Results tagged ‘ Alex Hassan ’

Top-10 PawSox Moments in May

Between the late nights, early morning flights, bumpy bus rides, and countless other factors, a minor league baseball season can quickly become a blur. Today, as we flip the calendar to the start of June, we’ll begin by rewinding to the beginning of May to rank the Top-10 moments from the month that was.

#10 – Nava Gets Second Call-Up to Boston (May 10)

Even though there wasn’t a grand slam this time, Daniel Nava’s return to the Major Leagues was, to some, maybe as unthinkable as his historic slam in his big league debut in 2010.

Never mind the fact that Nava wasn’t invited to Major League camp, he wasn’t even in the PawSox Opening Day lineup. After a slow start to the year, Nava caught fire and has continued to produce with Boston.

#9 – Gomez Delivers in the Eighth Inning (May 10)

The PawSox trailed the Rochester Red Wings at McCoy Stadium by a run going into the bottom of the eighth inning. With two outs, Jose Iglesias singled, then Lars Anderson reached on an error by former PawSox second baseman, Joe Thurston. That’s when Mauro Gomez ripped a two-run double that bounced off the right-field wall to plate two runs and give the PawSox the lead and the eventual win, 7-6.

Gomez has had plenty to smile about this season. Not only has he received his first Major League call-up, but he leads the PawSox in home runs, runs batted in, doubles, and hits. (Kelly O’Connor).

#8 – Mathis Nearly Perfect, Youkilis Rehabs (May 21)

After struggling in April, Doug Mathis flipped the switch in May and dominated the Norfolk Tides in his ninth start of the year.

The former Texas Ranger had maybe the best outing of any Pawtucket starter this year by tossing seven-innings scoreless, allowing just one hit – a fifth-inning triple that was almost caught with two outs.

The PawSox blanked the Tides 4-0 and were aided by rehabbing Kevin Youkilis who finished 1-for-2 with an RBI double and a pair of walks.

#7 – Middlebrooks Gets the Call (May 2)

After thrashing International League pitching throughout April, PawSox third baseman, and Red Sox No. 1 prospect, Will Middlebrooks received his first-ever call-up to Boston.

Since joining the Red Sox, Middlebrooks is batting .316 (30-for-95) in 24 games with six homers and 21 runs batted in. Safe to say it’s looking less likely he’ll see Pawtucket again this season.

In 24 games with the PawSox, Middlebrooks hit .333 with nine homers and 27 runs batted in. Five of is home runs came with two men on base. (Kelly O’Connor)

#6 – Hassan Delivers on Mother’s Day (May 13)

On a beautiful Mother’s Day at McCoy, the PawSox and Columbus Clippers were tied 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth inning. With his mom in the stands, Alex Hassan homered to left-field with one out to give Pawtucket a 5-4 lead and the eventual win.

Hassan finished the day 3-for-3 with two runs batted in, three runs scored, and was a triple shy of the cycle.

#5 – PawSox and Bulls Take Center Stage in Japan (May 17)

In front of over 10,000 fans, plus thousands more watching on Japanese sports cable channel J SPORTS, two of the Pacific Rim’s biggest  baseball stars squared off at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Rehabbing Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched for the PawSox as Hideki Matsui played his third-career game in the Tampa Bay Rays’ system. Although Pawtucket lost 5-0 and never moved a runner past second base, the media hype and overall buzz within the ballpark made it one of the more memorable games this season.

There were over 35 Japanese media members in Durham to report on Matsuzaka vs. Matsui. (Kelly O’Connor).

#4 – PawSox Homer Five Times (May 27)

Not only did the PawSox club five home runs, but three of the first four batters in the bottom of the first inning went deep.

Pedro Ciriaco hit a lead-off homer to left, followed by Nate Spears’ home run to right. After Darnell McDonald smoked a line drive to third base, Lars Anderson went deep to right field.

Anderson homered again to begin the sixth inning, followed by Alex Hassan’s 2-run shot in the eighth. For Anderson, it was his third-career two-homer game, his first since 2009.

#3 – PawSox Take Down Andy Pettitte (May 6)  

Originally scheduled to be played at Dwyer Stadium in Batavia, Ny., the PawsSox and Yankees dueled in front of a record crowd at Frontier Field in Rochester. Because of the media and fan interest, the Yankees, PawSox, and Red Wings all agreed to move the contest to Rochester where, in a matter of days, the Wings sold 13,584 tickets to watch Andy Pettitte.

With the Triple-A Yankees’ ballpark under season-long construction, the PawSox dealt the five-time World Series champion a loss. In fact, the first four PawSox batters recorded hits off Pettitte: Pedro Ciriaco (double), Jose Iglesias (infield single), Ryan Lavarnway (RBI double), and Lars Anderson (RBI single).

Iglesias went 2-for-3 with an RBI against Pettitte and the Yankees. Even more impressive, the PawSox shortstop hit .341 in May with his second-career homer and nine runs batted in. (Kelly O’Connor)

#2 – Lavarnway’s Bomb Caps Seven-Run Inning, and the Win (May 26)

The PawSox went into the bottom of the eighth inning trailing Toledo 5-1. When the inning was over, they lead 8-5. Ryan Lavarnway’s 3-run homer was the bow on top of  a 7-run, 7-hit inning – the most runs scored in a single frame this season by Pawtucket.

Not only was Lavarnway’s home run a first pitch no-doubter, it was his first home run since April 17 (99 at-bats).

#1 – Lars Anderson Makes SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays (May 29)

For the first time in the history of McCoy Stadium, a home run was hit of the HD video board in right-center field. As part of his third-career, five-RBI night, Anderson pounded a two-run shot in the fourth inning that blew out a small portion of the two-year old board.

Photo taken of the video board at McCoy Stadium seconds after Anderson’s blast. (Jillian Souza)

For his efforts, Anderson was among the Top-10 plays that night (and the next morning) on SportsCenter.

There were plenty of noteworthy moments throughout May for the PawSox, who ended the month 18-12. Tonight June begins with Game 1 of a brief four-game road trip to Lehigh Valley to face the Iron Pigs. Brandon Duckworth (5-1, 4.22) will be opposed by righty Scott Elarton (5-2, 3.44).

First pitch tonight from Coca-Cola Park is scheduled for 7:05, we hit the air with the pre-game show at 6:50.

Talk with you then.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Tazawa, Hassan, and Iglesias Contributing

After soaking in their only off-day of the month, the PawSox are back home tonight where they open up an eight-game homestand against Toledo and Norfolk.

Pawtucket’s 5-3 rain-shortened win Tuesday against the Tides salvaged the recent road trip at 4-4, keeping the PawSox with the top record in the I.L. at 29-18. Their 15 road wins are also the best in the league.

PawSox Notebook:

  • Because he spent time behind Tim Federowicz in Portland and Luis Exposito in Pawtucket, Ryan Lavarnway appeared as the designated hitter in 62-of-133 (47%) games he played in last year. Now a full-time catcher, Lavarnway DH’d for just the second time all year on Tuesday.
  • Junichi Tazawa has surrendered five runs over his last two appearances – all unearned. If you combine his work with Pawtucket and Boston this year, Tazawa has allowed just two earned runs over 25 1/3 innings (0.71 ERA). Since both his earned runs came in the same outing (May 6 at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre), the right-hander has not allowed an earned run in 15-of-16 appearances.

Tazawa has been lights out for the PawSox – and Red Sox – this season. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be much room currently in the Red Sox bullpen. (Kelly O’Connor).

  • In his first season in Triple-A, Alex Hassan continues to lead the PawSox in on-base percentage (.373) despite ranking 7th among current batters in hits (29), and 8th in batting average (.234). He’s tied with Lars Anderson for the team-lead in walks (24), and paces all PawSox hitters by getting plunked by four pitches. Hassan lead the entire Red Sox farm system with a .404 OBP last season.
  • After an April batting average of exactly .200 (17-for-85) with one extra-base hit, Jose Iglesias is batting a club-best .360 over his first 18 games in May. He already has four extra-base hits (including his second-career home run), and is the active monthly leader in OBP (.375) and on-base plus slugging (.828).
  • In 22 games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, former major league All-Star Scott Podsednik was batting a slim .203 with no homers, one extra-base hit, and four RBIs. The Red Sox then purchased his contract from the Phillies and assigned him to Pawtucket. In nine games with the PawSox Podsednik hit .323 with a home run and six RBIs and was called-up the the bigs on Tuesday. Yesterday the “Podfather” played in his first major league game since 2010 and hit a home run for the Sox in Baltimore. Sometimes you just never know what can happen.

Podsednik’s solo homer in the eighth inning helped the Red Sox edge Baltimore 6-5 Wednesday. Notice former PawSox Luis Exposito catching for the Orioles. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The PawSox are not only back home tonight, they’re also back on TV. I’ll be joined by former PawSox and Red Sox reliever Ken Ryan for tonight’s game aired in Rhode Island on the Ocean State Network. Righty Ross Ohlendorf (3-3, 4.64) will be opposed by lefty Adam Wilk (2-3, 2.64). First pitch from McCoy is set for 7:05.

Talk with you then.

-AG

agoldsmith@pawsox.com

PawSox Players on Twitter

If you’re not on Twitter yet, what are you waiting for? (New Media Blog)

Although the PawSox have dropped the first two games here in downtown Toledo, I’m sure many of you might be interested in knowing what the guys are up to day-in and day-out. With that in mind, what better way to get to know the PawSox than by following them on Twitter? Of the club’s 25 players, here are the socialites chatting on Twitter.

Daniel Nava (@dnavs33): One of the nicest guys in all of baseball, Daniel has over 7,000 followers.

Justin Germano (@JustGerm): With over 1,000 tweets, Justin is one of the most active PawSox players on Twitter.

Jose Iglesias (@JoseIglesias_SS): Jose announced his recent call-up via Twitter, “Got the call to the Majors! Thanks to all for your well wishes. Looking forward to help the #redsox put up more W’s.”

Will Middlebrooks (@16WMBrooks): Yeah, yeah, I know. Will is with Boston now, but come on!

Tony Thomas (@GoldGlover2B): Not only is Tony active on Twitter, but he posts plenty of pictures.

Alex Hassan (@AEHassan27): A Milton, Ma. native, Alex is a must-follow for all New England Red Sox fans.

Let me know if I missed anyone, and be sure to give these guys a follow. By the way, the PawSox Twitter account (@PawSox) is approaching 10,100 followers.

Pawtucket has dropped six of its last seven games and looks to turn things around with Tony Pena Jr. making his first start of the year tonight. First pitch in Game 3 of the series is set for 6:30, we hit the air at 6:15

Talk with you then.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Homestand Photos, April 20-25

Although the PawSox fell short yesterday of what would have been a franchise-record ten consecutive wins, the team still has the top record in the International League at 15-6.

Since the PawSox have today off before leaving tomorrow morning for a ten-day road road trip, this seemed like the perfect chance to share some photos from the recent homestand where club went 5-1. Special thanks to PawSox contributing photographer Kelly O’Connor (@sittingstillsox) for these great images.

Will Middlebrooks did a lot of this over the last six games. The Red Sox No. 1 prospect finished the home stand with four home runs.

Middlebrooks wasn’t the only one to go deep often. Mauro Gomez received plenty of high fives following each of his five homers over the last six games.

The PawSox first-ever “Bark in the Park” was a huge succes!

Infielder Jon Hee showing off some Matrix ball skills.

Mark Melancon made his Pawtucket debut during the homestand. The righty made three appearances and collected his first save of the year.

We had a chance to see Alex Hassan make some great plays in the outfield with both his glove and his arm.

It was great to watch Rich Hill pitch for the PawSox as he continues to recover from Tommy John Surgery.

As his bat is heating up, outfielder Josh Kroeger made a couple of terrific plays defensively. 

So Will Rhymes doesn’s play for the PawSox, this was too good to pass up. Lots of credit goes to Kelly for noticing that Will shaved his mustache during the middle of the game! (This was later confirmed via Twitter.) I guess he wasn’t hitting well enough with the ‘stache.

Thanks once again to Kelly for these great pics. The PawSox open up the road trip tomorrow night from Columbus in Game 1 against the Clippers. First pitch it set for 7:05 p.m., we’ll be on-air with the pre-game show at 6:50.

Talk with you then.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Homestand Photos

The PawSox first homestand of 2012 wraps up this afternoon with a 12:05 first pitch against Lehigh Valley. Here are some photos from the first five games of the season at McCoy Stadium thanks to photographer Kelly O’Connor.

PawSox manager Arnie Beyler and hitting coach Gerald Perry share a laugh during the player introductions on Opening Night.

Pawtucket outfielder Daniel Nava being introduced on Opening Night.

Pre-Game ceremonies on the field prior to Opening Night at McCoy on Thursday.

Easter Candy Hunt! Thousands of pieces of candy were picked up in minutes in-between Saturday’s doubleheader.

Smores, anyone? Nate Spears stays warm during Game 2 of the doubleheader.

Alex Hassan, in his first Triple-A start in right field, gunned down speedy Dominic Brown at home trying to score on a sacrifice fly attempt.

PawSox first baseman Lars Anderson showing off some pre-game ball skills.

Shortstop Jose Iglesias has already dazzled defensively this season.

It seems as if center fielder Che-Hsuan Lin makes a catch like this every night.

Nate Spears signing autographs for some kids above.

Catcher Ryan Lavarnway makes time to sign for some young fans in a sutie.

Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg is in his second season managing Lehigh Valley.

Second baseman Nate Spears makes a diving stop on a ball in Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader.

Thanks again to Kelly O’Connor for bundling up and taking these great pics. Steve and I hit the air at 11:50 this morning for the series finale versus the IronPigs.

Talk with you then.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Goodbye, Ft. Myers

My first Spring Training was a blast.  I saw nine different games, met some terrific people, and learned a lot. I’m timing things right because this morning it’s raining for the first time all week.

Yesterday I went to the PawSox game at the Twins’ facility with my friend Mike Antonellis, the “Voice of the Portland Sea Dogs.” Here are some pics from yesterday’s game.

Former PawSox and Red Sox player, Aaron Bates. Now with the Twins, Aaron was the first player I ever covered to get called up to the big leagues.

Aaron talking with Mike after the game.

Red Sox outfield prospect Alex Hassan playing in his first minor league game since being sent down from big league camp.

Billy Buckner, no relation to Bill Buckner, pitched yesterday for the PawSox. The 28-year-old has appeared in 36 major league games (21 starts) since 2007 with Kansas City and Arizona.

Jeremy Kehrt appeared in seven games (two starts) for the PawSox last year.  The righty pitched for Scottsdale in the prospect-driven Arizona Fall League this past off-season.

The PawSox fell to Rochester 6-2 yesterday with Kehrt getting the start, pitching two innings, and suffering the loss. Both of Pawtucket’s runs came on RBI groundouts in the fifth inning. The only real offensive highlight was a sixth-inning triple by J.C. Linares to right-center. The ground shook when he slid into third base.

This will do it for me from beautiful Ft. Myers.  Today is a camp day for the PawSox (no games), but tomorrow they’ll host Rochester at 1:00 p.m. EST. My broadcast partner Steve Hyder will be down here for a week starting  tomorrow and will have lots of coverage on his blog which can be read here.

Thanks for your terrific readership this week – it’s been a privilege writing for you each day. I’m sure Spring Training 2013 will be even better, but before then, I’m counting down the 11 days until Opening Day 2012 on April 5th at McCoy Stadium.

Hope to see you there.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

PawSox Picture of the Week

Now that we’re under a month away from Opening Day here at McCoy Stadium, it’s amazing how much things are really beginning to ramp up around the ballpark.  Our sales team is staying later each night and are constantly making phone calls throughout the day.  Our maintenance crew is giving a face-lift to some of the field level suites, and our graphics team of Kevin and Bonnie are clicking, highlighting, dragging and dropping like a couple of crazed computer programmers.

Despite the recent frenzy, PawSox President Mike Tamburro took some time this past weekend to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday by reading some classic storybooks to some young PawSox fans.

Although it appears as though Mike is reading a storybook, I’m willing to go out on a limb that Mike is actually telling these kids, “McCoy Stadium is the most affordable, family-friendly entertainment experience in New England.  Do any of you like soda and popcorn?”

All joking aside, Mike, who was recently elected to the International League Hall of Fame, is one of the hardest-working, most well-respected executives in all of minor league baseball.  It says a lot about your organization when the team president makes appearances like this.

Report from the Fort

  • Early indications are that PawSox third baseman Will Middlebrooks has really impressed new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine:

“His offensive acumen is well beyond his years,” said Valentine. “He’ll see a pitcher that he’s seen before and be able to pull down that menu of pitches he throws, understand the speed, the angles, the programs that a pitcher uses to try to get a hitter out.”

Read the rest of what Valentine had to say in this article written by Alex Speier.

  • Speaking of Speier, he conducted a terrific interview with future PawSox outfielder, Alex Hassan.  Here’s my favorite quote from Hassan during their conversation:
“When my eyes tell me that’s a pitch to hit hard, that’s when I swing.”
Listen to the full interview.
  • It was a thrill for me to get to interview the great Joe Castiglione. (Boston Red Sox)

    In case you missed it, Episodes 2 and 3 of PawSox Insider is now available for your listening pleasure on iTunes.  We’ve already received over 500 downloads from our first two shows of the year and hope that you continue to listen “on demand” via iTunes as the season approaches.  You can listen on your computer or download the shows to your phone, iPod, or other portable .mp3 player and take us wherever you go.

          In the latest episodes Steve and I chatted with:
  • Joe Castiglione – “Voice of the Red Sox”
  • Ryan Kalish – Red Sox outfielder
  • Ben Crockett – Red Sox Director of Player Development
  • Arnie Beyeler – PawSox manager
  • Brian MacPherson – Red Sox Beat Writer, Providence Journal
  • Alex Speier – Red Sox Reporter, WEEI.com
  • Thanks to my most recent subscribers: clemson28, jws02673, and kenfish1.  We’re up to 48 subscribers now and I just might have to conduct a brief email interview with my 50th subscriber.  Just think, world-wide fame could be yours if you happen to be lucky No. 50.  Subscribing is easy: just enter your email address in the empty box in the top-right corner of this screen and click “Subscribe.”
  • Along those lines, thanks to all my loyal readers who have helped to get this blog off the ground.  In two months you’ve given me over 11,000 hits and made this the top-read minor league blog during the month of February.  I’m so grateful for your continued support.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

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