June 1, 2012 at 12:00 PM
This week's minor league notes:
- The three day First Year Player Draft is only a few days away and SoxProspects.com has four articles to give you all the background info you need when it begins on June 4 at 7pm. Part One starts the series with a basic overview of the draft; Part Two covers the Red Sox recent draft history and strategy; Part Three is a complete first round mock draft from SoxProspects Forum Senior Moderator Adam Fox; and Part Four gives background information on some of the players the Red Sox could target over the three draft days.
- Tim Britton of the Providence Journal discusses how the Red Sox might have a different draft approach due in part to Major League Baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement.
- WEEI.com's Alex Speier provides an in-depth explanation of the new draft rules.
- Will Middlebrooks remains up with the Red Sox even after the return of Kevin Youkilis due to his strong play and the overall lack of infield depth at the top of the system. As Speier reports Middlebrooks is taking practice reps at shortstop, but would only be used there in an emergency situation. He was originally drafted as a shortstop before quickly being moved to third base.
- Should a need arise at shortstop the most likely call up would be Jose Iglesias. However, Iglesias has missed the last six games with back stiffness, and Speier notes that he was back in Boston on Thursday getting it evaluated further. He also says that sources indicate it is not a serious issue but may be out a few more games.
- The Providence Journal’s Brian MacPherson takes a look at why Ryan Lavarnway is not concerned by his slower start at the plate and discusses his plate approach.
- Daisuke Matsuzaka continues to work his way back from Tommy John surgery was the hard luck loser on Thursday night, throwing 5.1 innings with only 2 hits allowed. SoxProspects.com Senior Editor Matt Huegel spoke with Matsuzaka and manager Arnie Beyeler about the game and his physical progression.
- Huegel also looked at Iglesias’ recent success at the plate on ESPN Boston.
- Speier discusses Lars Anderson’s epic home run as well as Madison Younginer’s interesting season and why he might be better than his statistics indicate.
- Ross Ohlendorf talked to Tim Britton about his imminent opt-out clause.
- Bryce Brentz was off to a horrible start to the year at Double-A Portland as part of an offense that struggled on the whole to score runs. He has really turned that around in May, hitting .388/.439/.633.
- The Portland Sea Dogs had lots of transactions this week including sending Ryan Dent to the DL and calling up Nick Natoli from Greenville. They also promoted pitcher Billy Buttler to Triple-A Pawtucket and returned Chorye Spoone to Double-A Portland.
- Alex Speier discusses why there is still hope for Michael Almanzar as well as Drake Britton’s recent consistent success over his last seven starts.
- Pete Ruiz was placed on the DL for his hip, and Michael Gleason was promoted from Extended Spring Training to fill the roster spot.
- SoxProspcets.com Senior Columnist Jon Meoli opened up his Salem notebook this week, covering the promotion of Matt Barnes and how it effects Keith Couch, how Sean Coyle is dealing with his struggles, and Travis Shaw’s process and performance against the Orioles top prospect, Dylan Bundy.
- Meoli also spoke with Ryan Kalish who made his first appearance of the season Saturday for Salem. Kalish acknowledges that it has been a long process but is very excited to be back on the field after off-season shoulder surgery.
- Salem Red Sox play-by-play man Even Lepler sat down with Kalish, who also reflected on his surgery and discussed his road to recovery. Kalish’s stay in Salem was a short one and he was promoted to Double-A Portland on May 31.
- For ESPN Boston, SoxProspects.com Edior-in-Chief Mike Andrews covers Matt Barnes hot start to his professional career and recent promotion to the Salem Red Sox.
- Brandon Jacobs was activated from the Salem Red Sox DL on May 31.
Will Woodward is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com and Elizabeth Dreeson is a Special Contributor for SoxProspects.com. Follow Will on Twitter @SPWill and Elizabeth @Eli_DreeSox.