Results tagged ‘ Steven Wright ’

Thursday at JetBlue: PawSox Roster Taking Shape

Hi all, Josh Maurer here again.  In case you missed the news yesterday Will Flemming and I will be co-authoring “45 Miles From Fenway” this season.  Today I spent a full day at the JetBlue complex and have plenty to report.

Thursday morning began with the news that the Red Sox had optioned Garin Cecchini and Bryce Brentz along with relievers Heath Hembree and Zeke Spruill to the Pawtucket roster. Super-prospect starting pitcher Henry Owens was also reassigned to minor league camp and is expected to work with the PawSox group.

Cecchini

Garin Cecchini was optioned back to the PawSox on Thursday morning. John Farrell says he will play some third base, first base and left field this season.

None of these moves come as a big surprise, as it has been widely anticipated that all five of these men would open the season in Pawtucket.  They join catcher Blake Swihart, first baseman Travis Shaw, infielder Sean Coyle and starter Eduardo Rodriguez as players recently optioned from big league camp.

This afternoon the PawSox hosted Rochester at the minor league fields, a game that ended in a 3-3 tie after a very exciting finish.  With Pawtucket trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth, infielder Carlos Asuaje lined a game-tying solo home run against former PawSox reliever Ryan Pressly.

Shannon Wilkerson’s solo blast in the bottom of the eighth against Rochester’s Michael Tonkin snapped a 1-1 tie, but the Red Wings rallied to take the lead with two outs in the top of the ninth on James Beresford’s two-run single against Deryk Hooker.

All three of Pawtucket’s runs came via a solo blast, with Keury De La Cruz hitting the first in the bottom of the fifth.  Craig Breslow started for the PawSox and allowed a run on two hits in the first inning.

Dana Eveland throw the second and pitched around two singles to record a scoreless frame, getting a double play to end a Rochester threat when right-fielder Henry Ramos throw out a tagging runner at the plate.

Breslow pitching

Craig Breslow started today’s PawSox game against Rochester

Keith Couch, fighting to make the PawSox roster when camp breaks, fired four scoreless relief innings.  He allowed three hits and walked a pair but struck out three.  Miguel Celestino did not allow a hit or a run in two scoreless frames behind Couch, picking up three strikeouts in the process.

Asuaje, who spent the majority of 2014 in Low-A Greenville, went 3-for-3 with a walk and two stolen bases.  He played both second and third base during the contest.

Here are some notes and observations from a full day at the JetBlue complex:

-I had a chance to speak with Manager Kevin Boles this morning.  He has been assisting John Farrell and his staff in major league camp all spring and has thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  The skipper said he may not join the Triple-A group until only a few days before camp breaks.

Boles says he feels reinvigorated after taking off from working in winter ball this offseason.  You’ll be able to hear the full interview with him this Saturday at 1pm on PawSox Insider.

nice crowd at JetBlue

There was a big crowd on hand for the Major League game at JetBlue Park on Thursday afternoon

-Late this morning Farrell and Torey Lovullo presided over a unique batting practice session at one of the minor league fields, with the participants being the majority of the anticipated major league starting rotation.  It was nice to see knuckleballer Steven Wright included in the group, which also had Clay Buchholz, Rick Porcello and a few others.  Jason Varitek throw the big league pitchers several rounds of BP.

pitchers BP in spring

The Red Sox starting pitchers took some BP this morning with Jason Varitek throwing

-Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez did some light throwing over at the minor league fields late this morning with Farrell and members of the training staff watching.  Vazquez is trying to work his way back from a sore elbow.  Farrell said this morning that the team isn’t quite sure if the backstop will be ready for opening day.

Vazquez throwing in spring

Christian Vazquez did some light throwing late this morning

That’s all for today.  The PawSox play Norfolk on Friday at JetBlue at 1pm.  It will be interesting to see if some of the guys recently optioned from major league camp like Cecchini and Brentz are ready to join the squad.

Thanks for reading, enjoy the Sweet 16 NCAA action tonight!

Josh M

Lars Anderson Traded to Arizona

After being traded to Cleveland at the deadline this year for knuckleballer Steven Wright, former PawSox first baseman Lars Anderson is on the move once again.

Part of a three-team, nine-player trade, Anderson has been sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a deal that involves some talented players:

MLB   Major League Baseball Teams  Scores  Stats  News  Standings  Rumors   ESPN

Red Sox fans remember when, on the same day Lars was traded, Matt Albers and Scott Podsednik were dealt to Arizona for lefty Craig Breslow.

Meanwhile, PawSox fans remember seeing potential ace Trevor Bauer pitch against Pawtucket in the Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game in Durham when he started for the Reno Aces. A top-rated prospect, Bauer struggled with command that night, using 101 pitches, firing only 49 strikes, and issuing 7 walks over 4 2/3 innings.

Bauer is maybe best known for his warm-up routine where plays long toss from pole-to-pole (it’s worth a look).

Didi Gregorious, 22, played in eight games with Cincinnati in 2012 and sure did look good the handful of times he faced the PawSox. In four games versus Pawtucket, the Netherlands native hit .294 with a double, a home run, and three runs batted in.

As for Anderson, his stay with Triple-A Columbus proved to be brief. Lars hit .196 over 18 games with the Clippers with five doubles and seven runs batted in. However, his last game of the season was on August 22 because of a concussion suffered when hit on the helmet by a pitch.

All the best to Lars on what we all hope will be a successful career with Arizona.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Anderson played three seasons with the PawSox and had his best year in 2011 when he hit .265 with 14 HR and 78 RBI. (Kelly O'Connor)

Anderson played three seasons with the PawSox and had his best year in 2011 when he hit .265 with 14 HR and 78 RBI. (Kelly O’Connor)

Governors’ Cup Finals: Game 1 Preview

Governors’ Cup Finals
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
McCoy Stadium | Pawtucket, Rhode Island | 7:05 p.m.

For the first time since 2003, the Pawtucket Red Sox are back in the Governors’ Cup Finals, looking for their first championship since 1984.

In order to win the 2012 Governors’ Cup, Pawtucket will need to win three games against the South Division champion Charlotte Knights (White Sox). At 83-61, the Knights finished the regular season with the third-most wins in the I.L. and recently defeated the best team in the league, Indianapolis, in four games to advance to the finals.

Pitching has been the constant for the Knights this season. They finished tied for first with Indianapolis for the best ERA in the league at 3.15. Furthermore, as a staff they were second in fewest home runs and hits allowed, tied for second in WHIP (1.26), third in strikeouts, and allowed fewer earned runs than anyone else.

After being acquired at the deadline this year from Cleveland for Lars Anderson, Steven Wright makes his first playoff start of the year. (Kelly O’Connor)

Against the PawSox this year, Knight’s pitchers have gone 5-3, 1.85 ERA (15 ER/73.0 IP) while allowing just two homers in eight regular season games.

The PawSox can pitch a little, too. In the last three playoff games, Pawtucket starters have combined for a 1.33 ERA (3 ER/20.1 IP) with four walks and 20 strikeouts. Tuesday night’s PawSox starter is knuckleballer, Steven Wright, pitching for the first time in seven days. Wright’s only loss of the season (in four starts) came in Charlotte where he allowed one earned run over four innings in a 2-1 loss.

If you can’t make it to McCoy tonight, you can always join us on the broadcast along the PawSox Radio Network, or by listening online. Pre-Game coverage begins tonight at 6:50.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

PawSox Roster Moves – August 24, 2012

One game into the the current eight-game road trip, the PawSox have the following roster moves:

  • Knuckleballer Steven Wright has been activated from the disabled list (shoulder) and will start Friday night in Charlotte. Wright has made one start for the PawSox since being called up on August 8 from Double-A Portland. The right-hander was acquired at the deadline from Cleveland for Lars Anderson.
  • Outfielder J.C. Linares has been placed on the disabled list (retroactive to August 21) with a broken thumb. The injury occurred on August 19 against Buffalo when he was hit by a pitch. In 50 games with the PawSox, Linares is batting .298 with seven home runs and 27 runs batted in.
  • Reliever Will Inman has also been placed on the disabled list (retroactive to August 21) with a thumb injury. The righty tops the PawSox bullpen with 35 relief appearances and has walked 34 while striking out 60 over 48 and one-third innings of work.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Linares hit a team-best .340 in July over 25 games, with four home runs and 14 runs batted in. (Kelly O’Connor)

PawSox Players on the Mend

The PawSox have been a little beat up by injuries lately. Here’s an update on how some guys are doing:

  • Outfielder Ryan Kalish twisted his ankle sliding into second base against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and is in Pawtucket’s lineup (DH) Monday night for the first time since the injury on August 15. He was never placed on the disabled list.
  • Sunday afternoon against Buffalo, outfielder J.C. Linares was hit by a pitch that first struck his thumb, then his bicep. He is day-to-day and is out of the PawSox lineup Monday night.
  • First baseman Reynaldo Rodriguez was hit on the hand by a pitch on August 14 and hasn’t played since. He continues to be day-to-day but is not on the disabled list.
  • Knuckleballer Steven Wright was placed seven-day disabled list last week with shoulder soreness. He said today that things have improved and he’s feeling good.
  • Outfielder Alex Hassan recently had to go back on the disabled list as a result of the laceration on his left shin reopening. He said things are healing well but he needs to continue giving the injury rest so the cut won’t open up again.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Combined between Double-A Portland and Pawtucket, J.C. Linares is tied with Jackie Bradley Jr. for the best average in the Red Sox system at .317. (Kelly O’Connor)

PawSox Knuckleballer Lands on the DL

Instead of making his second start of the year for the PawSox Thursday night, knuckleballer Steven Wright found himself on the disabled list with shoulder tightness.

Wright, acquired by the Red Sox at the deadline from Cleveland for former PawSox first baseman Lars Anderson, looked solid in his first start for Pawtucket. The 27-year-old allowed two runs on five hits over five innings on August 11 at Rochester.

“He did a nice job,” said PawSox manager, Arnie Beyeler. “His knuckleball was a little firmer than most that you’re used to seeing. He pounded the zone, had some good stuff, and I was real excited with what we saw.”

Wright, who was college teammates at Hawaii with current PawSox utility-man Jon Hee, made one start with Double-A Portland before being assigned to Pawtucket. With the Sea Dogs, the right-hander allowed just one run on five hits over six innings.

With Wright on the disabled list, Tony Pena Jr. (ankle) was activated Thursday night and tossed three and two-thirds innings in the start for a no-decision.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Wright has spent parts of four seasons in Triple-A where he has gone 0-1, 6.00 ERA over 13 appearances and two starts. (AP Photo/Mike Janes/Four Seam Images)

Meet Knuckleballer, Steven Wright

Saturday night in Rochester will mark the first time since September 6, 2009 that a knuckleballer will start for the Pawtucket Red Sox. Former International League Most Valuable Pitcher Charlie Zink who, unfortunately, went on to pitch in less than five carrer Major League innings, was the last knuckleballer in Pawtucket.

Steven Wright is the latest and makes his PawSox debut Saturday night in Rochester after being traded at the deadlined for former Pawtucket first baseman, Lars Anderson. Wright, a longtime Indians’ farmhand, was at first saddened by the trade.

“I was depressed a little bit,” said Wright from the PawSox dugout. “You meet so many friends and fans, being in [Double-A] Akron as long as I have, but it’s definitely exciting for me.”

Wright made one start with Portland on August 5 before being promoted to Pawtucket. That day, Wright limited Erie to one run on five hits over six innings. (Rick Rosenfeld)

The knuckleball is something that Wright has been fine-tuning, believe it or not, since childhood.

“I started when I was nine-years-old. [Former Reds’ pitcher] Frank Pastore threw one back to me when I was taking lessons from him as a kid and I just got fascinated with it.”

It’s been a long journey for Wright since his time playing catch with Pastore. A former second-round draft pick by Cleveland out of the University of Hawaii, Wright spent last off-season playing winter ball in Panama and mastering his mechanics.

“I started throwing fastballs again and found that I have to throw a knuckleball off my fastball mechanics. That’s where I learned how to find the right effort level to throw a harder knuckleball yet be able to kill the spin of the ball.”

Wright is excited to join the PawSox not just because of the opportunity, but also because of the history the knuckleball has in Boston.

“Growing up, it seemed like every time I watched a baseball game, it was the Red Sox and [Tim] Wakefield was pitching. I wasn’t a die hard Red Sox fan, but I was always rooting for them and liked the way that they played.”

Wakefield spent 17 of his 19 pro seasons in Boston and, overall, went 200-180 with a 4.41 ERA and was a 2009 All-Star. (nesn.com)

Although Wakefield was someone Wright followed closely, he learned last year that trying to pitch exactly like the 200-game winner would not work.

“Last year, when I struggled, I was trying to be too much like a ‘Wakefield’ who threw it really slow. For me, it’s much easier to repeat the knuckleball when I throw it harder, between 77 and 80 mph.”

Wright, who is a former college teammate with PawSox utility-man Jon Hee, was a Double-A mid-season Eastern League All-Star where he went 9-6 with a 2.49 ERA. At the time of his promotion, he was among the league leaders in ERA and strikeouts (101), while pacing E.L. pitchers with a .207 opposing average.

At 27-years-old, Wright is not young by baseball standards. However, when 2012 knuckle-balling All-Star R.A. Dickey was 27-year-old, he was pitching in Triple-A Oklahoma City. In fact, Dickey was pitching in Triple-A until he was 35-years-old.

Just goes to show that despite all the scouting, reports, and analysis, you never really know what can happen in this game. Especially if you have an arm made of rubber.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

 

 

 

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