SoxProspects News

December 30, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Red Sox re-sign left-hander Rich Hill to minor league deal


Rich Hill (Kelly O'Connor)
Per John Tomase of the Boston Herald, the Red Sox have re-signed left-handed reliever Rich Hill to a minor league deal with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. 

Hill, 31, was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the fourth round of the 2002 amateur draft. The Massachusetts-native spent the majority of his career as a starting pitcher for both the Cubs (2005-2008) and Baltimore Orioles (2009). In the winter of 2010, Hill signed as a minor league free agent with the St. Louis Cardinals, but opted out of the contract in June. The Red Sox quickly signed Hill to a minor league contract and he pitched very well in his time with the organization, compiling a 3-1 record with a 3.74 ERA in 19 appearances (6 starts) with Triple-A Pawtucket and hurling 4.0 scoreless innings with Boston. 

The left-hander began the 2011 season with Pawtucket, impressing with a 1.12 ERA in 10 relief appearances, striking out 18 in 16.0 innings. Hill was called up to Boston on May 5 and was dominant in 9 appearances out of the bullpen, not allowing a run while striking out 12 in 8.0 innings pitched. He underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9 after tearing an elbow ligament during a game on May 29. The 6'5" southpaw has a chance to become a key member of the Boston bullpen in 2012 if all goes well with the rehabilitation.

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at 12:17 PM

Ryan Kalish to miss start of 2012 season


The Boston Globe is reporting that outfielder Ryan Kalish had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. The surgery was performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum back on November 8, and will sideline Kalish until May at the earliest. The shoulder surgery follows a September procedure to repair a bulging disc in his neck.

Kalish, 23, was injured in the second inning of Pawtucket’s April 21 game making a diving catch on a Michael Aubrey line drive. He left the game, and did not return to the PawSox lineup until August, appearing in only eight games before shutting down for the season and electing to have surgery

The Red Sox 2009 Minor League Player of the Year, Kalish is currently ranked the second prospect in Boston’s system on SoxProspects.com. Despite his injury-shortened 2011 season, Kalish was expected to compete for the starting right field position in spring training. He hit .252/.305/.405 with 4 home runs and 10 stolen bases in 179 major league plate appearances in 2010.
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December 28, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Prospect analysis: What Sox lost for Bailey


The Boston Red Sox have sent outfielder Josh Reddick, first baseman Miles Head and right-hander Raul Alcantara to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for closer Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney. Here’s a look at the players the Red Sox are giving up as part of the deal. 

Check out the full column at ESPN Boston.
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at 6:21 PM

Red Sox acquire reliever Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney in five player trade


As first reported by ESPN's Buster Olney, the Red Sox have acquired reliever Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for outfielder Josh Reddick, first baseman Miles Head and pitcher Raul Alcantara.

Bailey, 27, was originally drafted in the sixth round of the 2006 amateur draft out of Wagner College. The right-hander quickly became one of the top relievers in baseball by going 6-3 with a 1.84 ERA, 26 saves, and 91 strikeouts in 83.1 innings pitched as a rookie in 2009. The impressive debut earned Bailey American League Rookie of the Year honors and his first All-Star Game invitation. Bailey followed up his stellar 2009 campaign with an impressive 2010 season, posting a 1.47 ERA with 25 saves. In 2011, Bailey compiled a 3.24 ERA with 24 saves and 41 strikeouts in 41.2 innings. The 6'3" closer features three quality pitches, a curveball, four-seam fastball, and cutter. Bailey is under Red Sox control until 2014 and is eligible for arbitration this offseason.

Sweeney, 26, was originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the second round of the 2003 amateur draft. The left-handed hitting outfielder was a former top prospect in the Chicago system before being traded to Oakland in 2008 as part of a package for Nick Swisher. Sweeney is a versatile outfielder who is known for his strong defensive skills and is adept at all three positions. In 2011, Sweeney appeared in 108 games, hitting .265/.346/.341 with 1 home run and 25 RBI. A career .283/.342/.378 hitter, Sweeney appears to be an option for Boston's opening in right field and is also eligible for arbitration after making $1.4 million in 2011.

Reddick, 24, was selected by the Red Sox in the 17th round of the 2006 amateur draft. The left-handed hitting outfielder impressed in 2007 with Low-A Greenville, hitting .305/.351/.530 with 18 home runs and 72 RBI in 95 contests. He followed the 2007 campaign with another solid season in 2008 with Greenville, High-A Lancaster and Double-A Portland, hitting a combined .311/.356/.544 with 23 home runs and 91 RBI. Reddick made his major league debut in 2009, hitting .169/.210/.339 with 2 home runs and 4 RBI in 59 at-bats. Due to injury to Red Sox right-fielder J.D. Drew, Reddick saw significant time with Boston in 2011, hitting .280/.327/.457 with 7 home runs and 28 RBI in 87 games.

Head, 20, was drafted by Boston in the 26th round of the 2009 amateur draft. The right-handed hitting first baseman had a breakout year in 2011 with both Low-A Greenville and High-A Salem, hitting .299/.372/.515 with 22 home runs, 82 RBI and 37 doubles in 129 games. At the time of the trade, Head was ranked 17th on SoxProspects.com.

Alcantara, 19, was signed by the Red Sox as an international free agent in July of 2009. In his rookie season with the Dominican Summer League Red Sox in 2010, Alcantara went 5-3 with a 3.28 ERA in 13 starts. The right-hander made his American debut in 2011, splitting time between the Rookie-Gulf Coast League Red Sox and the Short Season A-Lowell Spinners, posting a 1-4 record with a 2.20 ERA in 13 starts. At the time of the trade, Alcantara was ranked 25th on SoxProspects.com.

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December 26, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Caribbean League Roundup: December 19-25


Here are how Red Sox prospects fared over the past week in the Caribbean and around the world:

Venezuelan Professional Baseball League

Franklin Morales (Leones del Caracas): Made two relief appearances, tossing 2.1 flawless innings, striking out 3 and picking up the save on Tuesday against Caribes.

Justin Thomas (Leones del Caracas): The 27-year-old left-hander had a busy week, appearing in four contests, hurling 1.1 innings, allowing 1 run on a walk.

Ryan Lavarnway (Bravos de Margarita): Left Venezuela due to sickness. His last game was on October 23.

Ronald Bermudez (Leones del Caracas): Has not played since November 6.

Oscar Perez (Tiburones de La Guaira): Perez appeared in two games for La Guaira earlier in the season, but has primarily played for the Red Sox team in La Liga Paralela (see below).

Mexican Pacific League

Tony Thomas (Algodoneros de Guasave): Went 2 for 12 with a home run, 3 RBI, 2 runs scored and a walk in three games this week.

Jesus Loya (Naranjeros de Hermosillo): Has played sparingly and did not see game action this week.

Marco Duarte (Aguilas de Mexicali): Did not see any game action this week. Currently is 5-1 with a 2.83 ERA in 11 starts this offseason.

Dominican Winter League - Play concluded on December 21. Playoffs begin December 27.

Tony Pena (Aguilas Cibaenas): Pena finished his offseason with a 3.20 ERA with 3 saves in 23 relief appearances.

Felix Sanchez (Tigres del Lacey): Went 0 for 5 with a walk, RBI and stolen base in three games. Sanchez concluded his fall play without recording a hit in 5 at-bats, adding an RBI and stealing 4 bases in 8 contests.

Stolmy Pimentel (Estrellas de Oriente): Last pitched on November 23. Finished the offseason with a 2-1 record with a 3.94 ERA in 7 games (2 starts).

Oscar Tejeda (Gigantes del Cibao): Did not play since October 25, recording just 1 hit in 8 at-bats this offseason.

Puerto Rico Baseball League

Mike Aviles (Leones de Ponce): Failed to make an appearance this week. Aviles is currently hitting .289/.413/.526 with 2 home runs and 5 RBI in 10 games this offseason.

Henry Ramos (Leones de Ponce): Was 1 for 9 with a run scored in 2 games played. 

Christian Vazquez (Indios de Mayaguez): Did not make an appearance this week. Last played on November 20.

Australian Baseball League

Boss Moanaroa (Sydney Blue Sox): Did not see game action this week due to the All-Star break.

Mitch Dening (Sydney Blue Sox): Went 1 for 3 with 2 walks as the starting center fielder for the Australian team in the Australian League All-Star Game.

Justin Erasmus (Brisbane Bandits): Tossed a scoreless sixth inning, allowing 2 hits as a member of the Australian team during the Australian League All-Star Game.

Colombian Winter League

Reynaldo Rodriguez (Monteria): Was 6 for 16 with 2 doubles, 4 RBI and 2 runs scored in 5 games this week.

Liga Paralela (Liga Venezuela Beisbol Professional)- All participants are part of the Red Sox Bravos de Margarita squad. Play concluded on December 16, statistics are season ending totals. 

Oscar Perez - Hit .308/.357/.400 with 9 RBI in 18 games played.

David Sopilka - Hit .293/.369/.364 with 10 RBI and a stolen base in 31 contests.

Ricardo Betancourt - Went 2-3 with a 4.93 ERA in 10 appearances (9 starts).

Yeiper Castillo - Compiled a 4.00 ERA in 6 starts, striking out 16 in 18.0 innings pitched.

William Cuevas - Went 2-3 with a 3.55 ERA in 9 appearances (8 starts).

Jose Espitia - Only tossed a total of 2.0 innings across two appearances, allowing 4 runs on 2 hits and 5 walks.

Elis Jimenez - Went 3-2 with a 4.03 ERA in 10 relief appearances.

Leonel Vazquez - Compiled a 6-0 record with a 2.76 ERA in 10 appearances out of the bullpen.

Michael Almanzar - Had a stellar fall campaign, hitting .325/.428/.608 with 8 home runs, 10 doubles and 29 RBI in 34 games.

Andres Garcia - Hit .253/.368/.274 with 8 RBI in 29 games played.

Aly Gonzalez -Appeared in 26 games, hitting .229/.349/.271 with 7 RBI.

Deiner Lopez - Hit .252/.389/.282 with 10 RBI and 7 stolen bases in 33 games played.

Heiker Meneses - Hit .391/.463/.565 with 8 doubles, 2 triples and 12 RBI in 20 contests.

Cleuluis Rondon - Hit .307/.393/.395 with 2 home runs, 18 RBI and 4 stolen bases in 34 games.

Aneury Tavarez - Hit .198/.297/.279 with a home run, 10 RBI and 6 stolen bases in 31 contests. 

Wilfred Pichardo -in 34 games, Pichardo hit .306/.363/.478 with 4 home runs, 4 triples, 19 RBI and 8 stolen bases.

Jeremias Pineda - Hit .263/.407/.284 with 8 RBI and 16 stolen bases in 30 games.
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December 18, 2011 at 11:13 PM

Caribbean League Roundup: December 12-18


Here are how Red Sox prospects fared over the past week in the Caribbean and around the world:

Venezuelan Professional Baseball League

Franklin Morales (Leones del Caracas): Tossed 3.1 scoreless innings of relief across three appearances, allowing 2 hits and a walk while punching out 5. Morales has yet to allow a run in 19.2 total innings pitched, striking out 23. 

Justin Thomas (Leones del Caracas): Made two relief appearances, tossing 3.0 innings, allowing 1 run on 4 hits and a walk.

Ryan Lavarnway (Bravos de Margarita): Left Venezuela due to sickness. His last game was on October 23.

Ronald Bermudez (Leones del Caracas): Has not played since November 6.

Oscar Perez (Tiburones de La Guaira): Perez appeared in two games for La Guaira earlier in the season, but has primarily played for the Red Sox team in La Liga Paralela (see below).

Mexican Pacific League

Tony Thomas (Algodoneros de Guasave): Appeared in six contests, going 3 for 23 with an RBI, 2 runs scored, 3 walks and a stolen base. Thomas also struck out 9 times.

Jesus Loya (Naranjeros de Hermosillo): Has played sparingly and did not see game action this week.

Marco Duarte (Aguilas de Mexicali): Received the start on Friday against Mochis, tossing 5.0 innings, allowing 1 run on 7 hits while punching out 4.

Dominican Winter League

Tony Pena (Aguilas Cibaenas): Made two relief appearances totaling 0.2 innings, allowing 3 hits.

Felix Sanchez (Tigres del Lacey): Entered his only contest of the week on Friday, collecting a stolen base as a pinch runner.

Stolmy Pimentel (Estrellas de Oriente): Did not appear this week. Last pitched on November 23.

Oscar Tejeda (Gigantes del Cibao): Has not played since October 25.

Puerto Rico Baseball League

Mike Aviles (Leones de Ponce): In three games this week, he went 3 for 11 with a run scored, double, and 2 walks.

Henry Ramos (Leones de Ponce): Appeared in 4 contests, 2 as a defensive replacement, going 0 for 2.

Christian Vazquez (Indios de Mayaguez): Did not make an appearance this week. Last played on November 20.

Australian Baseball League

Boss Moanaroa (Sydney Blue Sox): Went 4 for 12 with 2 runs scored, a home run, 5 RBI and a walk in four games this week.

Mitch Dening (Sydney Blue Sox): Appeared in three contests, going 2 for 8 with a run scored, a double, an RBI and 2 walks.

Justin Erasmus (Brisbane Bandits): Tossed 2.0 innings of scoreless relief over two appearances, allowing just 1 hit. 

Colombian Winter League

Reynaldo Rodriguez (Monteria): Did not see any game action this week due to four straight rain outs.

Liga Paralela (Liga Venezuela Beisbol Professional)- All participants are part of the Red Sox Bravos de Margarita squad.

Oscar Perez - Did not get into a game this week.

David Sopilka - Went 5 for 16 with 2 runs scored, a walk and 2 RBI in 4 games.

Ricardo Betancourt - Picked up the victory on Thursday against Tampa Bay, hurling 5.1 innings, allowing 5 runs, 3 earned, on 10 hits, striking out 2.

Yeiper Castillo - Received the start on Tuesday against La Guaira, tossing 3.0 innings, allowing a hit and a walk, striking out 4.

William Cuevas - Was charged with the loss on Tuesday against La Guaira, twirling 5.0 innings of relief, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk, striking out 10.

Jose Espitia - Did not appear this week.

Elis Jimenez - Hurled 2.0 innings of relief on Friday against Caracas, allowing a run on 3 hits and a walk, striking out 1.

Leonel Vazquez - Added a scoreless inning of relief against Caracas on Friday, allowing 2 walks and striking out 1.

Michael Almanzar - Did not make an appearance this week.

Andres Garcia - Appeared in 4 games, going 2 for 14 with a run scored and 4 walks.

Aly Gonzalez -Went 4 for 11 with an RBI, run scored and 2 walks in 4 games.

Deiner Lopez - Was 4 for 13 with 2 runs scored, 2 walks and 2 RBI.

Heiker Meneses - Did not appear this week.

Cleuluis Rondon - In 4 games, Rondon went 3 for 14 with 2 runs scored an RBI and 2 walks.

Aneury Tavarez - Did not see any game action this week.

Wilfred Pichardo -Did not see any game action this week.

Jeremias Pineda - Did not see any game action this week.
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December 14, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland traded to Astros for Mark Melancon


Jed Lowrie (Kelly O'Connor)
Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Red Sox have traded Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland to the Astros for RHP Mark Melancon. 

Melancon was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 9th round of the 2006 Draft. He put up very good numbers in his minor league career and he was eventually traded to the Astros as part of the deal that brought Lance Berkman to New York in 2010. Melancon has three above-average pitches with his fastball, cutter, and curveball, and he has good command of all three pitches. In 2011 he pitched 74.1 innings with a 2.78 ERA, 66 strikeouts, and 26 walks, and was 20 for 25 in save opportunities. He forces a lot of groundballs, and his excellent groundball to fly ball ratio makes him well suited for Fenway Park. The status of the Red Sox bullpen is still up in the air, and Melancon's role has yet to be determined. Whether Daniel Bard is the closer, or if a free-agent like Ryan Madson is signed remains to be seen, but this move provides depth to the back-end of the bullpen.

Lowrie had a promising future with the Red Sox, but injuries and inconsistent play made him expendable. Lowrie was drafted in the supplemental first round of the 2005 Draft out of Stanford with the compensation pick for losing Orlando Cabrera. He got off to a great start in Lowell putting up an OPS of .887 in 53 games. Lowrie spent all of 2006 in High-A Wilmington, where he had a disappointing season. An ankle injury in May limited his production and he finished the year playing in 97 games with a .726 OPS. He bounced back in a big way in Portland in 2007, batting .297 with a .410 on-base percentage and .501 slugging percentage. Those numbers, combined with his average defense at shortstop, made him a top prospect. He was ranked fifth on the SoxProspects rankings at the end of 2007.

2008 saw Lowrie get his first taste of the majors as injuries to Mike Lowell and Julio Lugo made the Red Sox call up the versatile infielder. Lowrie played 134 games between Boston and Pawtucket in 2008, which is by far the most in his career. The most games he has played in a season since 2008 was 93 this year. From 2008 to 2010, Lowrie bounced back and forth between Boston and Pawtucket. He put up great numbers after the All-Star break for Boston in 2010, and that earned him a spot on the Red Sox to start 2011. While he was the starting shortstop over Marco Scutaro in the beginning of 2011, a shoulder injury forced Lowrie to miss time in June, and Scutaro produced well in his absence. The Red Sox are set to go into 2012 with Scutaro as the starting shortstop and use Mike Aviles as the utility man. Long-term, Lowrie was blocked in Boston by Jose Iglesias, and becasue Lowrie was going into his first year of arbitration eligibility, he was going to start getting more expensive.

Weiland was drafted in the third round of the 2008 draft out of Notre Dame. It seemed like a reach at the time because Weiland had an ERA over 5.00 in both his sophomore and junior years of college. The Red Sox saw a projectable arm with limited mileage who they could convert into a middle of the rotation starter. Weiland went to Lowell after he signed in 2008 and put up dominating numbers with a 1.50 ERA in 60.0 innings pitched with 10 walks and 68 strikeouts. He went straight to High-A Salem in 2009 where he spent the entire year. He put up good strikeout numbers, but showed iffy command, walking 57 in 132.2 innings pitched. The 2010 season was up and down for Weiland. He started off in Portland where the jump to Double-A proved to be a difficult one. In April, he had a 9.00 ERA in 14.0 innings. He bounced back to have a great May and June before struggling again in July and August. He ended the season with 128.1 innings pitched, a 4.42 ERA, and a 120/49 K/BB ratio.

2011 looked to be a breakout year for Weiland as he put up great numbers from April to June. He kept his strikeout rate up while lowering his walk rate. This performance caused him to jump in the SoxProspects rankings, and on June 17th, he was the eighth ranked prospect on the site. The Red Sox noticed his improvement and called him up to bolster the major league rotation which was troubled by injuries and poor performance. Unfortunately, Weiland could not do much to stop the bleeding and his final line of 24.2 innings pitched with a 7.66 ERA and a 13/12 K/BB ratio was one of many poor pitching performances the Red Sox saw down the stretch. This trade offers a great opportunity for Weiland. He was going to begin the year in Triple-A, but now he has a chance to make the Astros rotation out of spring training. His delivery and average control probably make Weiland destined for the bullpen, but moving out of the AL East makes him more likely to stick in the back-end of a rotation.
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December 13, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Red Sox sign catcher Kelly Shoppach


Kelly Shoppach (Elsa/Getty Images)
As Jerry Crasnick first reported, the Red Sox have signed catcher Kelly Shoppach to a one-year guaranteed deal worth $1.35 million, which is expected to be announced later today. Last season for Tampa Bay, Shoppach hit .176/.286/.339 with 11 home runs over 87 games, although he hit much better against left-handed pitching both last season (.241/.344/.444) and historically (.274/.373/.536), making him a very good potential platoon partner with Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Shoppach's baseball life now comes full circle, returning to the team that drafted him in the second round of the 2001 amateur draft. He began his career in 2002 at High-A and advanced up to Triple-A in 2004. He made his major league debut in 2005, going hitless in 15 at-bats for the Sox. Before the 2006 season, he was traded to Cleveland along with Andy Marte, Guillermo Mota, Randy Newsom, and cash in return for Coco Crisp, David Riske, and Josh Bard. Shoppach peaked at number 3 on the SoxProspects.com rankings in early 2004, and was ranked in the site's top 10 from its inception until his trade to Cleveland. He was voted a SoxProspects.com All-Star after the 2005 season by members of the site's forum.

The signing of Shoppach most likely means that Ryan Lavarnway will start the year at Triple-A Pawtucket, where his focus will be on improving his defense. The signing also likely means the end of Jason Varitek's fifteen-year career with the Red Sox, over which he hit .256/.341/.435 over 1,546 games.
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December 12, 2011 at 7:42 AM

Caribbean League Roundup: December 5-11


Here are how Red Sox prospects fared over the past week in the Caribbean and around the world:

Venezuelan Professional Baseball League

Franklin Morales (Leones del Caracas): Tossed 2.0 scoreless innings of relief across two appearances, allowing no hits and punching out 4. Morales has yet to allow a run in 15.1 total innings pitched, striking out 16. 

Justin Thomas (Leones del Caracas): Thomas made his debut on December 9. Hurled 1.1 innings of relief across two appearances this week, allowing just 1 walk. 

Ryan Lavarnway (Bravos de Margarita): Hit .357/.550/.429 in 14 at-bats over five games before leaving Venezuela due to sickness. His last game was on October 23.

Ronald Bermudez (Leones del Caracas): Has not played since November 6. Line sits at .154/.185/.192 in 26 at-bats over 13 games.

Oscar Perez (Tiburones de La Guaira): Perez appeared in two games for La Guaira earlier in the season, but has primarily played for the Red Sox team in La Liga Paralela (see below).

Mexican Pacific League

Miguel Gonzalez (Venados de Mazatlan): Received the start on December 9 against Mexicali, hurling 6.0 shutout innings, allowing 2 hits and a walk while striking out 8 to pick up the victory.

Tony Thomas (Algodoneros de Guasave): Appeared in six contests, going 6 for 18 with 2 doubles, 3 RBI, 2 runs scored and 2 stolen bases.

Jesus Loya (Naranjeros de Hermosillo): After not appearing since October 22, Loya returned to action on December 8, going 0 for 1 in his lone at-bat. Also appeared as a late-inning replacement on December 10 and 11.

Marco Duarte (Aguilas de Mexicali): Duarte was acquired by the Red Sox in exchange for their Rule 5 selection, Marwin Gonzalez, after the Astros selected Duarte in the Triple-A phase of the draft. He has been working exclusively as a starter in the Mexican League, going 5-1 with a 2.93 ERA to date. In his latest start on December 10 against Mazatlan, Duarte picked up the victory for his 6.2 innings of work, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk, striking out 5.

Dominican Winter League

Tony Pena (Aguilas Cibaenas): Totaled 1.1 innings of relief over two appearances, not allowing a base runner while striking out 1.

Felix Sanchez (Tigres del Lacey): Appeared in two games but went without a hit in his lone at-bat. Managed to pick up his second stolen base against Estrellas on the 11th. 

Stolmy Pimentel (Estrellas de Oriente): Did not appear this week. Last pitched on November 23.

Oscar Tejeda (Gigantes del Cibao): Has not played since October 23. He technically entered the game on October 25 as a pinch hitter, but did not complete the at-bat, perhaps because of an opposing pitching change.

Puerto Rico Baseball League

Mike Aviles (Leones de Ponce): In three games this week, he went 3 for 9 with a run scored, RBI, 4 walks and a stolen base.

Henry Ramos (Leones de Ponce): Failed to make an appearance this week. Last played on November 27.

Christian Vazquez (Indios de Mayaguez): Did not make an appearance this week. Last played on November 20.

Australian Baseball League

Boss Moanaroa (Sydney Blue Sox): Did not appear this week due to Sydney having an extended break since their last game on December 4. 

Mitch Dening (Sydney Blue Sox): Did not appear this week due to Sydney having an extended break since their last game on December 4.

Justin Erasmus (Brisbane Bandits): Tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless relief on December 9 against Perth, allowing 1 hit.

Colombian Winter League

Reynaldo Rodriguez (Monteria): Had a quiet week at the plate in his three games, going 2 for 10 with a double.

Liga Paralela (Liga Venezuela Beisbol Professional)- All participants are part of the Red Sox Bravos de Margarita squad.

Oscar Perez - Did not get into a game this week.

David Sopilka - Went 2 for 6 with 2 RBI and a run scored in three contests.

Ricardo Betancourt - Pitched a complete game victory on December 6 against Navegantes, tossing 5.0 innings, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk, striking out 3.

Yeiper Castillo - Did not appear this week.

William Cuevas - Received the loss in his start on December 5 against Caribes, allowing 6 runs on 4 hits and 5 walks in just 1.2 innings pitched.

Jose Espitia - Did not appear this week.

Elis Jimenez - Hurled 2.0 innings of relief on December 9 against Zulia, allowing just 2 hits.

Leonel Vazquez - Moved to 6-0 thanks to 3.0 innings of perfect relief against Zulia on December 9.

Michael Almanzar - Was 3 for 15 with 2 runs scored and an RBI in 4 games. 

Andres Garcia - Appeared in 4 games, going 4 for 15 with an RBI.

Aly Gonzalez -Went 0 for 4 in his lone start this week.

Deiner Lopez - Was 3 for 12 with a run scored in 4 contests.

Heiker Meneses - Did not appear this week.

Cleuluis Rondon - In 4 games, Rondon went 3 for 12 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI.

Aneury Tavarez - Appeared in three games, going 1 for 7 with an RBI and a stolen base.

Wilfred Pichardo -Went 4 for 16 with 2 RBI and a run scored in 4 contests.

Jeremias Pineda - Was 4 for 13 with 5 runs scored in 4 games.
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December 10, 2011 at 12:41 AM

Red Sox sign right-handed pitcher Doug Mathis


As reported by Baseball America, the Red Sox have signed right-handed pitcher Doug Mathis.

Mathis, 28, was originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 13th round of the 2005 draft out of the University of Missouri.  His six years in the Rangers system included 45 appearances at the major league level between 2008 and 2010, during which he went 3-3 with a 4.84 ERA and 1 save. His best season was 2009, when he had a 3.16 ERA and 25 strikeouts over 42.2 innings pitched. 39 of Mathis' 45 career major league appearances have come out of the bullpen, but he has been used almost exclusively as a starter while in the minor leagues.

After leaving the Rangers organization following the 2010 season, Mathis had quite a journey in 2011. He signed with the Indians in the offseason, but was released at the end of spring training. Over the next three months he split 17 starts between the Triple-A affiliates of the Giants and Athletics, going 0-5 and posting a 4.27 ERA. After being released by Oakland on July 14, Mathis signed with the Samsung Lions of the Korean Baseball Organization, where he had a 5-2 record and a 2.52 ERA, helping Samsung win its fourth championship in 10 years. Back stateside, Mathis is likely to begin 2012 at Triple-A Pawtucket. 
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December 8, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Red Sox trade Rule 5 selection, infielder Marwin Gonzalez, to Astros for right-hander Marco Duarte (Updated)


With the 10th overall selection in the Rule 5 draft, the Red Sox selected infielder Marwin Gonzalez of the Chicago Cubs. However, according to a report from WEEI.com's Alex Speier, Boston will trade Gonzalez to the Astros for right-hander Marco Duarte, whom Houston selected in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft from the Rockies.

Duarte, a native of Mexico, has played in the Mexican League for the past three seasons while remaining property of the Rockies. The Mexican League is considered a Triple-A circuit. Duarte made 23 appearances in 2011 at age 24, 19 of those starts, going 12-4 with a 4.94 ERA. He struck out 93 batters and walked 53. Prior to last season, Duarte had worked almost exclusively out of the bullpen for two seasons.

Duarte's most recent State-side experience came in 2010, when he made nine appearances for the Single-A Asheville Tourists. In 12.1 innings, he gave up 24 hits, struck out 10, and walked 9, posting a 9.49 ERA. Per another Speier tweet, Duarte throws his fastball up to 94 mph, and also features a curve and changeup.

Gonzalez, 22, has been a part of the Cubs organization since 2006. Last season, Gonzalez split time between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa, hitting .288/.343/.400 with 4 home runs and 39 RBI in 124 games. Gonzalez has played all over the field, seeing time at at every infield position except catcher as well as getting some experience in the outfield. Gonzalez, a switch hitter, has been playing for Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League, hitting .321/.369/.357 with 16 RBI in 28 games.
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at 10:37 AM

Red Sox grab catcher Gerardo Olivares in Triple-A phase of Rule 5 draft


In the Triple-A phase of the 2011 Rule 5 Draft, the Red Sox selected Tampa Bay Rays catcher Gerardo Olivares

Olivares, 23, has been a member of the Tampa Bay organization since 2007. Last season with the Short Season A-Hudson Valley Renegades, Olivares hit .298/.355/.488 with 2 home runs and 18 RBI in 24 games. In his five minor league seasons, Olivares has caught 42% of attempted base stealers. 
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at 10:08 AM

Red Sox lose Cabral to Kansas City in Rule 5 Draft (Updated: Cabral traded to Yankees)


Cesar Cabral (Dave Letizi)
With the 5th overall pick of the 2011 Rule 5 Draft, the Kansas City Royals selected Red Sox left-hander Cesar Cabral. 

Cabral, 22, was selected in last year's Rule 5 Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, compiling a 5.59 ERA in 9.2 innings during Spring Training. He was ultimately returned to Boston at the end of the Spring and began the 2011 season with High-A Salem. In just 12 relief appearances with Salem, Cabral posted a 1.62 ERA with 8 saves and 24 strikeouts in 16.2 innings pitched. He was promoted to Double-A Portland midway through May,  posting a 2-4 record with a 3.52 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 38.1 innings. 

Following up his stellar 2011 season, Cabral has dazzled this winter with Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League. Through December 6, Cabral has compiled a 0.87 ERA with 2 saves and 12 strikeouts in 10.1 innings of relief. 

In order for Cabral to stick with the Royals, he must now remain on the 25-man roster for the entire 2012 season or be on the active major league roster for 90 days before any disabled list trips. If he fulfills the second requirement, he would have to be active for an additional 23 games in the 2013 season in order to have his Rule 5 status lifted.

As with any Rule 5 draftee, Cabral can be traded, waived, or offered back to the Red Sox at any time. Since Cabral was selected in last year's Rule 5 draft, he does not have to be offered back to the Red Sox if he clears waivers, he can elect for free agency.

UPDATE: Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that the Royals immediately traded Cabral to the New York Yankees for cash.
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at 9:30 AM

Red Sox sign left-handed reliever Jesse Carlson


First reported by Robert Mayer of the Berlin Patch, the Red Sox have signed southpaw reliever Jesse Carlson

Carlson, who will turn 31 on December 31, was originally drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 15th round of the 2002 amateur draft. After spending six seasons in the minors with the Detroit, Houston, Texas and Toronto organizations, Carlson made his major league debut in 2008. During his freshman campaign with the Blue Jays, Carlson was a key member of the Toronto bullpen, compiling a 7-2 record with a 2.25 ERA in 69 relief appearances, striking out 55 in 60.0 innings pitched. He spent all of 2009 as a member of the Blue Jays bullpen, posting a 4.66 ERA in 73 outings. Carlson's last major league work came in 2010, when he pitched in 20 contests, compiling a 4.61 ERA in 13.2 innings. 

Over his 8 season minor league career, Carlson has compiled a 31-13 record with a 3.50 ERA and 32 saves in 332 games. He missed the entire 2011 season due to rotator cuff surgery and will be looking to win a spot in the Boston bullpen during the spring. If Carlson fails to crack the major league roster, he will start the 2012 season as a member of Triple-A Pawtucket. 
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December 5, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Westmoreland set to appear in first game action since 2010


Ryan Westmoreland (Dave Letizi)
WEEI's Alex Speier reports that outfielder Ryan Westmoreland will face live pitching this week in the Dominican Instructional League, marking his first game action since undergoing surgery for a cavernous malformation on March 16, 2010. He will serve as the designated hitter and receive one at-bat Thursday and two on Friday. 

Westmoreland, 21, was originally drafted in the fifth round of the 2008 amateur draft out of Portsmouth High School (RI), forgoing a commitment to play collegiality at Vanderbilt University. He burst on to the scene in his first professional season in 2009 as a member of the Short Season-A Lowell Spinners, hitting .296/.401/484 with 7 home runs, 35 RBI and 19 stolen bases in 60 games before he experienced a season ending collarbone injury. 

Westmoreland received full medical clearance to participate in game action yesterday and the Red Sox organization also expressed its confidence that he was ready for this important step in his rehabilitation. The road to recovery has been slow but steady for the Rhode Island native, and this latest step is the most recent sign that Westmoreland has worked extremely hard to get to where he is now. The game action is not necessarily a precursor to Westmoreland resuming a normal playing schedule for Spring Training, and no further timetables have been set at this time. 
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December 4, 2011 at 9:12 PM

Caribbean League Roundup: November 28-December 4


Here are how Red Sox prospects fared over the past week in the Caribbean and around the world:

Venezuelan Professional Baseball League

Franklin Morales (Leones del Caracas): Tossed 2.0 scoreless innings of relief on Thursday against Anzoategui, allowing 1 hit and striking out 2.

Ryan Lavarnway (Bravos de Margarita): Hit .357/.550/.429 in 14 at-bats over five games before leaving Venezuela due to sickness. His last game was on October 23.

Ronald Bermudez (Leones del Caracas): Has not played since November 6. Line sits at .154/.185/.192 in 26 at-bats over 13 games.

Oscar Perez (Tiburones de La Guaira): Perez appeared in two games for La Guaira earlier in the season, but has primarily played for the Red Sox team in La Liga Paralela (see below).

In other news of note to long-time Sox fans, the Bravos de Margarita fired manager and former Red Sox Don Baylor on Monday. Margarita is last in the VWL in most relevant offensive categories, including runs, average, on-base percentage, and slugging, and presently sits in last place at 19-28.

Mexican Pacific League

Miguel Gonzalez (Venados de Mazatlan): Received the start on December 4 against Navojoa, tossing 1.2 innings, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks, striking out 2.

Tony Thomas (Algodoneros de Guasave): Went 8 for 23 with 2 home runs, 4 RBI and 8 runs scored in six games. An 0-for-4 on Sunday snapped a six-game hitting streak, during which he went 11-for-22 with 3 home runs, 6 RBI and 10 runs scored.

Jesus Loya (Naranjeros de Hermosillo): Loya has not played since October 22.

Dominican Winter League

Stolmy Pimentel (Estrellas de Oriente): Did not appear this week. Last pitched on November 23.

Cesar Cabral (Aguilas Cibaenas): Made two appearances out of the bullpen, hurling 1.1 innings of relief, allowing 1 hit while striking out 1. Picked up the save on November 30 against Escogido. 

Oscar Tejeda (Gigantes del Cibao): Has not played since October 23. He technically entered the game on October 25 as a pinch hitter, but did not complete the at-bat, perhaps because of an opposing pitching change.

Tony Pena (Aguilas Cibaenas): Came on in relief on November 30 against Escogido, failing to record an out, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk. He redeemed himself on Sunday with a scoreless inning of relief, allowing 1 hit. The former Major League shortstop also pinch ran in Aguilas' 17-inning win on Saturday, getting stranded on third base in the 12th inning.

Felix Sanchez (Tigres del Lacey): The speedy Sanchez played his first game on November 27. He has pinch run twice, scoring both times and stealing one base. Coincidentally, he has pinch run for two former Red Sox, Tim Federowicz and Wily Mo Pena.

Puerto Rico Baseball League

Mike Aviles (Leones de Ponce): Made his first appearance on November 30. In four games this week, he went 5 for 18 with 2 home runs, 4 RBI, 3 runs scored, and two steals. He had a monster game to lead Ponce to victory on Sunday, going 2 for 5 with 2 home runs, 4 RBI, 2 runs, 2 walks, and a stolen base.

Henry Ramos (Leones de Ponce): Failed to make an appearance this week. Last played on November 27.

Christian Vazquez (Indios de Mayaguez): Did not make an appearance this week. Last played on November 20.

Australian Baseball League

Boss Moanaroa (Sydney Blue Sox): Appeared in 5 games, going 5 for 16 with 4 RBI and a walk.

Mitch Dening (Sydney Blue Sox): Made his first appearance for Sydney on December 1. Has gone 5 for 17 with 2 doubles, 4 RBI, and 2 runs scored in four games. He also stole 3 bases on Sunday while going 2 for 4 with a walk.

Justin Erasmus (Brisbane Bandits): Made two relief appearances, hurling 2.0 innings, allowing 1 run on 1 hit and a walk.

Colombian Winter League

Reynaldo Rodriguez (Monteria): Went 2 for 7 with a home run, RBI and 2 walks in two games.

Liga Paralela (Liga Venezuela Beisbol Professional)- All participants are part of the Red Sox Bravos de Margarita squad.

Oscar Perez - Went 2 for 12 with a run scored and an RBI in three contests. 

David Sopilka - Was 5 for 14 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI in 4 games.

Ricardo Betancourt - Received the start on November 28th against Tiburones, hurling 6.0 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits, striking out 5.

Yeiper Castillo - Did not appear this week.

William Cuevas - Picked up the victory for his start on November 30th, tossing 6.0 innings, allowing 2 unearned runs on 6 hits and a walk, punching out 6.

Jose Espitia - Did not appear this week.

Elis Jimenez - Picked up the victory on November 28th, twirling 3.0 innings of relief, allowing 1 hit and 2 walks while striking out 2.

Leonel Vazquez - Moved to 5-0 thanks to his 4.0 innings of relief against Seattle on December 2nd, allowing just 4 hits and a walk while striking out 2.

Michael Almanzar - Went 1 for 13 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI in 4 contests.

Andres Garcia - Went 3 for 9 with 3 runs scored and 4 RBI in 4 games.

Aly Gonzalez -Was 2 for 4 with a run scored in his lone appearance.

Deiner Lopez - Went 1 for 6 with a run scored in two contests.

Heiker Meneses - Did not appear this week.

Cleuluis Rondon - Was 5 for 13 with 5 RBI and 2 runs scored in 4 appearances.

Aneury Tavarez - Went 1 for 6 with a run scored in 2 games.

Wilfred Pichardo -Was 4 for 14 with a run scored in 4 contests.

Jeremias Pineda - Went 5 for 14 with 2 RBI and 5 runs scored in 4 games.
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