May 4, 2012 at 1:00 PM
This week’s minor league notes:
|Will Middlebrooks |
- The biggest news this week was Will Middlebrooks' call-up and MLB debut. He went 2 for 3 with a double, walk, and stolen base. He should have the opportunity to play almost every day while Kevin Youkilis is on the disabled list. As Director of Scouting Chris Mellen notes in The Book, one of the key areas to watch is how Middlebrooks adjusts to advanced secondary offerings. Alex Speier looks at the the making of Will Middlebrooks.
- Clayton Mortensen was the less celebrated call-up on Wednesday, replacing Lars Anderson who was optioned back to Triple-A. Mortensen had a strong Red Sox debut with 3 shutout innings, allowing only 1 hit and racking up 6 strikeouts. The long outing is of note because WEEI.com’s Alex Speier mentioned on Wednesday that Mortenson will move to the rotation when he goes back to Pawtucket.
- Jose Iglesias was optioned back to Triple-A on Thursday in order for the Red sox to activate Aaron Cook. Cook had a May 1 opt-out clause in his contract and he activated it, forcing the Red Sox to activate him or risk losing him. The Red Sox then announced he would take Josh Beckett’s start on Saturday as Beckett recovers from some soreness after his last start. Carl Crawford was moved to the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster.
- The Red Sox also signed Mark Prior to an MLB contract this week as CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman first reported. SoxProspects.com previously broke the news of his try out with the team on April 14.
- Pawtucket has lost seven of their last eight games. Mauro Gomez continues his powerful start and is now up to 9 home runs on the year, ranking second in the International League, tied with Middlebrooks. Mark Melancon continues to work his way back to the majors and now has pitched 6.2 innings at Triple-A without allowing a run or walk while giving up only 4 hits and striking out 11. If he keeps the dominance up it might not be too long before he is back with the Red Sox.
- Special Contributor Elizabeth Dreeson caught up with Ryan Lavarnway to discuss his defensive development as a catcher.
- Portland continues to struggle and at 7-19 are last in the Eastern League by a large margin. One bright spot is JC Linares who is third in the league in average (.364), second in OBP (.462), and first in OPS (1.059).
- Per Alex Speier, Anthony Ranaudo could join Portland this week in a piggyback role.
- Daisuke Matsuzaka also appeared in a game for Portland on Sunday going 4.2 innings, allowing 1 ER, 3 hits, and 2 walks with 7 strikeouts as he continues his rehab from Tommy John’s surgery. He will make his next start on Monday for Pawtucket.
- Senior Columnist Jon Meoli details Salem starting pitcher Brandon Workman’s impressive start on May 2, with comments from both Workman and Kevin Walker, his pitching coach. Workman won Carolina League Pitcher of the Week.
- Earlier this week, Matt Barnes was promoted to High A Salem after posting a 0.34 ERA over five starts. He gave up 12 hits over 26.7 innings, allowing only one run and posting a 0.60 WHIP. Meoli looked at how Barnes was able to share his promotion with his family. He will make his Salem debut Saturday.
- Mike McCarthy is being promoted from extended spring training to Greenville take Barnes' roster spot. McCarthy was a 14th round pick in last year's draft and made 17 appearances at Lowell last season with a 4.64 ERA.
- Dom Amare of The Hartford Courant noted Drive Manager Carlos Febles’ praise of Barnes, suggesting he could be in Fenway in 1-2 years if he continues to pitch the way he has.
- Tim Britton of the Providence Journal looked at Barnes’ particularly impressive start to the season.
- Barnes won an unprecedented fourth SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week and Jackie Bradley, Jr. won his first Player of the Week honor.
- In the month of April, Jackie Bradley Jr. batted an outstanding .359 for the Salem Red Sox. He had 27 hits in 28 games with 16 RBI and 17 walks for a .465 on-base percentage.
- Speier compared Xander Bogaerts’ impressive .867 OPS with some big names who had an OPS over .800 when they were in the Carolina League at age 19 or younger.
- Mike Andrews took a look at the best and worst of April of the farm system for ESPN Boston.
- After outstanding Aprils from both Barnes and Middlebrooks, it’s no wonder that they’re SoxProspects.com Players of the Month.