5/26 Cup of Coffee: All four affiliates had pitchers turn in quality starts on Wednesday. Greenville phenom Anderson Espinoza (pictured) highlighted the bunch, combining with a pair of relievers on a two-hit shutout. Equally impressive was Justin Haley, who matched Lucas Giolito (WAS) pitch-for-pitch before Portland fell in a walk-off.
Roenis Elias turned in his second straight outstanding start, holding Lehigh Valley to a run on two hits in 7 1/3 innings. The lefty struck out eight, giving him 21 in 15 innings over his last two outings. Kyle Martin allowed a run in 1 2/3 innings to close out the win. Sam Travis slammed a three-run third-inning home run, providing the big blow for the offense. Bryce Brentz added a pair of doubles, and Chirs Marrero also had a two-bagger as part of his 1-for-3 night.
5/25 Cup of Coffee: It was an encouraging night on the farm as Eduardo Rodriguez (pictured, right) returned from a setback in his rehab with an outstanding outing to lead the PawSox. Portland and Salem also got good starting pitching and excellent bullpen work in victories. It was a tough night on the mound for Greenville as the Drive fell in a slugfest.
All eyes at McCoy Stadium were on rehabbing left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez. After having his initial rehab assignment cut short a week ago due to knee soreness, the 23-year-old returned featuring a new, simplified delivery from the wind-up. After four outings with middling results in his last stint, Rodriguez was stellar on Tuesday, allowing a run on four hits in seven innings. He struck out seven without issuing a walk, and the only blemish was a fifth-inning solo home run.
Despite his dominance, Rodriguez was actually in line to take the loss, as he left the game with the PawSox trailing, 1-0. Chris Marrero stepped up once again, slamming a two-run homer in the eighth inning to put the PawSox on top. The home run was Marrero's ninth, tying him for the International League lead.
Anthony Varvaro got credit for the win, allowing one hit while striking out two in a scoreless eighth inning. The save went to Pat Light, who also gave up one hit in a scoreless frame. He struck out and walked one apiece.
5/24 Cup of Coffee: All three affiliates suffered tough losses on Monday night, with their bullpens letting them down late in the game. Roniel Raudes (pictured) was nearly unhittable for Greenville, striking out eight without walking a batter over six innings. Sean Coyle launched his third home run of the season, while Andrew Benintendi and Josh Ockimey each had rough nights at the plate.
Portland's rested bullpen could not maintain a late lead, as the Sea Dogs fell in their first game since Friday. Aaron Wilkerson battled through five innings, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out two. He threw 92 pitches, and his scoreless streak ended at 21 innings. Williams Jerez allowed one run in his two innings of relief, and with Portland up one in the eighth, Luis Ysla gave up two runs on two walks and two hits as he picked up his second loss.
After a setback in his rehab, Eduardo Rodriguez (pictured, right) is scheduled to make a start tomorrow for the PawSox. With that, check out SoxProspects.com's Assistant Director of Scouting Chaz Fiorino's write-up detailing Rodriguez's last start for Pawtucket. His stuff did not look like it did in 2015 in this particular start, so it will be interesting to keep an eye on Rodriguez tomorrow.
5/23 Cup of Coffee: Portland was rained out for a second consecutive night, but Salem and Greenville picked up impressive wins behind a few late-inning rallies. Trey Ball and William Cuevas turned in great outings and the offense for Greenville was solid up and down the lineup.
The PawSox dropped a tough one despite a very solid start from William Cuevas. He went the first six innings and allowed just one run on four hits to lower his ERA to 3.09. He walked two and struck out four. Noe Ramirez was very good out of the bullpen, tossing two scoreless innings without allowing a hit. Kyle Martin took the loss, as he struggled in the ninth and allowed a walk-off single.
The offense was quiet on Sunday. Sam Travis doubled in Ryan LaMarre in the third for the only run of the day for Pawtucket. Bryce Brentz went 2 for 4 and Sandy Leon reached twice with a walk and a single.
SoxProspects Assistant Director of Scouting Chaz Fiorino recently took in Eduardo Rodriguez's start in Pawtucket. This is his report from the field.
PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Eduardo Rodriguez made his fourth rehab start with Pawtucket as he continues recovering from a right knee injury suffered during spring training. As we now know, Rodriguez was recalled from his rehab without being activated days later, as he continues to suffer from soreness in that knee. That he was still not fully healthy was apparent in the outing, as described below, and is evidence that the Red Sox did the right thing by shutting him down in the short term.
Rodriguez’s final line was 5 2/3 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. He threw 100 pitches, 71 of them strikes. He pitched with a free and easy delivery and was able to consistently pound the strike zone with a four-pitch mix, throwing first-pitch strikes to 20 of 25 batters. However, his velocity and pure stuff were still a step back from where he was at his peak last year.
The fastball mostly sat 91-92 mph and topped out at 94 once. The decline in velocity had me thinking—as we now know, correctly—that he was still cautious of his right landing leg, and as a result not generating as much power from his legs in his delivery. Overall, the fastball lacked movement and the usual life on the pitch he has had in the past when sitting in the 94-95 mph range.
5/22 Cup of Coffee: The affiliates split four games, but the bats were roaring across multiple levels. Pawtucket racked up 14 hits in a 7-3 win while Greenville hit a pair of home runs each game of its doubleheader, including a two-homer game for Trent Kemp (pictured) in a 7-0 win in game two. Salem is the exception to the offensive fireworks, mounting little at the plate in a 6-0 loss.
Every member of the Pawtucket lineup contributed hits to the squad’s 14-hit, seven-run offensive outburst. The PawSox scored in the first and fourth innings but did not take the lead for good until their three-run sixth inning. A two-run double off the bat of Sam Travis broke a 3-3 tie and proved to be the decisive blow. Sandy Leon drove in a run with a sac fly and Chris Marrero contributed an RBI as the PawSox piled on late. Chris Marrero finished the night 3 for 4 with a walk, and Travis and Chris Dominguez each turned in 2-for-5 performances — though both also committed errors in the field.
5/21 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket and Salem made late comebacks Friday, but while the Salem Sox rallied for a victory, the PawSox comeback was erased in a walk-off loss. Ben Moore(pictured) was the hero for Salem, and Chris Marrero and Chris Dominguez homered for Pawtucket. Portland’s offensive woes continued in an 8-0 blowout. ----- Buffalo Bisons (TOR) 6, Pawtucket Red Sox 5
The PawSox rallied with three runs in the eighth and one in the ninth to tie the game, but the Bisons answered with an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth for a walk-off win. Pawtucket jumped to an early lead on a Chris Marrero home run in the top of the first. Henry Owens gave his team five innings of one-run ball, but his command troubles continued with five walks. Buffalo scored four in the sixth off Roman Mendez to take a big lead before the late PawSox rally. Down to their last out in the ninth, Pawtucket closed the gap with a long home run off the bat of Chris Dominguez.
5/20 Cup of Coffee: While the major league club enjoyed a night off, three affiliates were in action, but were only able to win one game between them. The PawSox dropped a close game to the Buffalo Bisons while the Drive were shut out against Lexington. Salem collected the lone win on the night thanks to a Yoan Moncada sacrifice fly in the tenth.
After jumping out to a four-run lead in the top of the first, the PawSox were unable to hold on for the win. Allen Craig did most of the damage in that first inning, launching a three-run home run with two outs in the inning. Bryce Brentz drove in the other first-inning run with a single as part of a 1-for-4 performance. Craig, Mike Miller, and Chris Dominguez each collected two hits and Dominguez added an RBI as well.
5/19 Cup of Coffee: The PawSox rose past the Tides on the back of a an outstanding pitching performance, Portland and Greenville had tough nights, and Salem dropped both ends of a tightly contested doubleheader.
Roenis Elias (pictured) picked up his first victory as a member of the Red Sox organization. He tossed 7 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out a career-high 13 without a walk. Elias's 13 strikeouts is the most for a PawSox hurler since Jin Ho Cho struck out 15 in 1999. Anthony Vavaro picked up his first save, hurling 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, striking out three.
With the game scoreless in the second, a Chris Marrero solo home run and a Deven Marrero RBI single gave the PawSox a 2-0 lead. Leading, 2-1, in the seventh, Pawtucket padded its lead as Bryce Brentz came home on a throwing error. Brentz and Chris Marrero led the PawSox with two hits apiece.