Results tagged ‘ Bryce Brentz ’

Thursday at JetBlue: PawSox Roster Taking Shape

Hi all, Josh Maurer here again.  In case you missed the news yesterday Will Flemming and I will be co-authoring “45 Miles From Fenway” this season.  Today I spent a full day at the JetBlue complex and have plenty to report.

Thursday morning began with the news that the Red Sox had optioned Garin Cecchini and Bryce Brentz along with relievers Heath Hembree and Zeke Spruill to the Pawtucket roster. Super-prospect starting pitcher Henry Owens was also reassigned to minor league camp and is expected to work with the PawSox group.

Cecchini

Garin Cecchini was optioned back to the PawSox on Thursday morning. John Farrell says he will play some third base, first base and left field this season.

None of these moves come as a big surprise, as it has been widely anticipated that all five of these men would open the season in Pawtucket.  They join catcher Blake Swihart, first baseman Travis Shaw, infielder Sean Coyle and starter Eduardo Rodriguez as players recently optioned from big league camp.

This afternoon the PawSox hosted Rochester at the minor league fields, a game that ended in a 3-3 tie after a very exciting finish.  With Pawtucket trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth, infielder Carlos Asuaje lined a game-tying solo home run against former PawSox reliever Ryan Pressly.

Shannon Wilkerson’s solo blast in the bottom of the eighth against Rochester’s Michael Tonkin snapped a 1-1 tie, but the Red Wings rallied to take the lead with two outs in the top of the ninth on James Beresford’s two-run single against Deryk Hooker.

All three of Pawtucket’s runs came via a solo blast, with Keury De La Cruz hitting the first in the bottom of the fifth.  Craig Breslow started for the PawSox and allowed a run on two hits in the first inning.

Dana Eveland throw the second and pitched around two singles to record a scoreless frame, getting a double play to end a Rochester threat when right-fielder Henry Ramos throw out a tagging runner at the plate.

Breslow pitching

Craig Breslow started today’s PawSox game against Rochester

Keith Couch, fighting to make the PawSox roster when camp breaks, fired four scoreless relief innings.  He allowed three hits and walked a pair but struck out three.  Miguel Celestino did not allow a hit or a run in two scoreless frames behind Couch, picking up three strikeouts in the process.

Asuaje, who spent the majority of 2014 in Low-A Greenville, went 3-for-3 with a walk and two stolen bases.  He played both second and third base during the contest.

Here are some notes and observations from a full day at the JetBlue complex:

-I had a chance to speak with Manager Kevin Boles this morning.  He has been assisting John Farrell and his staff in major league camp all spring and has thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  The skipper said he may not join the Triple-A group until only a few days before camp breaks.

Boles says he feels reinvigorated after taking off from working in winter ball this offseason.  You’ll be able to hear the full interview with him this Saturday at 1pm on PawSox Insider.

nice crowd at JetBlue

There was a big crowd on hand for the Major League game at JetBlue Park on Thursday afternoon

-Late this morning Farrell and Torey Lovullo presided over a unique batting practice session at one of the minor league fields, with the participants being the majority of the anticipated major league starting rotation.  It was nice to see knuckleballer Steven Wright included in the group, which also had Clay Buchholz, Rick Porcello and a few others.  Jason Varitek throw the big league pitchers several rounds of BP.

pitchers BP in spring

The Red Sox starting pitchers took some BP this morning with Jason Varitek throwing

-Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez did some light throwing over at the minor league fields late this morning with Farrell and members of the training staff watching.  Vazquez is trying to work his way back from a sore elbow.  Farrell said this morning that the team isn’t quite sure if the backstop will be ready for opening day.

Vazquez throwing in spring

Christian Vazquez did some light throwing late this morning

That’s all for today.  The PawSox play Norfolk on Friday at JetBlue at 1pm.  It will be interesting to see if some of the guys recently optioned from major league camp like Cecchini and Brentz are ready to join the squad.

Thanks for reading, enjoy the Sweet 16 NCAA action tonight!

Josh M

Back from Vacation, Fall League Begins

After a fun visit to my homeland of St. Louis, it’s back to work at rainy McCoy Stadium. A vacation is always nice, but a vacation after broadcasting over 150 baseball games is the best kind. I love my job and can’t imagine doing anything else, but there’s no doubt that those who work in sports sacrifice friends, family, and a social life in order to live out their dreams.

I love going home to my parents and their two dogs. Buddy (left) and Lilly (right) are Australian Shepherds I could play with all day!

Tuesday night was Opening Day for the prospect driven Arizona Fall League. The following Red Sox minor league farmhands are in the AFL playing for the Surprise Saguaros:

Additionally, Portland Sea Dogs’ hitting coach Dave Joppie is serving as one of the team’s hitting instructors. In the first game of the season, Brentz finished 1-for-4 with a triple while Huntzinger was dealt the loss (2 runs, 4 hits, 2.0 IP). It was 84 degrees at first pitch.

Last year the PawSox very own Arnie Beyeler managed Scottsdale in the AFL where he worked with players such as Alex Hassan,Will MiddlebrooksMike Trout, and Bryce Harper.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Bryce Brentz entered 2012 as the Red Sox No. 5 prospect and seems destined to open 2013 with the PawSox. (Kelly O’Connor)

That’s a Touchdown?

Just like in your office, the big topic of conversation this morning around McCoy Stadium centered around Golden Tate’s catch/no-catch/offensive pass interference/blown call/touchdown. One of the best tweets I read following the catch came from Luke Rodgers (@thelukerodgers): “In Golden Tate’s defense how incredible is it to make a no-handed catch?”

It’s a…touchdown? (Timothy Burke via ESPN)

PawSox Notebook:

  • The off-season is off to a fast start in Buffalo where the Bisons recently announced they are the new Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Bisions, who have spent the past four seasons as the Mets’ top affiliate, are essentially swapping parent clubs with Triple-A Las Vegas — the Jays’ top affiliate for the past four years. For Toronto, the affiliation change brings them back to upstate New York where they spent 30 years with Triple-A Syracuse before moving to Sin City. Distance between Las Vegas and Toronto: 2,256 miles. Distance between Buffalo and Toronto: 100 miles.
  • Have questions about Jose Iglesias in 2013? Wonder about the future of Bryce Brentz, Xander Bogaerts, and other top prospects? Ian Browne covers all that and more in his latest Inbox column.
  • In addition to writing about delicious cider donuts yesterday, I also listed the Red Sox minor league award winners. Among them was Single-A third baseman Garin Cecchini who was named the Red Sox Baserunner of the Year after topping all Boston farmhands with 51 stolen bases. Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) of the Providence Journal wrote a nice piece on Cecchini Tuesday morning that is well worth a read.
  • If you’re like me, you love a good hamburger. If that’s the case, you’ve no doubt wondered where in Japan you can get the best hamburger, right? Today is your lucky day because my brother-in-law (and die hard Sox fan), Stephen, is living in Japan for a year and keeping a blog. In his latest entry, “Stephen-san” tells us where to track down Japan’s best hamburger.  You’ll also be shocked to learn how much peanut butter costs.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Governors’ Cup Finals: Game 2 Preview

Governors’ Cup Finals
PawSox Lead Series, 1-0
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
McCoy Stadium | Pawtucket, Rhode Island | 7:05 p.m.

With their 7-2 win Tuesday night over the South Division champion Charlotte Knights, the PawSox are now 4-1 in the playoffs and have outscored their opponent 27-13. Just like they successfully did against the Yankees in Round 1 of the playoffs, the PawSox have a chance to leave McCoy Stadium up 2-0 in the series with a win Wednesday night.

As the PawSox prepare to play their last game inside McCoy in 2012, here’s another post-season edition of the PawSox Notebook:

  • Of the PawSox 27 post-season runs scored, 15 have crossed home plate thanks to a homer.
  • In five playoff games, Pawtucket has homered nine times, five of them have come with at least one man on base.
  • The PawSox will face Charlotte starter Charlie Shirek Wednesday night. In his one start against Pawtucket this year, the righty allowed two runs over six innings for a no-decision.
  • Hard-throwing reliever Josh Fields was a welcomed sight Tuesday night. Pitching for the first time since suffering a minor groin injury on the final day of the regular season, Fields struck out two of the four batters he faced in a scoreless ninth inning.
  • Over the last four games, Pawtucket starters have gone 2-0 with a 1.65 ERA (5 ER/27.1 IP) with six walks and 26 strikeouts.

Zach Stewart, a former Chicago White Sox farmhand, pitched in one game for the Knights in 2011. (Kelly O’Connor)

  • Wednesday night’s starter, Zach Stewart, made his best start of the year against the Knights his last time out on August 23. The former White Sox pitcher allowed two runs over a season-high seven innings but was dealt the loss.
  • Take away Game 3 against the Yankees when the PawSox bullpen allowed all four runs and suffered a blown save, the Pawtucket ‘pen has worked 10 scoreless innings this post-season.
  • Combine the work of the rotation and the bullpen, PawSox pitchers have a 2.62 post-season ERA.
  • Bryce Brentz the PawSox post-season MVP? You could make a strong case. The Red Sox No. 5 overall prospect per Baseball America has hit .471 (8-for-17) with two homers, five runs batted in, two doubles, and a triple. In fact, Brentz has at least one extra-base hit in each playoff game.

If you can’t make it to McCoy tonight, you can always join us on the broadcast along the PawSox Radio Network, or by listening online. Pre-Game coverage begins tonight at 6:50.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

 

PawSox Second Chance Saturday

Friday night was a complete heartbreaker. With the PawSox one out away from a trip to the Governors’ Cup finals, Yankees’ center fielder Melky Mesa belted a 2-0 Pedro Beato pitch over the left field fence for a two-run homer, and a 4-3 walkoff win.

With Pawtucket’s second chance tonight to take the series, here is a post-season edition of the PawSox Notebook:

  • Manager Arnie Beyeler said earlier today that closer Josh Fields (groin) will not be available Saturday night — or the rest of this series. The injury came on his final warmup pitch in the bullpen before pitching in the regular season finale at McCoy on Monday.
  • In the first three games of the playoffs, outfielder Bryce Brentz is batting .364 (4-for-11) with an extra-base hit in each game (two homers, one double). He leads the club with five post-season runs batted in.
  • Entering Friday night’s loss, the PawSox bullpen had worked eight scoreless innings over the first two games of the playoffs and was 2-for-2 in save situations. Saturday it allowed all four Yankees’ runs over 2 1/3 innings and blew the save.

Figueroa was named the International League Pitcher of the Week for August 27-September 3 for going 2-0, 0.59 ERA (1 ER/15.1 IP) with three walks and 10 strikeouts. (Jillian Souza)

  • Saturday’s PawSox starter, 38-year-old Nelson Figueroa, will be facing his former Scranton/Wilkes-Barre teammates for the fourth time this year. The last time he faced the Yankees was in his last start of the regular season when he tossed eight scoreless innings for the win.
  • Figueroa will be opposed by 25-year-old lefty Vidal Nuno making his Triple-A debut. With a name like Vidal Nuno, I’m sure you’re not at all surprised to learn that he was born in Baldwin City, Kansas. Of course he was. Described to me as the Yankees’ version of Chris Hernandez, Nuno went 9-5, 2.45 ERA in 20 starts with Double-A Trenton. His walk-to-strikeout ratio of 27/100 is as impressive as his ERA. In three starts against Double-A Portland, Nuno went 1-0, 2.60 ERA (5 ER/17.1 IP) and allowed two homers.

A win tonight, and the PawSox would return to the finals for the first time since 2003 when they were swept by the Durham Bulls. Hope you can join us tonight along the PawSox Radio network, or by listening live online.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Sweep Chance in Rochester

Up two games to none in Round 1 of the Governors’ Cup playoffs, the Pawtucket Red Sox have a chance to sweep the North Division champion Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees Friday night in Rochester.

PawSox Playoff Facts:

  • A win would mark the first post-season series sweep by the PawSox in franchise history.
  • It would also send Pawtucket to the league finals for the first time since 2003 when they were swept by Durham.
  • Of the club’s 14 managers since 1973, Arnie Beyeler has become just the third to lead the PawSox to the playoffs in consecutive years (Joe Morgan, 1977-78; Ed Nottle, 1986-87).

Since July 23, Buckner ranks 1st in the International League in wins (7), T-1st in WHIP (0.93), and is 4th in ERA (1.63). (Kelly O’Connor)

  • The PawSox have gone 27 years since winning their last Governors’ Cup Championship in 1984 when they took down the Maine Guides.
  • Since ’84, Pawtucket has won just one playoff series when they beat the Ottawa Lynx in the 2003 semi-finals. It was their first playoff series win in 19 years.

Billy Buckner, one of the league’s best pitchers over the last two months, starts for the PawSox and will be opposed by left-hander Mike O’Connor. Over his last eight starts, Buckner is an outstanding 7-1 with a 1.63 ERA. In fact, the righty has given up less earned runs over his last eight starts (8) than he did over his first two starts with Pawtucket in June (11).

“He’s gotten the ball down and has worked ahead of hitters,” Beyler said from the visiting dugout inside Frontier Field. “When you do that, your stuff becomes more effective. Just the consistency of being more efficient and allowing yourself to get deeper into games.”

My full conversation with Arnie can be heard on the pre-game show tonight starting at 6:50. He also talks about Bryce Brentz, J.C. Linares, and Chris Hernandez.  Hope you can join us tonight along the PawSox Radio Network.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Bryce Brentz Gets Promotion to Pawtucket

Since August 1, only two batters throughout all of Double-A are hitting for a higher average than outfielder Bryce Brentz. The 23-year-old has hit .393 this month with four home runs, eight doubles, and 24 runs batted in.

It’s because of those numbers, his year-long body of work, and roster shuffling throughout the organization, that warranted Brentz’s promotion to Pawtucket on Thursday.

Taken by the Red Sox in the first round (36th overall) in 2007 out of Middle Tennessee State University, Brentz has mashed at every level of pro ball. At the time of his promotion, he was batting .296 with 17 homers, 30 doubles, and 76 runs batted in for Portland.

Brentz entered this year as the No. 5 prospect in the Red Sox system ranked by Baseball America. (Kelly O’Connor)

Brentz was a two-time Eastern League Player of the Week this season (May 28-June 3, August 20-26), and was the E.L. Player of the Month in May when he hit .388 with five home runs and 11 RBI.

The Red Sox 2011 Offensive Co-Player of the Year, Brentz hit .306 with 30 home runs and 94 RBI last year in his first full professional season. In 2009, he led the NCAA in batting (.465), homers (28), slugging percentage (.930), and total bases (214) as the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year.

Like every young player, Brentz has room for growth. In 122 games this year, he struck out 130 times while drawing 40 walks. Although he walked a season-high 15 times in June, he has walked just five times in August.

Brentz adds to a growing list of players the PawSox have siphoned away from the Sea Dogs over the last week (Jeremy Hazelbaker, Brock Huntzinger, and Ryan Dent). In game one of Thursday’s doubleheader in Georgia, Brentz is batting sixth and playing right field.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

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