Results tagged ‘ Josh Fields ’
There are certain pitchers that are simply fun to watch. While the PawSox had a number of talented pitchers in 2012, few were more enjoyable to watch work than hard-throwing reliever Josh Fields.
His 94-96 mph fastball, coupled with a filthy spike curveball, made him mostly untouchable during his time in Pawtucket. The right-hander’s stay was capped of when he was on the mound for the final out — and recorded the save — for the PawSox Governors’ Cup championship in Charlotte.
As it turns out, that will go down as the final outing for Fields in a Red Sox uniform. The 27-year-old was taken first overall by the Houston Astros in Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft.
Sad news for the PawSox, but great news for Josh.
In addition to a nice financial bonus for being selected, Fields will now be added to the Astros’ 25-man roster. Josh is a tremendous guy to spend time with and was kind enough to join me on the phone Thursday to talk about his new job.
Although I’ll miss watching Josh pitch and seeing him at the ballpark, I’m thrilled for what this will likely do for his career.
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.
- 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.
You can’t help but be impressed with what right-handed reliever Josh Fields has been able to do in his first two outings with the PawSox.
Saturday night in Rochester, Fields tossed two perfect innings while striking out three batters by using his 94-96 mph fastball and a nasty 12-6 curveball. Furthermore, Fields pounded the strike zone, something that has been an issue at times for him in the past, firing 21 pitches, 17 for strikes.
“The big thing you like from him is he’s got ‘stuff,’” PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler said of Fields. “You like ‘stuff’ as a manager, that beats hitters.”
Fields was called-up to Pawtucket on August 3 after starting the season with Double-A Portland. In his final 14 outings with the Sea Dogs dating back to June 13, Fields went 2-0, 0.37 ERA (1 ER/24.1 IP) while allowing just six hits, five walks, and 30 strikeouts.
“Looks like he’s throwing with a lot of confidence right now and is really pounding the zone,” said Beyeler. “You bring that kind of stuff to the table and he’s going to have success.”
As strange as it may sound, when I first watched Fields pitch, I was reminded of two drastically different pitchers: Tim Lincecum and Garrett Mock. With Lincecum, it’s more because of his delivery, physical build, and, yes, the hair. Josh explained to me that when he was in college, his delivery was even more exaggerated than it is now. Not only was his back facing the hitter on his windup, but he really buckled his back leg and brought his arm so high over his head it almost resembled dunking a basketball.
In college, the coaching staff at the University of Georgia cleaned up his mechanics, enabling him to throw his spike curve for a strike. That’s where his resemblance to Mock comes in. Both feature the same mix of pitches: fastball, curve, and changeup. Fields, who throws exclusively a four-seam fastball, throws a little harder than Mock, but his curveball, as Arnie told me, isn’t as loopy and slow has Mock’s (slightly more of a slurve at times).
Both Mock and Fields have a changeup that’s a work in progress. While Fields won’t stop working on it, if his changeup ever fully develops, it would be, as he describes, “icing on the cake.”
After dominating the Double-A Eastern League since mid-June, reliever Josh Fields made his PawSox debut Sunday afternoon in the 10th inning of a tied game with Lehigh Valley.
“It felt great just to get that first appearance under my belt,” Fields told my broadcast partner Steve Hyder on the field during a post-game interview.
Fields explained that anytime a player moves up a level and takes the field for the first time, there’s always some added adrenaline.
“I was doing my best to take a deep breath, try to calm myself down, and let it fly.”
There’s no doubt he did just that. Fields was quick to showcase his fastball which touched 96 mph on the McCoy radar gun several times. He mixed that with a 12-6 curve ball and the occasional change up.
Although he gave up back-to-back singles, Fields struck out two batters swinging, tossed a scoreless inning, and picked up the win. He displayed terrific command by firing 22 pitches, 18 for strikes.
Before his August 5 promotion to Pawtucket, the righty had gone 2-0 with a 0.37 ERA (1 ER/24.1 IP) since June 13 with the Sea Dogs. During that stretch, spanning 14 appearances, Fields had walked five, struck out 30, and allowed a mere 6 hits.
Originally selected 20th overall by Seattle in 2008 out of the University of Georgia, Fields was acquired by the Red Sox at the deadline last year with Erik Bedard in exchange for outfielders Trayvon Robinson and Chih-Hsien Chiang.
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.