Results tagged ‘ Bryce Brentz ’

Homestand Recap (May 13-18): Strikeouts, Wind and Yaz

by Ryan Young

Hello PawSox fans and loyal readers. I’m the Broadcasting/Media Assistant this season and I look forward to contributing to the blog along with Josh and Will. My plan is to update you after every homestand at McCoy with interesting notes, sound bites and more from the week.

This week, the PawSox earned their first winning homestand of the season with series victories over the Gwinnett Braves and Norfolk Tides. Even though we suffered our fourth rainout already this season on Friday, a very eventful five days ensued. Let’s start by looking at some notable player performances.

Top Player Performances

Josh already touched on the monster performances over the weekend from Sam Travis and Bryce Brentz. Travis hit three home runs in two games. He can battle Chris Marrero for who has been more locked in for a series this year.

Bryce Brentz swings

Brentz, meanwhile, has had a long road back since fracturing his thumb last June. Following his big doubleheader on Saturday (he went 4-for-6), I spoke with him about his successful return.

Possibly of more interest, following his recovery, Brentz also had quite the offseason. I spoke with him about his wedding (which featured familiar names as groomsmen) and one of the biggest days in his alma mater’s history this March.

In case you were living under a rock two months ago (or don’t follow March Madness), this is what we were referring to:

Also this March, a guy with a pretty familiar last name received a standing ovation in a game at the Red Sox’ spring training home, JetBlue Park. He just happened to make his Triple-A debut at McCoy this week. He goes by Mike Yastrzemski. Carl’s grandson made his debut for the Tides on Monday and he showed why he was a top prospect in the Orioles organization.

MikeYaz

He hit a game-tying triple in his debut and a game-tying home run the next day, recording four hits in his first two games. Yaz, a New England-native, had plenty of family and friends in attendance at McCoy.

Following his Triple-A debut, I spoke with Yastrzemski about his Triple-A debut, his grandfather’s advice and growing up a Red Sox fan.

Fortunately for the PawSox, they were able to find an answer for Yaz in the final game of the homestand. His name was Roenis Elias and he made history on Wednesday morning/afternoon at McCoy.

Elias_PawSoxTides5182016JillianSouza_0102

Elias fanned 13 Norfolk batters, the most by a Pawtucket pitcher in the 21st century! It was last done in 1999 when Jim Ho Cho struck out 15 in 1999. Elias became only the seventh pitcher in PawSox history to record at least 13 strikeouts in a game.

After Pawtucket’s 3-2 win in the series finale, Elias said (through his teammate William Cuevas) that he had been working with pitching coach Bob Kipper on throwing more strikes and it showed in Wednesday’s results. Manager Kevin Boles was especially impressed with his fastball command and efficiency on the mound.

Not to be out done, the rehabbing Joe Kelly fanned 10 Tides in the series opener on Monday. In fact, PawSox pitchers struck out an astounding 41 batters in the three-game series (12 on Monday, 13 in Tuesday’s 14-inning game and 16 on Wednesday)! At least 40 strikeouts in a three-game stretch (with at least 12 strikeouts in each game) hasn’t even been done by a major league team this season.

New Face

While there has been a handful of players this season called up for various periods of time from Portland, having right-handed pitcher Mike McCarthy at McCoy this week was a special treat. McCarthy had a couple of quick stints in Pawtucket in 2014 and 2015 before he was transferred to the PawSox again on May 9.

He certainly keeps himself busy off the field, making the most of each minor league location:

He was working on his MBA while with the Sea Dogs. And during Pawtucket’s homestand, he spent his free time studying for a final.

However, the time McCarthy spends making a difference in the community is most impressive of all. Most notably, he is a large part of an organization called Baseball Miracles. Its mission is to help reach children with economic and environmental disadvantages throughout the world and teach them baseball and softball through instruction and donating supplies. McCarthy has already made stops around the globe, including Honduras this past offseason.

Here is a portion of my interview with McCarthy from this week, where we discussed spending time in the PawSox bullpen, his favorite destinations and Baseball Miracles:

Be sure to visit the Baseball Miracles website for more information.

Other Notes and Thoughts

This is the fun part. Here are some of my random takeaways from the last week.

The Weather🌧🌬

Fortunately, I don’t have any hot takes on the unseasonably cool weather in the first third of the season. 😞

But there’s no doubt it has played a factor. We’ve already had three Saturday doubleheaders this season with another twin-bill on the way in June. Playing three games in 24 hours is already challenging, but it’s even more difficult when strong winds decide to show up, as has been the case for the majority of games at McCoy this month.

There was a jet stream blowing out to right field this week thanks to high wind gusts. It burned the PawSox more than it helped, which included blowing out Norfolk’s game-winning home run on Monday. But thankfully, there is an example where Ryan LaMarre was able to take advantage of the jetstream:

The wind also made it difficult to catch fly balls. In game one of Saturday’s doubleheader, Blake Swihart had to reverse his track of running towards the left field line after the wind pushed a flyball back towards center field. Brentz took note of Swihart’s nice catch and on a flyball down the left field line in game two, he expected to make a sliding grab. But instead, the wind calmed and this happened:

Brentz GifFortunately Brentz said he emerged without any scrapes and bruises from the play…and a very fine catch that helped the PawSox pull out a victory.

Foul Ground at McCoy

It’s already difficult enough to go after foul balls at McCoy because there is so much foul territory. Jantzen Witte has learned this. He sprinted after a foul ball earlier this month, took a full-out dive and came away just short of the catch.

Witte_PawSoxRochester582016JillianSouza_7531 Witte_PawSoxRochester582016JillianSouza_7532

When I asked Witte about his great effort this week, he relayed an amusing anecdote:

Swihart’s Defense

Soon after Swihart was sent to Pawtucket, he began working on playing left field for the first time in his professional career. He did patrol the outfield in high school, but he said the most difficult part of readjusting to the outfield was reading fly balls. Here is more of what Swihart said a couple days before playing left field for the first time as a professional:

Since making his first appearance in left field on May 3, Swihart has made 11 starts in left field and eight starts at catcher for the PawSox. It has been difficult to tell that he had not played the outfield in six years. Swihart has been very smooth tracking down fly balls. He even had a game in Scranton when he recorded a pair of outfield assists.

Swihart also showed off his arm behind the plate on the last homestand, throwing out two base-stealers in one inning.

After gunning down Schoop, he also threw out Yastrzemski for the final out of the frame.

14 Innings

That game also happened to be the longest contest (by innings) that Pawtucket had played in the last calendar year. In a wild, back-and-forth affair, Kyle Martin escaped a ninth-inning, bases-loaded, nobody-out jam to keep the game tied. The teams traded runs in the 10th inning before Rusney Castillo finally won the game in the 14th.

Before the team took the field for an 11:00 a.m. start the next morning (of course the first morning game in McCoy history would have to follow a 14-inning contest the previous night), Martin, Justin Maxwell and Boles reacted to the win and quick turnaround:

Offensive Outburst

And now for the most important note of the week…

My first two innings of play-by-play on the PawSox Radio Network happened to coincide with eight Pawtucket runs. It was capped off by this swing of the bat:

Is the fact the PawSox average nearly three runs per inning with me doing the play-by-play this season a coincidence?

Fine, I’ll admit it is. And I’ll also admit that the 4-2 homestand along with everything else I’ve mentioned were much more important.

So thankfully, you can keep listening to Josh and Will. Make sure to tune in this weekend to see if the PawSox continue to play well in Buffalo. And then come out to McCoy next week. Maybe I’ll regret saying this, but it actually looks like the summer weather will roll in by Memorial Day Weekend!

 

Travis’ Powerful Weekend at McCoy

by Josh Maurer

What a 19-hour stretch for PawSox first-baseman Sam Travis, huh? Between 8pm on Saturday night and 3pm on Sunday afternoon, Travis ripped three home runs, all pulled out to left field against the Gwinnett Braves.

Sam Travis swing with tounge out

This after Travis had not homered since April 14th, and had done so only twice all season prior to the series against the G-Braves.  All three of the blasts went against a very stiff wind.  Here they all are in chronological order:


All those swings look pretty similar, wouldn’t you say?  It’s fun to watch when a player like Travis gets locked in at the plate.

It was also a terrific weekend for Bryce Brentz, who is starting to look back in regular form after missing nearly the first month of the season.

Bryce Brentz swings

Brentz started all three games and collected five hits in the Gwinnett series, including these three you can watch below:


Bryce also had the defensive gem of the weekend, a tumbling grab in left field foul territory on Saturday night in game two of the doubleheader.  Couple the with a diving catch in Scranton last week and Brentz has been laying his body all over the field recently:


I have always said that Bryce, who is known for being a power right-handed bat, is extremely underrated with his glove.  He helps you quite a bit defensively in either corner outfield position.

The PawSox won two of three from Gwinnett, using back-to-back offensive outbursts to collect the final two games of the series on Saturday and Sunday.  They will try to keep the bats rolling when Norfolk comes into town Monday night to begin a three-game series.

Joe Kelly continues his rehab assignment for Boston at McCoy on Monday night at 7:05pm.  He looked strong on Wednesday in Scranton, allowing just one run and hitting 98 miles-per-hour on the radar gun with his final pitch in Moosic.

Joe Kelly pitching better

Hope to see you at the park this week, thanks so much for reading!

Josh M

Be The Ball: Masterson Looks Strong, Danny Noonan Comes to Charlotte

by Will Flemming

danny noonan

This isn’t Russia. Is this Russia? No, it’s Charlotte.

Caddyshack was the comedy soundtrack of my childhood.  I watched it more than any other film, memorized most of the script, and quoted it constantly to friends and family.  ‘Big hitter, the Lama… long.’ ‘A flute with no holes is not a flute; a donut with no hole is a danish.’ ‘Hey baby you must’ve been something before electricity.’

So when I learned that Wednesday was Caddyshack night at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, a lot of memories came back to me.  All the times I watched it on family vacations, the countless laughs I shared with my brother, my father and my uncles re-living the hilarity at Bushwood Country Club.

Michael O’Keefe, the actor who played Danny Noonan, would be at the ballpark.  I took a flier and reached out to Tommy Viola, the fabulous director of media relations with the Knights to see if I could have a few minutes with Noonan. Tommy almost immediately replied: “Not a problem at all. I’ll be happy to set you up with him.”

This was an interview for which I would not need much preparation.  Even though I had never met O’Keefe, it felt like I was going to sit down with an old friend.

Sure enough, around 3:30 on Wednesday, Michael walked into the press box at BB&T.  Tommy made an introduction, and we settled into the auxiliary broadcast booth.  I was tempted to open with “This isn’t Russia. Is this Russia?” We launched into an effortless, fascinating conversation.  We spoke for 15 minutes before recording the official interview.  Michael told me about his stint on Homeland, how he was in awe of the preparation and professionalism of Claire Danes from the moment he set foot on the set.  He spoke of his commitment to meditation, and the ways in which it has impacted his life and his perspective as a new father.  He even shared some great behind-the-scenes stories about Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray and Chevy Chase.

You can hear our full interview here; I am so grateful to Michael for being friendly, gracious and generous with his time.  Later in the evening, I introduced my uncle Luther – who lives in Charlotte and had initially introduced me to Caddyshack – to O’Keefe, which was a wonderful, full-circle moment.

On Tuesday, Justin Masterson – one of the few players currently with the PawSox old enough to remember Caddyshack as I do – put forth another strong outing.  He went six innings and allowed just two runs in the band-box that is BB&T Ballpark.  His second consecutive steady start begged an obvious question: what is next for Masterson?

NESN’s Zach Cox explored the decision facing the Red Sox as Masterson’s time on the DL draws to a close.

The Globe’s Pete Abraham indicated in his piece that the Sox are likely to make a decision soon, and that John Farrell thinks Masterson has done enough to warrant a spot on the Boston roster.

Tonight in Charlotte, the PawSox give the ball to Keith Couch and hope to salvage the finale of this three-game series.  The status of Bryce Brentz is unknown; he left the game with a left thumb injury last night after singling in the go-ahed run in the seventh.  You can watch the play here:

In the last three games (all losses after a four-game winning streak) the PawSox have left 31 runners on base.  The bright side, of course, is that the Sox are giving themselves myriad opportunities to score.

A few other notes from Charlotte: in the 106th home game at their new home, the Knights welcomed their millionth fan.  We will have an in-depth look at one of the IL’s crown jewels later in the week – and explore the many ways it offers a glimpse into what PawSox fans could have in downtown Providence.

It is easy to imagine a scene like this in Providence

It is easy to imagine a scene like this in Providence

A night after his older brother won the NBA championship with the Warriors, Trayce Thompson had a big night.  He’s now hit four of his nine homers against the PawSox.

And Kevin Boles has been named the manager for the International League in the All Star Game in Omaha.  A well deserved honor for the skipper.  We’ll get Bolesy’s thoughts on the honor and share them on the broadcast tonight.

Josh and I will talk to you at 6:50 tonight on WHJJ and throughout the PawSox radio network.

Until then, be the ball.

PawSox Home Schedule Opens With Sweeping Success

by Josh Maurer

Happy Patriots Day everyone! The PawSox will have to wait another day to continue their seven-game opening homestand, as Monday’s scheduled opener of a three-game series against Buffalo has been postponed due to rain.  There will now be a doubleheader on Tuesday at McCoy beginning at 5:05pm.

Each team is red-hot coming into the set, with the PawSox having just completed a four-game sweep of Rochester while Buffalo swept four from Lehigh Valley and has won six straight overall.

Pawtucket holds the best record in the IL at 8-3 through the first three series of the year (Buffalo and Charlotte are 0.5 games behind at 7-3).  After dropping a doubleheader in Buffalo last Wednesday and not having scored in 19 consecutive innings to end that series, the PawSox came home last Thursday to face a Rochester squad that had opened the season 5-1.

opening night ceremony

The home opener at McCoy on April 16th featured lots of pregame ceremonies

Thursday’s home opener began with a championship ring presentation ceremony, as approximately 20 players, coaches and support staff members received some jewelry for winning a Governors Cup title last September.  The ring has drawn rave reviews from everybody.

championship ring

The 2014 PawSox championship ring is an incredible piece of jewelry

After falling behind by scores of 3-0 and then 7-3 on Thursday, Pawtucket’s offense roared to life and scored the final five runs of the contest.  Deven Marrero and Sean Coyle hit back-to-back homers to begin the rally, while Blake Swihart’s two-out, two-run double in the seventh tied the score at 7.

Then in the ninth, Bryce Brentz stepped front and center with one out and the score still tied. Facing former Red Sox farmhand Ryan Pressly, Brentz fell behind in the count 1-2, but struck a no-doubt-about-it shot over the bullpen in left field to end a memorable opening night.

Friday’s game two saw more of the same, as again Pawtucket was forced to play from behind after Rochester’s Eddie Rosario drove a grand slam home run against Henry Owens in the fifth inning to put the Red Wings in front 4-2.  But Quintin Berry’s RBI single scored Marrero on a beautiful slide in the sixth cut the deficit in half.

Then it was Brentz again striking with a longball to give the PawSox the lead, this time in the seventh against tough reliever A.J. Achter. It was his second game-winner in as many nights and third on the young season. It’s been fun to watch Bryce get off to such a hot start.

Coyle would homer again the eighth, his third of the season, and recently-optioned Tommy Layne tossed a scoreless ninth to earn a save in his season debut with the club. Pawtucket won the contest 6-4.

On Saturday afternoon Pawtucket scored early and often against a tiring Rochester pitching staff. Veteran catcher Humberto Quintero gave the Sox the lead for good with a two-run homer in the second against starter Mark Hamburger. Quintero later drilled his second of the day in the fifth against Stephen Pryor to make the score 6-2.

The PawSox were far from finished mashing home runs against Pryor. In the sixth Berry smacked his first of the season, a two-run shot to right. Four batters later Matt Spring, activated from the DL right before the game began, hit a moonshot inside the pole in left to make the score 11-2 and chase Pryor after he allowed three blasts.

Pawtucket would win the game 13-3 and collect a season-high 17 hits. Starter Eddie Rodriguez was strong in earning his first Triple-A victory, striking out five batters in six innings of work.  Swihart led the charge with four hits including a pair of doubles.

The PawSox completed the four-game sweep on Sunday afternoon, plating a pair of of runs in the bottom of the eighth on a wild pitch and an error to earn a come-from-behind 4-3 victory. With two outs and the go-ahead run at third base, Quintero hit this ground ball to shortstop that former Red Sox farmhand Argenis Diaz booted to allow the winning run to score.

Pawtucket did not sweep a single series last season until after the All-Star break (July 17th-20th). The squad only swept two four-game series throughout the entire 2014 regular season. It didn’t take long to get one in 2015.

In the Rochester series the PawSox offense totaled 31 runs, 44 hits and nine home runs. The Red Wings bullpen, which had allowed only one run in 21 innings over the team’s six games before heading to McCoy, was tagged for 19 runs in 11.1 innings this series. Pressly took two losses and two blown saves in his two appearances.

Blake Swihart has hit safely in all 8 games he has played in this season

Blake Swihart has hit safely in all 8 games he has played in this season

Swihart, Brentz and Coyle led the way for Pawtucket in the four games against Rochester. Blake especially had an unbelievable series, playing all four contests (one as the DH) and hitting 10-for-17 with three doubles and seven RBI. Brentz went 6-for-12 with two walks, two game-winning homers, two doubles and four RBI in three games played. Coyle also homered twice and went 5-for-14 (.357) with three walks and six runs scored in four games.

Here are a few other notes for you to before the Buffalo series begins:

-There have already been three birthdays celebrated in the PawSox clubhouse during this homestand: Travis Shaw’s 25th on Thursday (4/16), Jackie Bradley, Jr.’s 25th on Sunday (4/19) and Garin Cecchini’s 24th on Monday (4/20).  It looks as though the team has decided to do some princess-themed decorating in the clubhouse for the birthday boys this season.

Pretty creative, huh?

-I loved this quote from an unnamed scout talking about Mookie Betts‘ unlimited potential from Michael Silverman’s article in Sunday’s Boston Herald.  The scout was comparing Betts’ future to that of Xander Bogaerts:

“I’d bet on Betts without hesitation, for sure, to have the All-Star type of career you’re talking about over Bogaerts. And I’d still give Bogaerts a better than 50-50 chance of doing the same thing. I think Bogaerts has a good shot to be above the norm in his career, but Mookie — Mookie Betts makes quicker adjustments to his game than anybody I’ve seen in the last 20 years. I couldn’t sit here and tell you what he’s not capable of doing.”

-This is somewhat old now, but here is an interview with PawSox utilityman Jeff Bianchi from last week in which he describes the crazy circumstances surrounding his three-inning pitching outing at Lehigh Valley on April 12th.  Noteworthy from the conversation: he really wanted to pitch and also seemed to love every minute of it!

-The PawSox roster has already lost two opening-night starters to the DL with shoulder injuries.  Rusney Castillo has missed the last eight games with right shoulder inflammation, while Cecchini has been out since last Friday (4/17) with a left shoulder problem.  Hopefully each will return shortly.

That’s all for now.  Check back to “45 Miles” later this week for a “Where Are They Now” on several members of last season’s Governors’ Cup championship squad.  Talk to you Tuesday late afternoon for some doubleheader baseball!

Josh M

Archer Stymies PawSox; Catching Situation Murky

Saturday afternoon the PawSox followed the big league club about 40 miles north to Port Charlotte and played a spring contest against Durham. It was a terrific starting pitching matchup with Eduardo Rodriguez throwing for Pawtucket against Tampa Bay’s scheduled opening day starter Chris Archer.

TB complex

The back side of Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, FL

TB back fields

The PawSox and Bulls played at the back fields on Saturday

The southpaw Rodriguez did not have his best stuff early.  He allowed a run on two singles and two walks in the first, then did not get an out in the second inning and allowed a pair of tallies.  Durham collected four straight hits to start the frame, then Rodriguez walked a batter and reached his inning pitch limit to stop the threat.  The lefty then settled down and tossed scoreless ball in the third and fourth.

Overall, Rodriguez lasted 3.0 innings and allowed three runs (all earned) on seven hits and four walks.  He struck out three Durham hitters.  Mike Aguilera followed and allowed three runs and four hits in 3.2 innings.

lineup at Durham

The PawSox lineup at Durham on Saturday

Pawtucket’s lineup featured Bryce Brentz and Garin Cecchini for the first time this spring.  Cecchini played the entire game at third base and went 1-for-3 with a single, while Brentz was 0-for-4 with four punchouts.

Archer was dominant in what may be his final spring tuneup.  He shutout the PawSox for 6.2 innings while allowing just four hits (all singles) and two walks.  He fanned eight and earned the win in Durham’s 7-1 victory.

Here is the Pawtucket box score from the contest:
Sean Coyle, 2B: 0-for-4, K
Marco Hernandez, SS: 0-for-1 (played 1 inning)
Henry Rodriguez, SS: 1-for-3, double
Travis Shaw, 1B: 0-for-0, 2 walks (played 5 innings)
David Chester, 1B: 1-for-2
Bryce Brentz, DH: 0-for-4, 4 Ks
Garin Cecchini, 3B: 1-for-3, K
Blake Swihart, DH: 0-for-2, HBP, R, GIDP
Henry Ramos, RF: 0-for-3, K
Keury De La Cruz, LF: 1-for-2, BB
Shannon Wilkerson, CF: 0-for-3, GIDP, K
Mike Brenly, C: 1-for-3

Archer pitching

Chris Archer pitched 6.2 shutout innings against the PawSox on Saturday

The big news of the day came in the morning when Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez informed the media that an MRI on his ailing elbow “found something” but he has yet to be firmly diagnosedRyan Hanigan is now slated to open the season as the #1 catcher in Boston.

There has been some speculation that Blake Swihart could be an option to open the season as Hanigan’s backup if Vazquez lands on the DL.  I wonder about that; it seems to me the Red Sox would rather Swihart stay in the minor leagues for at least a few months to get more seasoning.

Swihart w. Archer pitching

Blake Swihart was the DH on Saturday against Durham/Chris Archer

UPDATE: Alex Speier of the Boston Globe lays out the catching options for the Red Sox here.  I agree wholeheartedly with his assessment of the situation.

Sunday is a camp day for the minor league side, so the PawSox will not have a game until Monday afternoon.  We’ll continue to have updates from the Fort on “45 Miles” through the end of next week.  Have a great rest of your weekend!

Josh M

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)

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