In his 25th-career Triple-A start, and second start of 2015, right-hander Matt Barnes threw a total of 84 pitches as he continued to get stretched back out as a starter. Barnes displayed strong control in the outing with 54 of 84 total pitches for strikes, and 16 of 22 first-pitch strikes. Barnes also generated seven total swing-and-misses in this outing. He featured a three-pitch mix: a fastball, curveball, and changeup.
The fastball was 91-95 mph, sitting mostly 92-94. Barnes located well for the most part, but made one mistake-pitch, a 2-2 fastball he left over the middle of the plate that was belted for a two-run home run. Outside of that pitch, he located pretty well, particularly arm-side, picking up one of his three strikeouts on a 1-2 fastball down and in at the knees that caught the right-handed hitter looking. Barnes fastball was mostly straight with some slight arm-side run when down in the zone. The pitch tends to get on hitters quick and is a plus-grade offering.
4/28 Cup of Coffee: It was an already abbreviated schedule on Monday with Salem and Greenville having scheduled days off, and rain in Porland shortened it even further. The Sea Dogs were tied up at two when their game was suspended in the bottom of the second inning. Pawtucket rolled to victory in the only completed game of the night.
The PawSox scored two runs in the first inning to give Brian Johnson all the run support he needed. Johnson was slightly less dominant than in his three previous starts of the year, struggling some with his control with five walks and a wild pitch in his five innings of work. However, he was still tough on the Chiefs lineup, striking out six and allowing one run on only two hits. The third-inning score (by old friend Dan Butler) was only the second earned run allowed this season by Johnson. His ERA through 21 innings is a microscopic 0.86.
4/27 Cup of Coffee:Humberto Quintero and Matt Spring launched home runs for Pawtucket, and Derek Miller and Ben Moore gave the Drive a thrilling win in 14 innings. Manuel Margot continued is scorching start to 2015 with a big offensive day in Salem's doubleheader. The pitching staff for Greenville and Salem stepped up as well, highlighted by Ty Buttrey's five-innings of no-hit ball, while Kevin McAvoy (pictured, left)notched his first win.
It was a tough night for Pawtucket, as Keith Couch got roughed up for three runs in the first inning. The PawSox answered back in the top of the third when catcher Humberto Quintero hit a two-run shot, his third on the campaign. Couch ran into more trouble in the sixth, but this time the Pawtucket defense let him down with two errors. Miguel Celestino relieved Couch in the sixth and gave up four hits and two unearned runs. First baseman Matt Spring added a solo home run in the seventh, but it was not enough to overcome the early hole.
4/26 Cup of Coffee: Strong outings from starters Eduardo Rodriguez(pictured, right) and Michael Kopech headlined a solid day from top to bottom for the Red Sox' minor league affiliates. April once again lived up to its reputation for Salem, which postponed its game against Carolina – the team's third postponement in the last two weeks.
Eduardo Rodriguez turned in a remarkable performance for the PawSox, tossing a complete game and striking out seven while allowing only one run on three hits. The 6-foot-2 right hander now owns a 2-0 record this season with a 1.93 ERA. Rodriguez' complete game comes on the heels of another seven inning effort from fellow Pawtucket starter Brian Johnson, who threw a complete game of his own on Wednesday.
4/25 Cup of Coffee: Solid work at the plate helped Pawtucket and Portland find the winners circle on Friday. Salem struggled to get clutch hits in a loss to Carolina, and Greenville split a doubleheader.
Henry Owens picked up his first victory of 2015, hurling five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and four walks, striking out five. Heath Hembree and Tommy Layne each added an inning of scoreless relief out of the bullpen.
The PawSox got off to a quick start, plating three in the first inning on Quintin Berry's RBI double and a sacrifice fly from Luke Montz. An RBI ground out off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr., in addition to a Blake Swihart RBI single in the second, gave Pawtucket a comfortable advantage.
Due to Thursday's postponement, the two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 4:05 PM.
4/24 Cup of Coffee: Greenville walked off to their fifth straight win in a row on a Derek Miller RBI single. Salem tallied a dozen hits in its victoryand Joe Gunkel (pictured, left) picked up the win in a perfect long relief appearance on Thursday.
The start of the PawSox's four-gameseries against the Yankees AAA affiliate was postponed due to "unplayable field conditions" from a wintry mix that hit the Scranton area on Thursday. Pawtucket will play a doubleheader on Saturday now. Henry Owens will get the start for the PawSox on Friday night.
4/23 Cup of Coffee:Jacob Dahlstrand (pictured) continued his impressive start to the season, going seven strong innings, allowing just one unearned run in Salem's win Wednesday afternoon. Michael Chavis collected two more hits in Greenville's win, while Jackie Bradley Jr. and Bryce Brentz stayed hot for Pawtucket.
Despite 10 strikeouts for knuckleballer Stephen Wright, the PawSox fell to the Buffalo Bisons yesterday afternoon. Pawtucket grabbed a run in the bottom of the first when center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. singled and scored on a double by designated hitter Bryce Brentz. Wright cruised through two innings, but ran into trouble in the third, yielding three runs to Buffalo. He gave up another three runs in the fifth, and ended his day giving up nine hits, six runs (five earned), and three walks in six innings. The Pawtucket offense struggled, mustering just one hit after the fifth inning. Bradley Jr. went 2 for 4 with a double and two runs and Brentz collected two doubles on the day. Bradley Jr. added an outfield assist.
4/22 Cup of Coffee: Brian Johnson (pictured)and Ty Buttrey have been two of the best pitchers in the system so far this year, and that was no different last night, as each pitcher earned the victory with seven strong innings of work. Matt Spring delivered a walk-off single for the PawSox, while Manuel Margot kept rolling in Salem.
In a game that took less than 90 minutes, Brian Johnson breezed through the Buffalo lineup on his way to a complete game shutout. Over seven innings Johnson allowed only two hits, while walking one and striking out five as he lowered his ERA to 0.56. The PawSox did not collect their first hit until the bottom of the seventh, when Travis Shaw led off with a double. Quintin Berry came on as a pinch runner, and scored on a Matt Spring single as the PawSox walked off with the win.
4/21 Cup of Coffee: The weather was uncooperative on Monday night, as both Pawtucket and Portland saw their games postponed by rain. Fortunately there was still plenty of action with a pair of extra-inning contests. Greenville capped its come-from-behind victory with a Michael Chavis (pictured, left) 10th-inning blast, while Salem squandered an early lead, falling in 11.
The first game of the series at McCoy Stadium between the International League's two hottest team was postponed because of heavy rain. The two clubs will play a make up game on Tuesday as part of a doubleheader.
SoxProspects.com's Matt Huegel chatted with top prospect Blake Swihart (pictured, left) and Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles on learning to catch Steven Wright's knuckleball. While the results were mixed at times, he held his own in Thursday's home opener, Huegel wrote.
SoxProspects.com Senior Staff Writer James Dunne took an in-depth look at the pitchers at lower levels in the Sox system. He wrote that 2014 third-round draft pick Jake Cosart is the top prospect to watch in those levels as he is projected to start the year in Lowell. He also noted that the stock of GCL Red Sox righty Gerson Bautista is rising coming off a 50-game suspension for testing positive for Stanozolol.
Dunne also broke down the mid-minors pitchers to keep an eye on, highlighting Michael Kopech and Trey Ball. He wrote that Kopech comes with a lot of risk, but still has a very high ceiling. Ball, meanwhile, will require patience in developing.