4/26 Cup of Coffee: With rain washing out both the Pawtucket and Portland games on Tuesday, it was the seventh day in a row there was not a full slate of games in the Red Sox system. Salem got right back to its winning ways with Austin Rei and Josh Ockimey leading a big inning. Greenville pounded out 13 hits, but Logan Boyd(pictured) was the most impressive Drive player with an excellent outing on the mound.
Pawtucket Red Sox vs. Indianapolis Indians (PIT), PPD.
The PawSox will make up Tuesday's rainout against Indianapolis on Thursday. Brian Johnson is slated to get the start in Wednesday's series opener.
The SoxProspects.com writing staff presents the System Restart, our season-opening, position-by-position preview of the Boston Red Sox farm system for 2017. This is the fifth of seven parts, featuring the system’s high-minors pitching.
Position at a Glance: In the high minors, the Red Sox lack potential starting pitching options but boast a bonanza of potential major league relief arms. The top options for spot starts in Boston are technically no longer prospects, and after that the drop off is steep, the departure of Michael Kopech in the Chris Sale trade leaving a hole on the depth chart. The current Portland rotation doesn’t boast any potential starting options unless Trey Ball can take a big step forward. Meanwhile, both levels feature pitchers in the rotation and bullpen who could contribute in a major league bullpen in the near future, the number perhaps approaching double digits. – Ian Cundall
Now in their sixth and fifth full seasons in the system, respectively, Owens and Johnson (pictured, above) need to prove that they can be relied upon to at least provide serviceable spot starts in order to provide value to the Red Sox, and they need to move forward from there if they want to have major league careers. Owens is overhauling his mechanics out of the wind-up, and so far, returns have been mixed: he has 20 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings over three starts, but has also walked 10 and given up a pair of home runs. Johnson got first crack at a spot start after two strong starts, getting through five innings that weren't great but could have been worse. With Spring Training darling Kyle Kendrick getting hit around in his first three starts—and, without options, in danger of being claimed by another team if called up for only a short-term fill-in role, the 2017 Red Sox probably need one of Owens or Johnson to figure things out in order to have success. – Chris Hatfield
4/25 Cup of Coffee: It was a quiet night on the farm, with two affiliates following the major league club with an off day. A trio of Greenville hurlers, led by Mike Shawaryn (pictured), combined on a 17-strikeout night, while Portland was shut out in their contest.
Despite an eight-hit effort, Portland could not string a rally together. Aneury Tavarez continues to patiently bide his time in Double-A, posting another two-hit night for the Sea Dogs and adding a stolen base. Tavarez has been so good for Portland that the 2-for-4 effort actually dropped his OPS by a point, to 1.023. Tzu-Wei Lin scuffled very early in the season, but he now is riding a seven-game hitting streak after Monday's 2-for-3 evening. Starter Jacob Dahlstrand took the loss, allowing four runs in 5 1/3 innings. Jake Cosart pitched a scoreless ninth.
Assistant director of scouting Chaz Fiorino has attended some games in Portland in the first few weeks of the season and discussed starts by Teddy Stankiewiczand Jalen Beeksin his most recent two editions of The Write-Up.
PORTLAND, Me. – Jalen Beeks returns to Portland to start 2017 after earning a mid-season promotion from High A Salem in 2016, splitting his 132 2/3 innings nearly evenly between the two levels in 13 starts at each (67 1/3 in Salem versus 65 1/3 in Portland). Beeks took the mound in the season’s second game as the Sea Dogs took on the Reading Fightin Phils at Hadlock Field. Here’s The Write-Up on his start.
Beeks has an undersized, filled-out frame with a strong lower half. He comes at you from the first base side of the rubber with a high three-quarters arm slot. He comes set with his hands just below his belt and brings them back up with a high leg kick as he turns his back towards the hitter at the height of his delivery. As his hands break, he brings his left arm behind his back leg with a wrist hook. As he delivers, his front foot gets down early and the arm lags behind, creating added stress on the arm and making it difficult to locate. All this movement and rigidness does create deception in the delivery, and coupled with his quick arm out front makes it tough to pick up the ball out of his hand.
4/24 Cup of Coffee: The Sea Dogs rode a furious ninth inning to a walk-off win against Trenton. Mike Olt (pictured)led the charge with a 3-for-5 performance, hitting a homer and the winning single. Salem lost both games of a doubleheader, scoring only one run on the day. Both Pawtucket and Greenville were rained out.
Pawtucket Red Sox, Gwinnett Braves (ATL) (PPD)
The PawSox and Braves were rained out on Sunday afternoon. The two teams meet again next weekend in Pawtucket and will likely make up the game with a doubleheader then.
Third baseman Mike Olt led the Sea Dogs to a walk-off win with his two-run single, capping a four-run ninth. Olt had a big game for Portland, going 3 for 5 with a home run and three RBIs. Tzu-Wei Lin also recorded three hits, including a home run and a triple. Trey Ball struggled with his control in a shaky performance, allowing five runs and four walks in 4 1/3 innings pitched. Luis Ysla, Austin Maddox, and Jamie Callahan kept Portland in the game with 4 2/3 combined shutout innings of relief.
4/23 Cup of Coffee: Both Jalen Beeks (pictured) and Darwinzon Hernandez had impressive pitching performances, while Nick Longhi slugged a home run for Portland. Pawtucket continued to struggle at the plate and Greenville was able to squeak out a late win.
Pawtucket's offensive woes continued in a loss to the Braves. Blake Swihart went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts to lower his average to .189, and Deven Marrero went 0 for 4 with a strikeout as his average dropped to .103. Sam Travis went 2 for 4 but is still hitting only .175 with an OPS of .592.
4/22 Cup of Coffee: Josh Ockimey (pictured) had a huge day at the plate in game one of Salem's doubleheader with a pair of long balls. Michael Chavis also homered for Salem and Bobby Dalbec had a big night in Greenville's 18-inning loss. Shaun Anderson continued his hot start on the mound for the Drive as well.
Rusney Castillo went 3 for 5 atop the PawSox order, including his third steal of the year. He is now batting .321 on the young season. Ryan Court drove in both Pawtucket runs with a fourth-inning two-run homer as part of his 2-for-3 night. Kyle Kendrick delivered seven innings and allowed three earned runs and Kyle Martin finished the game with a pair of strikeouts in his only inning of work.
PORTLAND, Me. -- Teddy Stankiewicz returned to Double-A Portland to start 2017, taking the ball in the Sea Dogs’ home opener on April 7 against the Reading Fightin Phils. Here’s The Write-Up on his start.
Stankiewicz has a lean, lanky, athletic build and is most likely fully developed. He has a semi-wind-up, rhythmic delivery in which he drops his hands to belt and brings them back up with his high leg kick before dropping and driving towards the plate. The ball comes from a low three-quarters arm slot. He repeats his delivery well, which helps his ability to throw strikes consistently with a four-pitch mix (fastball, curveball, slider, changeup).