Results tagged ‘ Will MIddlebrooks ’

Will Middlebrooks Named A.L. Player of the Week

It’s is a little ironic that less than 24 hours after Kevin Youkilis is traded to the Chicago White Sox, his replacement is named American League Player of the Week.

Will Middlebrooks batted .625 (10-for-16) with three doubles, three homers, 10 RBI and six runs scored in six games. Among A.L. leaders, the 23-year-old finished tops in batting average, slugging percentage (1.375), on-base percentage (.632) and total bases (22), tied for second in doubles and extra-base hits (6) and tied for fourth in hits and homers.

Hours after his final hit at Fenway Park (his 953rd game with the Red Sox), Youkilis was dealt to the South Side of Chicago for pitcher Zach Stewart and infielder/outfielder Brent Lillibridge.  Of the remaining $8 million on Youkilis’ contract, Boston is obligated to pay slightly more than $5.5 million.

In nine seasons with the Red Sox, Youkilis was a .287 hitter, three-time All-Star, and a Gold Glove winner. (Getty Images)

Stewart, 25, has made 18 appearances with the White Sox this season and in 2011 made one start for Triple-A Charlotte, whom the PawSox host for a four-game series beginning Tuesday. The Red Sox have announced that the right-hander has been assigned to the PawSox.

Following the trade announcement, Middlebrooks said this on Twitter (@middlebrooks):

“It was truely an honor playing with and learning from Youk… He’s the definition of a professional. Played the game right. #RedSoxNation”

Middlebrooks’ emergence has been remarkable. Just recently, he became the 5th player since 1920 (when the RBI became official) with a .331 average, nine homers, and 33 RBI in his first 40 Major League games. The last player was Albert Pujols.

You can expect to hear plenty of “Youuuuk” calls when the White Sox travel to Fenway Park July 16-19.



In 24 games with the PawSox this year, Middlebrooks hit .333 with nine home runs and 27 RBI. (Kelly O’Connor)

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.



Baseball Wishes Happy Father’s Day on Twitter

It wouldn’t be Father’s Day without baseball. With thousands of dads spending today at ballparks around the country with their sons and daughters, many throughout the game took a moment this morning to publicly wish a “Happy Father’s Day” on Twitter.

David Ortiz (@davidortiz): Happy father’s day to all those great dad all around the world in special my dad…..34

Will Middlebrooks (@middlebrooks): I’m a competitor bc of my dad… He taught me how to work hard. I wish he could be here today. Happy fathers day @TxBoSox . Love you man.

Kelly Shoppach (@ShopHouse10): Happy Fathers Day. I wouldn’t be here without mine. I still look up to him.

Andrew Bailey (@AndrewBailey40): Happy Father’s Day to my dad and all the dad’s out there!

Chris Balcom-Miller (C_Bmiller22): Happy fathers day to all the dads out there.

Ricky Romero (@RickyRo24): Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads out there, especially mine. Thanks for everything Pops. Can’t wait till he throws the 1st pitch today.

Bryce Brentz (@Bbrentz7): Thanks dad #FathersDay

Curtis Granderson (@cgrand14): Happy Fathers Day to all the “dads” “daddy’s” “pops” “old man’s” & “fathers” wouldn’t be the man I am today if it wasn’t for my dad

Jayson Hernandez (@Jays0n_Hernan): Happy fathers day to all the great dads out there!!

Karl Ravech (@karlravechespn): Fathers can impact kids lives in ways no one else can, as dads’ let’s continue to make those positive. Happy Father’s day Dad!

Amalie Benjamin (@AmalieBenjamin): Happy Father’s Day to my dad @rbenjam. Thanks for taking me to the park + teaching me to score a game. Without you I wouldn’t do what I do.

I’d like to wish a Happy Father’s Day to my dad, Hal, in St. Louis. He’s supported me every step of the way and, more than anything, has taught me by example.

Happy Father’s Day to all.


Top-10 PawSox Moments in May

Between the late nights, early morning flights, bumpy bus rides, and countless other factors, a minor league baseball season can quickly become a blur. Today, as we flip the calendar to the start of June, we’ll begin by rewinding to the beginning of May to rank the Top-10 moments from the month that was.

#10 – Nava Gets Second Call-Up to Boston (May 10)

Even though there wasn’t a grand slam this time, Daniel Nava’s return to the Major Leagues was, to some, maybe as unthinkable as his historic slam in his big league debut in 2010.

Never mind the fact that Nava wasn’t invited to Major League camp, he wasn’t even in the PawSox Opening Day lineup. After a slow start to the year, Nava caught fire and has continued to produce with Boston.

#9 – Gomez Delivers in the Eighth Inning (May 10)

The PawSox trailed the Rochester Red Wings at McCoy Stadium by a run going into the bottom of the eighth inning. With two outs, Jose Iglesias singled, then Lars Anderson reached on an error by former PawSox second baseman, Joe Thurston. That’s when Mauro Gomez ripped a two-run double that bounced off the right-field wall to plate two runs and give the PawSox the lead and the eventual win, 7-6.

Gomez has had plenty to smile about this season. Not only has he received his first Major League call-up, but he leads the PawSox in home runs, runs batted in, doubles, and hits. (Kelly O’Connor).

#8 – Mathis Nearly Perfect, Youkilis Rehabs (May 21)

After struggling in April, Doug Mathis flipped the switch in May and dominated the Norfolk Tides in his ninth start of the year.

The former Texas Ranger had maybe the best outing of any Pawtucket starter this year by tossing seven-innings scoreless, allowing just one hit – a fifth-inning triple that was almost caught with two outs.

The PawSox blanked the Tides 4-0 and were aided by rehabbing Kevin Youkilis who finished 1-for-2 with an RBI double and a pair of walks.

#7 – Middlebrooks Gets the Call (May 2)

After thrashing International League pitching throughout April, PawSox third baseman, and Red Sox No. 1 prospect, Will Middlebrooks received his first-ever call-up to Boston.

Since joining the Red Sox, Middlebrooks is batting .316 (30-for-95) in 24 games with six homers and 21 runs batted in. Safe to say it’s looking less likely he’ll see Pawtucket again this season.

In 24 games with the PawSox, Middlebrooks hit .333 with nine homers and 27 runs batted in. Five of is home runs came with two men on base. (Kelly O’Connor)

#6 – Hassan Delivers on Mother’s Day (May 13)

On a beautiful Mother’s Day at McCoy, the PawSox and Columbus Clippers were tied 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth inning. With his mom in the stands, Alex Hassan homered to left-field with one out to give Pawtucket a 5-4 lead and the eventual win.

Hassan finished the day 3-for-3 with two runs batted in, three runs scored, and was a triple shy of the cycle.

#5 – PawSox and Bulls Take Center Stage in Japan (May 17)

In front of over 10,000 fans, plus thousands more watching on Japanese sports cable channel J SPORTS, two of the Pacific Rim’s biggest  baseball stars squared off at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Rehabbing Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched for the PawSox as Hideki Matsui played his third-career game in the Tampa Bay Rays’ system. Although Pawtucket lost 5-0 and never moved a runner past second base, the media hype and overall buzz within the ballpark made it one of the more memorable games this season.

There were over 35 Japanese media members in Durham to report on Matsuzaka vs. Matsui. (Kelly O’Connor).

#4 – PawSox Homer Five Times (May 27)

Not only did the PawSox club five home runs, but three of the first four batters in the bottom of the first inning went deep.

Pedro Ciriaco hit a lead-off homer to left, followed by Nate Spears’ home run to right. After Darnell McDonald smoked a line drive to third base, Lars Anderson went deep to right field.

Anderson homered again to begin the sixth inning, followed by Alex Hassan’s 2-run shot in the eighth. For Anderson, it was his third-career two-homer game, his first since 2009.

#3 – PawSox Take Down Andy Pettitte (May 6)  

Originally scheduled to be played at Dwyer Stadium in Batavia, Ny., the PawsSox and Yankees dueled in front of a record crowd at Frontier Field in Rochester. Because of the media and fan interest, the Yankees, PawSox, and Red Wings all agreed to move the contest to Rochester where, in a matter of days, the Wings sold 13,584 tickets to watch Andy Pettitte.

With the Triple-A Yankees’ ballpark under season-long construction, the PawSox dealt the five-time World Series champion a loss. In fact, the first four PawSox batters recorded hits off Pettitte: Pedro Ciriaco (double), Jose Iglesias (infield single), Ryan Lavarnway (RBI double), and Lars Anderson (RBI single).

Iglesias went 2-for-3 with an RBI against Pettitte and the Yankees. Even more impressive, the PawSox shortstop hit .341 in May with his second-career homer and nine runs batted in. (Kelly O’Connor)

#2 – Lavarnway’s Bomb Caps Seven-Run Inning, and the Win (May 26)

The PawSox went into the bottom of the eighth inning trailing Toledo 5-1. When the inning was over, they lead 8-5. Ryan Lavarnway’s 3-run homer was the bow on top of  a 7-run, 7-hit inning – the most runs scored in a single frame this season by Pawtucket.

Not only was Lavarnway’s home run a first pitch no-doubter, it was his first home run since April 17 (99 at-bats).

#1 – Lars Anderson Makes SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays (May 29)

For the first time in the history of McCoy Stadium, a home run was hit of the HD video board in right-center field. As part of his third-career, five-RBI night, Anderson pounded a two-run shot in the fourth inning that blew out a small portion of the two-year old board.

Photo taken of the video board at McCoy Stadium seconds after Anderson’s blast. (Jillian Souza)

For his efforts, Anderson was among the Top-10 plays that night (and the next morning) on SportsCenter.

There were plenty of noteworthy moments throughout May for the PawSox, who ended the month 18-12. Tonight June begins with Game 1 of a brief four-game road trip to Lehigh Valley to face the Iron Pigs. Brandon Duckworth (5-1, 4.22) will be opposed by righty Scott Elarton (5-2, 3.44).

First pitch tonight from Coca-Cola Park is scheduled for 7:05, we hit the air with the pre-game show at 6:50.

Talk with you then.



Nate Spears Heating Up

In his second year in Pawtucket, utility-man Nate Spears has settled into the role of everyday third baseman for the PawSox since Will Middlebrooks was promoted to Boston on May 2.

“Most of the games in my career are at second base, but I’ve familiarized myself with a number of other positions to become more versatile and valuable to a ball team,” said Spears from the PawSox dugout.

In 2011, Spears appeared at six different defensive positions: second base (37 games), right field (23), third base (16), left field (13), shortstop (four), first base (one).

Spears made his Major League debut last season on September 6 at Toronto. He totaled three games with the Red Sox in 2011. (Kelly O’Connor)

While he has helped the PawSox all year with his versatility, Spears is in the midst of his best offensive stretch of the season. He’s batting .400 (8-for-20) over his last eight games and is currently riding a season-best seven-game hitting streak (his previous best as a PawSox was six games last year,  Aug. 17 -22).

Of his recent offensive success, what stands out the most is that three of his four home runs this season have come in his last five games.

“I really haven’t changed a whole lot,” Spears remarked about his approach. “I’ve been working on using my hands a little bit more and seeing the ball, letting it travel, and getting a good pitch.”

Spears is already halfway to his home run total from a year ago with the PawSox where in 96 games he hit eight out of the yard (his second-highest total outside his 20 home run season with Double-A Portland in 2010).

Originally drafted by Baltimore in the 5th Round in 2003, Spears played in his 1,000th career professional game yesterday where he went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer.

The PawSox play Game 2 against Norfolk tonight from McCoy where righty Ross Ohlendorf (4-3, 4.07) will be opposed by Tides’ right-hander Eddie Gamboa (1-0, 0.00). First pitch is slated for 7:05, pre-game coverage starts at 6:50.



Spears received his second-career call-up to Boston this year on April 15 and appeared in four games. (Kelly O’Connor)

Inside Daniel Nava’s Surge

Just about two weeks ago, PawSox outfielder Daniel Nava was batting .188 in the International League. Through April 28, the switch-hitter was just 1-for-30 on the road. Unlike Will Middlebrooks, Nava got off to anything but a hot start.

However, since April 23, Nava has been on fire and has raised his average from .188 to .316 over the course of 14 games. Here are his numbers over that stretch:

  • Nava went undrafted out of Santa Clara University and was playing independent league baseball in California when the Red Sox signed him. (Kelly O’Connor)

    Batting .420 (21-for-50)

  • Of his 21 hits, 10 have been for extra bases (7-doubles, 1-triple, 2-home runs)
  • In his last 14 games, Nava has connected on at least two hits seven times

Over 27 games this season, Nava …

  • Has 14 walks to 15 strikeouts
  • Has a staggering on-base plus slugging (OPS) of .926
  • Is second among active PawSox hitters with 30 hits (Mauro Gomez has 39)

To be clear, the Red Sox are yet to send out an official release stating that Nava has been promoted. That said, virtually every Boston media outlet is reporting that Daniel has not only been called up, but is in tonight’s lineup batting sixth and playing left field.

If true, who knows what could happen …



Reactions to Middlebrooks on Twitter

Will Middlebrooks was shredding International League pitching when he was called up to Boston on May 2. In his first four major league games, the Red Sox No. 1 prospect is 8-for 21 with three home runs and nine runs batted in. Last night in Kansas City, Will homered feet shy of the foul pole in right field, smoked a double off the center field wall, and then dinged a home run off the foul pole in left.

Are you serious?!

Middlebrooks had an “all fields” approach here in Pawtucket with two homers to right, one to center, and the remaining six to left field. Of his nine home runs, five came with two runers on base. With that in mind, it shouldn’t surprise us that he connected on a three-run opposite field homer last night against the Royals.

Middlebrooks celebrating his first major league home run – a fifth inning grand slam against Baltimore. (Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters photo)

Not only has Will been the talk of Boston, but he’s also been a hot name on Twitter. Here is what local and national media members are saying about the Red Sox newest third baseman:

Jeremy Lundblad, Senior Researcher for ESPN Stats & Info (@JLundbladESPN):

Will Middlebrooks is 1st #RedSox player with 3 HR in his 1st 4 career games since Billy Conigliaro in 1969.

Tim Britton, Red Sox Beat Writer, Providence Journal (@TBritton_Projo):

The Rangers lead the AL with seven three-run homers this season. Between Pawtucket and Boston, Will Middlebrooks has six by himself.

D.J. Short, Writer for Hardball Talk on (@djshort):

Lucas Duda has six extra-base hits in 102 plate appearances. Will Middlebrooks has six in his first four MLB games.

Tom Caron, NESN Studio Host (@TomCaron):

The legend of Will Middlebrooks grows. 3 HRs/ 9 RBI in the last 2 games. Think he’s ready for the bigs?

 Major League Baseball (@MLB):

On Sunday morning, Will Middlebrooks had 0 career homers. Now, he has 3.

We’ll be keeping an eye on what Middlebrooks does tonight as the PawSox and Red Wings play Game 2 from McCoy Stadium. Ross Ohlendorf gets the start and will be opposed by Liam Hendriks, recently send down from Minnesota. First pitch this evening is scheduled for 6:15, we’ll hit the air at 6:00.

Talk with you then.