Boston Red Sox outfield prospect Juan Carlos Linares is already 26 and he’s played in only 13 games at the Double-A level. Does that mean fans should write him off as a potential major league contributor? Not necessarily.
A stocky, Kirby Puckett-esque center fielder with decent speed and gap power, Linares came up through the amateur ranks in Cuba with players such as Kendry Morales and then spent three seasons playing for La Habana in the Cuban League from 2007 to 2009. During the 2009 season, he hit .325 BA/.430 OBP/.588 SLG, leading his club to the league title.
The Red Sox announced that they have reached an agreement with the Portland Sea Dogs to extend their player development contract with the team through 2014. The contract was originally set to expire after the 2012 season.
Portland and Boston originally came together after the 2002 season, when the Sea Dogs' affiliation with the Florida Marlins expired. Portland's Hadlock Field was renovated to have a Fenway-like Green Monster along with having their sky boxes renamed in honor of legendary Red Sox players. Before signing on with Portland, Boston's Double-A franchise was the Trenton Thunder (now affiliated with the New York Yankees) from 1995-2002.
With a bevy of high-profile offseason acquisitions, Boston Red Sox fans certainly have a lot to be excited about for the upcoming season. Forty-seven miles down Route 95, Pawtucket Red Sox fans also have ample reason for enthusiasm, as the PawSox roster looks like it will be loaded with highly-regarded prospects and a number of other players with significant major league experience.
Gedman was named Lowell's hitting coach after spending 1980-1990 as a player in the Red Sox organization. A Worcester native, Gedman was a two-time All-Star for the Red Sox in 1985 and 1986. The 51-year-old spent the last six seasons managing the Worcester Tornadoes of the independent Can-Am League.
Davis, meanwhile, was named Hitting Coach for Triple-A Pawtucket. In 19 major league seasons with five different teams, Davis batted .270/.360/.451 and ranks 4th all-time among switch-hitters with 350 home runs. In the fall of 2010, he served as a part-time instructor for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Instructional League.
Below is a list of the other organizational moves announced by the Red Sox today.
Mike Murov- Named Assistant, Baseball Operations Tom Allison- Named Regional Crosschecker for the Midwest (scouting) Jon Adkins- Named Area Scout for Ohio Valley Chris Pritchett-Named Area Scout for Canada Andy Fox- Named Minor League Infield Coordinator Nate Field- Named Pro Scout John Lombardo- Named Pro Scout Hal Morris- Named Pro Scout Victor Rodriguez, Jr.- Named Scout for the Dominican Republic Basilio Alvarado- Named Dominican Summer league Catching Coach Oscar Lira- Named Dominican Summer League Assistant Pitching Coach
According to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark, the Red Sox have signed pitcher Tony Pena, Jr. to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. Pena, who first made it to the major leagues as a shortstop, converted to pitching in 2009 after struggling mightily at the plate over parts of four seasons. Last year in the San Francisco Giants organization, Pena had success with Double-A Richmond, posting a 2.53 ERA and striking out 41 in 46.1 innings, but struggled with Triple-A Fresno, getting hit to a 6.60 ERA and striking out just 21 in 30.0 innings.
Pena's name should be familiar to Sox fans. His father, Tony Sr., was the Red Sox' starting catcher from 1990 to 1993.
The Red Sox announced on Wednesday the 11 players who will participate in the club's annual Rookie Program. Beginning on January 10 and running for two weeks, the program is designed to help acclimate players who could potentially receive a major league call-up during the season with what to expect from the experience and what will be expected from them. The eleven players are:
The program includes two workouts daily that emphasize conditioning and strength training as well as concentration on fundamentals. In addition, the players will attend seminars that focus on the assimilation into major league life off the field and will visit the Dana Faber Cancer Institute to meet with young patients receiving treatments at the Jimmy Fund. They will also participate in a community service project with the Red Sox Foundation at The Children's Services of Roxbury Day Care facility.
A number of individuals will speak to the group, including President/CEO Larry Lucchino, General Manager Theo Epstein, manager Terry Francona, major league coaches Dave Magadan and Curt Young, and Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers.
A year after a deal to acquire Texas catcher Max Ramirez fell through, the Red Sox claimed Ramirez, who was designated for assignment Monday, off waivers from the Rangers. Ramirez, who hit .217 with 2 home runs and 8 RBI in 28 games for the Rangers last season, was slated to come to Boston last offseason in a trade for Mike Lowell. He spent the remainder of the season with Triple-A New Orleans, batting .286 with 3 home runs, 29 RBI and an OPS of .754 in 56 games. In seven minor league seasons, Ramirez has batted .298 with 78 homers and OPS of .872.
In a corresponding move, pitcher Matt Fox was designated for assignment. After allowing 2 runs on 4 hits in 5.2 innings in his only appearance for the Twins last season, Fox was claimed by Boston, where he put up those same numbers in 1.2 innings of work.
Luna, 31 in February, put up a line of .294/.367/.477 last season for Triple-A New Orleans in 97 games and played in 27 games for the Florida Marlins. He is primarily an infielder, seeing his most extensive time at shortstop, third, and second, but has played every position except pitcher and catcher in his career. He has batted .265 in the majors over parts of six seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays, and Florida Marlins.
He is expected to provide insurance as a utility man should Jed Lowrie or Marco Scutaro miss playing time.