Garin Cecchini

Garin Cecchini

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



– With a 2-for-3 night, Garin Cecchini has put togther multi-hit performances in three of his last four games. Cecchini had a couple of singles, a walk and drove in the PawSox’ only run on Wednesday night. He’s now 9-for-20 over a mini-five-game hit streak, and driven in five runs over his last four contests. The third baseman has been hot all month long after struggling at the plate for the better part of the season, hitting .341/.419/.537 in August with 10 doubles after collecting just 11 two-baggers in the previous four months combined.

Jackie Bradley Jr. followed up his three-hit showing on Tuesday with an 0-for-4 night. Since being demoted to Triple-A, the outfielder is hitting .204 with a .220 OBP and a couple of extra-base hits. He’s drawn just a single walk, but his strikeout problems followed him to Pawtucket, where he’s fanned in 12 of 50 at-bats.

Steven Wright was hit hard, lasting six innings but allowing five runs on 12 hits (which represents a season-high, and the first time he’s permitted double-digit hits in an outing) and two walks while fanning four. It’s the second outing in a row and third time in his last five starts in which Wright has allowed five earned runs. He owns a 5.56 ERA over his last five starts compared to a 2.37 mark through his first 10 outings of the season.



– After three impressive starts upon returning to the Sea Dogs from an injury that sidelined him briefly, Keith Couch wasn’t sharp on Wednesday, going 6 2/3 innings but permitting five runs on eight hits. However, Couch didn’t walk a single batter on the evening after issuing seven free passes over his last 19 2/3 innings of work. The righty gave up a pair of home runs, which is unusual; he’d allowed just one through his previous 16 starts this season.

– On what was a rough night offensively for the Sea Dogs, Jonathan Roof managed to reach base three times, going 1-for-2 with a pair of walks. It was the first time the outfielder had drawn a walk since August 12. The 25-year-old has scuffled at the plate as of late, hitting just .162/.244/.189 over his last 12 games.

Sean Coyle‘s slump continued with a hitless evening on Wednesday, though he did manage to work a walk. He’s hit just .180/.286/.344 over his last 17 games, and is .averaging over a strikeout per game over that span. The extra-base hits haven’t been coming as frequently either, with three home runs but just one double over that span. Even with the cold streak, however, Coyle’s line on the season stands at .296/.373/.508.



Carlos Asuaje followed a 1-for-3 performance in the first game with a 4-for-4 contest that included three more doubles in the second contest. The four hits, three doubles and three extra-base hits all represented season highs in what had already been an extremely impressive first full pro season. The five-hit day improved the 22-year-old’s line to a .348 average with a .409 OBP and .563 slugging mark through 33 games, following 90 contests in Single-A Greenville in which the 2013 11th-rounder hit .305/.391/.542. He has 64 extra-base hits in 123 games.

Manuel Margot had a double to right in his only plate appearance of the first game, but was thrown out at third trying to stretch the hit into a triple and was removed from the game after the inning. He tweaked his ankle on the play and was removed for what was described as precautionary reasons. He’s hitting .333/.370/.548 with five extra-base hits in 12 games.

– After going 0-for-2 in the first game, shortstop Jose Vinicio went 2-for-2 in the second game, his fifth multi-hit game in six contests and his seventh in nine games. In the process, the 21-year-old has improved from .151/.192/.164 on the year to .240/.270/.288.



– First baseman Sam Travis celebrated his 21st birthday by going 2-for-4 with a double, delivering the only multi-hit game of the night for Greenville. The second-round pick has 13 extra-base hits (10 doubles, three homers) in 22 games with the Drive after collecting 10 extra-base hits (five doubles, a triple and four homers) in 40 games with Lowell prior to his promotion. Overall, Travis is hitting .317/.352/.468 in his pro debut.

– Though right-hander Ty Buttrey struck out a career-high eight and walked none, he also permitted nine hits (six for extra-bases) in five innings. The 21-year-old, a 2012 fourth-rounder who received a bonus in line with a first-rounder ($1.3 million), is 0-5 with a 7.43 ERA, with opponents hitting .306 against him in Greenville.



Raymel Flores went 3-for-5 on the night, his third three-hit performance of the season, driving in a pair of runs. The 19-year-old has looked solid at the plate as of late, batting .319 over his last 13 contests. The problem is that it’s been over 64 plate appearances since Flores’ last walk, while he’s struck out 17 times since that last free pass. The infielder has shown the ability to hit for average this season (a .271 mark through 56 games) but has shown little power, slugging .340 (six doubles, two triples and a home run).

– Starter Kevin McAvoy has not allowed a run over his last five starts, permitting just eight hits and three walks over his last 15 innings of work. The 20-year-old fourth-round draft pick has shown excellent command all season long; he hasn’t walked a batter in his last two starts, has yet to walk multiple batters in an outing, and has issued a total of just three walks in his 25 1/3 innings, or an average of just over one walk per nine frames. The Bryant College product owns a 2.13 ERA through his first 10 professional outings.

Karsten Whitson made his first appearance in almost a month, tossing a scoreless fourth inning, allowing a hit and striking out two. Whitson struggled in his first two outings with the Spinners, giving up four runs on five hits and four walks while managing just one strikeout through his first 4 1/3 innings.

– Reliever Carlos Pinales endured a disastrous ninth inning, blowing a 4-1 lead and giving up four runs on three hits and a walk without recording an out. The 22-year-old has posted an ugly 7.45 ERA over his last nine games, with the opposition hitting .364 against him.



– Shortstop Javier Guerra matched a season-high with three hits, going 3-for-6 with a homer while driving in a career-high five runs. The 18-year-old from Panama gets raves from evaluators thanks to the ease and fluidity that he demonstrates both at shortstop — where his range and arm suggest the tools to be an everyday big leaguer at his current position — and at the plate, where the sweet-swinging left-hander has shown an ability to drive the ball from gap-to-gap with the potential to grow into power as he fills out. He has a surprisingly low OBP (.286 with just five walks in over 200 plate appearances) given his calm demeanor at the plate; the team expects that he will develop patience, and the early signs of extra-base pop (20 extra-base hits in 51 games), a good swing and excellent defense all point to a player who in future years has a chance to develop into one of the Sox’ top prospects.

– Center fielder Trenton Kemp went 2-for-4 with a double, continuing a pro debut in which the 18-year-old 15th rounder has shown an intriguing if raw mix of power and speed. In 37 games, he’s hitting .224/.313/.345 with 10 extra-base hits, including a .250/.354/.411 line in August.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier and Katie Morrison

Juan Perez, the president and CEO of Roc Nation Sports, told  Wednesday that Rusney Castillo has secured a work visa from the United States government and is immediately eligible to start playing in games.

Juan Perez, the president and CEO of Roc Nation Sports, told  Wednesday that Rusney Castillo has secured a work visa from the United States government and is immediately eligible to start playing in games. Perez’s agency represents Castillo, who signed a seven-year, $72 million deal with the Red Sox last week.

Castillo began working out in Fort Myers, Fla. Wednesday, and was scheduled to continue is workouts at JetBlue Park Thursday. There would be an opportunity for the outfielder to see game action with the Red SoxGulf Coast League team, which is scheduled to participate in a one-game playoff Friday with the chance to move on to a best-of-three final round with a win.

The P-1A visa extends for five years, with the opportunity to extend another five years. Castillo will be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship while holding the visa.

Prior to Wednesday, Castillo’s only other visit to the Red Sox’ minor league facility came Aug. 1 when the team put the 27-year-old through a private workout.

Blog Author: 

Joe Kelly deserved a better fate. Junichi Tazawa’s fate? Well, that was all too familiar.

Junichi Tazawa had yet another rough outing in Rogers Centre, Wednesday night. (Getty Images)

Junichi Tazawa had yet another rough outing in Rogers Centre, Wednesday night. (Getty Images)

Joe Kelly deserved a better fate.

The Red Sox starter hurled his second straight solid start, Wednesday, but ended up with nothing to show for it. Kelly was pulled after just 86 pitches, leaving the Sox’s fate in hands of their bullpen. It didn’t work out for John Farrell or his starting pitcher.

The Sox fell victim to a four-run seventh inning by the Blue Jays, paving the way for a 5-2 loss to the hosts at Rogers Centre.

As has been the case so many times against the Jays, Junichi Tazawa took the brunt of Toronto’s offensive attack. This time the Red Sox reliever finished his inning being charged with two runs, having allowed a key, pinch-hit, three-run homer off the bat of former Sox third baseman Danny Valencia.

Kelly started the pivotal seventh inning, allowing a lead off double by Edwin Encarnacion. With the Red Sox clinging to a one-run lead, Farrell brought on lefty Tommy Layne to face left-handed hitter Dioner Navarro. But — after a dropped pop-up by Sox catcher David Ross — the Jays catcher kept things going with a single to left.

That paved the way for Tazawa, who entered the game with a 7.71 ERA in eight games at the home of the home of the Jays. The righty promptly surrendered the three-run blast to Valencia, who was pinch-hitting for Juan Francisco, giving the Blue Jays a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Tazawa allowed another run later in the frame when Kevin Pillar came home on a fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop by Jose Reyes. Pillar initially reached on a double one batter after Valencia’s homer.

The Red Sox had claimed the lead with two runs in the sixth, coming on a David Ortiz RBI single and a run-scoring wild pitch by Jays starter Marcus Stroman.

Kelly finished his six-plus-inning outing allowing just two runs on three hits, striking out four and walking two.

Recently-recalled Edwin Escobar made his major league debut, pitching a perfect eighth inning for the Red Sox.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
Red Sox Manager John Farrell talks about Bogaerts' concussion and the youth movement.

[0:00:51] ... Because this is actually bothered me since Friday. I don't know what Major League Baseball does about concussions but I saw. And Bogart's stick to pitch in the helmet Friday continue in the game and then the ...
[0:04:44] ... isn't. Currently giving players some some issue. If there's a place in Major League Baseball David Ortiz likes hitting more than Fenway it might be the Rogers Centre. Given his career numbers has not been able to play the ...
[0:11:58] ... and and the three -- -- -- had with this. I don't Mike Napoli said you know you don't get any more credit when it goes as far as -- as if it goes into the ...

David Ortiz will return to the Red Sox lineup in his customary third spot for the series finale against the Blue Jays. With his return, left fielder Yoenis Cespedes will get the day off.

David Ortiz will return to the Red Sox lineup in his customary third spot for the series finale against the Blue Jays. With his return, left fielder Yoenis Cespedes will get the day off.


Brock Holt, SS

Dustin Pedroia, 2B

David Ortiz, DH

Mike Napoli, 1B

Daniel Nava, LF

Allen Craig, RF

Mookie Betts, CF

Will Middlebrooks, 3B

David Ross, C

Joe Kelly, RHP

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier
As he does every Wednesday, Buster Olney, ESPN, joins the boys of MFB to talk baseball. This week Buster shed some light on what to expect from Rusney Castillo, and how Cuban players are being viewed. He suggests that the acquisition of Castillo helps Boston's chances to get Giancarlo Stanton. Also, the Sox should shut down Koji if they want to re-sign him.

[0:06:06] ... don't want to trade this player. As opposed -- you know and Andrew Miller where I think there's an expectation that even though the -- that street Miller. Dad does a good chance he's gonna wind ...
[0:07:55] ... again and and you know guys like Paul I want troll and Scott Proctor. Would just be run through and Johnny ventures. Led Major League Baseball and appearances in 2011. Among the leaders in 2000 and. ...
[0:10:49] ... the right -- -- to trade for but. You know talking -- Bob Melvin in the and the other people -- the athletic they love Lester in fact. I I hadn't heard this story till the weekend you guys he's got Kazmir having success apparently. Kazmir learned -- cutters from Lester -- Lester was still the Red Sox were just walked up too many outfield that day. Can show me that cutter and and that's been part of the reason like cats -- has been so good. Are up and Oakland at pitching coach Curt Young told me that -- you been tremendous with -- teammate. I know Saint Louis -- really happy Lackey I think everyone is ...

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez has been dominant in five starts for Portland. (Lynn Chadwick / Portland Sea Dogs)

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez has been dominant in five starts for Portland. (Lynn Chadwick / Portland Sea Dogs)

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



– On a night when he walked his most batters (4) and threw just 61 of his season-high 105 pitches for strikes (58 percent), left-hander Henry Owens overcame his struggles to limit his opponents to three runs on eight hits. His efforts were helped by his eight punchouts in 6 1/3 innings. In his five starts with Pawtucket, Owens is now 2-1 with a 3.66 ERA, 35 strikeouts and 10 walks in 32 innings. Opponents are hitting .248 against him with three homers in that span, up from the .201 average to which he held opponents in Double-A this year. In short, there’s an adjustment to a higher caliber of opposing hitters to which Owens is still adjusting, though he’s holding his own amidst that transition.

– Right-hander Dalier Hinojosa was dominant, retiring eight of nine batters he faced. The 28-year-old has a 2.03 ERA since the beginning of June with 26 strikeouts and eight walks in 26 2/3 innings. After he entered July with a 5.51 ERA, he’s dropped that mark to 3.90.

Bryce Brentz can mash against left-handers with good stuff. He went deep against highly regarded Blue Jays prospect Daniel Norris, his 12th homer in 58 games in Pawtucket this year. Against southpaws, Brentz is hitting .304/.355/.725 with eight homers in 76 plate appearances (one for every 9.5 trips to the dish). His performance both against lefties and overall since his return from a groin injury (.260/.333/.558) suggest someone who might be getting close to capable of contributing at the big league level. Yet as much as the Sox’ recent acquisitions of outfielders such as Yoenis Cespedes, Allen Craig and Rusney Castillo has raised questions about the future of a player like Shane Victorino in the organization, the questions are just as significant for players like Brentz and Alex Hassan, who now find themselves behind a considerable crowd of corner outfielders.

– Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was 3-for-6 with a double, his first three-hit game and second extra-base hit in his nine games in Triple-A.

– Shortstop Deven Marrero went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles, his first multi-hit game since August 10. He’s struggled to a .220/.271/.304 line in Pawtucket, leaving Marrero with a .264/.334/383 line for the year — with his average and OBP fairly similar to the marks of .252 and .338 that he posted in Salem and Portland last year, but with nearly double the extra-base hits (38 this year vs. 22 in 2013). Given that the average AL shortstop is hitting .256/.310/.360, Marrero has the profile of a player with the potential to deliver average to slightly better-than-average offense with tremendous defense — a skill set that could make him a big league starter for a number of years.



– Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez continues to assert himself as one of the Sox’ top pitching prospects since his trade from the Orioles to Boston for Andrew Miller. Rodriguez worked around seven hits to limit his opponents to one run, punching out seven and walking none.

The 21-year-old, whose fastball (a pitch he’s used aggressively to both sides of the plate) has topped out at 96-97 mph in each of his starts with Portland, with flashes of a plus changeup and a slider, suffered his first loss with Portland, but after five starts, he’s 2-1 with a 0.86 ERA, 35 strikeouts (10.1 per nine innings) and just six walks (1.7 per nine) in 31 1/3 innings. He’s punched out at least seven in four of his five starts, while showing the athleticism to suggest an ability to repeat his delivery and attack the strike zone.

His numbers with Portland stand in marked contrast to what Rodriguez had done prior to the trade with the Orioles’ Double-A affiliate, where he was 3-7 with a 4.79 ERA, 7.5 strikeouts and 3.2 walks per nine, but reflect the potential that had made him a highly regarded prospect entering the year.

Sean Coyle went 1-for-4 with a solo homer, his 15th of the year. It’s his second straight year of 15-plus homers, suggesting unusual right-handed power potential for a second baseman. He’s now hitting .299/.375/.513 for the season.



Jose Vinicio, the usually-light-hitting shortstop, is on a tear recently. With a 2-for-4 showing on Tuesday, Vinicio now has six multi-hit performances in his last seven games. The hot stretch has boosted his batting average almost 80 points; the 21-year-old is now hitting .230, the first time he’s hit over the Mendoza line since his first game of the season with Salem. He’s even shown some very rare power lately, with three of his four extra-base hits on the season coming in his last seven contests. However, even with the stretch of multi-hit showings, Vinicio is still batting a meager .230/.255/.280 through 31 games with Salem.

Carlos Asuaje‘s 11-game hit streak was broken on Tuesday night, but the left fielder still reached base three times, drawing a trio of walks. It’s the second time this season he’s been able to work three free passes in a game. Asuaje has displayed adequate ability when it comes to drawing walks, posting a .391 OBP and walking in a little under 10 percent of plate appearances in 90 games with Single-A Greenville this season. But the ability seemed to have eluded him during his first couple weeks with Salem, drawing six free passes in 124 plate appearances (walking at about a five percent rate). His last four games, however, have been a different story. Asuaje has worked six walks in his last 18 trips to the plate. His OBP, which sat at .355 prior to this four-game stretch, has shot up to .394.

– After a couple of impressive outings, starter Simon Mercedes was roughed up in his latest performance, allowing five runs on 10 hits and three walks while striking out two. It’s the fifth time in 18 appearances (13 starts) that Mercedes has given up five or more runs. His strikeout numbers continue to be way down, with the righty fanning 10 batters over his last 21 2/3 innings of work. He owns a 5.08 ERA in 78 innings this year.



– Starter Daniel McGrath was solid through five innings, allowing a run on just one hit, though he did walk three. It was a nice bounce-back effort from the 20-year-old, who endured one of his shortest and most wild outings of the season his last time out, allowing six runs on seven walks. The command has been an issue for the young lefty all season long, as he’s averaging about five walks per nine innings, an alarmingly high rate. However, when McGrath finds the zone, opposing hitters have mustered just a .223 batting average against him through his 91 1/3 innings this season.

– Though Sam Travis‘s rapid production has tailed off a bit over the last couple of weeks, he’s still showing off some power. Travis knocked his ninth double since being promoted to Greenville at the beginning of August, bringing his slugging mark to .494 through 83 at-bats. He ended the night going 1-for-3 with a walk. His walk turned out to be pivotal, as he moved up to second on a bunt and scored on a passed ball in the ninth inning, giving the Drive the lead. The first baseman, who turns 21 on Wednesday, is hitting .277/.322/.494 with the Drive.

– McGrath wasn’t the only effective pitcher on Tuesday. Jason Garcia, who relieved McGrath after five, tossed four one-hit frames of his own, walking three and striking out five while keeping the RiverDogs off the board. Garcia owns a 4.13 ERA through 32 2/3 innings with Greenville this season.



– In his third start for the Spinners, Jeffry Fernandez was roughed up, allowing five runs (though only three earned) on eight hits in four innings of work. On the bright side, the 21-year-old righty hasn’t walked or hit a batter in nine innings since experiencing some real command issues in his first start (four walks and a hit batter). Fernandez has allowed a total of eight earned runs on 18 hits through his first 13 2/3 innings with the Spinners.

– One of the few bright spots for Lowell was reliever Williams Jerez, who tossed three scoreless innings in relief, permitting three hits and fanning five. Much like he was in the GCL earlier this season, Jerez has been racking up the strikeouts in Lowell, with 11 in just seven innings since earning the promotion. The three-inning stint on Tuesday was Jerez’s first outing without allowing a walk in his four appearances for the Spinners.

Aneudis Peralta extended his hitting streak to six games with a 2-for-4 showing. He was the only member of the Spinners’ lineup to rack up multiple hits on the evening. The first baseman has hit well since joining the Lowell squad, putting together a .291/.350/.345 line through 16 games.



– Left-hander Gabe Speier continues to look impressive in his return from Tommy John surgery. The 19-year-old, whose fastball is a high-80s to low-90s offering complemented by a breaking ball that he spins well, fired five innings in which he allowed a run on five hits, punched out a season-high seven and walked none. In nine games in the GCL, Speier — a 2013 19th-rounder who underwent Tommy John surgery — is 3-0 with a 1.55 ERA, 26 strikeouts and just one walk. He’s striking out 8.1 per nine innings and has gotten groundballs on 57 percent of the balls put in play against him, suggesting some interesting raw materials in his first real opportunity to pitch as a professional while healthy.

Rafael Devers went 2-for-4 with a double, giving him three straight multi-hit games, four in five contests and five in his last seven games. The 17-year-old’s .322 average is fifth in the GCL; the four players ahead of him are 18, 19, 20 and 22 years old. Though Devers has seen his walk rate drop roughly in half from the DSL (15.0 percent) to the GCL (7.7 percent), his strikeout rate has increased by only about 10 percent (from 15.7 to 17.3 percent) in his move to a level where his age makes him a rarity.

– Second baseman Victor Acosta went 2-for-4, his fifth multi-hit game in his last 10 contests, continuing an August run that has seen him boost his line from .189/.282/.289 to .271/.350/.389. The 18-year-old is hitting .407/.467/.556 this month, with his average and OBP ranking second in the GCL in that time and his slugging mark ranking sixth.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier and Katie Morrison