PITTSBURGH -- Rusney Castillo finally made it to the Red Sox. Is his former Cuban teammate, Yasmani Tomas, next?



ROB BRADFORD

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PITTSBURGH — Want to look at the Red Sox‘ three-game sweep at PNC Park with a glass-half-full mentality?

Gerrit Cole

Gerrit Cole

PITTSBURGH — Want to look at the Red Sox‘ three-game sweep at PNC Park with a glass is half full mentality? Here you go: they’re might be moving down in the standings, but up in the draft order.

With their 3-2 loss to the Pirates Thursday night, the Sox are now the fifth-worst team in baseball. That would mean — because of the Astros’ compensatory pick due to not signing Brady Aiken — John Farrell‘s club would be drafting No. 6 overall.

That, in case you forgot, is one spot higher than the disastrous 2012 season yielded. (With the Red Sox getting lefty high school pitcher Trey Ball with that selection. Ball went 5-10 with a 4.68 ERA in 22 starts in Single-A Greenville this season.)

The Red Sox (66-89) will still have a chance to move up in the order with nine games to play, sitting 1/2 game in front of Minnesota. There is also the scenario where teams could leap frog them with supbar final weeks, with the Astros (67-85), Cubs (68-94) and White Sox (69-83) all within striking distance.

How important is getting a pick a few spots closer to the top of the heap? The Pirates’ starter Thursday night should have offered that reminder.

Gerrit Cole — who finished finished his seven-inning stint allowing two runs while striking out seven and not walking a batter — was the first overall pick taken the 2011 draft. No. 2? A pitcher Seattle took named Danny Hultzen who has yet to appear in the major leagues, having undergone shoulder surgery after the ’13 season.

OTHER REASONS YOU SHOULD HAVE CARED ABOUT THURSDAY’S GAME:

- The Red Sox’ inability to drive in key runs surfaced once again, this time in the ninth inning of a one-run game. With pinch-runner Jemile Weeks at third base and Daniel Nava at first, Will Middlebrooks came to the plate with nobody out.

Middlebrooks hit a slow roller down the third base line that bounced right into Weeks as he dove back into third base. The ruling was that Weeks was out, leaving runners on first and second.

Jackie Bradley followed by fanning on a called third strike, with Christian Vazquez punctuating the squander by grounding out to second base.

Nava, Middlebrooks and Nava all finished with two hits apiece.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

PITTSBURGH —  Brock Holt is better, but not quite good enough to see game action.

The utilityman, who has been out since Sept. 5 with a concussion, came back from his appointment with concussion specialist Micky Collins, PhD with good results.

Brock Holt

Brock Holt

PITTSBURGH —  Brock Holt is better, but not quite good enough to see game action.

The utilityman, who has been out since Sept. 5 with a concussion, came back from his appointment with concussion specialist Micky Collins, PhD with good results.

“He’€™s improved today,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. ‘€œHe got some encouraging news from Dr. Collins and his staff with the battery of tests that he went through. We’€™ll begin to incorporate baseball activities, likely when we get to Baltimore. It’€™s still undetermined but not out of the question that he would return before this season is out. But we still have to see how he responds to baseball activity that he takes in.”

Farrell didn’€™t rule out a return before the Red Sox end their season a week from Sunday.

“I think we have to stay open minded,” he said. “We’€™ll still, we have to sit down with Brock and discuss this. Even if it weren’€™t prior to the end of our regular season, Is there a possibility of getting him in some games in Instructional League just to answer the physical questions that we’€™re all trying to get answers to right now.”

(For the Red Sox Instructional League roster, click here.)

Holt has played in 106 games this season, hitting .281 with a .711 OPS.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

David Ortiz will be in the lineup at first base in the Red Sox‘ final interleague contest of the season.

David Ortiz will be in the lineup at first base in the Red Sox‘ final interleague contest of the season. Mike Napoli will sit in deference to Ortiz, while Rusney Castillo — one day after his major league debut — will also get the night off, as Jackie Bradley Jr. will start in center field. Here is the Red Sox lineup for Thursday night:

RED SOX LINEUP

Mookie Betts, 2B

Xander Bogaerts, SS

David Ortiz, 1B

Allen Craig, RF

Daniel Nava, LF

Will Middlebrooks, 3B

Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Christian Vazquez, C

Brandon Workman, SP

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier
Outfielder Manuel Margot is among the Red Sox prospects taking part in Fall Instructional League. (Darrell Snow/Greenville Drive)

Outfielder Manuel Margot is among the Red Sox prospects taking part in Fall Instructional League. (Darrell Snow/Greenville Drive)

While the minor league season is officially done, the work of player development continues. Most immediately, the Fall Instructional League — which includes a number of lower-levels prospects who would be characterized as high-upside players but whose probability is harder to project given their distance from the leagues — is currently underway.

The players in Instructional League mostly played with short-season affiliates this year, though there are some players who spent the season in full-season A-ball. One notable omission: First baseman/outfielder Nick Longhi, who was enjoying an excellent season as an 18-year-old in the New York-Penn League with the Lowell Spinners, continues to recover from surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb.

The group includes several top Red Sox prospects, including outfielder Manuel Margot, 17-year-old slugging third baseman Rafael Devers, 2014 first-rounders Michael Chavis and Michael Kopech and shortstop Javier Guerra (among others).

The list:

PITCHERS
Almonte, Jose RHP 6’2″ 185 19 GCL
Bautista, Gerson RHP 6’2″ 168 19 DSL
Beeks, Jalen LHP 5’11″ 180 21 GCL
Buttrey, Ty RHP 6’6″ 230 21 Single-A
Callahan, Jamie RHP 6’2″ 205 20 Single-A
Cosart, Jake RHP 6’2″ 175 20 GCL
De Jesus, Enmanuel LHP 6’3″ 190 17 DSL
Diaz, Jhonathan LHP 6’0″ 170 18 DSL
Fernandez, Jeffry RHP 6’3″ 180 21 NYPL
Garcia, Jason RHP 6’0″ 185 21 Single-A
Jerez, Williams LHP 6’4″ 190 22 NYPL
Jimenez, Dedgar LHP 6’3″ 250 18 GCL
Kopech, Michael RHP 6’3″ 195 18 GCL
McAvoy, Kevin RHP 6’4″ 210 21 NYPL
Mercedes, Simon RHP 6’4″ 245 22 High-A
Rodriguez, Javier LHP 6’2″ 170 19 GCL
Speier, Gabe LHP 6’0″ 175 19 GCL
Steen, Kevin RHP 6’1″ 170 18 GCL
Taveras, German RHP 6’2″ 235 21 Single-A
Whitson, Karston RHP 6’3″ 195 23 NYPL
Williams, Jalen RHP 6’4″ 210 19 GCL
CATCHERS
Baldwin, Roldani R/R 5’11″ 180 18 DSL
Fisher, Devon R/R 6’0″ 215 18 GCL
Lucena, Isaias S/R 5’11″ 180 19 DSL
Moore, Ben R/R 6’1″ 195 21 GCL
Procyshen, Jordan L/R 5’10″ 185 21 Single-A
Suarez, Alixon R/R 6’1″ 210 20 NYPL
INFIELDERS
Acosta, Victor R/R 5’11″ 165 18 GCL
Asuaje, Carlos L/R 5’9″ 165 22 High-A
Basabe, L Alejandro S/R 5’10″ 160 18 DSL
Chavis, Michael R/R 5’10″ 190 19 GCL
Devers, Rafael L/R 6’0″ 195 17 GCL
Dubon, Mauricio R/R 6’0″ 160 20 NYPL
Guerra, Javier L/R 5’10″ 165 18 GCL
Ockimey, Josh L/R 6’1″ 215 18 GCL
Rijo, Wendell R/R 5’11″ 170 19 Single-A
Rivera-Valera, Jeremy S/R 5’9″ 150 19 GCL
Travis, Sam R/R 6’0″ 195 21 Single-A
OUTFIELDERS
Aybar, Yoan L/L 6’2″ 165 17 DSL
Basabe, L Alexander S/R 6’0″ 160 18 GCL
Guzman, Franklin R/R 5’11″ 195 22 Single-A
Hudson, Bryan L/R 6’1″ 185 19 NYPL
Kemp, Trenton R/R 6’2″ 195 18 GCL
Margot, Manuel R/R 6’0″ 175 19 High-A
Mars, Danny S/R 6’0″ 195 20 Single-A
Monge, Joseph R/R 6’0″ 175 19 NYPL
Blog Author: 
Alex Speier
Ben Cherington discussed the debut of Castillo and his thoughts on Jeter.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning to talk about Rusney Castillo and how the team plans to rebuild for 2015.