Results tagged ‘ Brandon Duckworth ’

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.




Duckworth, Mathis Sign with Japan

The final two remaining members of the PawSox Opening Day rotation are now not only gone, they’re a world away.

Right-handers Brandon Duckworth and Doug Mathis have signed to play professional baseball in Japan and were officially released from their Red Sox contracts late Wednesday. While pitching overseas doesn’t carry the same prestige as Major League Baseball in the United States, for many it can be a wise financial option and a terrific opportunity.

Duckworth and Mathis join former Toledo designated hitter Brad Eldred (Japan) and Lehigh Valley starter Dave Bush (Korea) as 2012 International League alums to sign abroad.

Duckworth has spent parts of eight years (511.0 IP) in the Major Leagues with Philadelphia, Houston, and Kansas City. (Kelly O’Connor)

Duckworth, 36, has been one of the most reliable starters in the league all season. He ranks among the I.L. leaders in ERA (8th, 3.17) wins (T-3rd, 9), and innings pitched (11th, 110.2) despite missing his most recent scheduled start. In 2011 with the PawSox, Duckworth finished 8-6 with a 3.97 ERA over 22 appearances (21 starts).

From 2008-10, Mathis pitched in Arlington for the Texas Rangers. He went 3-3 with a 4.84 ERA over 45 appearances (six starts). (Kelly O’Connor)

For Mathis, 29, this marks his second trip to the Pacific Rim after pitching last year with the Samsung Lions in the Korea Baseball Organization.  In 19 appearances (18 starts) with Pawtucket this year, Mathis went 7-6 with a 4.07 ERA. June stands out as his best month where he put together a 2.50 ERA (10 ER/36.0 IP) while walking nine and striking out 27.

All the best to both Duck and Mathis. Both made terrific contributions to the PawSox and will no doubt do the same in Japan.



Tom Selleck's "Mr. Baseball"

So maybe it’s no “Field of Dreams” or “The Natural,” but I always thought Tom Selleck’s “Mr. Baseball” was entertaining.

PawSox Roster Moves – July 24, 2012

The PawSox have the following roster moves for Tuesday, July 24:

  • Brandon Duckworth has been placed on the temporary inactive list (retroactive to July 21)
  • Will Inman has been placed on the seven-day disabled list (retroactive to July 21) with a right forearm strain.
  • Nelson Figueroa has been signed as a free agent after being released by the Yankees. Learn more about the nine-year Major League veteran and his Massachusetts roots by clicking here.



Duckworth is having another strong season by going 9-2 with a 3.17 ERA over 21 appearances (18 starts). (Kelly O’Connor)

14 Roster Moves in Seven Days

This has felt much longer than an eight-game homestand. The PawSox have lost 6-of-7 games thus far, have dropped two games by one run (both in extra innings), and have been shutout twice.

As far as player moves go, a lot has changed for the PawSox over the last seven days at McCoy:

  • Ronald Bermudez, who has played in eight games with the PawSox, was placed back on the disabled list with a recurring left hamstring strain.
  • After dominating in Double-A with the Sea Dogs, outfielder J.C. Linares was promoted to Pawtucket and went 4-for-6 with a double in his debut. Since then, he’s been held to one hit over his last five games.
  • Once fully recovered from a left knee injury, outfielder Jason Repko was outrighted to Pawtucket following his rehab.
  • He struck out 20 batters over seven appearances, but following his outing on June 21 at Syracuse, Mark Prior was placed on the disabled list with an oblique strain.

Even at 36-years-old, Podsednik has some spring left in his legs. The outfielder rehabs for the PawSox tonight, batting second and DH’ing. (Kelly O’Connor)

  • To fill Prior’s void in the bullpen, lefty Will Latimer received his first call-up to Triple-A. Unfortunately, he’s been dealt the loss in his two appearances thus far.
  • Aaron Cook was recalled to Boston from his rehab in Pawtucket to start for Clay Buchholz.
  • After two appearances (one start), righty Jeremy Kehrt was assigned back to Portland
  • On the disabled list since May 25, Jose Iglesias (back) was reinstated on Tuesday and has made two starts.
  • Part of the Kevin Youkilis deal with the White Sox, Zach Stewart arrived in Pawtucket and pitched the PawSox to their lone win of the homestand (although Brandon Duckworth more than deserved a win last night).

With a surplus of outfielder, Josh Kroeger was released Thursday by the Red Sox. (Kelly O’Connor).

  • First placed on the temporary inactive list, outfielder Josh Kroeger was released yesterday by the Red Sox. In 64 games with the PawSox, Kroeger hit .244 with nine home runs and 25 RBI.
  • Tony Thomas, who had been playing virtually everyday at second base when Iglesias was on the disabled list, is now on the DL himself with a finger injury suffered during batting practice.
  • After opting out of his contract with Cleveland, Andy LaRoche has been signed by the Red Sox and gets the start at third base tonight. The 28-year-old played 40 games last year with Oakland where he hit .247 with no homers and five RBI. In 46 games this season with Triple-A Columbus, LaRoche hit .234 with five home runs and 16 RBI.
  • Tonight Scott Podsednik bats second and will serve as the PawSox designated hitter as he begins a rehab assignment to heal a groin injury suffered running to first base against the Cubs. In 19 games with Boston, the 36-year-old is hitting .387 with one homer and seven RBI.

Get all that? We’ll see what happens tonight as the PawSox finish the homestand with the Knights, aiming for a series split.



Alex Hassan Enjoying June

After a month of May that saw him hit .230 (20-for-87) with 12 runs batted in over 26 games, Alex Hassan has been surging through his first seven games of June. He has a team-leading 9 RBI this month and last night had his first four-hit game of the year.

Hassan, who has played in 53 games this season, has notched 11 of his 32 RBI over his last nine starts.   Currently riding a five-game hitting streak (9-for-22), the PawSox outfielder is batting .393 (11-for-28) this month.

Hassan, in his first Triple-A season, hit .291 last season with Double-A Portland with 13 home runs and 64 RBI. (Kelly O’Connor)

PawSox Notebook:

  • We had our second look at Daniel Bard last night, our first from the bullpen. He allowed a run on one hit over a scheduled one inning of work while striking out two. The righty did not hit or walk a batter. Regarding velocity, the McCoy gun clocked him a 94 on a couple of pitches, and 95 once. He climbed up to 96 on one fastball that nearly hit the batter.
  • Pedro Ciriaco’s ninth-inning double last night extended his hitting streak to nine games (10-for-37). The PawSox infielder already owns a team-best 12-game hitting streak that spanned from April 28 – May 14 (20-for-53, .377).
  • With last night’s 16-hit effort by PawSox batters, Pawtucket is batting a league-best .316 this month with 13 home runs.
  • There are a number of hitters leading the club’s offensive charge in June. Ryan Kalish is batting .500 (12-for-24) in his first six games, while Ryan Lavarnway is hitting .400 (12-for-30). Lars Anderson has eight RBI in nine games this month while batting .367 (11-for-30). Then there’s Hassan who, as mentioned above, is hitting .393 in June.
  • After hitting just .218 (17-for-78) in 21 games in May, Mauro Gomez is crushing the ball this month. He has three-straight two-hit efforts and is batting .351 (13-for-37) over his first nine games this month. Gomez did not play every day last month because of his first-ever Major League call-up.

Following a season-high eight strikeouts in his last start (his most since 2010), Brandon Duckworth (6-1, 4.22) starts in the series finale for the PawSox tonight against Gwinnett. All three times this season Duck has lasted six or more innings, he’s turned in a quality start. The right-hander will be opposed by righty Kris Medlen (0-1, 4.91).

First pitch tonight from McCoy is set for 7:05, pre-game coverage begins at 6:50.

Talk with you then.



Not only has Pedro Ciriaco been a solid lead-off hitter for the PawSox, but his defensive versatility has allowed him to take over at shortstop while Jose Iglesias is on the mend from lower back stiffness. (Kelly O’Connor)

Kalish, Lavarnway Going Deep

The PawSox have mashed five home runs in their last two games against Indianapolis – Ryan Kalish and Ryan Lavarnway have combined for four of them.

The rehabbing Kalish has gone 4-for-5 over his first two games in Pawtucket with two homers, four runs batted in, four walks, and five runs scored. He reached base in his first eight appearances, four shy of the club’s all-time record (12, Andy Dominique, 2003).

Talking about his homer in his first at-bat Tuesday night, Kalish remarked, “anytime you can hit a home run in your first at-bat…you feel good, you feel comfortable. You feel like you’re in control of what you’re going to do up there.”

Kalish continues his rehab with the PawSox tonight at McCoy Stadium. He played in three games for High-A Salem and Double-A Portland before joining Pawtucket. (Kelly O’Connor)

Meanwhile, Lavarnway is hitting better than he has all season. Since May 22, the PawSox catcher is the top hitter in the International League, batting .415 (17-for-41) with eight extra-base hits, including three homers, and ten RBI.

For the second-time this season, Lavarnway has homered in back-to-back games, with the last time happening April 16 and 17 at Syracuse.

PawSox Notebook:

  • The PawSox lead the I.L. with 65 home runs in 60 games. They have the third-most homers in all of Triple-A (Oklahoma City, 71; Sacramento, 69).
  • After batting .214 (15-for-70) over 19 games in April, Che-Hsuan Lin hit .299 (20-for-67) in May where he played 20 games. The speedster from Taiwan saw his 22-game Triple-A on-base streak snapped May 31, and has at least one hit in 21 of his last 28 games.
  • Remember Yamaico Navarro? The Dominican Republic native was signed by the Red Sox in September of 2005, and appeared in 36 games over two seasons with the Red Sox before being traded to Kansas City (along with minor leaguer Kendal Volz) for shortstop Mike Aviles. During the recent off-season, Navarro was then traded to Pittsburgh for a pair of prospects.

Navarro played in a combined 50 games for the PawSox between 2010-11. He made at least one start in every outfield position, and every infield position besides first base. (Kelly O’Connor)

  • Short-season Lowell will be represented at Fenway Park tonight. The “Voice of LeLacheur Park,” Mike Riley, will serve as the “Voice of Fenway Park” this evening. Riley also works as a Sports Flash anchor for WEEI, and is a traffic reporter for WRKO. Add to that PA duties for the Spinners, Boston Blazers, and Bentley University.
  • We had a chance to conduct a phone interview today with Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava. He talked about his second trip to the Big Leagues and even gave a couple of fitness tips. The entire interview can be heard this Saturday at 2:00 on PawSox Insider, aired on 920 WHJJ.

The PawSox and Indians continue their four-game series tonight from McCoy. Righty Brandon Duckworth (5-1, 4.34) will be opposed by right-hander Jeff Karstens (0-2, 4.82). First pitch is set for 7:05, we hit the air at 6:50.

Talk with you then.



Duckworth Returns to Lehigh Valley

Brandon Duckworth is in his second season in the Red Sox farm system and starts Game 1 of today’s double-header in Lehigh Valley.

The righty pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies from 2001-03 where he went 15-18, 4.87 ERA in 65 games (58 starts). Duckworth went on to pitch for the Astros (2004-05) and Royals (2006-08) and has made a total of 134 Major League appearances (84 starts).

The Duck Pond from 2010. Maybe we’ll see these guys today? They somehow appeared in Columbus, OH at Huntington Park. (Iron Pigs Facebook Page).

Duckworth was fan favorite in Philadelphia and even had his own cheering section know as the “Duck Pond.” When “Duck” re-signed with the Phillies in 2010, the “Pond” was moved to Lehigh Valley where the right-hander spent all of 2010. As a member of the Iron Pigs, Duckworth went 5-4, 3.32 ERA in 25 outings (16 starts). Following that season, Duck signed with the Red Sox.

We’ll see today if the Duckpond makes a showing today at Coca-Cola Park. Duckworth takes the mound for a 5:35 first pitch. Pre-game coverage starts at 5:20.

Talk with you then.



This poster hangs in the press box office here at Coca-Cola Park. It’s an enlarged cover the the Iron Pigs gameday program, “Pork Illustrated,” featuring Duckworth from the 2010 season.

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.



Sunday Conversation with Arnie Beyeler

As the PawSox wrap-up their four-game series tonight against the Toledo Mud Hens, I had a chance to sit down and chat with former ‘Hens infielder – and current PawSox manager – Arnie Beyeler.

Arnie’s reaction to last night’s seven-run 8th inning:

“These guys showed a lot of character. You don’t see [a seven-run inning] very often. These guys have done a good job all year. We talk to them about playing  hard nine innings every night and last night they didn’t quit. They did a great job.”

On Ryan Lavarnway’s go-ahead, three-run homer in the eighth inning:

“He’s a threat every time he comes to the plate. Part of his development is getting to catch everyday this year. It has probably taken a toll on him from a durability standpoint – how strong he feels everyday. It’s always nice to see guys succeed when they get big opportunities.”

Beyeler played in 29 games with Toledo in 1991 where he hit .174 with two doubles and two RBI before retiring from playing. (

Regarding how he thought Dice-K pitched last night:

“I thought he did a nice job of throwing strikes. He threw a lot of fastballs during the first four innings and really didn’t go to his off-speed stuff until later. He really pounded the zone and was aggressive to the hitters. He did a very nice job and was very efficient.”

PawSox Notebook:

  • The home run last night from Lavarnway was his first since back-to-back blasts on April 16 and 17 at Syracuse (26 games, 99 at-bats).
  • Fan-favorite Ryan Kalish homered in the 9th inning last night for High-A Salem in his first game of the season. He worked as the designated hitter and finished the night 2-for-4. Officially on a rehab assignment, the outfielder has 20 days before Boston will be forced to call him up or option him to a minor league club.
  • Aaron Bates spent parts of 2009 and ’10 with Pawtucket and made his Major League debut with the Red Sox on July 6, 2009. After signing a minor league contract with Minnesota on May 9, 2011, he was released almost a year later: May 15, 2012. Happy to see Bates has latched on with one of the most distinguished franchises in baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals. (Sorry, I’m from St. Louis.)
  • After collecting a save in seven of his last nine appearances, Mark Melancon is now 8-for-8 in save situations with three walks and 24 strikeouts in 17 appearances. Unfortunately for Melancon, the Red Sox bullpen has been the club’s backbone over the recent stretch.

The PawSox finish their final series of the season with Toldo tonight from McCoy. Righty Brandon Duckworth (5-1, 4.28) will be opposed by the Mud Hens’ right-hander Thad Weber (3-2, 2.54). First pitch tonight is scheduled for 6:05, we hit the air at 5:50.

Talk with you then.



Aaron Bates played in 122 games for the PawSox in 2010 where he hit .240 with 12 home runs and 54 runs batted in. (Kelly O’Connor)

Jose Iglesias on Recent Offensive Surge

PawSox shortstop Jose Iglesias is batting a near season-high .282 and recently hit his first home run of the season (the second of his career).

Jose has 11 hits over his last five games and has notched at least two hits in 10 of his last 16 games (.422). The other day I had a chance to catch up with the 22-year-old and talk about his productivity at the plate.


The PawSox and Tides play Game 2 of the series today at 1:15 from Harbor Park – weather permitting. Right-hander Brandon Duckworth (5-0, 3.95) is opposed by righty Brad Bergesen. Pre-game coverage starts at 1:00.

Talk with you then.



Jose made his Major League debut on May 8, 2012 in his second pro season at 21 years/123 days old. He became the youngest Red Sox shortstop since 1971. (Kelly O’Connor)


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 98 other followers