by Will Flemming (@WillFlemming)
Hallelujah! Baseball is back in our lives. The Red Sox kicked off their spring slate with a twinbill against Boston College and Northeastern; the Sox took the first of those two, 6-0, in a game that featured many former PawSox and a host of guys who could spend time at McCoy this spring and summer.
A few highlights:
- Stephen Wright had the knuckleball working early – he struck out the side in order in the first, then induced a double play and fanned another BC hitter in the second. Wright was lifted in the third for Matt Barnes. At this time of year, Wright will be removed more to get other arms work than to protect his arm (the knuckling puck puts so much less strain on Wright’s arm, he would probably tell you he could have gone nine innings today). Stephen is out of minor league options, so he needs to make the Sox’ opening day roster to stay off of waivers.
- Speaking of Barnes, he had an encouraging debut. College hitters or not, a 1-2-3 frame with a punchout is a perfect way for Barnes to begin his 2016 ledger.
- Pat Light pitched the sixth inning and allowed just a ground-ball single before he ended the inning with a strikeout. The most important statistic for Light today – and throughout the upcoming season – is that he walked none… a great way to get back in the saddle.
- Mookie Betts looks ready to pick up where he left off in 2015; he blasted a three-run homer in his third at-bat. According to Alex Speier, Mookie felt like he was out on his front foot during his first two ABs. He made an adjustment – and went yard.
- The legend of Sam Travis continues to grow. The Sox’ reigning offensive Minor League Player of the Year pinch ran for Hanely Ramirez (who was 2-for-2) in the third inning, then promptly doubled in his first at-bat…and then again in his second! Not a bad first day with the big club. Ian Browne had this great piece on Travis, who is all business at the plate.
- It was great to see Sean Coyle healthy and contributing. Sean replaced Dustin Pedroia and singled in two at-bats. After he was limited to just 39 games in 2015 because of nagging injury, Coyle is poised for a resurgent year as an impact bat for Pawtucket and beyond.
- Allen Craig was the designated hitter in the opener and did exactly what he did so much of for Pawtucket last season: he walked twice. Craig had the second most walks on the PawSox with 49 a year ago.
Some other news and notes:
- Christopher Smith penned this must-read piece on the story of Bryce Brentz and his twin brother Jared.
- I received final word today that we will be a part of Red Sox’ spring training in a new and exciting way. I will give you the details in a separate blog tomorrow… can’t wait to share the news.
I hope you all enjoyed having Red Sox baseball back in your lives as much as I did.
David Ortiz arrived in Fort Myers on Monday, and he had a simple mission: Find David Price. And bear hug him. The man who is arguably the most important Red Sox player of the last 50 years wanted to get off to a warm start with Boston’s biggest offseason acquisition. Of course, Big Papi is no stranger to the bear hug. He famously corralled Munenori Kawasaki (the walking, talking interview goldmine) at third base back in 2014:
Ortiz and Price have had a longstanding rivalry, and Ortiz wanted to begin his final season with a clear message for Price.
All eyes will be on Price at the front end of the rotation, while Craig Kimbrel was brought in to solidify the ninth inning. And yet as Kimbrel owns the closer role at the outset of 2016, many eyes in camp are upon Pat Light. Light – who burst onto the scene in a closing role a summer ago – was a revelation in Portland and over his first month with the PawSox. And even though his command eluded him at times down the stretch of the season, Light remains an upper-level prospect with the stuff to close at the Major-League level. When I chatted with Bob Kipper, he had this to say about his message for Light in ’16:
In this piece by Christopher Smith, Pat talks about completing the transition from starting to closing, and how he sought a routine over the winter in Puerto Rico (where he pitched to a 1.59 ERA over 11.1 innings with ten strikeouts and eight walks). The most intriguing element to me about this article is Light’s comments about his splitter; it was a fabulous, dominant change of pace offering for him a year ago.
If you follow the Red Sox at all, you undoubtedly saw John Henry’s comments about the role of analytics in the organization. As always, Alex Speier did a great job dissecting their impact in his must-read 108 Stitches Blog.
In yesterday’s continued media-guide creation, I discovered more interesting morsels (I also launched a Twitter quiz for two free PawSox tickets that has yet to find a winner (you can enter here and tweet me to win):
- Not that this is revelatory, but Sam Travis had an incredible (and durable) year. Among Sox minor leaguers, Travis led the organization in games played (131), batting average (.307), hits (150), RBI (78) and walks (59). He had the second most doubles (32) and extra-base hits (47), and slugged .452 for the year. PawSox fans have an excellent chance to see The Red Sox’ second round pick in 2014 at McCoy at some point this summer.
- The numbers from Rafael Devers’ 18-year-old season are eye popping. He scored the most runs among all players currently in the Red Sox’ system (71), led the organization with 38 doubles, 50 extra-base hits and 208 total bases. Devers had the second most RBIs (70), fourth most homers (11) and fourth most hits (135). Most expect him to start 2016 in Salem – Devers appears to be a star on a meteoric rise.
- The Red Sox as an entire organization only had 5 complete games in the minor leagues – and three of them were registered by PawSox (Johnson, Rodriguez and Wright). In the era of protecting young arms, the dearth of CGs isn’t completely surprising, but I was slightly taken aback to discover that the Portland Sea Dogs did not have one single complete game in 2015.
Josh and I are a day or two away from a very exciting announcement about the enhanced way we will cover the Sox over the next month. This news, meanwhile, needs no delay: this week’s PawSox Insider will air Saturday at 5:30 P.M. on WHJJ and stream on iHeart radio and TuneIn (with a podcast available immediately after on our website). This week we will be joined by Team President Charles Steinberg and Pitching Coach Bob Kipper.
Talk to you on Saturday,
by Will Flemming (@WillFlemming)
On my flight back from California over the weekend I watched The Martian; I thought Matt Damon did a brilliant job engaging the audience for two hours in what was essentially a solo performance. Best-Actor worthy, I told myself. Two weeks before, I had seen The Big Short and left thinking the screenplay found imaginative ways to simply describe the complex underpinnings of the collateralized debt obligations at the center of our financial collapse (Oscar-worthy screenwriting, I believed). My wheels started turning, and it hit me: with the Academy Awards on Sunday, why not have some fun today with an Oscar-themed retrospective of the 2015 PawSox season?
Without further ado… Welcome to the 2016 Pawscar Awards!
Best Actor in A Leading Role: If you believe all the experts, Brie Larson is the closest thing to a lock to win the Oscar on Sunday night. This was the easiest Pawscar to call, too. No player in the PawSox “Room” had close to the season or the impact that Jackie Bradley, Jr. did in 2015. Before he took his well publicized leap in Boston over the season’s last three months, JBJ was a model of consistency and production in Pawtucket. Over 71 games he posted an OPS of .853, batted .305 and displayed the brilliance in centerfield we’ve all come to expect. Here is a brief montage of some of Jackie’s high-water marks:
Best Screenplay: If I had seen August 1st play out on the silver screen, I’d have left the theater thinking “there is no way that would ever happen in real life.” That’s how magical the final two innings were on a Saturday night in Buffalo. The background: the PawSox had dropped 11 of their previous 12 ballgames and went into the 8th inning trailing 6-1. They clawed out a pair of runs in that frame but entered the ninth down by three. Then first two hitters were retired. Down to their last out, Deven Marrero hit a homer, dominoes started falling, and fiction became reality. Take a listen:
Best Animated Feature: Every ballclub has glue guys: the personality in the clubhouse that holds everything together over the course of a demanding season. These characters are even more important on clubs that struggle, as the PawSox did in 2015. Through the losing streaks and the dog days, the long bus rides and rain delays, Matt Spring remained a constant. Mired behind guys like Blake Swihart, Sandy Leon and even Luis Martinez, Spring only caught 29 games for Pawtucket but played 29 at first base and was the DH on nine occasions. He kept the mood light around the cages every single day and never once complained about his limited role. Having watched Springer act with such class throughout the 2015 campaign, the story of what turned out to be his penultimate at-bat of the season stands out as one of the summer’s singular goosebump moments. Springer elected free agency last November; if that was his last at-bat in a Red Sox (or any) uniform, I cant think of a more perfect curtain call. Here’s the audio from that day:
Best Director: In a season that saw a major front-office overhaul, there was still plenty of congratulations to be handed out in a productive year down on the farm. Ben Crockett, the Sox’ Director of Player Development, oversaw more impressive progress throughout the minor leagues. Crockett and his team masterfully handled the schedule of young prodigy Yoan Moncada; they held him in Extended Spring training for the first two months of the season before shipping the 20-year-old Cuban to Greenville. Over his first 20 games he batted .200 with a .289 slugging percentage – and then the lightbulb went on. After the All Star break, Moncada hit .310 with a .500 slugging percentage. He stole 45 bases in the final 56 games. Perhaps the largest testament to Crockett and his staff is that Moncada is no longer even the most highly ranked prospect from the 2015 Greenville roster. Rafael Devers erupted onto the scene last summer; here’s what ESPN’s Keith Law said about him:
“Devers didn’t come into 2015 with the hype of eventual teammate Yoan Moncada — both played for a loaded Class A Greenville Drive infield that also featured Javier Guerra, now in the Padres organization — but Devers established himself as Boston’s top prospect with an impressive all-around performance that showed he has the acumen to match his prodigious tools. He has huge power, with electric hands and a rotational, balanced swing that allows him to drive off his back leg. For such a big guy, he has remarkable plate coverage, rarely striking out — he was vulnerable just to hard stuff up and in when I saw him — so while his walk rates appear low, he was far from overmatched for an 18-year-old in full-season ball, with only 42 games of stateside experience coming into the season.”
Some people think Andrew Benintendi – the Sox’ first round pick last summer – is the best outfield prospect in the game. Flame-throwing righthander Anderson Espinoza burst into prominence a year ago. The emergence of Swihart, Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts as star caliber players in the big leagues speaks to Crockett and the Sox’ process of development. The cupboard is full of talent, and the Sox precocious stars of the future are in good hands with Ben.
Best Costume Design: If you’ve followed the Sox’ arrival in Spring Training at all, you’ve probably heard that Henry Owens is letting it fly even more than usual so far this spring. As he battles for the fifth rotation spot, Owens – who made his MLB debut at Yankee Stadium last summer – arrived in camp with extra flowing locks, even by his standards. Check out the lettuce that the lefthander is rocking these days:
Best Picture: Our final Pawscar of 2016 takes me back to a late July night in Norfolk, Virginia. Those of us who are lucky enough to broadcast baseball for a living will tell you that every so often, you have to pinch yourself and remember how fortunate you are. Sure, the roadtrips can be long. You miss out on a lot of beach vacations. You have four days off in five months. But we do something we love, and we do so in the most spectacular office. Every night, I look out onto the verdant green landscape before me and try my best to transport our listeners onto that grassy tapestry. The scenery on this particular night in the Virginia Tidewater took my breath away, and I’m glad I was lucky to snap this photo:
I can’t wait to see more spectacular skies in 2016 and to share them with you.
A few final notes:
- PawSox Insider is back, and will air every Saturday from now until Opening Day at 4 PM (with the exception of this coming Saturday, which will come on the air at 5:30 after Celtics coverage). We will have new features this season, and want to interact with you. If you have any questions, concerns or ideas, contact us at email@example.com – and we will respond to you on the show! Here’s a link to last week’s debut show: http://www.milb.com/multimedia/vpp.jsp?content_id=543888083&sid=t533
- You will find that in 2016, the new PawSox management team will overhaul and energize the gameday experience at McCoy. Just yesterday, the club announced My Hero Mondays; here’s a piece from the official release:
The Pawtucket Red Sox will honor area community heroes at each of the eight Monday home games this season. “My Hero Mondays” will recognize those whose heroism is celebrated as well as those whose good deeds have been without fanfare. The honorees will throw the Ceremonial First Pitch and be acknowledged on PawSox broadcasts, telecasts, and webcasts. The PawSox are inviting fans to submit nominations via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by completing a submission form online at http://www.pawsox.com. Fans can explain at any length why their nominee merits consideration. The nominator and the nominee will be guests of the PawSox at the selected game.
- Josh and I are closing in on some exciting news about how we will cover Spring Training in 2016. Stay tuned here and to our Twitter feeds (@WillFlemming, @JoshMaurerRadio and @PawSox) for more in the next week.
Thanks for reading; I will talk to you later this week!
by Will Flemming
On my last afternoon in Ft. Myers last Spring, just a few brief weeks after I had been hired by the PawSox, I stood outside the Red Sox clubhouse at Jet Blue Stadium and marveled at the logistical ballet that unfolded before my eyes. An army of team attendants and staff packed the Sox’ moving trucks that would head north to Fenway. David Ortiz’s bat bag laid next to John Henry’s flat-screen TV, the back of the 18-wheeler was a living, breathing baseball Tetris puzzle.
Yesterday afternoon, a horde of fans at McCoy Stadium caught the caravan heading in the other direction. Pitchers and catchers report a week from today, where they will find a clubhouse perfectly structured with the contents of many trucks like the one that cruised down Ben Mondor Way on Wednesday.
This is also the time of year that we begin to pull our 2016 Media Guide together; this has sent me headlong into the Pawtucket history books and on a deep dive through the 2015 campaign. Without spoiling the upcoming publication, I wanted to share a few things that jumped out at me over the course of my last week’s work:
- In 2015, the Pawtucket Red Sox were held to two hits only one time. And they won that game! In their last at-bat on April 20th, Travis Shaw led off the frame with a double and was lifted for pinch runner Quintin Berry. Matt Spring then singled Berry home and the PawSox beat Andrew Albers and the Buffalo Bisons 1-0. (They were one-hit on June 26, but did not find an unlikely way to win that day; Gwinnet’s Jose Peraza drove in the only run with a ninth-inning double off of Stephen Wright, who was fabulous for nine innings with 11 strikeouts and yielded only four hits.)
- The PawSox yielded three grand slams in the 2015 season … which is the same number the Durham Bulls yielded in THREE DAYS in July. Norfolk’s Sean Halton got Dylan Floro on the 5th, right before Charlotte’s Tyler Saladino and Chris Marrero (who ended the year with Pawtucket) blasted salamis on July 7th in a 17-6 win.
- On July 18 in Durham, Matt Spring hit the PawSox’ first pinch-hit home run since June 7, 2006, when when Jeff Bailey hit a grand slam in Indianapolis.
Another fun part of each year’s guide is a look back at PawSox alumni in the Major Leagues in 2015. Some things that leapt out at me:
- Bartolo Colon – who pitched in nine games for the PawSox in 2008 – has figured in a whopping 55 decisions over the last two seasons! He was 15-13 in 2015 (those 28 decisions were the most in MLB) and 14-13 the season prior (which was second only to Adam Wainwright and Johnny Cueto, each of whom were 20-9).
- You will be hard pressed to find a starting pitcher with two more consistent and strong seasons than John Lackey (who rehabbed for the PawSox in 2011) had over the past two campaigns. Lackey, who was of course involved in the deal that brought Allen Craig and Joe Kelly to Boston from St Louis, was a model of reliability: Last summer, he was 13-10 with a 2.77 ERA over 218 innings. In 2014, Lackey went 14-10 with a 3.42 over 198 innings.
- You’d be hard pressed to find a minor league club whose alums racked up more saves in 2015. Between Mark Melancon’s MLB-best 51, Andrew Miller’s 36 and Jonathan Papelbon’s 24, former PawSox cornered the market on ninth-inning relief a year ago.
Some other news and notes on the parent club and some gentlemen who may don the PawSox gear in 2016:
- ESPN draft guru Keith Law has placed three Sox prospects in his Top 20 – three names PawSox fans will be hearing a lot about this summer.
- The folks at Over The Monster ranked a flame-throwing righty fifth on their annual prospect list.
- Nick Cafardo took a long look at a spot where the Sox have an abundance of depth.
- Zachary Rymer, the Bleacher Report lead MLB writer thinks Rusney Castillo is well positioned for his breakout campaign.
56 days until Opening Day…I will speak to you again on many between now and then.
by Will Flemming (@WillFlemming)
Like much of New England, I got snowed in this weekend. More than two feet fell around my offseason home in Washington, D.C. Unlike New England, D.C. does not take massive snowstorms in stride. As of this writing the city is finally starting to dig its way out, but the weekend saw most residents holed up as the blizzard rolled through town. When we get a snowfall of this magnitude down here, you see some unusual things: cross-country skiers gliding down normally busy streets; snowball fights breaking out in traffic circles; and, for the first time in more than two decades, sledding on the hills surrounding the United States Capitol Building.
In many ways, baseball fans are on a similar ride – we are hurtling toward Opening Day 2016. With the PawSox’ opener 72 days away, we welcome you back inside the broadcast booth and into the 45 Miles From Fenway blog. From now until April 7, we will be your source for Sox news; join us here for winter ball updates, roster projections and reporting from Spring Training in Ft. Myers. We’re also a week or two away from a big announcement: we’ve created a new way to provide the very best Sox coverage to our fans. Stay tuned!
The PawSox were well represented at the Red Sox Baseball Winter Weekend, as documented in Rollin’ With Rick, Rick Medeiros’s always entertaining blog. The week before, we hosted Moonlight Madness at McCoy and had a great time interacting with fans. Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Bob Kipper joined us and were as engaging and welcoming as ever. As The ProJo’s Brian MacPherson pointed out, Jackie is a more confident and relaxed man; he seems ready to seize hold a full-time role in Boston in 2016. I had a chance to sit down with Jackie and explore his newfound peace of mind and trace its roots to a Sunday in Detroit:
Josh made it to the Sox Winter Weekend and caught up Don Orsillo. Donny had a lot to say about his new digs in San Diego and looked back on his years in Boston:
One other moment stood out from last weekend at Foxwoods – and it involved a pair of former PawSox. Wade Boggs will finally have his day in the Fenway sun this summer when the Red Sox retire his number 26. Before his number could hang in immortality the Sox had to overcome one last hurdle: Brock Holt currently dons the number. In an emotional ceremony, Brock graciously returned 26 to Wade, once and for all.
Dave Dombrowski turned some heads when he mentioned that Bryce Brentz has a chance to figure in the Sox outfield plans in 2016 if he stays healthy. Bryce is a newly married man and played eight games in Puerto Rico this winter for Criollos de Caguas, a club that is managed by Alex Cora. In eight games, Bryce went 7-for-27 with a homer, a double and a .375 on-base percentage. Rusney Castillo and Pat Light were Brentz’s teammates with Caguas. Light tossed 11.1 innings with 10 strikeouts with eight walks.
Speaking of winter baseball, here is a look at some of the 2015 PawSox who took part:
Sandy Leon has played for Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter league, and his club is in the championship series. In that set, he is 5-for-20 with two RBIs.
Aneury Tavarez, who was a bit of a late-season revelation for Pawtucket, spent most of the winter playing in his native Dominican but has joined Santurce for the championship series in Puerto Rico.
William Cuevas was a starter for La Guaira in the DR and pitched to a 4.07 ERA over 24.1 innings with 17 strikeouts and nine walks.
Lastly, PawSox skipper Kevin Boles has led the Perth Heat in the Australian Baseball League. The New York Times ran this great piece on Kevin and the ABL.
A few other notes:
The Red Sox are expanding the protective netting at Fenway, and hope to have it ready by Opening Day.
The Sox have no plans to test Blake Swihart at other positions, even as Christian Vasquez works his way back to health.
No one has a more harrowing story to tell from the 2015 offseason than PawSox’ ace Brian Johnson. Brian received encouraging news recently when an MRI of the left elbow that ended his 2015 season showed no structural damage.
I will leave you with this gem from last weekend. Apparently Carl Willis is a Billy Joel fan. Ruben Amaro? He may have some work to do…..
Until next time,
by Will Flemming (@WillFlemming)
What a summer it’s been for Dick Such. The man who has stepped in on two occasions as the PawSox pitching coach spent the bulk of the 2015 campaign as the pitching coach for the Red Sox’ Gulf Coast club – a team that yesterday won its second consecutive league championship. Dick first joined the PawSox in May when Bob Kipper’s father passed away, and has been with Pawtucket since Kip was named the interim bullpen coach in Boston.
Such has had a remarkable career in the game. I find it so interesting that a man who was the pitching coach for two World Series champions has spent a large part of his summer tutoring kids barely old enough to drive a car; a man who once helped decide to send Jack Morris out for the 10th inning in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series (more on that later) now monitors the development of Anderson Espinoza.
You can listen to my entire conversation with Dick below; here are a few highlights:
- A report on Espinoza, who today was promoted to Greenville and has made more headlines than any pitching prospect not named Eduardo Rodriguez (at the 45 second mark)
- The book on William Cuevas, who has made five strong starts for Pawtucket (around 4:50)
- Jack Morris in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series and the decision to keep him in the game for the 10th (7:20)
- Kirby Puckett’s role on the Twins’ championship teams (8:40)
Over the last two weeks, the offense has made life easier on Such’s staff. Winners of eight of 11, the Pawtucket bats have come to life. In the eight wins – all of which have come in three series sweeps during the last four sets – the PawSox have scored 40 runs and ripped 83 hits.
A couple names stand out:
- Chris Marrero is 10 for his last 31, with power. He has blasted three homers and three doubles in the last six games and taken a hold of the cleanup spot with Allen Craig promoted to the big leagues. The ProJo’s Kevin McNamara had this great profile of Chris’s baseball reunion with his cousin Deven.
- Speaking of Deven, he has led off in 23 straight games and taken to the role. Deven has three straight two-hit games, has been on base in nine of his last 15 plate appearances, has batted .309 in the leadoff spot and scored 16 runs with an on-base percentage of .368. He also played the second game of his career at third base and handled all three of his chances there, including this brilliant play that ended the game:
- Marco Hernandez is in the midst of a late-season surge. The lefthander – who has been moved to second base with Marrero the everyday shortstop and shown real defensive growth at a new spot – is riding an eight-game hitting streak during which he is 12-for-36 with six runs scored, a double, a triple and four RBIs.
The Sox welcome Rochester tonight at 7:05 for the finale of a two-game series. A few final notes and links before the ballgame:
- Alex Speier took this great look at the youth movement in Boston and what it might mean for 2016.
- It seems like Dave Dombrowski is leaning toward an outfield alignment of Bradley CF/Betts RF/Castillo LF but Jackie has shown comfort in Fenway’s difficult and quirky right field.
- Though they were technically already the champions when Pawtucket beat Rochester, Scranton celebrated the IL North title with this final out:
The PawSox have won six straight at McCoy, with four left on the 2015 slate. Josh and I will talk to you on WHJJ at 6:50.
by Josh Maurer
Every year on the September 1st, the Major League rosters expand and teams in the International League get a very different look for the end of the regular season. This week four members of the PawSox were promoted to the big leagues: Allen Craig, Sandy Leon, Noe Ramirez and Ryan Cook.
To take their spots in Pawtucket, the Red Sox promoted three players from Double-A Portland (and activated reliever Dayan Diaz from the disabled list). Here are some capsules of the newest PawSox, who should all be regular contributors for the final week of the season:
ANEURY TAVAREZ – OF
2015: Made Triple-A debut on 9/1 vs. LHV, went 1-for-2 with BB, HBP, 2B, R…Promoted to PAW on 9/1…Split season between Salem and Portland, playing in 106 total games and batting .246 with 7 HR, 32 RBI, 12 SB and 21 2B…Played in 67 games with POR, batting .226 with 5 HR and 14 RBI…Led POR in OF assists (7)…Hit walk-off homer on July 30th vs. Harrisburg (led off the ninth)…Placed on temporary inactive list from July 8-21 (Pan-Am Games)…Promoted to Portland on May 24th from Salem (Gragnani to DL)…Hit .280 (59‐for‐132), 2 HR, 18 RBI, 8 2B, 4 3B, 17 BB, 28 SO, 8 SB in 39 games with Salem…Reached base safely in his last 16 games with Salem: 17‐for-55, .309, 3 2B, 3 3B, HR, 4 R, 11 RBI.
2014: Spent entire season with High-A Salem, leading the club in home runs and ranking second in steals…Hit .250 (86-for‐344) with 11 homers, 50 RBI, 16 doubles, 5 triples and 18 stolen bases…Was on the disabled list from April 10-‐18 and August 15 through the remainder of the season…Hit .345 (19-for‐55) with 10 R and 3 HR during a 13-game hitting streak from June 2-19.
Personal: Signed by the Red Sox as an International free agent on October 18, 2010.
LUIS MARTINEZ – C
2015: Since return from POR on 9/1 (2 games): 3-for-7, BB, 3 R, 2 RBI, 3K…Went 2-for-4 with 2 R, RBI in return to PAW on 9/1 vs. LHV…Promoted back to PAW on 8/1…With POR has played in 65 games and batted .219 with 1 HR and 23 RBI…Transferred back to POR on 7/31, played in 15 games in August and batted .196 (10-for-51) with 5 RBI…Had first RBI (1B in 5th inn) with PAW on 7/5 at SYR…Started 5 of team’s first 6 games after promotion from POR (6/28-7/3)…Got first 2 hits with PAW on 6/30 at ROC (each off Ervin Santana)…Made PAW debut on 6/28 vs. GWN, went 0-4 with K…Promoted to PAW on 6/28 (H. Quintero on DL)…Played in 50 G for Portland to start season…Signed by Boston as a minor league free agent on 1/23/15.
2014: Combined with Triple-A Salt Lake (LAA) and Triple-A Sacramento (OAK) to hit .242 (56-for-231) in 67 games. Threw out 23 of 66 (34.8%) attempted base stealers. Began the season with the Bees, hitting .392 (20-for-51, 8 2B, 2 HR) during a 15-game stretch from 4/16-5/13 and .326 (15-for- 46) in a 12-game span from 6/27-7/25. Released by LAA on 8/2, but signed the following day with OAK as a minor league free agent.
2013: Claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles from the Rangers on 1/4. Spent majority of season with Double-A Bowie, hitting .325 (39-for-120) in his first 35 games with the club (4/4-7/1). Threw out a career-best 39.0% (16 of 41) of attempted base stealers. Placed on the DL from 6/10-20. Signed by the Angels as a minor league free agent on 11/20.
2012: In his 1st season in the TEX organization, played in 10 games (6 starts) over 2 stints with the Rangers. Did not commit an error for TEX (54 TC). Rangers pitchers produced a 2.95 ERA with Martinez catching. Spent majority of season with Triple-A Round Rock, where he hit .316 (24-for-76) in his final 22 games with the Express.
Personal: Originally selected by San Diego in the 12th Round of the 2007 draft out of Cumberland (TN) University…Has seen ML action with SD (2011) and TEX (2012).
MADISON YOUNGINER – RHP
2015: Promoted to PAW on 9/1…Appeared in 38 games with POR (all in relief), going 7-4 with 2 saves and a 2.72 ERA (72.2 IP, 60 H, 22 ER, 22 BB, 53 K)…Last 11 games w. POR: 1.64 ERA (4 ER/22.0 IP)…2-for‐10 in SV opportunities: 3‐3-1, 4.27 ERA (10 ER/21.1 IP), 29 H, 2 BB, 16 SO…4-1 in all other appearances (28): 2.10 (12 ER/51.1 IP), 31 H, 20 BB, 37 SO…Posted a 0.00 ERA in June – just the 5th pitcher in franchise history to have a 0.00 ER (min. 50 batters faced)…Retired 20 straight batters over 3 IP (6 SO) from May 29-June 11…Allowed his first run on April 16th at Trenton (Aaron Judge walk-off homer in the 10th inning) and second run on April 24th vs. Trenton…Made regular season debut in Double-A on April 12th vs. Reading (2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 2 SO).
2014: Made his Double-A debut in Game 4 of the Eastern Division Championship Series against the Binghamton Mets, working 3 scoreless on one hit and one strikeout…Promoted to Portland on September 5th from High-A Salem (3-3, 4.08 ER in 35)…Allowed an earned run or less in 31 of 35 appearances…Season-high 5 strikeouts on May 27th at Myrtle Beach…Following the season, played for Surprise in the Arizona Fall League, going 1-0, 7.36 ERA (6 ER/7.1 IP) in 7 games.
ACQUIRED: Selected in the 7th Round of the 2009 Draft from Mauldin High School (South Carolina).
PERSONAL: Attended Mauldin High School in South Carolina…Is the cousin of former Red Sox infielder Brandon Snyder.
Tavarez has recorded hits in each of his first two games played, plus the right-fielder made a leaping catch just in front of the fence to save a victory for the PawSox over Lehigh Valley on Wednesday night.
Martinez has delivered RBI hits in each of the his first two games since returning to Pawtucket, including a big one in the second inning on Tuesday that gave the PawSox an early lead.
The PawSox swept two games from the IronPigs and won the season series against Lehigh Valley, 10-8. Pawtucket has now swept three of its last four series and overall has won 12 of 20 games since August 14th. Looks like it will be a good finish to an otherwise tough season on the field.
Starting on Thursday night Kevin Boles’ squad welcomes Rochester for two games. LHP Edwin Escobar takes the ball for his final start of the season in game one. First pitch comes at 7:05pm. It is the first of the final five games of the 2015 season.
Hope to see you at McCoy, but if not Will and I look forward to speaking with you on the radio!