Results tagged ‘ Red Sox ’

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

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



Alex Wilson Moves to the Bullpen

In a move that was just announced today, the Red Sox have sent right-handed pitching prospect Alex Wilson to the bullpen and have replaced him in the Pawtucket rotation with Brandon Duckworth.

Wilson, Boston’s 2nd round pick in 2009, entered this season as the Red Sox No. 11 overall prospect – their No. 3 pitching prospect. Judging by the needs of the Red Sox, moving Wilson to the bullpen seems like a logical move, and it’s something that the right-hander is embracing.

“The way I look at it is an opportunity right now. I talked with [Red Sox] management and they said that’s where they’d like to see me. I’m going to take the opportunity and run with it.”

Wilson has made 68 professional appearances over four seasons - all have been starts. Lifetime in the minors he is 17-11 with a 3.84 ERA. (Ken Babbitt)

Working out of a relief role is not entirely new to Wilson. In his final season with Texas A&M, he appeared primarily out of the bullpen.

“Outside of my first eight games which were starts, I came out of the ‘pen and had some real good success,” Wilson said. “I’m not that far removed from it, I’ll be able to remember after a game or two what to do.”

Aside from now needing to be ready to pitch almost any day, Alex told me that this won’t change the way he commands the game on the mound.

“My stuff is going to play the same. I’m still going to come at hitters and challenge them the whole way.”

We could get a look at Wilson’s first-career relief appearance tonight as the PawSox open a brief two-game series with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre from McCoy Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:15, we’ll be on-air with the pre-game show at 6:00.

Talk with you then,



PawSox Notebook: Pitching Nearly Perfect

Although it now feels like the baseball season has been in full-swing for weeks, it’s Opening Day at Fenway Park this afternoon at 2:05 as the Red Sox host Tampa Bay. Josh Beckett takes on David Price in what should be a great matchup and, hopefully, the Sox second win of the season.

This picture, posted on the Red Sox Facebook page, was taken at around 6:00 this morning.

As the first pitch of the Red Sox vs. Rays game is being thrown, the PawSox will be loading the bus and heading over to Frontier Field in Rochester where they’ll wrap up a three game series to end the first leg of the current nine-game road trip. As the PawSox set numerous season-highs last night en route to a 10-1 win to even the series 1-1, here are some interesting facts and figures through eight games this season.

PawSox Notebook

  • PawSox pitchers have allowed just four runs over the last 36 innings (1.00 ERA)
  • Lin connected on a moonshot home run to left field in Pawtucket's 10-1 win last night over Rochester. (Kelly O'Connor)

    Pawtucket’s bullpen has not allowed a single run since Game 4 of the season on April 7 (15 1/3 innings).

  • The ‘pen has allowed just two earned runs over 22 1/3 innings so far (0.81 ERA).
  • With the best team ERA in the International League of 1.34, the PawSox are more than 1.5 runs better than second-place Lehigh Valley (2.86 ERA).
  • The club’s 1.34 ERA is the third-best in all of minor league baseball. (Triple-A New Orleans, 0.91 ERA; High-A Myrtle Beach, 1.17 ERA.)
  • Thanks to a season-high 13 hits last night, the PawSox raised their team average from .245 (7th) to .260 (3rd).
  • Pawtucket scored 13 runs last night with only thee extra base hits.
  • Two of those XBH came from outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin who connected on his first home run of the year and also doubled.
  • Per Alex Speier of, it was just the second time in 90 Triple-A games that Lin has had multiple extra-base hits in the same game.
  • Lin had only two Triple-A home runs last year. The first came on June 22 vs. Louisville when he homered off Bats’ starter Daryl Thompson in a game that Brandon Duckworth started for the PawSox. Last night it was once again Thompson (now with Rochester) who surrendered Lin’s longball in a game were, you guessed it, Brandon Duckworth started for Pawtucket.
  • Shortstop Jose Iglesias had two hits over his first five games this year. Last night he went 3-for-5 with a sacrifice bunt. His batting average went from .111 to .217.
  • Third baseman Will Middlebrooks has a hit in six of the first eight games, including three multi-hit efforts.

A victory tonight for the PawSox would win the three-game series versus the Red Wings and would make the PawSox an impressive 12-2-5 in their last 18 series dating back to July 4th of last year. Righty Aaron Cook makes his second start for Pawtucket and is opposed by right-hander Cole DeVries.

First pitch from Frontier Field is at 7:05, pre-game coverage begins at 6:50.

Talk with you then,



Andrew Miller Talks About Rehab with PawSox

After two successful rehab outings with Single-A Greenville, Red Sox pitcher Andrew Miller is now in Rochester with the PawSox and will pitch in tonight’s 7:05 game versus the Red Wings. At this time, it’s not known if Miller will start tonight’s game or pitch out of the bullpen, but we do know that he should pitch two innings (35-40 pitches).

Miller, who becomes the first lefty of the year for Pawtucket, feels good about how is rehabilitation is coming along. “A lot of it is letting it heal and fix itself. Then you have to rebuild the strength and stamina. I think we’re pretty much there, I’m just here to test it out and make sure it’s right.”

How close is he to being fully recovered and ready to join the Red Sox? “I’m very close. I’m about as close as you can get. I feel like I’m going 100% on the mound, I think they just want to keep making sure – we’ll know here shortly.”

You can listen to my interview with Andrew by using the embedded audio player above. We hit the air tonight with our pre-game coverage at 6:50, first pitch is 15 minutes later.

Talk with you then,



A Broadcaster’s Reading List

Every baseball broadcaster needs certain books  in order to survive the season. In the last 48 hours, I’ve had virtually everything on my in-season reading list arrive on my desk here at McCoy Stadium. Here are the books I make sure to have with me during each game:

Red Sox Media Guide

This has everything I need on the Red Sox and their minor leaguers.

PawSox Media Guide

Produced in-house, this 226 page book has all of our club’s history, stats, and player bios.

Baseball America Prospect Handbook

This awesome book breaks down the top 30  prospects in every farm system.

Broadcaster’s Scorebook

This is my favorite. I’ll score all 144 games in this 330 page book where I keep track of every at-bat of the season.

International League Media Guide

Produced by the league office, this has statistical information on the I.L. along with interesting league history.

PawSox Official Program

Although I won’t use this as much as the Media Guide, our graphics department did a great job with our program – it’s only $3.00!

Hunger Games

Maybe this is a stretch, but I’ll be seeing the movie Saturday night with my wife, Heather. Our last date night before the season starts.

Hard to imagine, but this will be our last weekend without PawSox baseball until September. Wouldn’t you know it, we’re supposed to get snow tomorrow! That might not be the worst thing in the world – I have some reading to get caught up on.



PHOTOS: Red Sox vs. Yankees at JetBlue Park

Well before Bobby Valentine created a stir by saying he was upset by Joe Giradi’s decision to end Thursday night’s game in a 4-4 tie, it was a circus at JetBlue Park for one reason: Terry Francona.

The former Red Sox manager was part of the ESPN broadcast team covering the game and the media went crazy over Tito’s return to Red Sox Spring Training.  Below are some pics I took throughout the day.

Every reporter in the house wanted to talk with Tito before the game.

Francona looked like he enjoyed seeing some familiar faces from the Boson media. 

Bobby Valentine talking with David Ortiz during batting practice.

PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler throwing BP before the game.

The view of batting practice from the dugout.

A single Rawlings MLB baseball on the Shop costs $16.99. Maybe this is why parking at Fenway costs so much?

Red Sox super-shortstop-prospect Jose Iglesias taking some infield during batting practice.

Bobby Valentine chatting with Dan Schulman and Orel Hershiser of ESPN. Buster Olney is sitting to the left.

This was taken about two hours before first pitch. Gates open at JetBlue Park 90 minutes prior to the start of the game. One security guard told me that there were people who camped out overnight!

This was a real thrill for me to be able to see these three great broadcasters: Joe Castiglione, the “Voice of the Red Sox,” Don Orsillo, the TV voice of the Red Sox on NESN, and all the way at the end is Dan Schulman of ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.

The Monstah.

There is seating on top of the Monster and in the Monster.  You can’t see it well in this picture, but there is netting in front of the seats in the Monster to protect the fans.

Pesky’s Pole in right field already getting some signatures.

The view from on top of the Green Monster. 

Today I’m off to the Twins’ complex for a 1:00 first pitch between Pawtucket and Rochester with my good friend and “Voice of the Portland Sea Dogs,” Mike Antonellis. More on today’s game coming later tonight.




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