rock of late, but is 1-3 over his last four games. In those starts he has allowed 6 earned runs in 29 innings while striking out 25 and walking four.

Binghamton Mets – Jacob deGrom (1-5, 5.29 ERA)
at New Hampshire Fisher Cats – Sean Nolin (2-0, 1.77 ERA)
NOTE: Sean Nolin ran into some command issues in his last outing, walking a season-high 3 Portland batters. He did a solid job of working out of pressure and left the game after 5 innings having allowed just 2 earned runs. Nolin’s best work did come in his only afternoon start when he K’d 8 New Britain Rock Cats, earning a win after 6 scoreless innings.

June minor league promos around New England

Posted by Craig Forde June 2, 2013 03:13 AM

With the New York Penn League teams gearing up to kick off their season’s mid-month, baseball is going to be going full-tilt for the next three months. Let’s see what June has to offer in terms of the best promotions across the minor league parks of New England.

Connecticut Tigers
June 23: Matt Shaughnessy Bobblehead – The first installment of the Tigers new “Hometown Heroes” bobblehead series features the Norwich native and current Arizona Cardinals defensive end. Shaughnessy is depicted in his Norwich Free Academy football uniform and quantities are limited to the first 1,000 fans.
Opponent: Tri-City ValleyCats (Houston Astros)

Lowell Spinners
June 20: Super Canaligator Bobblehead – No one does bobbleheads like the Spinners and this will be the first of seven that will have crowds wrapped around the corner waiting for the gates of LeLacheur Park to swing open. Limited to the first 1,000 fans.
Opponent: Tri-City ValleyCats (Houston Astros)
June 30: Coloring Pennant/Jumpin’ Jack Flash/Peanut Free Game – So you say you hate peanuts yet you love Frisbee catching dogs and letting your kids express themselves through coloring? Have we got the promo for you!
Opponent: Vermont Lake Monsters (Oakland A’s)

New Hampshire Fisher Cats
miniOrtiz.jpgJune 12: Mini David Ortiz Bobblehead – There isn’t much that is “mini” about Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, but the Fisher Cats have found a way to shrink the massive star so that you can easily carry him home with you. This is your [expletive] bobblehead!
Opponents: Akron Aeros (Cleveland Indians)
June 16: Baseball Hiveaway/Fathers’ Day Catch on Field – Hands down, there is nothing better than watching a game with your dad on Father’s Day. The Fisher Cats make it even more memorable by providing a baseball (to the first 1,000 kids) so that you and pops can play catch on the field at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
Opponent: Erie SeaWolves (Detroit Tigers)

New Britain Rock Cats
June 13: Dancing with the Stars Pro Val Chmerkovskiy/Ladies Night – I will readily admit that I have no idea who this guy is, nor do I watch the show, but I know it has a pretty damn big audience so this appearance is probably of interest to many. Plus it’s the Rock Cats 1st ever Ladies Night, featuring a wine & cheese tasting pre-game networking event.
Opponent: Altoona Curve (Pittsburgh Pirates)
June 28: Beach Night/Post-Game Pyrotechnics – Pack a towel, button up your best Maui Jim shirt, wipe off your aviators and get ready to take the beach to the ball park. And if the beach and baseball aren’t enough to satisfy, stick around for the post-game pyrotechnics show, sure to dazzle both young and old! (I may have a future calling as a carni)
Opponent: Reading Fightin’ Phils (Philadelphia Phillies)

Pawtucket Red Sox
June 7th: Governors’ Cup Commemorative Bat Night – The first 4,000 fans ages 14 and under will get a bat commemorating the 2012 PawSox Governors’ Cup Championship. Growing up in my house this kind of giveaway was affectionately called “free weapon” night.
Opponent: Charlotte Knights (Chicago White Sox).
June 27th: Armed Forces Night/Camo T-Shirt Giveaway - Long before it became a popular “thing-to-do” the PawSox were honoring our military women and men because they knew it was necessary. Now, for the 34th year, they will pay homage to those who make it possible for us to enjoy the great game of baseball. The first 3,000 fans will land a PawSox camouflage t-shirt.
Opponent: Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays)

Portland Sea Dogs
June 12: Dustin Pedroia Bobblehead – There are no hotter giveaways in Peedybhead.jpgNew England than a bobblehead of a current Red Sox star. The big-headed statue of the former Sea Dog and current Red Sox second baseman is sure to be hot commodity, especially with only 1,000 available.
Opponent: Erie SeaWolves (Detroit Tigers)
June 14: Webkinz Giveaway/Flat Screen Friday – If your kids are Webkinz fanatics then make sure you are one of the first 1,000 through the gates of Hadlock Field for this one and since it’s a Friday night game you can have the opportunity to leave with a little something for yourself, a flat screen TV, of which two will be given away.
Opponent: Akron Aeros (Cleveland Indians)

Vermont Lake Monsters
June 20: Opening Night/Magnet Schedule/2-Millionth Fan – Of course Opening Nights are always a blast and I am a sucker for a magnet schedule, but having the chance to be the Lake Monsters' 2-millionth fan is something that will be legendary in the story of your stuff. I would also guess that you will be lavished with praise and prizes galore. But if you aren’t the lucky one then you still get baseball and you will know when the next home game is every time you open the fridge.
Opponent: Connecticut Tigers (Detroit Tigers)

These promos are just the tip of the iceberg of what is being offered by these organizations, so get out there and enjoy the fabulous product that Minor League Baseball presents to all.

The Cap on Saturday; scores, highlights

Posted by Craig Forde June 1, 2013 11:54 PM

Red Sox affiliates

Syracuse – 3
Pawtucket – 5
WP: Webster (5-0)
LP: Tatusko (0-2)
S: Beato (2)
HR: SYR-Brown (7)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Chiefs jumped out to a 2-0 lead but the PawSox (34-22) struck back with runs over the final four innings to pull out the win. … Allen Webster struck out 6 and allowed 2 runs over 6 1/3 to pick up his 5th straight win. Last season Webster won just 6 games in 29 appearances. … Brandon Snyder picked up 3 hits on the night to run his average to .299 and Brock Holt collected 2 hits and is now batting .268 just one month after he was at .174.

Altoona – 2
Portland – 1
WP: Hollingsworth (2-3)
LP: Celestino (1-2)
S: Baker (2)
HR: ALT-Cutler (2), Rojas (3); POR-Almanzar (10)
HIGHLIGHTS: The teams combined for only 10 hits, three of which were solo home runs that accounted for all scoring, but the Curve got the last big one in the ninth off the bat of Mel Rojas. … Brandon Workman logged a season-high 8 innings, allowing only a run, 3 hits and 2 walks. It’s his third straight no decision. …Xander Bogaerts went 2-for-2 with a double and 2 walks. … Michael Almanzar’s tenth home run and 39th RBI are both team highs and rank him in the top three in the Eastern League in both categories.

Myrtle Beach – 5
Salem – 3
WP: Jackson (5-4)
LP: Cuevas (1-6)
S: Harvey (1)
HIGHLIGHTS: Salem (22-30) scored three runs in the last two innings but it was not enough to take out the Pelicans who snapped an 8-game losing streak. … Starter William Cuevas allowed 4 runs and 7 hits in 5 1/3 innings to collect his sixth loss and fifth in his last six starts. Cuevas’ only win of the season came back on April 21. … Deven Marrero, Garin Cecchini, Brandon Jacobs and David Renfroe had two hits apiece for Salem.

Asheville – 3
Greenville – 9
WP: Diaz (1-1)
LP: Oakes (5-4)
HIGHLIGHTS: With May finally behind them the Drive (16-39) wasted no time in making June something better thanks to a 13 hit effort. … Starter Pat Light, fresh off the disabled list, faced one batter and threw just 3 pitches before leaving the game with an injury. … In relief Luis Diaz allowed just 1 run over 6 1/3 innings for his first win of the season. … In his second game since joining the organization third baseman Mario Martinez went 4-for-5 with an RBI and run. … Aneury Tavarez went 2-for-4 with 2 doubles, a walk, an RBI and a run.

New England affiliates

Bowie – 3
New Britain – 4
WP: Meyer (3-3)
LP: Clark (1-4)
S: Achter (3)
HR: BOW-Waring (7)
HIGHLIGHTS: After picking up 2 runs in each of the first and third innings, the Rock Cats (26-30) held on down the stretch. Daniel Ortiz gunned down what would have been the tying run on a bases loaded single, ending the Bowie threat after they pulled within one on the same play. … Alex Meyer mowed down 10 by way of the K, a season best. In 6 2/3 innings the 6’9” righty gave up just 2 hits, 2 walks and a run to earn his first win since April 25th. … Danny Santana went 2-for-4 and picked up the team’s only two RBIs. Santana has collected six hits in his last four games.

Binghamton – 6
New Hampshire – 0
WP: Montero (6-3)
LP: Tepera (5-4)
HR: BIN-Muno (2), Vaughn (6)
HIGHLIGHTS: The Fisher Cats (28-29) bats went silent as the BMets piled up runs over the first three innings to cruise to victory. … Clint Robinson (2-for-4) was the only New Hampshire batter with more than one hit. … Both outfielder Kevin Pillar and manager Gary Allenson were ejected in the 6th inning after arguing balls and strikes.

Saturday's pitching matchups

Posted by Craig Forde June 1, 2013 10:09 AM

Red Sox affiliates
6:00 p.m.
Altoona Curve – James McDonald (0-1, 40.50 ERA)
at Portland Sea Dogs – Brandon Workman (5-1, 3.75 ERA)

6:05 p.m.
Syracuse Chiefs – Ryan Tatusko (0-1, 3.38 ERA)
at Pawtucket Red Sox – Allen Webster (4-0, 2.52 ERA)

Myrtle Beach Pelicans – Luke Jackson (4-4, 2.74 ERA)
at Salem Red Sox – William Cuevas (1-5, 7.64 ERA)

7:05 p.m.
Asheville Tourists – N/A
at Greenville Drive – Frank Montas (1-5, 5.23 ERA)

New England teams
6:35 p.m.
Bowie Baysox – Zach Clark (1-3, 9.56 ERA)
at New Britain Rock Cats – Alex Meyer (2-3, 3.95 ERA)

7:05 p.m.
Binghamton Mets – Rafael Montero (5-3, 3.08 ERA)
at New Hampshire Fisher Cats – Ryan Tepera (5-3, 4.20 ERA)

About the author

Craig Forde covers baseball talent as it develops into the next big thing. He has covered high school and college sports for the Boston Globe, and the minor league teams More »

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