Results tagged ‘ Matt Barnes ’

Final Interviews From Fort Myers; PawSox Rotation Looks Epic

By Josh Maurer

We are four days away from opening night at Lehigh Valley and the PawSox players and coaches are making their way north from Florida.  Before they left the JetBlue complex, Will Flemming and I caught up with several men who should play prominent roles with Pawtucket for the next few months.

Will sat down with two projected members of the team’s starting infield for this weekend’s PawSox Insider show – Garin Cecchini and Sean Coyle.  In case you missed them, here are those interviews:


Coyle spring

Sean Coyle figures to open the season on the PawSox infield this week

For the previous week’s edition of Insider I chatted with skipper Kevin Boles, who spent almost the entire spring assisting John Farrell and his staff in big league camp.  I also interviewed Travis Shaw, who should open the season as the PawSox everyday first baseman.  Those conversations are available below:


Travis Shaw

Travis Shaw should be back in Pawtucket manning first base for a second season

The big news on Friday was the Red Sox optioning both Matt Barnes and Brandon Workman to Pawtucket to begin the season, with Barnes expected to start and Workman anticipated to work out of the PawSox bullpen.

Barnes not making the big league club was somewhat surprising considering his dominant relief work this spring, but Farrell said he wanted to carry three southpaws in the pen to begin the campaign.

Moving forward it will be very interesting to see how long the big right-hander stays in a starting role.  Considering the recent history of Red Sox pitchers hitting bumps in the road when being shifted back and forth from the rotation to the pen (Daniel Bard, Drake Britton and Workman come to mind), it could be somewhat perilous to leave Barnes’ future role undefined for an extended period of time.

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes will begin the season in the Pawtucket starting rotation

That said, what a rotation we should have in Pawtucket to begin the season.  One would suspect a five-man unit of Barnes, Brian Johnson, Henry Owens, Eduardo Rodriguez and Edwin Escobar will open the year as starters, perhaps with Keith Couch as a sixth man.  Yikes – IL lineups beware!

How does that compare to last year’s early season starting unit of Allen Webster, Anthony Ranaudo, Rubby De La Rosa, Barnes and Workman (with Steven Wright then coming mid-season)?  What do you think?

Reports have the Red Sox releasing several players right before camp broke.  One of those was lefty pitcher Chris Hernandez, who has served in a variety of important roles with the PawSox for the past three seasons.

chris hernandez

Chris Hernandez helped the PawSox win the Governor’s Cup last season

Seems like he got caught up in a numbers game while trying to earn a spot on a Triple-A pitching staff that is loaded with high prospects.  I wish all the best to Chris, who will certainly be a great addition to whatever organization he catches on with next.

Don’t forget the PawSox Welcome Home Luncheon is this Wednesday beginning at noon at Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln, RI.  The entire team will be on hand before heading to Allentown to begin the season on Thursday night.

We’ll have more here at “45 Miles” once the roster is officially announced in the next few days.  Happy holiday to all, can’t wait to get the season going this week!

Josh M

2013 Red Sox Top-10 Prospects

Although it’s not yet 2013, it’s never too early to take a look at the Red Sox top-10 prospect list published by Baseball America.

What first caught my eye is that while only three of listed prospects are pitchers, all three rank within the top-five — and none are yet to reach Pawtucket.

It might be hard to find a more promising top-three in any other farm system entering next year. No surprise shortstop Xander Bogaerts is ranked No. 1 overall. Only 20-years-old, Bogaerts split 2012 between High-A Salem and Portland where he combined to hit .307 with 20 home runs and 81 RBI. PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler, who spent some time around Bogaerts at the 2012 Futures Game in Kansas City, commented later that his talents reminded him of Hanley Ramierez.

Like Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. split 2012 between Salem and Portland where he led all Sox farmhands in runs scored (89), walks (87), and on-base percentage (.430). He was second in the system in batting average (.315) and doubles (42). Add to his numbers the fact that Kevin Thomas (@ClearTheBases) of the Portland Press Herald told us on PawSox Insider that Bradley’s defensive abilities in center field surpass even the great Che-Hsuan Lin.

At No. 3 on the list, right-hander Matt Barnes has a good chance of seeing Pawtucket in 2013 — just like Bogaerts and Bradley. Barnes topped the Red Sox system with 133 strikeouts and was third in ERA (2.86) and WHIP (1.05). In his first pro season after being taking 18th overall by the Red Sox out of the University of Connecticut, Barnes walked just 29 batters over 119 2/3 innings pitched.

To read the entire online article from Baseball America, click here.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Bogaerts’ pro career began in 2010 as a 17-year-old playing in the Dominican Summer League. (Kelly O’Connor)

Carl Crawford Rehabs with PawSox

Following the three-day All-Star break, the PawSox are back at it tonight versus the Buffalo Bisons from McCoy. Joining them this evening will be Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford who begins a new 20-day rehab assignment.

Crawford rehabbed from June 23-30 with the Gulf Coast Red Sox and continued from July 3-5 with Portland before suffering a left groin strain while running out a triple on July 5 in New Hampshire. Having not played for the past six days, Crawford is eligible to begin a new rehab assignment.

Originally a second-round pick by Tampa Bay in 1999, Crawford is yet to suit up for the Red Sox this season after suffering wrist, elbow, and groin injuries. (Kelly O’Connor)

The second-year Boston outfielder went 3-for-14 with five walks in five games for the Gulf Coast Red Sox, and 4-for-10 with a triple, RBI, and two walks in three games for Portland.

PawSox Notebook:

  • Ryan Lavarnway, Pawtucket’s lone mid-season All-Star not in Boston, finished last night’s Triple-A All-Star game 1-for-2 in front of a sell-out crowd of over 18,000 in Buffalo.
  • Red Sox pitching prospect Matt Barnes needed just two pitches to record two outs Sunday evening at the Futures Game in Kansas City.
  • Barnes’ Salem teammate, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, suited up for the World Team and finished 1-for-4 with two strikeouts as the designated hitter.
Doug Mathis (6-6, 4.05 ERA) starts tonight for the PawSox and will be opposed by Jeremy Hefner (4-2, 2.50). First pitch is set for 7:05, we hit the air at 6:50 with the pre-game show.

Talk with you then.

-AG

agoldsmith@pawsox.com

 

Red Sox Farmhands Selected to Futures Game

The Red Sox will be represented by two young promising prospects at the 2012 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game held on July 8 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Right-handed pitcher Matt Barnes (U.S. Team) and shortstop Xander Bogaerts (World Team), both with High-A Salem, have been selected to represent the Red Sox organization at the game. The PawSox will also be represented at the event by manager Arnie Beyeler who has been selected as one of the coaches for the World Team.

“I’m very excited,” Arnie said from the visiting clubhouse in Syracuse today. “I feel honored to be selected. It should be a lot of fun to get to a big league ballpark and spend time with some real talented young players.”

Barnes, 22, was taken by the Red Sox with the 19th overall pick last June out of the University of Connecticut. He began the season with Single-A Greenville where he flat out dominated. He went 2-0 in five starts and compiled a microscopic 0.34 ERA (1 ER/26.2 IP) while walking four and fanning 42. Numbers that resembled a video game more than anything else, he allowed just 12 hits.

Barnes has struck out 95 batters in 72 2/3 professional innings pitched (Kelly O’Connor).

Barnes was then promoted to High-A Salem where in eight starts he’s gone 5-1 with a 1.37 ERA (7 ER/46.0 IP) with eight walks and 53 punch outs.  With the Salem Red Sox he’s been paired with the 19-year-old Bogaerts who hit .293 over the first half of the season.

One of only two 19-year-olds in the Carolina League, some argue that Bogaerts should be the Red Sox No. 1 prospect because he may have the highest ceiling. At 6-foot-3, he could wind up being too big for a shortstop, but for now that’s the only defensive position he’s played in his young pro career.

Ranked by Baseball America as the Red Sox No. 2 prospect, Bogaerts clubbed 16 homers as an 18-year-old with Single-A Greenville in 2011. (Kelly O’Connor)

For the complete rosters, click here. Current Red Sox players to suit up in the Futures Game include:

  • Josh Beckett
  • Clay Buchholz
  • Aaron Cook
  • Carl Crawford
  • Jacoby Ellsbury
  • Adrian Gonzalez
  • Kevin Youkilis
  • Will Middlebrooks

Enjoy the game, and keep an eye out for Arnie who will probably get an inning or two coaching third base.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmth
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

T-Minus 72 Hours

It has finally hit me that Opening Day is now just 72 hours away. Everyone has been working overtime at McCoy Stadium getting ready for Thursday’s 7:05 first pitch against Buffalo, even our manager, Arnie Beyeler.

Arnie, who just arrived from Ft. Myers, was inside our offices today participating in a live Q&A on Boston.com where fans asked him every question under the sun about the PawSox. You can replay the chat and read all of Arnie’s answers by clicking here. If one of your questions was regarding what the back of Arnie’s head looks like, I’m glad I could provide the answer.

At this time we don’t have any definitive word on what our roster will will be. As soon as the Red Sox release our roster I’ll be sure to post it here ASAP. In the meantime, Mike Andrews of SoxProspects.com reported via Twitter (@MikeAndrewsSP) that outfield prospect Alex Hassan has been assigned to Pawtucket. He also reported the following moves:

  • Matt Barnes, 2011 first round pick, assigned to Single-A Greenville
  • Blake Swihart, 2011 first round pick, assigned to Single-A Greenville
  • Xander Bogaerts, Baseball America’s No. 2 Red Sox prospect, assigned to High-A Salem.
  • Heiker Meneses, infielder, assigned to Double-A Portland
  • Aaor Kurcz, Jayson Hernandez, Will Latimer, and Caleb Clay assigned to Double-A Portland
  • Mitch Dening, Jorge Padron, Drew Dominguez, and Josue Peley released by Boston.

Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe has reported that through five innings today, Aaron Cook has the following line: 2-H/1-R/1-ER/1-BB/2-K and 11 groundball outs. You can follow Pete’s live updates throughout the Red Sox vs. Nationals game on the Extra Bases Blog.

There’s a strong chance that Cook opens the season in Pawtucket before seeing time in the Big Leagues with the Red Sox. It’s important to remember that Cook has an “opt out” in his minor league contract on May 1. This could pressure Boston to call him up to Fenway before then since he has proven in Spring Training that he can get batters out.

Between getting ready for Opening Day, finalizing my taxes, and getting my couch ready for tonight’s NCAA Championship Game, there’s lots to do! I’ll leave you with a 2007 head shot of a former International League standout who is on the verge of signing a $200 million contract extension.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Baseball America’s Top-10 Red Sox Prospects

Hot off the digital presses this morning comes the annual Baseball America Red Sox Top Prospects List. Eight of the 10 players are yet to play above the High-A level.

1. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
2. Xander Bogaerts, SS
3. Blake Swihart, C
4. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP
5. Bryce Brentz, OF
6. Brandon Jacobs, OF
7. Garin Cecchini, 3B
8. Matt Barnes, RHP
9. Ryan Lavarnway, C
10. Jackie Bradley, OF

As noted by author Jim Callis, “For the third time in four years, the Red Sox set a new franchise record for draft spending, upping the ante to $11 million in 2011.”

Of that healthy sum went $2.5 million to 19-year-old catcher Blake Swihart.  The Bedford, Tx. native played in just two games for the GCL Red Sox last year after being selected No. 26 overall by Boston.  The Sox knew he would be one of the most difficult players to sign because he had apparently dreamed of a college career with the Texas Longhorns.

Swihart led Team USA in 2010 by batting .448 with six doubles and five home runs. (Brace Hemmelgarn/ESPN)

The signing bonus was not only enough to convince him to head east instead of south, it was also the largest bonus given out by the Sox to a high school position player under GM Theo Epstein.  Because of his potential,   Baseball America decided to rank Swihart as Boston’s No. 3 overall prospect and top ranked catcher.

Meanwhile, Ryan Lavarnway comes in as the No. 9 overall prospect for the Red Sox, their No. 2 ranked catcher.  The Yale product signed for (a mere) $325,000 in 2008 as a 6th round pick.  With Boston’s off-season signing of Kelly Shoppach, Lavarnway will seemingly start 2012 in Pawtucket where he’ll look to improve his defensive skills to compliment his major league-ready bat.

Lavarnway hit .295 in 61 games with the PawSox in 2011. (Kelly O'Connor)

It will will be a number of years before we see Swihart here at McCoy Stadium, and who knows, when it’s all said and done he may end up having the better career.  But what I do know is that I can’t wait to see Larvarnway play at McCoy this season.

-AG


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