Pat Light

Pat Light

The Red Sox have summoned reliever Pat Light to the big leagues from Triple-A Pawtucket, a source confirms to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford.

Light, a supplemental first-round pick in 2012, will be making his big league debut. The 25-year-old has allowed three hits and three runs in 6 2/3 innings with the PawSox. Though he throws as high as 100 mph, he has been plagued by control problems since converting to a reliever last season.

He has walked more than six batters per nine innings in relief, compared to 3.1 per nine as a starter.

The Red Sox have not announced the move, nor a corresponding one to activate left-hander Henry Owens to start on Sunday against the Astros.

News of Light’s call-up was first reported by the Boston Globe.

Blog Author: 
WEEI
Our ol' friend Torey Lovullo joins Giardi and Bradford from Houston to discuss the week that was for the Red Sox. He talks about the issues that have been plaguing the starting staff, some of the decisions that people have been questioning John Farrell on and more.

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[0:05:00] ... short look at a long time that you. Jar without scoring. Between Chris Young duck well it's just wanted to have the most productive out about. Possible errant. It's not to say it's not to say ...
[0:05:54] ... it was pinch hitting for Travers Shaw. Now it's pinch hitting for Chris young and now it you know the other day it was should you pinch hit for Jackie Bradley. All these things how difficult is the are these decisions considering you're still trying to figure route. What each of these players do are we don't we don't know definitively what Travis side is we don't know definitively what Chris Young is how difficult is it to make these decisions when you've only have such a small sample size. And actually knowing what ...






Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Saturday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (10-7): L, 7-4, vs. Lehigh Valley (Philles)

Steven Wright meeting one of the people responsible for him landing with the Red Sox, Tim Wakefield, for the first time prior to a 2012 spring training game.</p>
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Saturday.

Blake Swihart

Blake Swihart

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (10-7): L, 7-4, vs. Lehigh Valley (Philles)

— Catcher Blake Swihart went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored, but was charged with a key throwing error in the fifth as he fielded a bunt and threw well wide of third base attempting to nab the lead runner; the ball went all the way into the outfield corner and two runs scored to give Lehigh Valley a 3-2 lead. The error Saturday was Swihart’s first of the season.

“He’s done well … blocking and receiving,” Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles said to the Pawtucket Times in regards to Swihart’s defense. “A little suspect when throwing to bases, but we’ve seen the arm strength before and know what he does. He’s been a little bit more assertive here as far as pitch selection and game calling.”

Swihart had singled and scored in the fourth on a homer by left fielder Justin Maxwell as the PawSox took a 2-1 lead. However, in seven games since his demotion Swihart is hitting just .179 (5-for-28) with a double and three walks.

“He’s struggling a little bit, but we believe he’ll be fine,” said Boles.

Boles also told the Times that Swihart began getting work this week playing left field under the tutelage of minor-league outfield instructor Billy McMillon.

“I don’t think it’s going to be too far off where he’s getting some activity out there,” said Boles.

— Aside from the Maxwell home run, Pawtucket was held to seven singles with three from second baseman Mike Miller (3-for-4, RBI). Center fielder Rusney Castillo saw his modest five-game hit streak end as he went 0-for-4 while batting in the cleanup spot. Through eight games in Triple-A since his demotion, the 28-year-old Castillo is 10-for-33 (.303) with a double, four runs, three RBIs and three steals.

Castillo told the Providence Journal that his main focus at the plate has been hitting breaking balls from right-handed pitchers, and he’s been working on the issue with PawSox hitting coach Rich Gedman.

“That’s the main focus with Rich,” Castillo said through an interpreter. “It’s just about being ready to hit it at any time. Mostly it’s about being able to make those adjustments, being ready to hit, and recognizing the breaking ball to be able to attack it.”

“We’ve seen him aggressive against the fastball,” Boles said. “We need to see a better pass, a better approach against the breaking ball. We’ve seen at times where, with two strikes, he’s been able to take the ball to right field — but sometimes there’s some length there with the swing and there’s some swing and miss on the breaking ball.”

Boles continued: “With him, it’s slowing things down. You’ve seen that the intensity can get ratcheted up quite a bit. He’s full-throttle. He’s got enough hand speed. He doesn’t need to cheat. When the effort level ticks up, that’s when he loses sight of the ball and tracking it and pulls off pitches.”

— RHP Keith Couch was called up from extended spring training to make the start, taking the loss (0-1, 5.14 ERA) with a final line of: 7 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO (92 pitches, 61 strikes). The two unearned runs in the fifth led to a five-run inning, as the Swihart error was followed with a double and two singles to plate three more runs for Lehigh Valley. Couch, 26, made 21 starts for Pawtucket last year and went 4-10 with a 6.10 ERA.

Cole Sturgeon

Cole Sturgeon

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (6-11): L, 6-0, and L, 2-1, at Hartford (Rockies)

— The Portland offense managed just one run in 14 innings of baseball at Hadlock Field (playing as the visitor with Hartford’s home ballpark not yet ready to open) in the standard seven-inning doubleheader format.

In Game 1, second baseman Wendell Rijo (Boston’s No. 18 prospect at MLB.com) had the lone extra-base hit with a first inning double; DH Tim Roberson was the lone Sea Dogs’ batter with multiple hits as Roberson went 2-for-3 with singles in the second and fourth.

In Game 2, center fielder Cole Sturgeon went 2-for-3 and scored a run in the seventh on an RBI single from right fielder Aneury Tavarez. However, Portland had just four hits in the nightcap with a Roberson double the only other extra-base hit.

“We’re not doing the little things,” manager Carlos Febles told the Portland Press Herald. “We’re not executing. We had chances but we’re not taking advantage of opportunities.”

Sturgeon, 24, has eight multi-hit games in his first 13 played this season (with two games played for Triple-A Pawtucket) and is slashing .352/.386/.519 with two triples, five doubles, and six runs scored. Selected by Boston in the 10th round of the 2014 draft out of Louisville, the 6-foot lefty stick struggled at the plate for much of 2015 but in August of last season surged in a 25-for-81 (.309) stretch with High-A Salem before a late-season promotion to Portland.

— The Game 1 loss (0-2, 5.73 ERA) went to RHP Heri Quevedo, as the 25-year-old Dominican native started with four scoreless innings but was pulled in the fifth after allowing three doubles and two singles.

“He just ran out of gas,” Febles said. “I should have had someone (warming) up sooner. That’s on me.”

LHP Williams Jerez (Boston’s No. 20 prospect at MLB.com) then entered and allowed a two-run double (with the runs charged to Quevedo) before striking out two to end the frame. Jerez would allow a run of his own in the sixth via a leadoff walk and a double. It was the fifth-straight multi-inning appearance by Jerez this season and he’s allowed runs in three of those five.

— Per the Press Herald, outfielder Henry Ramos (Boston’s No. 23 prospect at MLB.com) received good news (no extensive damage) on his injured knee and will begin baseball activities again soon.

Ben Moore

Ben Moore

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (10-7): L, 9-6, vs. Winston-Salem (White Sox)

— Second baseman Yoan Moncada (Boston’s No. 1 prospect at MLB.com) and center fielder Andrew Benintendi (Boston’s No. 3 prospect at MLB.com) extended their hitting streaks to 13 games, each going 2-for-5.

Moncada, 20, singled in the seventh and ninth, coming home to score on Benintendi’s single in the final frame. In 15 games played, Moncada is slashing .357/.486/.500 with no homers, two triples, four doubles, 14 walks, 14 runs, eight RBIs and 13 stolen bases; he has hit safely in all but one game this year and has reached base safely in all 15.

Benintendi, 21, doubled and scored in the third to go with his ninth inning RBI single, while also reaching in the seventh via error and stealing his fourth base of the season. Through 16 games, Benintendi is slashing .338/.397/.646 with no homers, six triples, eight doubles, 14 runs and 11 RBIs; he has hit safely in 14 of 16 games played.

— Hitting in-between (and often overshadowed by) Moncada and Benintendi in the lineup, shortstop Mauricio Dubon (Boston’s No. 12 prospect at MLB.com) continued his fine start at the plate as he singled and scored in the first to give himself hits in 14 of his first 16 games. Dubon is slashing .308/.387/.354 with a triple, double, seven runs, nine walks, and five RBIs.

— Catcher Ben Moore and first baseman Nick Longhi (Boston’s No. 17 prospect at MLB.com) each went 3-for-4, with Longhi driving in three runs and Moore launching his second homer in as many games.

Moore, 23, singled in the second and stole a base, doubled in the fourth, and hit a solo-homer in the seventh. Selected by Boston in the eighth round of the 2014 draft out of the University of Alabama, the 6-foot-1 Moore is off to a 10-for-32 (.313) start in nine games with two homers and two doubles.

Longhi, 20, singled home Dubon in the first, singled in Benintendi in the third, walked in the sixth, and then doubled home Benintendi again in the seventh. Selected by Boston in the 30th round of the 2013 draft out of high school in Florida, Longhi is slashing .292/.347/.369 through 16 games with five doubles; he has had multiple hits in five of his last eight games.

— LHP Matt Kent took the loss (1-1, 7.20 ERA) with a final line of: 5 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO (79 pitches, 52 strikes). Despite allowing seven hits in the first two innings, the 23-year-old Kent limited the damage to just two runs and put up zeroes in the third, fourth and fifth. In the sixth, however, all three batters faced reached and came in to score off righty reliever Adam Lau. Selected by Boston in the 13th round of the 2015 draft out of Texas A&M University, Kent had given up just five earned runs in his first three starts over 17 innings of work, getting promoted from Greenville after his second outing.

Anderson Espinoza

Anderson Espinoza

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (9-8): L, 7-3, vs. Columbia (Mets)

— RHP Anderson Espinoza (Boston’s No. 4 prospect at MLB.com) allowed just one run, but was pulled in the fourth inning of his no-decision start with a final line of: 3 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO (74 pitches, 43 strikes). The 18-year-old Espinoza has been held under 80 pitches in all of his starts this season, going five innings in each of his first three outings with pitch counts of: 63, 70, and 78.

On Saturday, the 6-foot Espinoza started strong with his first six pitches for strikes, whiffing the game’s opening batter on three straight fastballs and then inducing a ground out to short. He would walk two of the next three batters (including the leadoff batter in the second) on 3-2 pitches before recording back-to-back strikeouts via fastballs painted on the outside black of the plate.

Espinoza’s third inning was run-free, with just one single allowed, before a run crossed in the fourth via a walk, wild pitch (an overthrow that bounced at about 30 feet) and double. All three batters Espinoza faced in the fourth went to 3-2 counts, with the double bounced opposite-field just inside the first base bag (the batter was late on a fastball).

Signed by Boston during the 2014-15 international signing period for a $1.8 million bonus, Espinoza is now 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA on the season over four starts, with 20 strikeouts and five walks. Last year combined over 15 starts (the Dominican Summer League, rookie Gulf Coast League, and Greenville) Espinoza had a 1.23 ERA with 65 strikeouts to 14 walks in 58 1/3 innings.

— Third baseman Michael Chavis (Boston’s No. 10 prospect at MLB.com) got Greenville out to a 1-0 lead in the first with an RBI double pulled down the third-base line as he turned on an 0-1 pitch. The 20-year-old Chavis then scored all the way from second base on a wild pitch that the catcher could not initially locate.

In the third, Chavis reached on a throwing error but was called out past the first-base bag as the umpire determined that he had made a turn toward second. Chavis then left the ballgame between innings, but it was initially unclear whether it was for injury precaution (he had gone down when making the sharp turn) or for a brief argument with the umpire.

Selected by Boston in the first round of the 2014 draft out of high school in Georgia, the 5-foot-10 Chavis is off to a 21-for-59 (.356) start at the plate with three homers, four doubles, 14 RBIs and 10 runs scored. He has hit safely in 12 of his 15 games played this year, with seven multi-hit games.

— Center fielder Luis Alexander Basabe (Boston’s No. 8 prospect at MLB.com) had the other Greenville RBI on the day, smashing a double off the right-field wall in the sixth to bring in left fielder Kyri Washington. Basabe, 19, was thrown out at third base trying to stretch the two-bagger into a triple. Finishing 1-for-3 with a walk, Basabe has surged in his last five games as he’s gone 10-for-27 (.370) with two homers and seven RBIs after hitting just .176 in his first nine.

Washington, 21, was also 1-for-3 with a walk and extended his hitting streak to seven games. On the season Washington is slashing .321/.345/.696 with five homers, two triples and two doubles.

Blog Author: 
Ken Laird
Henry Owens

Henry Owens

Southpaw Henry Owens will take the hill for the Red Sox on Sunday night after being called up from Triple-A. He is set to square off against Astros right-hander Scott Feldman in the series finale.

The 23-year-old Owens joined the Red Sox rotation late in the 2015 season, making 11 starts from August to October. He went 4-4 over that span with a 4.57 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 63 innings of work. After a rocky spring training, he started the year in Pawtucket and has pitched well out of the gate. In three starts with the PawSox, Owens is 1-1 with a 1.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. He has walked 10 and struck out 23 over 18 innings. When Joe Kelly was placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, Owens was the first option to replace him in Triple-A. During the early stages of spring training, many felt it would be a battle between Kelly and Owens to earn the fifth spot in the Red Sox rotation.

“This is awesome. I remember in high school, it was the same thing, competing for a varsity spot,” Owens said during spring training. “The first big league camp I was at, after the won the World Series, I knew there wasn’t really a spot for me. Last year kind of the same thing. I knew there was a little competition, but it was kind of set in stone. This year I truly believe there’€™s a spot up for grabs, and everyone else knows that so we’€™ll be out there competing against each other.”

Sunday will mark Owens’ first career start against the Astros.

Feldman will be seeking his first win of the season Sunday, as he his record sits at 0-2 through three starts. In his most recent outing on April 19 against the Rangers, Feldman went five innings and allowed four runs (three earned). He walked three and struck out just one in a game the Astros would go on to lose 7-5.

“[Feldman] just couldn’t put away hitters,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said following the loss. “They had a lot of guys that put swings on the ball with two strikes and found a way to do something. … Every time we did something, they seemed to answer back.”

Feldman has appeared in 13 games against the Red Sox, including seven starts, going 1-4 with a 7.24 ERA and 1.783 WHIP. He has walked 21 and struck out 25 in 46 innings.

Scott Feldman

Scott Feldman

Red Sox vs. Feldman (RHP)

Dustin Pedroia (23 plate appearances): .435 AVG/.435 OBP/.609 SLG, 1 double, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 1 strikeout

David Ortiz (21): .278/.381/.611, 2 home runs, 8 RBIs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout

Brock Holt (6): .500/.500/1.167, 1 double, 1 triple, 1 RBI

Christian Vazquez is 4-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs, while Jackie Bradley is 2-for-5 with two strikeouts.

Ryan Hanigan is 1-for-4 with one home run and three RBIs.

Chris Young is hitless in three at-bats, with one strikeout.

Astros vs. Owens (LHP)

No Astros have faced Owens.

Blog Author: 
Travis Upham

It’s a results business, a reality Clay Buchholz was reminded of during the Red Sox’ 8-3 loss to the Astros, Saturday in Houston.

Buchholz was on his way to a second straight encouraging start, having allowed just one run over his first 4 2/3 innings. But then came a two-out, misplaced, 2-2 fastball to Colby Rasmus in the fifth inning.

Clay Buchholz' outing was defined by Colby Rasmus' grand slam Saturday. (Thomas Shea/USA Today Sports)

Clay Buchholz’ outing was defined by Colby Rasmus’ grand slam Saturday. (Thomas Shea/USA Today Sports)

It’s a results business, a reality Clay Buchholz was reminded of during the Red Sox’ 8-3 loss to the Astros, Saturday in Houston.

Buchholz was on his way to a second straight encouraging start, having allowed just one run over his first 4 2/3 innings. But then came a two-out, misplaced, 2-2 fastball to Colby Rasmus in the fifth inning.

The result of the pitch was a game-changing grand slam from Rasmus, propelling his team to the win and Buchholz to what would be classified as another discouraging start. It was the first grand slam Buchholz has ever allowed.

The Red Sox starter’s ERA now stands at 6.33, having given up five runs in three of his four starts.

For a complete box score, click here.

Closing Time note

WHAT WENT WRONG

– While the fifth inning was the decisive frame for Buchholz, he also ran into trouble in the second. The Astros tied the game up at 1-1 thanks to a pair of hits and a run-scoring ground out.

– The Red Sox squandered a great chance to put Houston in a sizable hole in the first inning, stranding two runners after strikeouts by Hanley Ramirez and Travis Shaw, along with Brock Holt ground out.

– Chris Young continued to struggle in his early days as a Red Sox, striking out twice, while ending a Red Sox rally in the sixth inning by grounding out with two runners on. Against right-handed pitching, he is 1-for-12 with eight strikeouts. He would be pinch-hit for by the right-handed-hitting Josh Rutledge in the eighth inning.

– Immediately after the Red Sox closed the gap to two runs in the eighth, Roenis Elias — who had gotten out of a bases-loaded jam the previous inning — gave the run(s) right back. Elias surrendered a four-double eighth, putting the game back out of reach.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

– The Red Sox gunned down Jose Altuve with a stellar relay from Mookie Betts to Dustin Pedroia to third baseman Travis Shaw in the seventh inning, with the Astros’ leadoff hitter trying to stretch his line-drive into right-center field into a triple. What partially made the play possible was third base coach Gary Pettis telling Altuve not to slide.

– Pedroia stayed hot, serving as the only Red Sox hitter to come away with more than one hit. It was the third straight multiple-hit game for the second baseman, whose batting average is up to .314.

– John Farrell’s decision to pinch-hit for Young with Rutledge against righty reliever Ken Giles, with two men on and two outs in the eighth inning, paid off. Rutledge ripped an RBI double down the left field line, giving him three hits in five at-bats (all doubles).

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

It was good news for Xander Bogaerts and the Red Sox. At least, it could have been worse.

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

It was good news for Xander Bogaerts and the Red Sox. At least, it could have been worse.

Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters prior to Saturday’s game in Houston that X-rays on Bogaerts right wrist didn’t reveal any significant concerns. It offered the organization a huge sigh of relief considering the impact made on the wrist by Luke Gregerson’s fastball in the ninth inning Friday.

“Following the game [Friday] night, the X-rays were clean, they were negative, so there’s no structural damage,” said Farrell, who started Brock Holt at shortstop for the second game of the three-game set. “He’s sore today. He’s dealing with some swelling that he’s working on getting out of there. He would be available only in an emergency situation and more defensively. Not going to take BP here today, but we would hopefully expect him to be back available [Sunday] night in the night game.”

Bogaerts said that he was feeling the effects of the hit-by-pitch.

“I thought I would be able to play today, but I don’t think so when I woke up [Saturday],” he said. “It’s a bit sore. I have power in it, I have the power, it’s just the mobility and the flexibility is what I don’t have.”

– Both Carson Smith and Eduardo Rodriguez appear getting close to re-joining the Red Sox.

For Smith, his return might come as early the first game of the Yankees series at Fenway Park April 29 if all goes well in his stint with Triple-A Pawtucket this coming week.

“Carson threw an inning, showed very good arm strength and velocity, so he’s going to be moving out of Florida,” said Farrell of the reliever’s most recent outing in Fort Myers. “We’re probably looking at Tuesday for his next appearance. That’s likely to be in Pawtucket. But came through it fine from a physical standpoint.”

Rodriguez also threw at JetBlue Park, and most likely will now head out to an affiliate to amp up his rehab.

“E-Rod threw the ball good,” the manager said. “He got through his five up-and-downs with 70-plus pitches. There was solid velocity in the low-90s. Used all his pitches. Provided he comes in tomorrow and checks out fine, we would get him out to make his next start likely at Portland.”

Farrell pointed out that the organization has 30 days to activate Rodriguez once he is sent out to an affiliate, while also noting the lefty would need between two and three starts on his rehab outing.

– Red Sox reliever Heath Hembree has left a solid impression since being recalled. After turning in 3 1/3 innings of shutout ball Tuesday, the righty came back and tossed 1 1/3 innings scoreless innings Friday night.

“He’s been efficient, he’s been powerful,” Farrell said. “When he added that curveball, that top-to-bottom curveball, last year, it’s made his fastball more effective, and I think it’s really helped his slider for his hand or fingers to get over the front of the baseball, be able to put more depth. He’s got three defined pitches right now, and I think the fact that he’s got more consistent weapons, it’s added to his confidence. You know, that inning-and-a-third last night was big. Contrast of styles with some power in behind the knuckleball always works well, but Heath is growing in his own role and his own confidence.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford