Results tagged ‘ PawSox ’

Gedman Talks Upcoming 1986 Reunion

by Josh Maurer

This week the Red Sox will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the famous American League pennant-winning club from 1986.  There will be plenty of pomp and circumstance at Fenway as many members of that popular club return to Boston for a couple of nights.

1986 red sox

From the Red Sox official press release detailing the events:

“On Wednesday, May 25, close to 30 members of the 1986 Red Sox team will come together at Fenway Park to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the pennant-winning season. Led by American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens and American League batting champion Wade Boggs, the club won 95 games during the regular season before defeating the California Angels in the American League Championship Series.

The following night on Thursday, May 26, in ceremonies taking place before the Red Sox-Rockies game, the club will retire Wade Boggs’s number 26. Boggs helped lead the Red Sox to three postseason berths, including the 1986 American League Championship. The Hall of Famer’s .338 batting average with the Red Sox is second only to Ted Williams, and no one has ever played more games at third base in team history. He was an eight-time All-Star during his 11 seasons as Boston’s third baseman from 1982-92, and during his Red Sox career, he led all major leaguers in batting average (.338), hits (2,098), doubles (422), on-base percentage (.428), and times reaching base safely (3,124), and also topped the American League in OPS (.890).”

One member of that club who will be around for the festivities is current PawSox hitting coach Rich Gedman, the catcher in that memorable season.  Geddy was an AL All-Star that season, playing in 135 games and batting .258 with 16 home runs and 65 RBIs.

Gedman card

That year in the ALCS against the Angels, Gedman played in all 7 games of the come-from-behind series win and hit .357 with a homer and six RBIs. He also homered and played in all seven games during the World Series loss to the Mets.

Gedman card2

Recently I sat down with Rich to talk about his memories of that incredible season, his thoughts on the upcoming two-day reunion and his feelings about former teammate Wade Boggs getting his number retired at Fenway.  You can listen to the entire conversation below:

It’s always a great listen when Mr. Gedman talks baseball.  I will look forward to watching him enjoy his time with his former teammates this week.

The PawSox dropped three of four this weekend in Buffalo, the final two of which came on walkoff hits by the Bisons in the bottom of the ninth inning.  Up next is a six-game homestand that begins Tuesday night against Lehigh Valley.

Eduardo Rodriguez will re-start his MLB rehab assignment for the Red Sox and make his fifth appearance with Pawtucket this year.  It should be fun to watch him pitch and see how the knee responds after being shut down for over one week.

Eddie Rodriguez pitch side view

Hope to see you at McCoy this week for the games against the Iron Pigs and then Indianapolis.  If not, as always, Will and I will talk to you on the radio.  Have a great Monday!

Josh M

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

Talking Pitching With the PawSox Pitching Coach

by Josh Maurer

As the Triple-A pitching coach, Bob Kipper knows the work he puts in with his staff will often directly impact the fortunes of the big-league club. Having been a successful MLB picher and a Major League bullpen coach, “Kip” knows what it takes for his hurlers to make it, and more importantly excel at the next level.

Bob Kipper Portland

The PawSox have already had a whopping seven pitchers go up from Pawtucket to Boston this season. They have also received two important members of the Red Sox starting rotation for multiple-start injury rehab assignments.  So, it suffices to say that there are few men in the organization as important as Kipper when it comes to the success of the big-league pitching staff.

Bob Kipper meeting on mound

Recently I sat down with Kip for a lengthy chat about, among others, Eduardo Rodriguez, Joe Kelly, Henry Owens and Sean O’Sullivan.  You can listen to the conversation in its entirety below:

One of those pitchers who made his way up from the PawSox to the Red Sox this season was hard-throwing reliever Pat Light.  Light made his big-league debut two weeks ago, and had a whirlwind of an experience in doing so.

Pat Light pitching

Pat was very candid and affable in talking about his entire trip to the Majors – from the moment he received the word until the time he was optioned back to Pawtucket. The following interview provides a great glimpse at what it can be like for a young ballplayer to have his life-long dream come true.  It is worth a listen:

Joe Kelly resumes his MLB rehab assignment on Wednesday night in Scranton at 6:35pm.  He looked sharp in his three-inning outing last Friday at McCoy, and will look to build off of that this evening at PNC Field.

Joe Kelly pitching better

Meanwhile, John Farrell announced Monday that Eduardo Rodriguez will continue his rehab stint on Friday with the PawSox and make his fourth start for the club at McCoy against Gwinnett.  Eddie certainly looked his sharpest out of any of the three outings on Mother’s Day as he worked 5.2 innings against Rochester.

Eddie Rodriguez pitch side view

Will and I look forward to speaking with you tonight from Moosic, PA.  Happy Wednesday all!

Josh M

PawSox Loving The Lehigh Valley

by Josh Maurer

This season the Pawtucket Red Sox have suffered two four-game losing streaks. Each time following that fourth-consecutive loss, they boarded a bus and headed to Allentown, PA to begin a series against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.

On April 14th, the PawSox had just been swept by Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at home and went to Lehigh Valley for the Pigs’ home opener.  That night the bats exploded for 13 runs and 19 hits en route to a 13-1 thumping of the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate.

On Monday night, Pawtucket had just been swept in a four-game series at Syracuse and held to just seven total runs in the four contests. But once again things turned around in a hurry at Coca-Cola Park, as the PawSox erupted again by scoring eight of the final nine runs in a game they would win 8-3.

Paced by four hits from Marco Hernandez and a massive two-run home run from Justin Maxwell, the club collected 15 total knocks on the night.

In three games at Lehigh Valley this season, the PawSox are batting .388 (45-for-116) with three home runs, 12 doubles and a .569 slugging percentage.  The offense is averaging nine runs per game at Coca-Cola Park.

Coca Cola Park

In the team’s other 21 games thus far, the offense is hitting at a .242 clip and scoring just three runs/game on average.  I suppose it suffices to say the PawSox enjoy playing within the confines of this nine-year old venue.  Guess its a good thing Pawtucket will play 10 total games in Allentown this season.

Here are a few other notes to get you ready for Tuesday night’s second game of the series against the Pigs:

Carson Smith has been activated from the disabled list by the Red Sox and will be available in the bullpen for John Farrell in game one of the series at the White Sox tonight.  Smith pitched twice during a rehab assignment for Double-A Portland, but never got into a game with the PawSox (he had a scheduled appearance cancelled by a rainout at McCoy last Tuesday.)

Ryan LaMarre is now on a 12-game hitting streak for the PawSox, during which he is batting .391 (18-for-46).  LaMarre’s bat has been so hot that manager Kevin Boles has moved him up in the batting order; hitting him second in Syracuse on Sunday before placing him in the leadoff spot for the first time all season on Monday night.

Pat Light made his big-league debut last week in Atlanta, and LOVED every minute of the experience.  Check out his recap of his time with Boston in this interview from Monday night:

Marco Hernandez is now 11-for-20 (.550) in his last five games played with Pawtucket (with a quick trip to Boston for two games Saturday and Sunday mixed in between.)  On Monday in Lehigh Valley, he picked up four hits with only one leaving the infield.

Marco Hernandez hitting ball

On Tuesday night in Allentown, LHP Eduardo Rodriguez continues his MLB rehab assignment for the Red Sox by making his second start for the PawSox on this road trip. Pregame coverage from Coca-Cola Park begins at 6:35pm on the PawSox Radio Network.

Hope to speak to you tonight.  Thanks as always for reading!

Josh M

Hembree A Huge Boost To Sox Pen

by Josh Maurer

When Heath Hembree once again began a season as the PawSox closer, it didn’t seem very feasible that he would be helping the big league club win games before the end of April.

But after earning the win with a three-inning appearance in Houston on Sunday night, Hembree seems to have made himself an indispensable part of the Boston bullpen.  Since being recalled one week ago, the right-hander has appeared in three games and tossed 7.2 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits while striking out 11 and walking just one.

Heath Hembree

Heath Hembree has been spectacular in the Red Sox bullpen since his recall last week

Hembree has featured a new curveball to go along with his mid-to-high 90s MPH fastball.  Red Sox pitching coach Carl Willis says that along with his arsenal, his new hurler’s confidence is a big reason for his sudden dominance.

Already this season four pitchers who began the season with Pawtucket have gone to the bigs to try and help the Boston pitching staff – Hembree, William Cuevas, Roenis Elias, Henry Owens and Pat Light.

Cuevas and Elias each struggled in one appearance last week and were each optioned right back.  Owens and Light just joined the club Sunday in Houston, and Owens did not escape the fourth inning in his first start.

Henry Owens pitch follow through

The Red Sox bullpen should get a big lift soon as Carson Smith is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with the PawSox on Tuesday afternoon.  After being acquired along with Elias in the Wade Miley deal last December, Smith was expected to be a big part of the pen before a forearm injury late in spring training landed him on the DL.

Meanwhile, as the PawSox get ready for two more home games to start the week, here are some interviews for you to enjoy from last week:

I sat down with the President of Minor League Baseball, Pat O’Conner, recently to discuss a litany of topics:

Pat O'Conner

MiLB President Pat O’Conner

Alex Speier of the Boston Globe recently joined Will and I to talk about the Red Sox super-talented Salem High-A affiliate:

New PawSox third-baseman Jantzen Witte joined us on the pregame show last week before his Triple-A debut and talked about his long road to reach this level:

Finally, here’s a conversation with veteran outfielder Justin Maxwell, who has been an everyday player for the PawSox thus far in 2016:

Justin Maxwell gets congrats in dugout

The PawSox are home at McCoy on Monday night, beginning a scheduled six-game week against Syracuse (two at home, then after a day-off on Wednesday four at NBT Bank Stadium). Cuevas, fresh off of his MLB debut, is slated to make the start for Pawtucket.  First pitch is at 6:15pm.

William Cuevas throws pitch good

William Cuevas is on the mound Monday night for Pawtucket

Have a great start to the week!

Josh M




PawSox Rotation Starting To Take Shape

by Josh Maurer

Opening day at McCoy Stadium is drawing even closer (two weeks from the time of this writing!), and the roster situation for the PawSox is becoming clearer. Roster moves made on Thursday morning sent several players to the Pawtucket roster.

Thursday was the final day in Fort Myers for Will and me, and during it we got the opportunity to broadcast one final Red Sox Grapefruit League game from JetBlue Park.  Boston defeated a split-squad Mets team, 4-1, behind seven brilliant innings from Joe Kelly.

Joe Kelly

Kelly improved to 3-0 this spring, and has now allowed only three runs in five starts. David Ortiz delivered his second RBI of the spring with a go-ahead two-out single in the sixth inning, while Xander Bogaerts added some insurance by lifting his first home run this season over the Green Monster in the eighth.

Earlier in the day, the Red Sox announced that six players had been re-assigned from big-league camp; pitchers Henry Owens, Brian Johnson, Heath Hembree and Roman Mendez along with infielder Sam Travis and outfielder Ryan LaMarre.

Johnson on mound

Brian Johnson was optioned to the PawSox on Thursday

It is possible, maybe even likely, that all six of those players begin the season with the PawSox when the season opens in two weeks.  Owens, Johnson and Hembree are all members of the 40-man roster and so each have already been optioned to Pawtucket.

One would think that Owens would be right at or near the top of the PawSox starting rotation along with Johnson, who is now generally recovered from a sprained toe suffered earlier this month.

Henry Owens pitching

Henry Owens is a good candidate to start on opening night at McCoy Stadium on April 7th

William Cuevas, who finished the season well with Pawtucket in 2015, veteran hurler Sean O’Sullivan, and lefty Roenis Elias are also possibilities to begin the year in the PawSox rotation.

Elias, received by Boston from Seattle in the Wade Miley deal last offseason, is also a candidate to start the year in the big-league bullpen.  He earned a save on Thursday against the Mets by recorded a 1-2-3 ninth inning that included two punchouts.

roenis elias

Roenis Elias

-Will had an in-depth conversation with new Red Sox President Sam Kennedy prior to Thursday’s broadcast. You can check it out below:

Sam Kennedy

Sam Kennedy

-Here is a video interview with PawSox reliever Pat Light from Wednesday.  Light says he feels very confident as he gets ready to head north and begin his second season pitching in the International League.

Thanks to everyone for reading our coverage from “The Fort” over the past couple of weeks.  We owe a big debt of gratitude to the Red Sox broadcasting and media relations departments for allowing us to broadcast from JetBlue and giving us access to all the players and coaches.  It has been a lot of fun.

We’ll talk to you soon from New England!

Josh M

PawSox Face Some Big-Name Orioles in Sarasota

by Josh Maurer

Oftentimes during spring training, when established Major League players want to get in some extra work on the mound or take extra at-bats to work on some things at the plate they go take part in one of the minor league games.  On Monday, Will chronicled how David Ortiz and Junichi Tazawa (and others) played in the PawSox game at JetBlue.

Tuesday afternoon when the PawSox headed north to Sarasota to take on the Norfolk Tides (Orioles Triple-A affiliate), they ran into some important pieces of the Baltimore  big-league roster in a game played at the Buck O’Neill Complex at Twin Lakes Park (about a 15-minute drive from the Os spring home Ed Smith Stadium).

outside of Buck O'Neill complex

The Buck O’Neill Complex is a bit of a drive away from the Orioles MLB spring training home in Sarasota

Ubaldo Jimenez pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings against a lineup that feature PawSox infielder Sean Coyle, among others. Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters, infidlers Chris Davis and Pedro Alvarez and outfielder Hyun Soo Kim all batted against a Pawtucket pitching staff that included William Cuevas and Edwin Escobar.

Will and I were fortunate enough to be at the contest in Sarasota, and here is a photo/video recap of the afternoon:

Jimenez pitches closeup

Ubaldo Jimenez and his familiar funky delivery started the game for the Norfolk team.

Ubaldo Jimenez pitches

Jimenez shut out the PawSox for 5 2/3 innings on Tuesday afternoon.

Sean Coyle on deck

Sean Coyle was in the lineup playing 2nd base for Pawtucket against the Tides.

Ron Johnson on back field

Former PawSox manager and current Norfolk Tides skipper Ron Johnson presided over the festivities for the Orioles side.

Pedro Alvarez and Kim

Several big-name Orioles played big roles in the contest on Tuesday, including Hyun Soo Kim and Pedro Alvarez.

Chris Davis batting

Chris Davis takes a cut in the middle innings against PawSox reliever Mike Augliera.

Edwin Escobar, a man who has spent a large portion of the past two seasons pitching for the PawSox, entered the game in the middle innings and got to face both Davis and Wieters.  Here is a video clip of Escobar retiring Davis on a fielder’s choice:

And here is Wieters lining a single to right against Edwin in the same inning:

-We have been very fortunate to get the opportunity to interview some great guests during our time in Fort Myers this spring.  On Monday, I sat down with new Red Sox pitching ace David Price and talked about, among other topics, his impressions of Henry Owens and Brian Johnson.

Tuesday morning Will caught up with PawSox Hall of Famer-to-be Jim Rice, and chatted with the Red Sox great about his impressions of the current Boston outfield situation.

Finally, here is a video interview with Red Sox reliever Noe Ramirez, who has had a strong spring and is in the mix for a big-league bullpen spot to start the season (especially after the injury to Carson Smith on Monday).

-Earlier on Tuesday back at the JetBlue Complex, Rick Porcello threw a bullpen session with Pawtucket pitching coach Bob Kipper standing in the batter’s box as a “dummy” hitter.

Porcello pitches to Kipper

Bob Kipper standing in the batter’s box as he worked with Rick Porcello during a bullpen session on Tuesday morning – good form!

Porcello is expected to pitch on Wednesday during the PawSox game on the backfields.  We will bring you a recap of his outing, as well as the rest of the game information, tomorrow afternoon here on “45 Miles From Fenway.”

Thanks so much for reading, we will talk to you again on Wednesday from The Fort!

Josh M


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