Results tagged ‘ Dan Butler ’
by Ryan Young
We’re already a week removed from the final game of the 2016 season. It’s hard to believe. But they did save the best for last. Before the goodbyes, it was time for call-ups, awards and more shenanigans.
The Red Sox delayed their first round of September call-ups by a day because they had an off-day on September 1. When they announced them, the best story of the 2016 season unfolded. This was the only season I have spent around a Triple-A team, but I don’t think anything more fulfilling can happen than witnessing Robby Scott get the call to the show.
There were indications that Scott’s call-up would come. Manager Kevin Boles and pitching coach Bob Kipper were pushing for him to get an opportunity and he was being used in shorter outings and against more lefthanded batters as August progressed. Such a role replicated what he would do in Boston, different from how he was used (mainly in spot starts and long relief) for much of the season.
Regardless of his role, Scott was terrific on the mound and thus was Pawtucket’s most valuable pitcher in 2016. Sensing what could be on the way, I had an extensive conversation with Scott on August 31 in Allentown (about 30 hours before he got the call to the Red Sox). Here’s the entire interview, where we talked about the reason for his success, his various roles this season, the potential of playing in the big leagues and much more. I even quizzed him on the four PawSox players who remained on the active roster from the beginning of the season through the end of August.
The following night (after the first game of the homestand), I was able to speak again with Robby after he found out the news.
Listen to Robby’s first three words again. “Dreams come true.” Sound familiar?
“PawSox Baseball, where dreams come true.” Those are the lyrics to our theme song, that the great Charles Steinberg created for this season. It’s almost too perfect, but that’s what this level of baseball, and for that matter, sports, are all about.
All of us at the PawSox and many people in the Red Sox organization could not be happier for Robby. Not only did he have to climb his way up the ladder from Independent ball, but along the way he has been such a great asset to the community. In fact, he won this year’s Sullivan Tire PawSox Spirit Award for his work off the field. (He’s the only player in PawSox history to earn that honor in addition to being named Most Valuable Pitcher.)
Scott then struck out the first two batters he faced in the majors!
In addition to Robby, both Joe Kelly and Deven Marrero hopped on a flight to California on the morning of September 2nd. Being the wizards that we are at the PawSox Radio Network, you can listen to interviews with all three call-ups from that weekend’s PawSox Insider:
While Deven Marrero discussed his recent play on the field and the challenge of playing a bench role in the big leagues, he also talked with me about the ping pong antics that took over the PawSox clubhouse in August.
Meanwhile, Kelly pulled no punches in his final Triple-A appearance of the season.
Big congrats to Christian Vazquez, Noe Ramirez and Heath Hembree on getting the calls to the Red Sox as well. Certainly no surprises there.
Slugging Through the End
There was no surprised when it was revealed that Chris Marrero won team MVP honors this season. He was the team’s iron man (played
131 of 142 games), while he hit .284 with 23 home runs and 71 RBI. I spoke with him about receiving such an awa
rd and his entire season.
Three men (who played 10+ games) batted at least .300 for Pawtucket this season:
Marco Hernandez hit .309 and looked terrific at this level offensively. He deservingly earned a call to Boston a week before September arrived.
Dan Butler hit .308 and he was absolutely remarkable in his various catching roles throughout the season. He was the starting catcher in between Sandy Leon’s call to the bigs and Christian Vazquez’s return to Pawtucket. But otherwise, he was incredibly consistent off the bench. As a PawSox veteran, Butler truly deserves to be commended for his season.
Ryan LaMarre hit .303 with a career high-tying 10 home runs. Without having to worry about injuries last offseason, he was able to make adjustments that delivered him the best season of his professional career, which included a team-high 27-game hitting streak and a month up in Boston. I spoke with Ryan about his season and if was recognized on the streets of Boston during his time up in the majors.
One Last Celebration
Following the final night game of the season, over 1,000 of our fans set a world record on the field for the largest game of catch!
Not to be outdone, our baseball team set some records on the field as well the next afternoon.
Fortuantely, Hurricane Hermine stayed away long enough and we were able to play the season finale on Labor Day at McCoy. The PawSox won their third straight game to end the season with stellar pitching in each game.
In fact, the Sox allowed their fewest runs in a season ever (512 runs), a full 30 runs less than the previous record set by the 1975 squad. Additionally, the 3.36 team ERA was Pawtucket’s best mark since the club sported a franchise record 3.30 ERA in 1981.
All that great pitching, mixed with solid hitting and defense led the PawSox to the ninth-best record in Triple-A. (It’s possible that if they played in any other Triple-A division, they would have been a playoff team.) Thus, there was plenty to celebrate after the season finale.
First came the final out.
Then, after I spent all season talking about the team’s celebrations, Chris Marrero and Chris Dominguez pulled a fast one on me as I tried to interview Bryce Brentz to cap the season.
Sigh. Next, the PawSox players stepped over the puddle they created as they lined the third base line one last time.
Finally, they participated in a McCoy tradition to close the season.
And then it was goodbye. The players quickly filed out, and only packages to be sent to their various destinations remained. Here is a small fraction of them in our offices:
What a way to end a fantastic season at McCoy. More reflections coming later this September. Hope you enjoyed the “homestand recaps” and thanks for reading.
by Josh Maurer
The PawSox head to Louisville Slugger Field for a three-game series this weekend, trying to bounce back from dropping their first series of June after being swept in Indianapolis.
As we get set for the series, here are some tidbits on some of the guys who are playing just about everyday for Manager Kevin Boles (all stats as of Thursday, June 16).
-CF Ryan LaMarre has taken over as the team’s primary leadoff batter since Rusney Castillo’s recall to Boston at the beginning of the month. He has batted either first or second in the order in each of his last 21 starts (and leadoff in 11 of his last 14).
–Chris Marrero has been the Cal Ripken of this year’s PawSox. He has now started 29 straight games (and 41 of the team’s last 42). He has been a middle-of-the-order staple for Skipper Boles, batting either third or fourth in the lineup in 38 straight starts (3rd the last eight).
After a torrid month of May, Marrero has only 2 extra-base hits and just 2 RBIs in June (14 games). He still has a great chance of being selected as a Triple-A All-Star when the rosters are announced later this month.
-OF Henry Ramos has made a great impression since his recent promotion from Double-A Portland. Ramos, who has batted 6th and played right-field in seven of his eight PawSox starts, hit safely in six straight (before Thursday’s loss in Indy) after going 0-for-3 in his debut (those 6: 8-for-20 (.400), 2 doubles, 3 RBI).
-C Dan Butler has has become the PawSox #1 backstop since Sandy Leon’s promotion to Boston earlier in June. With the regular playing time he’s been given, Butler’s bat has come to life. Over his last ten games played, the veteran is 12-for-31 (.387) with 5 walks, one home run, three doubles and three RBIs.
-INF Jose Vinicio has taken over as the club’s primary second-baseman in June. Vinicio has started 11 of the last 13 games for Pawtucket and has shown a great ability to use the bunt and foot speed to his advantage. During that time, seven of his ten hits have been infield singles (five of which have come on bunts).
-3B Jantzen Witte is now an everyday player at the hot corner for the PawSox. Witte, who was promoted early in the season after a hot start in Portland, has currently started 17 of the team’s last 18 games. He has moved up to the second spot in the batting order each of the last two games.
-SP Aaron Wilkerson, who starts in Louisville on Friday night, continues to impress at every level of the Red Sox system in which he has pitched. The right-hander, who led all Boston minor-leaguers last year in strikeouts, has punched out 30 Triple-A hitters in only 24 innings pitched (against just six walks).
-On Thursday I had a lengthy conversation with PawSox pitching coach Bob Kipper, which you can listen to below. Among the topics discussed: Henry Owens, Roenis Elias heading up to Boston, Wilkerson and Pat Light.
The PawSox will play three night games in Louisville this weekend before heading home for a busy week at McCoy Stadium. Because of an earlier rainout, the club will play a five-game series against Syracuse Monday-Thursday with a doubleheader slated for Tuesday night. Then Scranton comes to town for three beginning Friday the 24th.
There are lots of great promotions coming up next weekend, including 90s Night Fireworks on Friday and a Wade Boggs Bobblehead giveaway Saturday. Hope to see you there; we can’t wait to be back home.
The first homestand of June was a resounding success for the PawSox. Incredible pitching propelled Pawtucket to a 5-2 week. And although the pitching was the story on the field, there was a whole lot more fun being had in and around McCoy.
A Pitcher-Perfect Week
The PawSox allowed 10 runs in seven games last week. So on average, the pitching staff allowed an incredible 1.4 runs per game against the Toledo Mud Hens and Louisville Bats.
It all began with the starters. Roenis Elias closed out the previous road trip by tossing Pawtucket’s first nine-inning complete game in nearly a year. Then the following happened on the homestand:
It’s not hard to understand why the PawSox went 5-2 in that time. All the starters, especially Cuevas, O’Sullivan and Elias have talked about the importance of being efficient and throwing strikes to provide length in the rotation.
Elias’ seven-strikeout outing capped a dominant stretch that has earned him a start this Friday against his former team at Fenway Park.
The pitching staff has been especially outstanding since Dan Butler has taken over as the primarily catcher. I spoke to him about Elias and what the key is for his pitchers and it’s something the Sox have excelled at this month:
It’s all about fastball command…and the bullpen has undoubtedly proved that to be true.
The pen tossed 18.0 innings and allowed only two earned runs in the seven games. Everyone has been contributing. I spoke with a couple of the guys who have been used in short relief in late-game situations recently.
Pat Light spoke about his recent success and why he wants to pitch in the ninth inning.
Noe Ramirez, who like Light, is in the midst of a long scoreless streak, also spoke with me about his Triple-A success. Ramirez, who has been on the “shuttle” between Pawtucket and Boston for most of this season, also opened up about what it meant to him and his family to get called up to the big leagues last season.
If you ever come out to the berm or even join us on our pregame show out on the left field terrace, you get to see some of the antics the members of the bullpen use to pass the time before they come into the game and mow down the opposition. I asked both Light and Ramirez about the games they play to pass the time.
Bowling with the PawSox
PawSox players, staff and fans had a terrific night bowling for a great cause last week. All proceeds from the event were donated the the Tomorrow Fund which helps children with cancer.
While the entire night was in good fun, these PawSox players are professional athletes, so there clearly was also a competitive spirit.
Deven Marrero took the lead after the first round. First, he nailed a clutch spare to earn another shot.
He then converted on said opportunity with a strike.
Deven scored a 192 and called out Mookie Betts in his post-game press conference.
In the next round, Jantzen Witte came on strong, using a strike in the ninth frame to overtake Marrero with a 200.
Here was Jantzen’s reaction to besting Deven and the other PawSox players:
And finally, the moust see shot/reaction of the night comes from everyone’s good friend Paws:
Free Brady Friday
You might have heard about the event we had last Friday. It gained some national attention after a certain IL North rival decided to respond with an ill-conceived idea of their own.
Of course, even Buffalo must know that it is fighting a losing battle. There was another losing battle fought on Free Brady Friday: Roger Goodell vs. the dunk tank.
This had to feel good:
Other Notes and Thoughts
Owens vs. Butler
Henry Owens and Dan Butler are battery mates this season, much like they were two years ago. But last year when Butler played for Syracuse, the two faced off against each other. I asked them both about last year’s matchup and what they each recall is amusing:
Owens’ Musical Critique
There had been a rumor floating around that Owens was a big fan of our new theme song this season. He even belted out a few lyrics at the bowling event. If you somehow haven’t had the pleasure of hearing the song yet this season, take a listen and see if you can tell how Henry feels about it as he warms up:
I actually asked the man for his opinions on the song and here is his detailed response:
Deven on Mookie Part Two
We already heard Deven Marrero tease Mookie Betts at the bowling event. Well, when you see what happened this past offseason, he clearly has reason to get on him.
I had Deven elaborate on the incident:
Of course, it’s all in good fun as the two are good buddies. Deven also spoke about a couple of other close friends: his teammate and cousin, Chris Marrero, and Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer. Deven was at game five of last year’s World Series in New York and he shared his immediate reaction to Hosmer’s famous mad dash to the plate.
LaMarre’s Hit Streaks
Ryan LaMarre has really flown under the radar with his solid season this year. He’s batting over .300 and he has the two longest PawSox hitting streaks this season – both 12 games. Although if he could have tacked just one more game on to those streaks he really would have made some noise because the last Pawtucket players with longer hitting streaks were two guys by the name of Brock Holt and Jackie Bradley Jr. And those streaks came three years ago.
So there are fun story lines to watch for both on the mound and at the plate. But even if that isn’t enough for you, we’ll have more fun events on next week’s mega eight-game homestand. Join the electric atmosphere on our next fireworks night. We had a sell-out crowd that got to view this last Saturday:
For more fun insights and interviews be sure to tune into the PawSox Radio Network for all the games and PawSox Insider every Saturday.
See you at McCoy next week!
by Josh Maurer
As the PawSox get ready to begin their four-game series at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre one day later than expected because of a “snow out” on Thursday night, I thought we would take a look at where some of the members of the 2014 Governors Cup championship team have moved to since the title was clinched last September.
There was a large amount of turnover at the upper levels of the Red Sox minor league system last off-season. Some of that can be attributed to the normal course of veteran Triple-A players looking for better opportunities with different organizations, but a lot of the turnover came in the form of trades made to provide immediate help to the big league club.
So without further ado – here’s a glimpse at the new surroundings for a good number of 2014 PawSox players. Let’s start with those who were either traded or claimed off of waivers by a different organization. These are listed in no particular order.
–Alex Hassan: Round Rock Express (Triple-A, Texas Rangers) (waviers)
Hassan had quite the eventful off-season. He was originally claimed off of waivers by Oakland on November 11, 2014. One month later the Orioles claimed him, but then the As claimed him back at the beginning of spring training. Finally it was the Rangers who claimed Hassan off of waivers at the end of March. He is still on their 40-man, but has played the season in Triple A (in 12 games Hassan is batting .233/0/7).
–Ryan Lavarnway: Baltimore Orioles (waviers)
Lavarnway had a similar off-season path to that of Hassan. He was claimed off waivers three times in December; first by the Dodgers, then by the Cubs and finally by the Orioles where he has found a home. He made the Baltimore opening-day roster as the back-up catcher and in four games played is 1-for-13.
–Carlos Rivero: Tacoma Rainiers (Triple-A, Seattle Mariners) (waviers)
Rivero was claimed by Seattle off waivers in November 2014. He was waived again a month later, cleared, and signed back with the Mariners on a minor league deal in December. In 14 games with Tacoma thus far he is is off to a hot start, batting .319/2/8.
–Dan Butler: Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals) (trade)
Butler was traded to Washington in January for LHP Danny Rosenbaum (who is currently on the PawSox DL). He had been designated for assignment one week earlier, so the Red Sox worked out a deal to get something in return for the popular catcher. While still on the Nationals 40-man, Butler is back in the IL currently playing with Syracuse (8 games played, .214/0/5). We should see him in Pawtucket next week.
–Drake Britton: Iowa Cubs (Chicago Cubs) (waviers)
Britton was claimed off waivers by the Cubs in February, then outrighted to Triple-A Iowa at the end of spring training. The lefty has appeared in four MiLB games so far and gone 1-2 with a 4.26 ERA.
–Rubby De La Rosa: Arizona Diamondbacks (trade)
Rubby was traded (with Allen Webster) back in November in the deal that brought the Red Sox Wade Miley. De La Rosa made the starting rotation for Arizona to begin the season, and in three starts has gone 2-1 with a 6.00 ERA (18 IP, 23 H, 13 R).
–Allen Webster: Reno Aces (Arizona Diamondbacks) (trade)
Webster was also part of the November deal that brought the Red Sox Wade Miley (with De La Rosa). Unfortunately, Allen did not make the big league rotation coming out of spring training and then struggled through his first two starts at Triple-A (0-1, 7.0 IP, 17 H, 15 R). He was recently placed on the Reno disabled list.
–Anthony Ranaudo: Round Rock Express (Texas Rangers) (trade)
Ranaudo, the IL’s Pitcher of the Year last season, was traded to the Rangers in January for lefty reliever Robbie Ross. The big right-hander did not make the Texas season-opening starting rotation, but he has been called up to make one start for the big league team on April 14th against the Angels. Unfortunately he gave up six runs in 1.2 innings pitched and was optioned right back to Triple-A. With Round Rock he has only allowed one run in 10.0 innings over two starts.
–Alex Wilson: Detroit Tigers (trade)
Wilson was included in the Red Sox December deal with Detroit that netted Boston Rick Porcello. After starting the season in Triple-A Toledo, the righty has just been called up to Detroit. In four relief appearances with the Mud Hens, Wilson went 1-0 with three saves and did not allow a run in 5.1 innings pitched.
Now let’s look at some other key members of last season’s Governors Cup championship team who left the Red Sox organization as free agents. Again, no particular order here.
–Corey Brown: Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays)
Brown led the PawSox with 17 home runs last season. He signed as a free agent with the Rays this off-season and has been playing in the IL again with Durham. In eight games thus far Brown is 5-for-32 with one home run.
–Derrik Gibson: Bowie Baysox (Baltimore Orioles)
Gibson played the final two months of the season last year as a super utilityman for the PawSox. He signed with the Orioles in the off-season and is playing in Double-A Bowie. Thus far in 13 games played, Gibson is batting .250/0/5.
–Mike McCoy: El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego Padres)
McCoy was the veritable “swiss army knife” player for the PawSox last season, playing all over the diamond defensively and providing leadership in the clubhouse. He signed with the Padres in the off-season and is hitting .171 thus far in 11 games with Triple-A El Paso.
–John Ely: Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Milwaukee Brewers)
Ely was a valuable member of the PawSox bullpen in 2014. He signed as a free agent with Milwaukee in the off-season and has been pitching in Triple-A Colorado Springs as a starting pitcher. After making two starts and allowing eight runs in 7.2 innings pitched, Ely went on the disabled list.
–Ryan Verdugo: Nashville Sounds (Oakland As)
Verdugo helped the PawSox pitching staff as a long reliever and fill-in starter during the final two months of last season. He signed with Oakland in the off-season and has been pitching in a similar role with Triple-A Nashville thus far in 2015. In three outings (one start), Verdugo is 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA.
–Brandon Snyder: Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (Independent)
Snyder, a big power-hitting infielder, was injured and played only two months at the beginning of the 2014 season. He has caught on with Southern Maryland in the Atlantic League.
–Rich Hill: Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals)
The Massachusetts native Hill pitched the first three months of last season in the bullpen for the PawSox, then opted out of his contract for a big league deal with the Angels in July. He has bounced around since, but has landed in the Nationals organization to begin 2015 and is back in the IL pitching for Syracuse. He has only allowed one earned run in six innings over his first five appearances this season.
Finally, here are some 2014 PawSox players who are no longer active in the game at the beginning of this season.
–Justin Henry, Coach (Greenville Drive, Red Sox Single-A)
Henry was a popular member of the PawSox for the past two seasons. He has retired from playing and is now a coach in the Red Sox organization at Low-A Greenville. I am confident he will move up the ladder in the coaching ranks quickly.
–Ryan Roberts: not playing
Roberts was the regular second-baseman for the PawSox for most of last season. The Tatman was in spring training with the Royals but was released in late March. He does not appear to have caught on with another organization as yet.
–Jose Valdez: not playing
The veteran Valdez was on the mound for many key outs during the Governors Cup playoffs last season, including the final out in the 13th inning of Game 4 in Durham. From what I can tell, Valdez is not playing in 2015.
–Chris Hernandez: not playing
The southpaw Hernandez pitched for the PawSox in various roles for most of the last three seasons. He was released by the Red Sox at the end of spring training and does not appear to have caught on with any other organization as yet.
So there you have it. Pretty interesting to see where these guys have landed, no?
Will Flemming and I will talk to you from PNC Field in Moosic, PA tonight at 6:50 for pregame coverage. Henry Owens is on the mound for the PawSox with first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm. Happy Friday!
It’s almost time for everyone’s favorite event off the off-season: the 36th Annual Pawtucket Red Sox Hot Stove Party. Joining new PawSox hitting coach Dave Joppie at the event for autographs and Q&A will be:
- Jackie Bradley Jr., OF
- Dan Butler, C
- Justin Henry, INF/OF
- Allen Webster, RHP
The party will take place on Saturday, January 26th from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at McCoy Stadium and is completely FREE.
The event will once again be held inside the historic McCoy clubhouse and batting tunnels, and all guests can enter through the entry tower in left field. No RSVP is necessary.
Fans in attendance will not only have a chance to get autographs and interact with our specials guests, but can also purchase tickets for the 2013 season and enjoy free hot dogs and soda. Hope to see you there!
Since July 25, the PawSox have lost righty-handers Brandon Duckworth and Doug Mathis to Japan, first baseman Lars Anderson to Cleveland, outfielder Scott Podsednik to Arizona, catcher Ryan Lavarnway and outfielder Ryan Kalish to Boston, and now you can add righty Garrett Mock to the list.
Here are Friday’s PawSox roster moves:
- Garrett Mock was given word after Thursday night’s loss in Lehigh Valley that he had been traded to Houston and will be reporting to Triple-A Oklahoma City. The hard-throwing reliever had a stellar month of May where he did not allow a run over nine appearances (12.0 IP), but since then had struggled. Mock, who was born in Houston and pitched for the University of Houston, had allowed at least one run in nine of his last 14 outings with the PawSox. The Red Sox will be reportedly receive “future considerations” from the Astros in return. All the best to Garrett who, you have to think, has a good chance of being a September call-up.
- With Mock gone, the void in the PawSox bullpen will be filled by hard-throwing righty, Josh Fields. Originally the 20th overall selection in the 2008 draft by Seattle, the 2008 SEC Pitcher of the Year was acquired by the Red Sox at the deadline last season with Erik Bedard in exchange for outfielders Trayvon Robinson and Chih-Hsien Chiang. Over his last 14 outings (since June 13th), Fields is 2-0, 0.37 ERA (1 ER/24.1 IP), and has allowed just six hits while walking five and striking out 30.
- Catcher Carson Blair has been assigned back to High-A Salem. Blair was called-up to Pawtucket for the second time following the promotion of Ryan Lavarnway to Boston. Blair did not appear in a game for the PawSox.
- Taking Blair’s spot on the roster is catcher Dan Butler from Double-A Portland. Undrafted out of the University of Arizona, Butler has a quick release and, according to Mike Antonellis, the “Voice of the Sea Dogs,” is one of the better defensive catchers Portland has seen in a long time. Over his last 19 games in Double-A, the 25-year-old was batting .302 (19-for-63) with a home run and six runs batted in. Butler played for both Yarmouth-Dennis and Brewster during the 2009 Cape Cod Baseball League season.