Curt Schilling‘s suspension from ESPN has been extended to the entire season, including the American League wild card playo

Former Red Sox general manger Ben Cherington has been out of work for a few weeks and it looks like it will stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Former Red Sox general manger Ben Cherington has been out of work for a few weeks and it looks like it will stay that way for the foreseeable future.

According to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Cherington is unlikely to pursue general manager openings this fall. Rosenthal added that teams have contacted him, but he is simply in listening mode.

Cherington was the Red Sox’ general manager for four years after being in the organization for over 17 years. He left the organization after Dave Dombrowski was brought on as president of baseball operations.

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Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

When it comes to new Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and the minor leagues, his reputation is that he generally trades away a number of his top prospects for proven major league talent, especially when he was with Detroit.

With the Red Sox having arguably the best minor league system in baseball, what Dombrowski does with his young talent remains to be seen. Appearing on the WEEI Farm Report Podcast this week, MLB.com and MLBPipeline.com senior writer Jim Callis said to be cautious with Dombrowski’s reputation.

“It will be interesting to see,” Callis said. “I don’t deal with GM’s, people at the team president level that much when I am doing all my prospect stuff, but Dave is one of the guys when I started, I think he was already a GM in Montreal, but I’ve talked to him a few times over the years. I think he’s a standup guy. I think the media will enjoy dealing with him. He’s pretty honest. I think he’s pretty efficient.

“I do think he’s gotten a little bit of a bad rap where people look at him as a guy who will trade all the prospects off to get veterans because that’s what he did in Detroit. I think you have to look at it from the standpoint of I think in Detroit he was doing what ownership asked him to do, which was Mike Ilitch is in his 80s and wants to win a World Series so they weren’t focused on the future, they were focused on winning now. They were a franchise in disarray when he got there and he built it into a consistent winner that was kind of at the end of its window this year, but they had a nice long run just as good as anyone else.”

“I know there were some alarm bells sounded,” he added. “Look what he did in Detroit, the Red Sox have this great farm system and he’s going to trade all these guys away — I’m sure they will make some trades to try and get in a better position to complete in 2016, but I think it would be really unfair to characterize Dave as a guy who doesn’t see the value in the farm system or prefers veterans to youngsters, I think he was just doing what Detroit ownership told him to do.”

As it stands now, the Red Sox have seven of the top 100 prospects ranked by MLB.com. With the organization looking improve the major league roster for 2016, especially acquiring an ace to lead the rotation, one of the routes the organization may go is via trade, instead of overpaying for a free agent.

It would be foolish to think a major prospect or two wouldn’t be traded this offseason, but with that being said, Dombrowski has a history of making successful trades and making the right call on which prospects to keep and which to deal.

One prospect who won’t be going anywhere is Single-A Greenville second baseman Yoan Moncada. After being signed to a $31.5 million signing bonus this spring, the 19-year-old is finishing up a tremendous season where he was named to the All-Star team and the South Atlantic League’s Most Outstanding MLB prospect.

Going into play Thursday, the switch-hitter is batting .281 with eight home runs and 38 RBIs. He’s had a monster second half of the season, as since the All-Star break he’s batted .318 with seven of his eight home runs.

Callis discussed Moncada’s future, specifically where he might play in the field, as the Red Sox currently have Dustin Pedroia signed through 2021.

“He’s an OK defender,” Callis said. “I think he’s an average defender and I think it’s easier to put up with that at second base than it would be at shortstop. I guess [Pablo] Sandoval has the contract — [Moncada] has the arm strength. Realistically, he might be better at third base than at second base and Pedroia still has some years left, he’s only 31, maybe Moncada ends up at third base.

“As an amateur people thought this guy was a center fielder and he would definitely have the tools for that. He has the arm strength for a corner, but right now that young outfield looks so intriguing, I don’t think you want to mess with that.”

Rafael Devers

Rafael Devers

EXPLAINING RAFAEL DEVERS’ RECENT POWER STRUGGLE

Third baseman Rafael Devers has had a terrific first full season in the Red Sox’ organization, including being named to the Futures Game.

Devers is batting .277 with 11 home runs and 67 RBIs with Single-A Greenville, but since July 26 has only one home run. Greenville manager Darren Fenster offered an explanation for the drop in power.

“Not necessarily playing everyday, but the whole season of playing 140 games,” Fenster said. “For the majority of these guys it’s their first full season where they haven’t been through the grind for the full five months. Some of the guys here have been through a full season where as Rafael kind of hit a little bit of a wall in the first few weeks of August and nothing more than him being tired like everybody else. He had to fight his way through it and this past week he’s kind of come back to the player he was for the first four months of the season.

“For these guys to experience some struggles, to experience getting through 140 games, to understand what it takes to get out of a struggle is a big part developing with the daily drill work that we do.”

Even more impressive about Devers is he’s just 18 years old and is mature beyond his years, not letting the ups and downs of the game get to him and continuing to work hard each and every day.

“You can’t tell really with him good, bad or indifferent,” Fenster said. “I mean, this kid loves to play. He always has a smile on his face. Whether he gets recognition or not, whether he wins the sneakers game or not, his attitude coming to the ballpark everyday is someone who wants to get better and embraces the work and wants to get out there under the lights.

“This is a personality that is not going to be effected by accolades, not going to be effected by recognition or all this other stuff. What drives this kid is the opportunity to get better and the opportunity to help this team win every night and to work to eventually get to the big leagues.”

With five games remaining in the season, Greenville is battling for a playoff spot. Fenster said getting the experience of playing in the postseason would go a long way in the development of his players.

“I think it’s a huge part of developing in general where the playoffs are a different animal — where the pressure of, hey you have to win or go home, that takes on a different element of itself where these players will hopefully experience one day in Boston,” Fenster said. “For them to get through that at some point in the minor leagues, while it’s not the same as playing in a postseason game, it’s far different than a game in a 140-game season.

“A lot of these guys were on the GCL team that won last year. Many were with me in 2013 when we were in the playoffs so the more these guys can get in the spotlight of, ‘We have an opportunity to play for something, we have the opportunity to play for a championship and ring,’ I think there’s comfort in playing in pressure situations. I think that’s a huge part of their development, just being able to handle a bigger spotlight.”

Check out the latest WEEI Farm Report Podcast hosted by Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable, joined this week by MLB.com’€™s Jim Callis.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:

Aneury Tavarez

Aneury Tavarez

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (56-83): W, 6-5, vs. Lehigh Valley (Phillies)

— Right fielder Aneury Tavarez, playing in just his second game in Triple-A since his Sept. 1 promotion, ended the game with a leaping catch at the wall in the top of the ninth inning to preserve the one-run victory. With a runner aboard and moving on contact as the ball was lofted to right, the 23-year-old Tavarez retreated a few steps and as he reached the warning track jumped and made a backhanded catch. At the plate, Tavarez had a hit for the second straight game and in his fifth overall, driving in center fielder Jonathan Roof to tie the game at one in the second inning.

Signed by Boston out of the Dominican Republic during the 2010 international signing period, the 5-foot-9 Tavarez slashed .226/.261/.355 over 67 games with Portland this year before his promotion with five homers and 13 doubles, while leading the Sea Dogs in outfield assists with seven.

— Third baseman Carlos Rivero gave Pawtucket the 6-5 lead with a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth inning. After two outs, catcher Luis Martinez walked, shortstop Deven Marrero (Boston’€™s No. 10 prospect at MLB.com) singled and second baseman Marco Hernandez (Boston’€™s No. 23 prospect at MLB.com) also walked before Rivero’€™s free pass. Rivero was 1-for-3 with two free passes and two RBIs on the night, as he also drove in a run on an RBI single in the fifth inning.

— Every member of the PawSox lineup had a hit. Deven Marrero went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run from the leadoff spot, while Chris Marrero finished 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored for his third straight multi-hit game. Roof finished 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored.

— RHP William Cuevas, 24, had a quality start with a no-decision final line of: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO (96 pitches, 68 strikes). The 6-foot hurler is now 2-2 with a 2.83 ERA over six starts with the PawSox, including 34 strikeouts and 13 walks over 35 innings. Cuevas has pitched at least five innings and allowed two runs or fewer in all six of his Pawtucket starts. Starting the year in Double-A, Cuevas went 8-5 with a 3.40 ERA over 19 starts with Portland, earning an Eastern League All-Star selection.

— RHP Jorge Marban earned the win (3-0, 0.69 ERA) with 1 2/3 innings of relief, recording the final two outs of the eighth inning and allowing a lone single in the ninth. Marban, 26, struck out two and now through six outings in Triple-A has 13 strikeouts in 13 innings pitched. The 6-foot-1 Marban has allowed just six hits and one earned run in those 13 innings with four walks.

Sam Travis

Sam Travis

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (51-86): W, 4-3 in 10 innings, at New Hampshire (Blue Jays)

— First baseman Sam Travis (Boston’€™s No. 12 prospect at MLB.com) reached base in all five of his plate appearances and drove in the game-winning run in the top of the 10th inning, a single to center on an 0-1 pitch that brought home center fielder Manuel Margot (Boston’€™s No. 3 prospect at MLB.com). Travis, 22, singled home Margot in the first inning as well, in addition to walks in the third and sixth frames and a single and stolen base in the eighth.

Selected by Boston in the second-round of the 2014 draft out of Indiana University, Travis has reached safely in 58 of his 63 starts in Double-A this year, with a slash line of .298/.373/.429 over that span. It was the third multi-hit game in the past four for Travis, who leads all Red Sox minor leaguer’s with 77 RBIs this year combined between Portland and High-A Salem

— Margot, 20, went 2-for-4 from the leadoff spot, scoring two runs and adding a sacrifice fly in the seventh that gave Portland a 3-1 lead. Margot has hit safely in 42 of his 59 starts with the Sea Dogs, and is slashing .245/.302/.359 with one homer, three triples, 18 doubles, 23 RBIs and 34 runs scored over that span.

— Left fielder Keury De La Cruz, 23, went 2-for-4 with a solo home run in the seventh to give Portland a 2-1 lead, the team-leading ninth homer of the year for De La Cruz. Over his last 25 games, De La Cruz is batting .333 (29-for-87) with four homers, a triple, four doubles, and 11 RBIs. Beginning last season on the disabled list with a broken wrist that cost him two months of action, De La Cruz slashed .295/.327/.434 last year over 70 games with Portland and has now added 108 games of action this year with a 2015 line of .234/.279/.373.

— RHP Aaron Wilkerson allowed just one earned run over five innings, taking a no-decision with a final line of: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO (89 pitches, 55 strikes). The 26-year-old Wilkerson stranded the three runners in the first with a strikeout, then allowing his lone run in the second inning after a leadoff walk and a pair of singles. After a leadoff single in the third, Wilkerson struck out the side and would allow just one walk the rest of the way, retiring eight of his final nine batters he faced. In six starts with Portland since his promotion, Wilkerson is 3-1 with a 2.86 ERA as he’€™s struck out 31 over 34 2/3 innings with 11 walks. Signed in 2014 while playing Independent ball, Wilkerson is a combined 10-3 this year with a 3.17 ERA over 28 outings combined with Portland, High-A Salem, and Single-A Greenville with 133 strikeouts in 130 2/3 innings.

— RHP Kyle Martin, 24, picked up the win (2-0, 3.95 ERA) in relief with 1 2/3 innings allowing two hits and two walks but no runs. After RHP Kyle Kaminska allowed a game-tying two run homer in the bottom of the ninth, Martin relieved and recorded the final two outs of the frame. Then, in the bottom of the 10th with a one-run lead, the 6-foot-7 Martin allowed two singles and a walk to load the bases before getting a weak comebacker to the mound to end the game.

Kevin McAvoy

Kevin McAvoy

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (62-72): W, 7-2, at Lynchburg (Indians)

— RHP Kevin McAvoy won his sixth consecutive start (11-9, 3.90 ERA) with a final line of: 5 2/3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO. With 11 wins, McAvoy is one off the pace for the Carolina League lead in victories. The 22-year-old McAvoy allowed a solo homer in the second inning, just his fifth long ball allowed this year and first in seven starts, before allowing a run in the sixth after a two-out walk and back-to-back hits. Selected by Boston in the fourth-round of the 2014 draft, McAvoy has allowed just 10 earned runs in his last six starts over 42 2/3 innings (2.10 ERA) with 26 strikeouts and 18 walks.

— The top four batters in the Salem lineup combined for nine hits, five runs, and four RBIs as Salem scored runs in four consecutive innings from the fourth through the seventh frames.

Shortstop Mauricio Dubon (Boston’€™s No. 21 prospect at MLB.com) went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two runs for his second straight multi-hit game, to go with his tenth stolen base of the year. Dubon, 21, is slashing .270/.336/.320 over 58 games in High-A with 18 RBIs and 23 runs scored.

Second baseman Wendell Rijo (Boston’€™s No. 15 prospect at MLB.com) went 2-for-4 with a double, walk, run, and two RBIs. Rijo’€™s two-bagger in the fourth scored Dubon and tied the game 1-1 and was Rijo’€™s 26th double on the season. Through 103 games with Salem, the 19-year-old Rijo is slashing .253/.317/.362 with 40 RBIs and 41 runs scored. Rijo has also now gone 27 games (since July 28) without committing an error in the field, and has just two miscues in 55 second-half games played.

Center fielder Kevin Heller went 3-for-5 with a double, RBI, and run scored. The 25-year-old Heller is slashing .294/.407/.433 over 88 games with Salem this season. Heller has seven homers, 16 doubles, two triples, 50 RBIs and 39 runs scored in High-A this year. Still shy of enough plate appearances to qualify for Carolina League leaders, Heller’€™s average and on-base percentage would be second best in the circuit.

Nick Longhi

Nick Longhi

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (69-66): L, 6-2, at Rome (Braves)

— Greenville dropped their final road game of the regular season and fell 1/2 game back of Asheville in a battle for a wild card berth in the South Atlantic League playoffs. The Drive return home for a season ending five-game homestand as they host divison-leading Savannah beginning on Thursday.

— First baseman Nick Longhi (Boston’€™s No. 20 prospect at MLB.com) went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored, coming home with left fielder Danny Mars on two-RBI single from catcher J.T. Watkins in the second inning to tie the game 2-2. Longhi, 20, also committed his eighth error of the year in the field as he was unable to backhand a grounder up the line to start the seventh inning, leading to a two-run Rome inning and two eventual unearned runs charged to RHP Edward Garcia.

Longhi has hits in four straight games and is slashing .281/.340/.404 over 111 games this season with Greenville. Selected by Boston in the 30th round of the 2013 draft out of high school in Florida, Longhi now has 26 doubles on the year to go with seven homers, three triples, 60 RBIs and 50 runs scored.

— Center fielder Andrew Benintendi (Boston’€™s No. 6 prospect at MLB.com) went 1-for-3 with a double, also reaching on a hit-by-pitch, as he extended his hitting streak to eight games. His double came to leadoff the eighth inning, an opposite-field gap shot that came on a 1-2 pitch. Benintendi, 21, is slashing .321/.409/.518 through 14 games with Greenville, with three homers, two doubles, 12 RBIs and 11 runs scored; Benintendi has hits in 12 of his 14 games played with the Drive.

— LHP Jalen Beeks started but lasted just two innings, taking the loss (9-6, 4.35 ERA) with a final line of: 2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO (53 pitches, 32 strikes). Beeks, 22, allowed four hits in the first and four in the second, with two runs allowed in each, as Rome took a 4-2 lead after two. Selected by Boston in the 12th round of the 2014 draft out of the University of Arkansas, the 5-foot-11 Beeks has allowed 13 earned runs over his last three starts, a total of 12 innings pitched, with 20 hits against over that span.

— Second baseman Yoan Moncada (Boston’€™s No. 1 prospect at MLB.com) went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. Watkins and right fielder Joseph Monge each went 2-for-4.

Kyri Washington

Kyri Washington

SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (36-35): W, 10-7, at Aberdeen (Orioles)

— Lowell won to remain two games back along with three teams to leap in a chase for a wild card playoff berth, as West Virginia (38-33) won in 11 innings in separate New York-Penn League action while Hudson Valley (37-34) split games of a doubleheader and State College (37-34) lost.

— Left fielder Kyri Washington went 2-for-4 for his third straight multi-hit game with a walk, double, RBI, and three runs scored. The 21-year-old Washington walked and scored in the first as part of a two-RBI single from center fielder Tate Matheny and then doubled home a run in the third, later scoring on an RBI hit by catcher Jhon Nunez; and singled to leadoff the fifth as he came around to score on a Nunez sacrifice fly. Selected by Boston in the 23rd round of this year’€™s draft out of Longwood University, Washington is slashing .276/.345/.408 through 23 games this season with 15 RBIs and 13 runs scored with Lowell. Washington has reached safely in eight straight games.

— Third baseman Victor Acosta went 2-for-4 with a walk, double, two RBIs, two runs scored, and a stolen base. The 19-year-old Acosta singled home a run as part of a four-run Lowell first inning, doubled to leadoff the third inning and came home to score on an error, and walked with the bases loaded in the eighth to bring home an insurance run. The 5-foot-11 Acosta is slashing .249/.308/.348 through 54 games this season, all with the Spinners, with 25 RBIs and 27 runs scored.

— Matheny (2-for-4, two RBIs, run) and second baseman Chad De La Guerra (2-for-4, walk, double, two runs) also had multi-hit games as part of an 11-hit Lowell attack.

— LHP Matt Kent earned his first professional save with 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, helping starter Austin Glorious earn the win (2-2, 2.92 ERA) despite allowing five earned runs. Kent, 22, entered with two outs and two aboard in the sixth inning, ending the frame on a groundout to keep the score 9-7. Kent allowed a single base runner in each of the next three innings but stranded all three, getting his final six outs via ground out.

Selected by Boston in the 13th round of this year’€™s draft out of Texas A&M University, Kent is 7-1 with a 1.86 ERA over 14 relief appearances, with 35 strikeouts and 10 walks over 48 1/3 innings pitched.

Rafael Oliveras

Rafael Oliveras

ROOKIE GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX (41-17): W, 1-0 in 7 innings, at GCL Blue Jays

— The Gulf Coast League Red Sox captured their second straight GCL championship with a 1-0 win in Game 2 of the best-of-three series, as the road team in its home JetBlue Park. The seven-inning win came in the first game of a scheduled doubleheader, with the second game of the finals postponed Tuesday due to rain, setting up the standard seven-inning, doubleheader format. Game 3 was not needed.

GCL Red Sox manager Tom Kotchman allowed his players to take the field in celebration after the victory.

“When you spend a summer in the GCL, you want anything cold on your head,” Kotchman told MiLB.com. “So there was water, champagne, all of that. As coaches, we just kinda sat back and watched the kids celebrate. That’€™s what you work for down here. First is to develop, second is to win.”€

— RHP Roniel Raudes pitched five scoreless innings in his first professional playoff game to pick up the victory, pitching a final line of: 5 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO. The 17-year-old Raudes allowed lone singles in each of the first three innings, stranding all three runners with seven of his first nine outs recorded via strikeout. Then, in the fourth, Raudes allowed two singles before inducing a double play ball, started on a diving stop by second baseman Rafael Oliveras, to end the inning. In the fifth, a two-out walk was erased on a pickoff throw by catcher Andrew Noviello.

In four regular season appearances with the GCL Red Sox, Raudes was 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA as he allowed just two earned runs over 20 innings of work while striking out 16 and walking six. A 6-foot-1 hurler from Nicaragua, Raudes signed with Boston for $250,000 during the 2014 international signing period.

“We know what we’€™re getting with him,”€ Kotchman said. “€œHe’€™s a fearless strike-thrower who tops out at 92 [mph] right now, but he’€™s only gonna get faster. He reminds me of a young K-Rod [Francisco Rodriguez] in that he’€™s skinny with a loose arm and an average-to-plus curveball. We had a high-schooler [Noviello] catching him today, and he did a great job with him.”

— The GCL Red Sox scored their lone run of the game before Raudes took the mound, with leadoff man and DH Andy Perez hitting a single and then coming around to score after an Oliveras hit-and-run single to left and an RBI ground out by first baseman Jerry Downs.

Oliveras, 20, finished 2-for-3 for the game and 4-for-11 over three postseason games. “He’€™s probably the MVP of the club,” Kotchman said of Oliveras. “€œI said Javier Guerra could be my second son last year. Well, maybe Oliveras can be my third son. He’€™s that valuable. With Perez in motion there, the way he manipulated the bat to put the ball where it needed to be near the hole in short was huge.”

— RHP Nick Duron, 19, and RHP Adam Lau, 21, each pitched a scoreless inning of relief to seal the win. Duron had a strikeout during his perfect sixth inning, and Lau allowed a leadoff single and a two-out walk before ending the game on a swinging strikeout. The 6-foot-4 Duron was selected by Boston in the 31st round of this year’€™s draft out of Clark Community College, while the 6-foot-2 Lau was selected in the 37th round out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Check out the latest WEEI Farm Report Podcast hosted by Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable, joined this week by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

Blog Author: 
Ken Laird

A different Jackie Bradley Jr. has emerged both on and off the field for Red Sox. (Jon Durr/Getty Images)It's easy to watch Jackie Bradley Jr.



Following the Florida Gulf Coast League Red Sox winning the GCL championship Wednesday, a few of its players have been promoted.

Following the Florida Gulf Coast League Red Sox winning the GCL championship Wednesday, a few of its players have been promoted.

Arguably their top player, 17-year-old right-hander Anderson Espinoza has been promoted to Single-A Greenville, according to sources.

Espinoza pitched in four games in the Dominican Summer League this summer, allowing two earned runs in 15 innings, while striking out 21 and walking just three. In late June he was promoted to the Gulf Coast League where he pitched in 10 games (only four innings each, as the organization monitors his innings) and had an ERA of 0.68 with 40 strikeouts and nine walks in 40 innings.

The 17-year-old was signed as an International free agent last summer.

Greenville has just five games left in their regular-season as they battle for a playoff spot.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Facing a team currently in the postseason for the fourth time in six big league starts, Henry Owens was due for a stinker.