Results tagged ‘ Alex Wilson ’

The Governors’ Cup Returns to Rhode Island

After waiting 28 years, PawSox fans have been rewarded. With a 4-1 win over the Charlotte Knights Thursday evening, the Pawtucket Red Sox proved they were the best team in the International League in 2012 and won their first Governors’ Cup in nearly three decades.

Not only was the win over Charlotte the club’s first championship since defeating the now defunct Maine Guides in 1984, it was also the first post-season series sweep in franchise history. You could make a strong argument that the PawSox played some of their best baseball of the entire season during the playoffs. Here’s the proof:

  • Pawtucket finished the post-season with a 6-1 record.
  • The pitching staff combined for a sparkling 2.01 ERA (14 ER/62.2 IP).
  • In the last six games, Pawtucket starters combined to go 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA (6 ER/39.1 IP).
  • In seven playoff games, PawSox batters combined for 10 home runs, 10 doubles, and three triples.
  • The PawSox outscored the Knights 13-3 in three games.

Here’s what it looked like on the field Thursday night following the final out.

Enough can’t be said about the work of manager Arnie Beyeler. The second-year PawSox skipper constantly dealt with a changing roster that, in total, featured 69 players — one shy of the franchise record.

In two years in Pawtucket, Arnie has won a North Division title and now a Governors’ Cup. From my time spent around Arnie and our 1-on-1 conversations (both on-air and off), I can tell you that he is the perfect example of how hard work pays off.

After more than five months and 150 games, it’s awfully difficult sum up a season and fully appreciate all that happened. Let’s face it, there has been plenty to celebrate in 2012 in addition to a Governors’ Cup championship:

  • Mauro Gomez was named International League MVP.
  • Jose Iglesias and Ryan Lavarnway were named post-season All-Stars.
  • We were able to watch Will Middlebrooks crush it for all of April.
  • People in Pawtucket fell in love with Pedro Ciriaco before anyone else.
  • PawSox team president Mike Tamburro was inducted into the International League Hall of Fame.
  • Lars Anderson and Jason Repko each made SportsCenters’ Top-10 Plays.
  • The beautiful statue Ben Mondor was unveiled inside Mondor Gardens.
  • Big Leaguers like Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Carl Crawford, and Cody Ross all wore a PawSox jersey.

The remaining members from the PawSox Opening Day roster (left to right): Tony Thomas, Che-Hsuan Lin, Alex Wilson, Will Inman, Alex Hassan, Jason Repko, Nate Spears, Tony Pena, Jr.

The PawSox have a chance to add another highlight to the list with a win Tuesday night in Durham in the Triple-A National Championship Game against either Reno or Omaha.

Both on-air and in this blog, it has been a pleasure bringing PawSox baseball to you in 2012. Your loyal readership always gives me a reason to type and constantly reminds me how fortunate I am to be in this position.

Over the years you’ve listened to some of the most talented broadcasters in baseball come through Pawtucket, and living up to the standards they set has been the greatest — and most fulfilling — challenge of my career.

Thank you for making PawSox baseball on the radio part of your summer and for bringing me with you in the car, in your home, and everywhere else in between.

What a way to start my stay in Pawtucket.



Arnie Beyeler, Mike Tamburro, and PawSox general manager Lou Schwechheimer getting drenched during the trophy celebration on the field.

Hernandez Starts Game 2

Down 4-0 going into the bottom of the third inning Wednesday night, the PawSox rallied to score seven unanswered runs — highlighted by three homers — to defeat the Yankees, 7-4.

One of the biggest storylines from last night easily overlooked was Alex Wilson, who tossed  maybe his best two innings of relief all season. The righty sat consistently at 93-94 mph and topped at 96. Wilson worked six-up-six-down, marking the first time in his last 16 appearances he did not allow a hit.

Left-hander Chris Hernandez is Pawtucket’s Game 2 starter and will be opposed by veteran righty, Ramon Ortiz. Hernandez made seven starts for the PawSox during the regular season, five of which were quality starts.

Hernandez became the first member of the Red Sox 2010 draft class to reach Triple-A. (Kelly O’Connor)

The biggest problem Hernandez has had this season has been receiving run support. If you remove his first start on July 22 in Louisville where the PawSox scored six runs in the 12 inning, Hernandez is averaging 2.6 runs of support per start.

Should be another fun one tonight from McCoy where the PawSox can jump up 2-0 with a win in this best-of-five series.




PawSox Win the 2012 I.L. Wildcard

It took 142 games to nail down a post-season berth, but who cares.

Saturday night the PawSox shutout the North Division champion Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Yankees, 2-0, and in doing so, won the wild card.

PawSox players celebrating on the field after Saturday night’s won over the Yankees. (Jillian Souza)

As Pawtucket heads back to the Governors’ Cup playoffs for the second straight year, here are some facts, figures, and observations about this 2012 PawSox club:

  • 68 players have played for the PawSox this season — 70 is the franchise record set in both 1995 and 2006 (“so you’re sayin’ there’s a chance”).
  • 21 different players have been promoted to Boston this season (not including 10 called-up from injury rehab).
  • Five players in the Boston’s lineup Saturday night had played for Pawtucket in ’12.
  • Three of the Red Sox five pitchers Saturday had spent time with the PawSox this year.
  • The members PawSox six-man Opening Day rotation are currently spread over four different time zones:
      • Justin Germano: traded to the Cubs on July 19
      • Brandon Duckworth: signed with Japan
      • Doug Mathis: also signed with Japan
      • Alex Wilson: now in the PawSox bullpen
      • Aaron Cook: in Boston’s rotation
      • Ross Ohlendorf: opted out of his contract, signed with the Padres
  • Since August 1, the PawSox have received seven players from Double-A Portland currently on the active roster. They had 23 games of Triple-A experience, combined.
  • Pawtucket has won seven of its last eight games. During that time the PawSox…
      • Rotation has gone 4-1 with a 1.95 ERA (11 ER/50.2 IP) with six quality starts
      • Closers have gone 5-for-5 in save situations
      • Are hitting .271 (overall this year, Columbus leads the league batting .269)
  • Somehow I haven’t mentioned yet some of the position players now in Boston:
      • Mauro Gomez: 2012 International League MVP
      • Will Middlebrooks: We knew he wouldn’t last long
      • Ryan Lavarnway: Hit a league-best .405 in June
      • Pedro Ciriaco: The club’s offensive spark plug and played three positions
      • Jose Iglesias: One scout told me, “the best shortstop in all of baseball.”

The PawSox will host Scranton-Wilkes/Barre in the playoffs on September 5 and 6 in a best-of-five series. The two clubs will then travel to Rochester, Ny. to finish the series at Frontier Field.

A Red Sox vs. Yankees post-season will happen after all.




Alex Wilson Moves to the Bullpen

In a move that was just announced today, the Red Sox have sent right-handed pitching prospect Alex Wilson to the bullpen and have replaced him in the Pawtucket rotation with Brandon Duckworth.

Wilson, Boston’s 2nd round pick in 2009, entered this season as the Red Sox No. 11 overall prospect – their No. 3 pitching prospect. Judging by the needs of the Red Sox, moving Wilson to the bullpen seems like a logical move, and it’s something that the right-hander is embracing.

“The way I look at it is an opportunity right now. I talked with [Red Sox] management and they said that’s where they’d like to see me. I’m going to take the opportunity and run with it.”

Wilson has made 68 professional appearances over four seasons - all have been starts. Lifetime in the minors he is 17-11 with a 3.84 ERA. (Ken Babbitt)

Working out of a relief role is not entirely new to Wilson. In his final season with Texas A&M, he appeared primarily out of the bullpen.

“Outside of my first eight games which were starts, I came out of the ‘pen and had some real good success,” Wilson said. “I’m not that far removed from it, I’ll be able to remember after a game or two what to do.”

Aside from now needing to be ready to pitch almost any day, Alex told me that this won’t change the way he commands the game on the mound.

“My stuff is going to play the same. I’m still going to come at hitters and challenge them the whole way.”

We could get a look at Wilson’s first-career relief appearance tonight as the PawSox open a brief two-game series with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre from McCoy Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:15, we’ll be on-air with the pre-game show at 6:00.

Talk with you then,



Tazawa to Boston, Melancon to Pawtucket

Roughly 15 minutes prior to first pitch last night against the Texas Rangers, the Red Sox officially announced  that PawSox reliever Junichi Tazawa has been recalled from Pawtucket, while Mark Melancon has been optioned to Triple-A.

“Taz,” as he is known in the PawSox clubhouse, tossed four scoreless appearances totaling seven innings prior to the promotion. The right-hander fanned four batters in two separate outings and earned his first save of 2012 on Monday in Syracuse.

“He rested well over the winter and now looks like he’s put it all together,” PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler told me. “He’s getting ahead of hitters, locating his fastball, and putting guys away.”

This will be the third major league call-up for 25-year-old Tazawa. (Kelly O'Connor)

When I talked to Pawtucket pitching coach Rich Sauveur about Tazawa’s strong play, he echoed some of what Arnie said. “He’s locating his fastball and mixing his pitches well,” said Sauveur. “Because he’s commanding all three of his pitches, he’s trusting all three of his pitches.”

As Tazawa prepares for his first big league action since September 24 of last year when he pitched against the Yankees, Melancon makes his first trip to the minor league circuit since 2010 when he appeared in a combined 43 games between Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees) and Round Rock (Astros).

Melancon has four years of Major League time on his resume where he's combined to go 10-7, 4.03 ERA in 110 games. (Kellly O'Connor)

The righty collected 20 saves last year with Houston, but in four appearances (just 2.0 IP) with the Sox, Melancon has surrendered 11 runs on 10 hits including five homers.

2011                                                   2012 

Pitches thrown: 1,221                   Pitches thrown: 71

HR allowed: 5                                 HR allowed: 5

The PawSox wrap up a nine-game road trip this afternoon from Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse. At 6-2, Pawtucket has the best road record in the International League and is one win away from their first series sweep of the season. Red Sox lefty Andrew Miller is expected to make another rehab outing this afternoon as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Right-hander Alex Wilson makes his first start of the year against the Chiefs.

First pitch today is scheduled for high noon with pre-game coverage beginning at 11:45.

Talk with you then,



Opening Day…Madness

Opening Day is finally here. It’s exciting, it’s fun, and it’s totally crazy trying to get everything ready for our first broadcast of the season.

The PawSox initial rotation was announced this morning:

1. RHP Justin Germano – Tonight
2. RHP Brandon Duckworth – Friday
3. RHP Alex Wilson – Saturday, Game 1
4. RHP Aaron Cook – Saturday, Game 2
5. RHP Doug Mathis – Monday
6. RHP Ross Ohlendorf – Tuesday

The PawSox will start the season with two players on the disabled list:

  • INF Tony Thomas – hamstring
  • LHP Jesse Carlson – shoulder

Some things that stand out on the PawSox Opening Day roster:

  • All 12 of the club’s pitchers are right-handers (seriously).
  • Eight of the 12 pitchers are new to the Red Sox system (Wilson, Tazawa, Duckworth, and Pena, Jr. return).
  • Overall, 12 of the 25 players on the PawSox roster are new to Boston’s farm system.
  • Of the 13 players who are NOT new to the system, OF Alex Hassan is the only one new to Pawtucket.

The PawSox enter tonight having won six straight season-openers for the first time in club-history. The current streak began with a 3-2 win vs. Indianapolis on April 6, 2006 at McCoy. Also of note, this evening’s game marks the 40th Opening Day for the Pawtucket Red Sox as the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

Off to the booth to continue getting everything in order. Steve Hyder and I hit the air at 6:50 p.m. ET for tonight’s 7:05 p.m. ET first pitch. Talk with you then!



Red Sox Roster Moves Send Prospects to PawSox

Middlebrooks, the Red Sox' No. 1 prospect according to "Baseball America," will open the season in Pawtucket. (Kelly O'Connor)

The Red Sox today announced that they have reassigned four players to minor league camp and have optioned another four players to minor league camp.

Outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin and third baseman Will Middlebrooks were optioned to Pawtucket, while left-handed pitcher Drake Britton and second baseman Oscar Tejeda were optioned  to Double-A Portland.  In order for a player to be “optioned” they must be a member of the club’s 40-man roster. Although these players will be participating in minor league camp, they can still be called on to play in a “big league” Spring Training game if needed.

The players “reassigned”  are right-handed pitchers Tony Pena Jr., Chorye Spoone, and Alex Wilson, along with outfielder Juan Carlos Linares.

With today’s moves, the Red Sox now have 56 players in Big League Camp, including 36 players from the 40-man roster, two players on 60-day disabled list and 18 non-roster invitees.

Dan was courtside for the Bearcats 65-59 win over Texas today. (The Enquirer/Jeff Swinger)

On a separate note, congrats to my predecessor Dan Hoard, the “Voice of the Cincinnati Bearcats.”  The ‘Cats downed No. 11 Texas earlier this afternoon to move on to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.  Dan will now get to call Cincinnati’s game against the winner of the (3) Florida State vs. (14) St. Bonaventure game.  Although I’m rooting for Dan, I have FSU moving on to the Sweet 16 in my bracket.  So far I’ve been wrong on VCU, UConn, San Diego St., and Harvard.

I’ll be leaving this Sunday for Spring Training in Ft. Myers and will be there for a week.  You can follow me on twitter for updates throughout each day while I’m soaking up the sun and trying to get an interview from anyone who looks important.  Of course, I’ll have plenty of updates posted here.

Can’t wait to get there … Talk with you then.



PawSox Roster Projection

Since Grapefruit League play officially kicks off this afternoon, what better time than to try and guess what the PawSox Opening Day roster will look like.  We won’t know the actual roster until a couple weeks before April 5, but the good folks at have already given it a guess.

Here’s what they came up with:

Pojected Starting Lineup (*indicates left-handed batter **indicates switch-hitter) 
1 CF Che-Hsuan Lin
2B Brad Emaus
1B Lars Anderson*
C Ryan Lavarnway
3B Will Middlebrooks
RF Josh Kroeger*
7 DH Mauro Gomez
LF Alex Hassan
SS Jose Iglesias

If Jose Iglesias breaks camp with the PawSox, he likely won't be with the club for very long. (Kelly O'Connor)

Projected Bench
C Luis Exposito
C Max St. Pierre
IF Pedro Ciriaco
IF/OF Tony Thomas
OF Juan Carlos Linares
OF Daniel Nava**
OF Jason Repko

I have great memories of watching Danieal Nava play in Portland during the 2009 season. (Kelly O'Connor)

Projected Starting Rotation
RHP Ross Ohlendorf
RHP Vicente Padilla
RHP Clay Mortensen
RHP Alex Wilson
RHP Carlos Silva
6 RHP Brandon Duckworth
7 RHP John Maine

Brandon Duckworth will once again give some stability and veteran leadership to the PawSox rotation in 2012. (Kelly O'Connor)

Projected Bullpen
CL RHP Scott Atchison
SU RHP Junichi Tazawa
SU RHP Tony Peña, Jr.
MID RHP Chris Carpenter
MID LHP Jesse Carlson
MID RHP Sean White
MID LHP Justin Thomas
MID RHP Will Inman
MID RHP Justin Germano
LR RHP Doug Mathis

Junichi Tazawa, who entered the Red Sox system in 2009 with so much hype and promise, pitched in Salem, Portland, Pawtucket, and Boston last season. (Kelly O'Connor)

Projecting a roster at the start of Spring Training is never easy, but it’s still fun (when someone else gives) it a try.  Enjoy the Red Sox game this afternoon and have a great rest of your weekend.



VIDEO: Meet Alex Wilson & Brandon Duckworth

I had a great time last Friday during our Media Luncheon here at McCoy Stadium and had a chance to catch up with a number of the invitees. As promised, I’ll be posting those video interviews here on the blog this week and today we begin with two of the best guys you’ll meet in the minor leagues:

RHP – Alex Wilson

The 2011 Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year talks about his late season call up to Pawtucket and what it was like working the 5 a.m. shift at Lowe’s Hardware in College Station, Tx. during the offseason.

RHP – Brandon Duckworth

Duckworth, who spent all of 2011 with the PawSox, describes what it’s like to be the veteran in the clubhouse and how he’s learned this offseason that being a mom is the hardest job anyone can ever have.

As you can see, both are great guys and terrific interviews. In the next coming days I’ll be posting my interviews with Alex Hassan, Luis Exposito, Arnie Beyeler, and Ben Crockett.


PHOTOS: Hot Stove League Party at McCoy

The 35th annual PawSox Hot Stove League Party was a great success.  A big thanks goes out to everyone who helped make it possible.  If you weren’t able to make it, below are some photos I took throughout the night.

(Note: If you’re a subscriber to the blog and are reading this in your email, the best way to view the photos is by clicking the headline link above.)

PawSox pitcher Brandon Duckworth answers a fan’s question during the Q&A portion of the evening. Catcher Luis Exposito is to his left, pitcher  Alex Wilson to his right.

Everyone who attended the Q&A session then had the opportunity to get autographs from all three players.

Fans listening to the players answer their questions. The room you see is actually the PawSox batting tunnel that was cleared out for the event.

Riot control.

In the PawSox clubhouse manager Arnie Beyeler and outfielder Alex Hassan held a Q&A session of their own followed by autographs.

I had a great time at my first PawSox Hot Stove League party.  On Monday I’ll post some of the video interviews I did with the players during the Media Luncheon that day.  Have a great weekend, stay warm, and enjoy the NFL playoffs.



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