Results tagged ‘ PawSox ’

A One-Week Look For Some New PawSox

by Josh Maurer

Every year on the September 1st, the Major League rosters expand and teams in the International League get a very different look for the end of the regular season.  This week four members of the PawSox were promoted to the big leagues: Allen Craig, Sandy Leon, Noe Ramirez and Ryan Cook.

To take their spots in Pawtucket, the Red Sox promoted three players from Double-A Portland (and activated reliever Dayan Diaz from the disabled list).  Here are some capsules of the newest PawSox, who should all be regular contributors for the final week of the season:


Aneury Tavarez

2015: Made Triple-A debut on 9/1 vs. LHV, went 1-for-2 with BB, HBP, 2B, R…Promoted to PAW on 9/1…Split season between Salem and Portland, playing in 106 total games and batting .246 with 7 HR, 32 RBI, 12 SB and 21 2B…Played in 67 games with POR, batting .226 with 5 HR and 14 RBI…Led POR in OF assists (7)…Hit walk-off homer on July 30th vs. Harrisburg (led off the ninth)…Placed on temporary inactive list from July 8-21 (Pan-Am Games)…Promoted to Portland on May 24th from Salem (Gragnani to DL)…Hit .280 (59‐for‐132), 2 HR, 18 RBI, 8 2B, 4 3B, 17 BB, 28 SO, 8 SB in 39 games with Salem…Reached base safely in his last 16 games with Salem: 17‐for-55, .309, 3 2B, 3 3B, HR, 4 R, 11 RBI.

2014: Spent entire season with High-A Salem, leading the club in home runs and ranking second in steals…Hit .250 (86-for‐344) with 11 homers, 50 RBI, 16 doubles, 5 triples and 18 stolen bases…Was on the disabled list from April 10-­‐18 and August 15 through the remainder of the season…Hit .345 (19-for‐55) with 10 R and 3 HR during a 13-game hitting streak from June 2-19.

Personal: Signed by the Red Sox as an International free agent on October 18, 2010.


Luis Martinez

2015: Since return from POR on 9/1 (2 games): 3-for-7, BB, 3 R, 2 RBI, 3K…Went 2-for-4 with 2 R, RBI in return to PAW on 9/1 vs. LHV…Promoted back to PAW on 8/1…With POR has played in 65 games and batted .219 with 1 HR and 23 RBI…Transferred back to POR on 7/31, played in 15 games in August and batted .196 (10-for-51) with 5 RBI…Had first RBI (1B in 5th inn) with PAW on 7/5 at SYR…Started 5 of team’s first 6 games after promotion from POR (6/28-7/3)…Got first 2 hits with PAW on 6/30 at ROC (each off Ervin Santana)…Made PAW debut on 6/28 vs. GWN, went 0-4 with K…Promoted to PAW on 6/28 (H. Quintero on DL)…Played in 50 G for Portland to start season…Signed by Boston as a minor league free agent on 1/23/15.

2014: Combined with Triple-A Salt Lake (LAA) and Triple-A Sacramento (OAK) to hit .242 (56-for-231) in 67 games. Threw out 23 of 66 (34.8%) attempted base stealers. Began the season with the Bees, hitting .392 (20-for-51, 8 2B, 2 HR) during a 15-game stretch from 4/16-5/13 and .326 (15-for- 46) in a 12-game span from 6/27-7/25. Released by LAA on 8/2, but signed the following day with OAK as a minor league free agent.

2013: Claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles from the Rangers on 1/4. Spent majority of season with Double-A Bowie, hitting .325 (39-for-120) in his first 35 games with the club (4/4-7/1). Threw out a career-best 39.0% (16 of 41) of attempted base stealers. Placed on the DL from 6/10-20. Signed by the Angels as a minor league free agent on 11/20.

2012: In his 1st season in the TEX organization, played in 10 games (6 starts) over 2 stints with the Rangers. Did not commit an error for TEX (54 TC). Rangers pitchers produced a 2.95 ERA with Martinez catching. Spent majority of season with Triple-A Round Rock, where he hit .316 (24-for-76) in his final 22 games with the Express.

Personal: Originally selected by San Diego in the 12th Round of the 2007 draft out of Cumberland (TN) University…Has seen ML action with SD (2011) and TEX (2012).


M Younginer Portland

2015: Promoted to PAW on 9/1…Appeared in 38 games with POR (all in relief), going 7-4 with 2 saves and a 2.72 ERA (72.2 IP, 60 H, 22 ER, 22 BB, 53 K)…Last 11 games w. POR: 1.64 ERA (4 ER/22.0 IP)…2-for‐10 in SV opportunities: 3‐3-1, 4.27 ERA (10 ER/21.1 IP), 29 H, 2 BB, 16 SO…4-1 in all other appearances (28): 2.10 (12 ER/51.1 IP), 31 H, 20 BB, 37 SO…Posted a 0.00 ERA in June – just the 5th pitcher in franchise history to have a 0.00 ER (min. 50 batters faced)…Retired 20 straight batters over 3 IP (6 SO) from May 29-June 11…Allowed his first run on April 16th at Trenton (Aaron Judge walk-off homer in the 10th inning) and second run on April 24th vs. Trenton…Made regular season debut in Double-A on April 12th vs. Reading (2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 2 SO).

2014: Made his Double-­A debut in Game 4 of the Eastern Division Championship Series against the Binghamton Mets, working 3 scoreless on one hit and one strikeout…Promoted to Portland on September 5th from High-­A Salem (3-­3, 4.08 ER in 35)…Allowed an earned run or less in 31 of 35 appearances…Season-­high 5 strikeouts on May 27th at Myrtle Beach…Following the season, played for Surprise in the Arizona Fall League, going 1-­0, 7.36 ERA (6 ER/7.1 IP) in 7 games.

ACQUIRED: Selected in the 7th Round of the 2009 Draft from Mauldin High School (South Carolina).

PERSONAL: Attended Mauldin High School in South Carolina…Is the cousin of former Red Sox infielder Brandon Snyder.

Tavarez has recorded hits in each of his first two games played, plus the right-fielder made a leaping catch just in front of the fence to save a victory for the PawSox over Lehigh Valley on Wednesday night.

Martinez has delivered RBI hits in each of the his first two games since returning to Pawtucket, including a big one in the second inning on Tuesday that gave the PawSox an early lead.

The PawSox swept two games from the IronPigs and won the season series against Lehigh Valley, 10-8.  Pawtucket has now swept three of its last four series and overall has won 12 of 20 games since August 14th.  Looks like it will be a good finish to an otherwise tough season on the field.

Starting on Thursday night Kevin Boles’ squad welcomes Rochester for two games.  LHP Edwin Escobar takes the ball for his final start of the season in game one.  First pitch comes at 7:05pm. It is the first of the final five games of the 2015 season.

Edwin Escobar pitching

Hope to see you at McCoy, but if not Will and I look forward to speaking with you on the radio!

Josh M

Marrero Making His Mark In The Top Spot

by Josh Maurer

Since being optioned back from his second Major League stint earlier this month, PawSox shortstop Deven Marrero has been filling a role he had never before been asked to fill as a professional.  Now every night for two straight weeks, Deven has served as the team’s leadoff batter.

Hitting in the top spot seems to have ignited Marrero’s offensive game.  In the first 15 games with the shortstop batting first, Deven is 20-for-64 (.313) with six walks, one home run, 11 runs scored and five RBI.  In his final six games for the PawSox before moving to the leadoff spot, the former Arizona State Sun Devil was just 2-for-23 at the plate.

Marrero flipping ball playing DMarrero celebrated his 25th birthday on Tuesday night. While he went hitless in two at-bats and recorded a walk, he did make a nice leaping catch to finish a 2-0 shutout victory over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  In Monday’s victory against the RailRiders, Marrero capped a two-run sixth inning with this base hit.

On Sunday against Lehigh Valley, Marrero put his power on display in the third inning against tough right-hander Severino Gonzalez by connecting on his sixth home run of the season.

Largely because of the hamstring injury to Dustin Pedroia, the former Red Sox first round pick in 2012 has recorded his first big-league time in Boston earlier this season.  While with the club for the better part of a full month, Marrero only entered into six games (only making one start) and batted 1-for-7.

When asked why he moved Deven into the leadoff spot after being optioned back on August 11th, Pawtucket Manager Kevin Boles said on Sunday that the Red Sox really wanted to help Marrero make some some at-bats he missed earlier in the season while sitting on the bench in Boston.

Marrero swingingAnother factor that may be adding to Marrero’s recent hot stretch has been the addition of his first cousin and great friend, Chris Marrero, to the PawSox roster.  Chris was signed by the Red Sox after being released by the Chicago White Sox earlier in the month and has become an everyday outfielder for Boles since his August 15th arrival.

Chris Marrero, a former first round pick of the Nationals, grew up right near Deven in the Miami area and as children the two spent lots of time together.  It must be quite the treat for the two Marreros to play together in the pros for the final month of the International League season.

One down side for Deven Marrero all season, but especially of late, has been throwing the baseball from shortstop.  He has been charged with two throwing errors this week, including one in the tenth inning on Sunday against Lehigh Valley that brought home the game winning runs.

Marrero has been charged with 18 errors with the PawSox this season, with a good many of those occurring on throws.  For a man who made his name as a top prospect with his defense, the high error total is a bit surprising.

The good news is that the majority of those miscues seem to be made due to a lack of concentration – a problem that would be seemingly very correctable.  As the calendar turns to September next week, one would imagine that Deven would be a very likely MLB call up with the rosters expanding.

Marrero, like the rest of the youngsters already playing nightly in Boston, should be able to impress Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox front office team if he continues his strong play into the season’s final month.

-I had a very thoughtful chat with Pawtucket reliever Pat Light for last week’s PawSox Insider show.  Pat talked about his splitter, his mental work with Bob Tewksbury and his love for his home state of New Jersey.  Check out the conversation below:

Pat Light pitching

After a winning homestand (5-4) that included a series sweep against Scranton from Monday through Wednesday, the PawSox next head to Buffalo and Rochester for their final road trip of the season.  It will be a five-game stretch that begins on Thursday night at 7:05 from Coca-Cola Field.

Thursday’s game can be seen throughout New England on NESN.  As always, you can also listen on the radio to Will and me on the PawSox Radio Network.  Talk to you then!

Josh M

Porcello Comes To McCoy

by Josh Maurer

Friday night Rick Porcello will make what the Red Sox hope will be his final rehab start before being able to rejoin the big league rotation, as he faces Lehigh Valley at McCoy Stadium.  According to Torey Luvullo, the Sox are hoping to get six innings from the right-hander.

Porcello Boston

Rick Porcello

In 20 Major League starts this season, Porcello is 5-11 with a 5.81 ERA – which would be the highest earned run average among all American League starting pitchers if he had enough innings to qualify.  He has been on Boston’s 15-day disabled list with a right triceps strain since August 2nd.

Getting Porcello back to his previous form when with the Tigers will be one of the keys to turning around the Red Sox starting rotation next season.  After signing a four-year, $82.5 million extension (through 2019) this April, it would seem very likely that the New Jersey native will be back in Boston for the foreseeable future.

Interestingly enough, it was new Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski who originally drafted Porcello in the first round in 2007 and watched him develop into a reliable young starter for the Tigers for his first six years in the big leagues.

Porcello Detroit

Porcello won 15 games for the Tigers in 2014.

It was then Dombrowski who traded Porcello to Boston last December when it became apparent that Detroit would not be willing to give the young hurler the kind of money that the Red Sox would eventually spend on him.  The new Sox boss will almost certainly be watching Porcello’s efforts closely not just tonight, but throughout the remainder of his season to figure out the best way to proceed with the 26-year-old.

Here are some other quick notes to get you ready for a three-game weekend series against Lehigh Valley:

Carlos Rivero has been a big boost to the PawSox lineup since being reacquired in a trade from Seattle earlier this month.  Rivero, who on Friday will start/bat 3rd for an 11th-consecutive game, is currently on an 8-game hitting streak during which he is batting .333 (12-for-36) with eight runs scored and six RBI.


Carlos Rivero

-Even with back-to-back losses to Syracuse on Tuesday and Wednesday, the PawSox have still gone 4-3 over their last seven games (including victories in 3 of 4 against the IronPigs in Allentown last weekend).

The biggest reason for the winning week was improved offense; Pawtucket has batted .262 (66-for-252) in the past seven games and averaged 4.7 runs/game.  The previous 25 games (a stretch during which the team went just 3-22), the PawSox batted just .207 as a team and scored just 2.4 runs per contest.

-With Steven Wright still struggling with concussion-like symptoms, it seems like RHP Matt Barnes will remain in the Boston starting rotation for at least one more turn this weekend.  When Wright returns to the active roster, it would seem likely that Barnes would return to the PawSox rotation for the remainder of the IL season.

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes

-Best of luck to former Pawtucket OF Quintin Berry, who on Thursday elected to opt out of his contract with the Red Sox.  Berry, who leads the IL with 35 stolen bases, will certainly try and latch on with a Major League team in need of speed once the rosters expand on September 1st.

Berry gives high fives

-After spending two months struggling in the bullpen, LHP Edwin Escobar has rejoined the Pawtucket starting rotation and has pitched his best baseball of 2015 in that role.  Here are some notes from the PawSox game notes about Escobar’s recent work:

Last 3 appearances 8/7-pres (2 starts): 1-0, 0.69 ERA (13.0 IP, 9 H, 1 R/1ER, 7 BB, 9 K)…Last 2 app, and 3 of last 4, have been starts after first 12 PAW app came in relief (6/12-7/30)…Tossed 5 shutout IP and earned 1st PAW victory on 8/17 vs. SYR (4 H, 2 BB).

Edwin Escobar pitching

Edwin Escobar is looking more like his old self since moving back into the PawSox starting rotation

It’s a big weekend at McCoy.  Saturday night the PawSox will host some special championship trophies – and our friend “Rollin’ With Rick” has all the details on that.  We look forward to seeing you at the ballpark as the season begins to wind down.  If not, as always, Will and I will talk to you on the radio!

Josh M

Wednesday Notes: PawSox Looking Back To Some Familiar Faces

 by Josh Maurer

As the season winds down and the PawSox hope to change their recent string of misfortune, the minor league brass for the Red Sox have gone back to the well so to speak.  Two players who were big parts of last season’s Governors Cup championship squad have been brought back to Pawtucket this week – INF Carlos Rivero and LHP Rich Hill (reportedly).

Rivero rejoined the team in Scranton and made his 2015 debut on Tuesday night, going 1-for-4 with a walk.  Hill has not been added to the roster but has reportedly signed a minor league deal with Boston.  The team could certainly use pitching help with a day-night doubleheader scheduled for this Saturday at Lehigh Valley.

In case you need a refresher, here are some notes on each player and the contributions he made to the club in 2014:

Carlos Rivero


2015: Made ’15 PAW debut on 8/11 at SWB and went 1-for-4, BB, R…Acquired in trade by BOS from Seattle on 8/9, joined PAW on 8/10…Played in 96 games for Triple-A Tacoma, batting .256 with 8 HR, 40 RBI and 13 doubles….Signed a minor league deal with SEA in 12/14.

2014: Combined between Pawtucket and Double-A Portland to hit .264 with 7 HR and 53 RBI in MiLB 105 games played…With the PawSox, played in 74 games and hit .286 with 5 HR, 14 doubles and 36 RBIs…Had contract selected by Boston on 8/25/14 and played in 4 MLB games, going 4-for-7 (.571) with 1 HR, 2 doubles and 3 RBI…Was claimed off waivers by Seattle on 11/3/14, then was waived again in December.

Personal: Originally signed by Cleveland as a free agent in March 2005…Was claimed off waivers by Philadelphia in November 2010, then claimed off waivers by Washington in November 2011….Signed as a free agent by Boston in December 2013, then claimed off waivers by Seattle in November 2014.

Rich Hill

Rich Hill

2015: Signed with Long Island of the independent Atlantic League on 7/29, made 2 starts for the Ducks, going 1-0 and did not allow a run in 11 IP (2 H, 3 BB, 21 K)…Was released by WAS on 6/24…Began the season with Triple-A Syracuse in the Nationals organization…Compiled a 2-2 record with a 2.91 ERA in 25 appearances with SYR (21.2 IP, 12 H, 9 R, 21 K).

2014: Split time in the majors with the Angels and Yankees, combining to post a 3.38 ERA in 16 games out of the bullpen…Signed with BOS in Jan. and spent three months with PAW (Apr-Jun)…With the PawSox, made 25 relief appearances and went 3-3 with two saves and a 3.23 ERA (39.0 IP, 29 H, 15 R, 17 BB, 45 K)…Was acquired by LAA on 7/1, then pitched in 2 games and was DFA’d on 7/5…Signed with NYY on 7/17 and pitched in 4 games with Scranton/WB (4 IP, 0 R)…Was promoted to NYY on 8/5 and made 14 app, going 0-0 with a 1.69 ERA (5.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R).

PERSONAL: Holds 10 years of MLB experience, including four with the Chicago Cubs (2005-08) and three with the Boston Red Sox (2010-12)…Has a career big league record of 24-22 with a 4.72 ERA and 451 strikeouts in 197 games (70 starts)…Was originally drafted by the Cubs in the fourth round of the 2002 amateur draft out of the University of Michigan.

Another recent addition to the PawSox had never before been a part of the Boston organization, but instead had been living in the area nearly his entire life.  New starting pitcher Shawn Haviland is a Harvard graduate who makes his home in Beantown.

Haviland, acquired in a trade last week, made his Pawtucket debut against Syracuse last Saturday.  Here is more about the right-handed starter:

Shawn Haviland


2015: Made PAW debut and took L on 8/8 vs. SYR (5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R)…Was acquired by BOS in a trade from Colorado on 8/8…Was traded by CWS to Colorado in exchange for cash considerations on 7/22 but did not appear in a game with Rockies organization…Made 19 appearances (13 starts) for Triple-A Charlotte;, going 4-5 with a 4.19 ERA…Over 77.1 IP, allowed 83 hits (10 HR) w 59 K and 19 BB…Won consecutive starts against PawSox June 9 and 18…6/9 at PAW pitched 6 shutout innings with season-high 8 Ks…Over 11.0 IP v PAW allowed 2 ER on 8 hits w 11 K and 5 BB…Signed with Chicago White Sox as a free agent in January.

2014: Combined to go 8-9 with a 3.82 ERA (69 ER/162.2 IP) and 109 strikeouts in 28 starts between Class A Stockton and Class Double-A Midland in the Oakland organization…Spent majority of season in Midland, his third season there, and made 25 starts and went 7-7 with a 3.87 ERA (146.1 IP, 137 H, 70 R).

PERSONAL: Was selected by Oakland in the 33rd round of the First-Year Player Draft. Graduated from Harvard University…is a 2004 graduate of Farmington (Conn.) High School.

The PawSox eight-game road trip over seven days continues Wednesday night in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  LHP Edwin Escobar will make his second start of the season, taking the spot of the injured Keith Couch who was placed on the DL Tuesday with a right thumb contusion.  Here are a few more noteworthy items for your perusal:

-Reports say that the Red Sox have hired former Angels GM Jerry DiPoto as a front office consultant.  DiPoto abruptly left Anaheim last month after a reported dispute with Angels Manager Mike Scioscia.

Jerry DiPoto

Jerry DiPoto

-If you didn’t get a change to see it yet, here is the grand slam last week that made Mike Hessman the all-time minor league home run king.

Hessman, 37, drilled his record-breaking 433rd MiLB long ball against Lehigh Valley and set off a pretty wild celebration with his teammates.  A very cool moment for the International League as a whole.

-Last weekend on PawSox Insider I sat down for the lengthy chat with Pitching Coach Bob Kipper.  Ever the great teacher, Kip had some very interesting things to say about the progression made this season by Henry Owens, among other topics.  It’s a good listen if you have a few minutes:

Have a great rest of your Wednesday.  Will and I look forward to speaking to you tonight at 6:50pm from PNC Field.

Josh M

Evolution of the PawSox Rotation

by Josh Maurer

When the 2015 season opened the PawSox starting rotation was thought of as one of the tops in Minor League Baseball.  When the campaign began in early April, Brian Johnson, Henry Owens, Eduardo Rodriguez, Matt Barnes and Steven Wright joined Keith Couch to form a dominant starting rotation that was the envy of the International League.

Eddie Rodriguez pitching

Eddie Rodriguez spent the first seven weeks of the season with the PawSox

Four months later, only Couch and Barnes remain in Pawtucket (with Barnes having only just moved back into a starting capacity this week).  Owens, Rodriguez and Wright currently form three-fifths of the Major League rotation in Boston.  Johnson, who himself might be with the big-league Sox had he not injured his elbow last week, is currently on the Pawtucket DL.

Owens throwing pitch

Henry Owens made an impressive MLB debut for Boston against the Yankees on Tuesday after spending the whole season in Pawtucket prior to that.

Barnes spent the majority of the season in the bullpen for John Farrell, then after falling upon some hard times was optioned back to the PawSox during the All-Star break.  He allowed four runs in 3.1 innings in his return to a starting role this past Wednesday in Syracuse.


Matt Barnes is back in the PawSox starting rotation

The rest of the PawSox rotation currently consists of Couch, Jess Todd, Zeke Spruill and newcomer William Cuevas.  Cuevas made his Triple-A debut on Thursday night against Syracuse and looked very sharp, allowing a pair of solo home runs but only two other hits in seven strong innings pitched.

William Cuevas pitches

William Cuevas allowed only two runs in seven innings in his PawSox debut on Thursday

Spruill has been a pleasant surprise for the past month.  Since being designated for assignment on July 3rd, the right-hander has made five appearances (four starts) and gone 0-4 with a 2.63 ERA (24.0 IP, 23 H, 10 R, 7 ER).  Most recently, Spruill has recorded three consecutive quality starts for the PawSox.

Spuill pitches

Zeke Spruill has pitched like a new man for the past month and has been one of the most consistent PawSox hurlers during that span

Certainly the Pawtucket rotation has undergone a massive overhaul from the beginning of the season until now.  For the remaining month of the campaign it will be interesting to see which hurlers stand out and make a case to be back with the PawSox (or perhaps compete for a spot with Boston) in 2016.

The team is home at McCoy for the upcoming weekend with three more games coming against Syracuse.  On Friday night Couch will take the ball as the PawSox try to snap a seven-game skid against the Chiefs and climb back within one game of fifth place in the IL North Division standings.

Couch pitching

Keith Couch looks to defeat Syracuse for the second time this season on Friday night

Hope to see you at the ballpark this weekend.  Don’t forget that Saturday night is Super Hero Night with a big fireworks show to follow the 6:05pm game.  As always, for those not at the game, Will and I look forward to talking to you on the radio.  Happy August!

Josh M

The Road Beckons Once Again

by Josh Maurer

The PawSox have had a rough July, no question about it.  Now as August approaches, the team has two long road trips on the horizon beginning with six games in Buffalo and Syracuse starting Friday night.

Over the next two and a half weeks Pawtucket will play 14 of its 18 games away from the friendly confines of McCoy Stadium.  Those road contests will consist of three games at Buffalo, three at Syracuse, four at Scranton and four in Lehigh Valley (including a rescheduled day-night doubleheader on Saturday, August 15th.)

Syracuse Stadium

The PawSox head to NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse on Monday night

Notice one common theme of those series – they will all be played within the North Division.  In fact, following the three-game series against Norfolk this week the PawSox are finished playing any games outside of the division.  So it will be a lot of ‘Cuse, Scranton, Rochester, Buffalo and Allentown for the remaining six weeks of the season.

Here are a few notes to get you ready for the three-game set at Coca-Cola Field in Western New York:

-How about what Henry Owens has done for the past month and a half.  The lefty, who got off to a relatively slow start to the season, has tossed eight quality starts in his last nine outings (since June 14th).  During those nine starts Owens is 1-3 with a 2.64 ERA and has walked just 14 batters in 58 innings pitched while fanning 52.

Owens throwing pitch

Owens has been plagued by a serious lack of run support all season.  Despite his strong work on the mound he has earned just one win over his last 16 starts and the team is only 3-13 in those 16 games.  The southpaw has received just 3.0 runs of offense per start (64 runs in his 21 starts.)

-Speaking of pitching, right-hander Zeke Spruill seems to have found his groove since the Red Sox designated him for assignment earlier this month.  Spruill allowed just one earned run over six innings on Thursday against a good Norfolk lineup.  It was the second-consecutive start that he lasted six frames and permitted just one earned run.

Zeke Spruill pitching

Since being DFA’d on July 3rd, Spruill has made 4 appearances (3 starts) and compiled a 2.00 ERA (18.0 IP, 4 ER).  He may have found a home in the PawSox starting rotation, and the team will need him to continue to pitch well in that role.  John Farrell hinted on Wednesday that both Brian Johnson and Owens may soon be asked to join the big league staff.

-The top teams in the North Division have been impacted significantly by the MLB trade deadline.  On Thursday the Blue Jays traded two of Buffalo’s starting pitchers, Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd, to Detroit as part of the David Price deal.  That same afternoon, the Yankees included two of Scranton’s most important players, OF Ramon Flores and closer Jose Ramirez, in a trade that brought Dustin Ackley to New York.

-Just as he did in August and September last season, Garin Cecchini‘s bat has gotten hot as the end of the campaign approaches in 2015.  Entering play on Thursday, Cecchini had seven multi-hit efforts in his last 16 games played and was batting .375 (21-for-56) with seven walks during those contests.

Cecchini on deck

After struggling for the first three months of the season, Cecchini could make a push to earn some time with Boston following the minor league season if his offense continues along its current path for the next few weeks.

-Now that Jackie Bradley, Jr. is back in the Major Leagues, the man who has been most consistently on the field for Pawtucket of late has been Allen Craig.  Craig, who started his 11th-consecutive contest on Thursday afternoon against Norfolk, has now been in the Kevin Boles’ lineup in 29 of the team’s last 31 games.

-On Tuesday night NESN analyst and former PawSox standout Steve “Psycho” Lyons was at McCoy Stadium for a special appearance.  Lyons, who is never afraid to tell it as he sees it, sat down with me for a few minutes to talk about his memories at McCoy and the current state of affairs in Boston.

Steve Lyons playing days

Here is the full conversation, which will also be available this Saturday on PawSox Insider:

Jess Todd will get the start on Friday night in Buffalo against the red-hot Bisons.  The PawSox will be looking for some revenge after being swept in a three-game set at home by Gary Allenson’s team last weekend.  Pregame radio coverage on Friday begins at 6:50pm.

Will and I look forward to talking to you on the radio this weekend!

Josh M

An Experience I’ll Never Forget

by Josh Maurer

For one week, I got to live out a dream.  Thanks to the folks at NESN and the Red Sox, I was able to broadcast seven Major League Baseball games on real, live television.  And they were seven unbelievable days I will remember the rest of my life.

Angel Stadium

The view from the booth at Angel Stadium of Anaheim

For that road trip, I got to work with a wonderful crew and a legendary analyst.  In traveling with the Red Sox to Anaheim and Houston, I was able to experience firsthand what it is like to live the MLB lifestyle (and it is everything one might imagine it is.)

While calling the action for the team’s worst road trip since 1951, I got to understand the unfortunate feeling of reality setting in for a season that began with great hopes fading into “what could have been” mode.  I could feel the growing anguish of Red Sox nation as the team lost, in sometimes excruciating fashion, night after night out west.

Farrell speaking

John Farrell meets with the media every day, win or lose, before and after each game

I was able to broadcast the Major League debut of one of the PawSox’ best players this season, Brian Johnson.  It was an honor to be the man on the microphone when Johnson first stepped onto a big league mound and to describe his first MLB strikeout.

I was also on the play-by-play for Deven Marrero’s first Major League base hit – a player I’ve been watching grow at the plate and with the glove for over a year now in Pawtucket.

I watched as two of the best players in the game today – Mike Trout and Jose Altuve – broke the Red Sox’ hearts with walk-off home runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to bookend the team’s 0-7 trip.  And I marveled as I was able to call long balls from three potential future Hall of Famers – Trout, Albert Pujols and David Ortiz – all in the same game last Monday night.

These were just a few highlights from my week “in the show.”  There are so many more that will be etched in my memory that I wouldn’t have the time to recount in this space.

Minute Maid

The very unique Minute Maid Park in Houston

I have to give a big heartfelt thank you to Jerry Remy, who warmly welcomed me into his booth for a week and taught me so much about the game and how to broadcast it.  It was a true pleasure to sit next to him for those seven days and see why he has been so successful in the business for nearly three decades.

Thank yous are also in order to everybody at NESN who put faith in me to guide the Red Sox broadcasts for a week, and to those who helped carry me through the experience.  I especially want to name VP of Programming and Production/EP Joseph Maar, Director of Production/Senior Coordinating Producer Howard Zalkowitz, each of whom showed great trust in putting me on their airwaves.

Veteran Producer Jeff Mitchell was an absolute treat to work with on the trip, and he along with the rest of the traveling NESN crew made me feel so comfortable in an unnerving situation that I cannot thank them all enough.

Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal captured some more of my thoughts on the Red Sox broadcasting experience – check out the story here.

I want to thank everyone who has reached out with feedback – positive or negative – about my play-by-play work during the trip.  I am so appreciative of all the Red Sox fans who watched the games despite the poor results on the field mounting.

I hope all those in “Red Sox Nation” will continue to follow the rest of the season with Don and Jerry.  Even with the team likely out of contention, those two are so great together that I believe it is worth tuning in every night.

I had a chance to sit down with the Red Sox long-time radio voice Joe Castiglione while we were in Houston last week and chat with him for PawSox Insider.  He is a wonderful broadcaster whom I have looked up to for several years.  Below is a link to that interview:

Later this week I’ll bring “45 Miles From Fenway” back to the PawSox.  But for today, I again want to express my gratitude for an unforgettable week in the big leagues. Thanks for reading, looking forward to speaking to you from McCoy on Tuesday night!

Josh M




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