Hey, remember when we had a podcast? Well, we actually still do, although it's been a minute since the last episode. Chris Hatfield, Chris Mellen, Matt Huegel, and, eventually, Mike Andrews discussed the rising "new core" of homegrown Sox players, and how that core could be factoring in to the organization's planning. They also discussed their internal debates when ranking the system's top 10 prospects.
The Dominican Winter League playoffs began as the Mexican Pacific League and the Venezuelan Winter League Regular Seasons came to a close.
Dominican Winter League
The Dominican Winter League's round-robin playoffs began this week as two Red Sox prospects saw action in the four team tussle.
Mauro Gomez (pictured) opened the playoffs in a big way with a 2 for 5 evening that included a solo home run against Aguilas. On Friday, Gomez was 1 for 5 with a home run, two RBI and a run scored against Estrellas. In his final two games of the week, Gomez was 1-6. Escogido is currently 2-2.
Tony Pena Jr. made two appearances this week. On Thursday against Escogido, Pena tossed 3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits. In a short appearance on Saturday against Estrellas, Pena walked the only batter he faced.
The Red Sox finalized their trade for relief pitcher Joel Hanrahan on Wednesday, acquiring the right-hander and infielder Brock Holt from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for right-handers Stolmy Pimenteland Mark Melancon, first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands, and infielder Ivan De Jesus, Jr.
The trade filled off-field needs for both clubs: The Pirates shed Hanrahan's salary, which in his third year of arbitration was projected by MLB Trade Rumors' Matt Swartz to be just under $7 million, while the Red Sox open up a spot on their 40-man roster, which they immediately filled by announcing the signing of free agent shortstop Stephen Drew.
Mauro Gomez took home his second MVP award this season as the Dominican Winter League's regular season came to a close. In Panama, five Red Sox farmhands debuted as the league got underway on Tuesday.
Dominican Winter League
The Dominican Winter League's regular season ended this week and the playoffs will begin shortly. The top four teams (Aguilas, Estrellas, Toros and Escogido) will play a round robin 18-game schedule to determine the top two squads, who will play for the championship.
Mauro Gomez (pictured) was awarded co-MVP honors this week along with former Red Sox farmhand Hector Luna. Gomez was 2 for 14 with a home run and four RBI to wrap up the regular season. Gomez finished the regular season hitting .242/.370/.451 with eight home runs and 38 RBI.
Alberto Rosario was 1 for 4 with a double in limited action. Rosario finished the regular season hitting .222/.329/.302 in 30 games.
Pedro Ciriaco saw his first game action since November 19 by 1 for 6 with an RBI and a run scored in three games this week.
First baseman Mauro Gomez (pictured), who took home the International League MVP award earlier this year for his performance with the Pawtucket Red Sox, won another Most Valuable honor on Friday, sharing the award in the Liga de Beisbol Profesional de la Republicana Dominicana (Dominican Republic Professional Baseball League) with a former PawSox, Hector Luna.
Gomez played in 49 games for Leones del Escogido (Escogido Lions), hitting .242/.369/.455 with 10 doubles, two triples, eight home runs, 33 runs scored, and 37 RBI in 178 at-bats. He led the league in runs scored and runs batted in, and had two game-winning grand slams.
Perhaps validating the team's decision to wait until absolutely necessary to designate Pedro Beato for assignment, the right-hander has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket. The news was reported earlier today by Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. Beato was designated for assignment on Wednesday and apparently immediately was placed on waivers.
The Red Sox acquired Beato from the Mets for catcher Kelly Shoppach in an August trade.
The Red Sox announced several personnel moves in the front office on Thursday. The information below mostly mirrors the Red Sox press release.
Jared Banner has been promoted to Assistant Director, Player Personnel after serving as Coordinator, Amateur Scouting from 2011-12. Banner joined the organization as Red Sox Fellow in baseball operations in 2007 and served as Assistant, Player Development in 2008-09 and Assistant, Amateur Scouting in 2010.
The Red Sox have announced that right-hander Pedro Beato has been designated for assignment. The move corresponds with today's official signing of Ryan Dempster.
Beato, 26, came to the Red Sox in August as part of the trade that sent catcher Kelly Shoppach to the Mets. He made four appearances with the Red Sox after the deal, allowing four runs in 7 2/3 innings, winning his only decision. He also appeared in four games for the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox, giving up only one unearned run in 5 innings pitched.
Marco Duarte and Ivan DeJesus highlighted Winter League action this week as they continued to put together stellar offseasons.
Dominican Winter League
Mauro Gomez started the week off hot with a grand slam against Gigantes on Thursday followed up by a 1 for 3 evening the next night with with two runs scored against the same foe. After an 0 for 4 on Saturday, Gomez was 1 for 5 with an RBI double on Sunday.
Alberto Rosario found his way into just two contests this week, going 1 for 5.
Tony Pena Jr. tossed 2 2/3 innings of relief, allowing one hit and two walks, striking out six. Pena picked up his first save on Saturday against Escogido.
The Dominican Winter League's All-Star contest happened on Tuesday as they faced off against the Venezuelan League All-Stars. No Red Sox prospects appeared in the contest as the Dominican League prevailed, 8-2.
According to Baseball America, the Red Sox have signed infielder Jonathan Diaz to a minor league contract.
Diaz, 27, was originally drafted in the 12th round of the 2006 amateur draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2012, Diaz spent time with both Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Las Vegas, hitting .221/.339/.284 with four home runs and 40 RBI. A utility-man who has played second, short and third, Diaz figures to spend time with both Portland and Pawtucket in 2013.
The Red Sox formally announced their 2013 minor league coaching staffs on Friday. The breakdown for each team is as follows:
Manager: Gary Disarcina Pitching Coach: Rich Sauveur
Hitting Coach: Dave Joppie
Trainer: Jon Jochim
Disarcina returns to the Boston organization after spending the past two seasons with the Los Angeles Angels as special assistant to the general manager and field coordinator. Disarcina previously managed Short-Season A Lowell from 2007-2009, winning back-to-back division titles in 2008 and 2009. Sauveur enters his sixth season with the PawSox, while Joppie will be making his debut with Pawtucket after spending the past four seasons in the same capacity with Portland.
Sandy Rosario's waiver roller coaster continued on Wednesday, as the right-hander was claimed on waivers by the Chicago Cubs. It marks the third time this offseason that Rosario has been claimed on waivers and fourth time he has changed teams. To re-live his whirlwind offseason, see our post from Monday, when the Red Sox claimed him on waivers for the second time.
The Red Sox 40-man roster now sits at 38. With the pending additions of Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, and Koji Uehara still to come, expect to see more roster movement in the next week or so.
As the Red Sox front office continues to build the major-league roster for the coming season, the roster for the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox also is beginning to take shape. After winning the Governor’s Cup in 2012, the 2013 team will be led by newly anointed manager Gary DiSarcina and will be built on a similar construct of major-league-ready prospects, former big leaguers and career minor leaguers with untapped potential.
Many of this group will see time in Boston in 2013, evidenced by the fact that a whopping 26 players were called up directly from the PawSox roster to Boston in 2012 (not including the 10 players recalled from injury rehab assignment). Here’s a (very) early roster projection for the 2013 PawSox on ESPN Boston.
Maureen Mullen of CSNNE.com is reporting that the Red Sox have hired former major leaguer Gary DiSarcina to be the next manager of the PawSox. DiSarcina will be replacing Arnie Beyeler, who will now be the first base coach in Boston. DiSarcina, who was raised in Billerica, Massachusetts, returns to Red Sox organization where he managed the Lowell Spinners from 2007 to 2009 and spent the 2010 season as the minor league infield coordinator.
DiSarcina spent the last two years in the Los Angeles Angels organization, where was a special assistant to the General Manager and minor league field coordinator. DiSarcina spent his entire playing career with the Angels, where he was considered one of the best defensive shortstops of the 1990s.
Less than two weeks after trading him to the Oakland A's the Red Sox claimed right-handed pitcher Sandy Rosario off waivers on Monday. Oakland designated Rosario for assignment back on November 30, three days after receiving acquiring him.
New faces joined the ranks of Red Sox prospects playing worldwide while Mauro Gomez, Reynaldo Rodriguez and Marco Duarteeach had stellar weeks to highlight action.
Dominican Winter League
Mauro Gomez (pictured) continued to find his hitting stroke as he went 9 for 27 with two doubles, two home runs and six RBI in seven games this week. Gomez has caught fire after a slow start to the campaign and is now hitting .257/.379/.461 with six home runs and 28 RBI.
Alberto Rosario, who signed as a minor league free agent with the Red Sox on Wednesday, was 1 for 8 with two runs scored in limited action. The 25-year-old catcher is known for his defensive ability and is currently hitting .222/.344/.296 with seven RBI this offseason.
Tony Pena Jr. tossed 1 1/3 innings of relief, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out three in three appearances this week.
We here at SoxProspects.com are proud to call ourselves part of the extended Red Sox baseball community, and when someone in your community needs your help you should do whatever possible to aid them. Over the years many have helped us along the way, and it is only right to give back.
Which brings me to Grand Slam for Sandy, a charity started by Portland Sea Dogs catcher, Jayson Hernandez, who grew up in Jackson, NJ. All money raised by Grand Slam for Sandy goes towards aiding the victims and families effected by Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged the East Coast earlier this year. Many lost power, heat, or even their homes and the recovery has only just begun.
Godfrey, 28, has appeared in ten games, making eight starts, over the last two seasons with Oakland, going 1-6 with a 5.09 ERA in 46 innings pitched. Coming off of a strong 2011 in which he went 14-3 with a 2.92 ERA at Triple A Sacramento, he made the Oakland rotation out of 2012 spring training. Godfrey had his best start of the year in his first one, allowing two runs on six hits in 6 innings against Kansas City, taking the tough 3-0 loss. He failed to get into the sixth in any of his other outings, and was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento in late May.
Capping off a busy day, the Red Sox received right-handed pitcher Kyle Kaminska to complete their prior trade of Zach Stewart to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
After being drafted in 2007 by the Marlins, Kaminska had spent his entire career in that organization before being traded to Pittsburgh at this year's trade deadline along with first baseman Gaby Sanchez in exchange for outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and a draft pick. For the season, Kaminska pitched 81 2/3 innings, striking out 66 and walking just 11 batters, allowing 98 hits.
The Red Sox selected three players in Thursday morning's Rule 5 Draft. In the major league phase of the draft, the Red Sox selected second baseman Jeff Kobernus of the Washington Nationals organization, then traded him to the Detroit Tigers for minor league utility player Justin Henry. In the Triple-A phase of Rule 5, the Red Sox selected left-handed pitcher Jack McGeary, also from the Nationals and a graduate of Roxbury Latin, and right-handed pitcher Jonathan Bachanov from the Chicago White Sox.
Henry, a 27-year old who spent all of 2012 with Triple-A Toledo, split most of his time between second base, third base, and center field last season, making brief appearances in left and right field as well. In parts of three seasons at the Triple-A level, he sports a .296/.369/.356 line in just under 750 plate appearances. He will bring important versatility to a Pawtucket roster that recently lost utility playerNate Spears to Cleveland as a minor league free agent.
Two Red Sox pitchers were selected in the Rule 5 Draft Thursday morning, with right-handerJosh Fields going first overall to the Houston Astros and fellow right-hander Ryan Pressly going fourth overall to the Minnesota Twins.
Fields, who was acquired at the trade deadline in 2011 from Seattle along with Erik Bedard, has pitched well during his time with the Red Sox. Over two seasons, he has thrown 75 2/3 innings, allowing only 48 hits with an ERA of 2.26, while walking 28 and striking out 103. He saved his best for the end of last season, as he allowed only one run over his final 15 2/3 innings with Portland, and then did not allow a run in 13 2/3 innings following his promotion to Pawtucket.
Fields features a low-90s fastball that can touch 95 and a 12-6 curveball that flashes plus potential. Despite the good velocity, Fields’ fastball is very straight, and he sometimes gets away with fastballs that are up in the zone that major league hitters will not miss. The 27-year-old has a good chance of sticking in the Astros bullpen, so expect to see him a few times as the Astros move to the American League.
The Red Sox have announced that they have signed right-handed reliever Anthony Carter to a minor league contract. Rotoworld reports that the deal includes an invitation to spring training. Carter became a free agent when he was non-tendered by the Chicago White Sox last week.
Carter, 26, was originally drafted by the White Sox as a starting pitcher in the 26th round of the 2005 draft. After moderate success as a starter, he converted to the bullpen in 2010, and his initial results were excellent. As a member of the Double-A Birmingham Barons he posted a 3.92 ERA, stuck out 58 batters in 57 1/3 innings, and notched 22 saves, earning a spot on the Southern League All-Star team. Assigned to the Arizona Fall League, Carter continued to shine, posting a 3.60 ERA in ten appearances, making the AFL Rising Stars Team. The White Sox rewarded this performance by adding him to their 40-man roster in November 2010.
The Red Sox today officially announced that they signed five minor league free agents. Among the signings were pitchers Terry Doyle, Oscar Villarreal, and Jose De La Torre. Utilityman Drew Sutton (pictured) and outfielder Mitch Maier were also officially inked.
Doyle's signing was first reported by Chris Hatfield of SoxProspects in early November. The 27-year-old Doyle compiled a 2.83 ERA in 76 1/3 innings pitched for Triple-A Charlotte in the Chicago White Sox system last season before asking for his release and ending the season with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League.
The most widely discussed player movement of the month came at the 40-man roster deadline, as the Red Sox added six players and designated another five for assignment. SoxProspects.com Executive Editor Chris Hatfield offered his First Take on the decision to add pitchers Allen Webster, Alex Wilson, and Steven Wright, catchers Dan Butler and Christian Vazquez, and outfielder Alex Hassan to the roster, while designating infielders Ivan DeJesus and Danny Valencia and pitchers Sandy Rosario, David Carpenter, and Zach Stewart.
DeJesus is the only one of the five players designated for assignment who will remain in the Red Sox organization. He cleared waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Pawtucket, where he is currently slotted as the starting shortstop, and serves as valuable depth in case injuries strike the major league infielders. Valencia, Rosario and Stewart were dealt to Baltimore, Oakland, and Pittsburgh, respectively. Carpenter was claimed off waivers by the Atlanta Braves.
Several position players had strong weeks, led by Ivan De Jesus and Henry Ramos, and Anthony Ranaudo was shut down with a groin injury
Dominican Winter League
After being added to the Red Sox 40-man roster two weeks ago, Steven Wright took the hill for his fifth appearance for the Leones del Escogido. Wright gave up 11 hits in five innings, allowing four runs, two earned, while walking none and striking out three. It was his first non-quality start for Leones.
Stolmy Pimentel was strong in his second straight appearance, allowing one run on two hits in three innings. Pimentel has walked only seven in his 23 innings this winter, but has also allowed 25 hits, including four home runs.
Although the minor league season begins in April and ends in September, in reality, minor league baseball is a year-round enterprise. Following the end of the regular season and playoffs, minor leaguers participate in the Fall Instructional League, Arizona Fall League and various foreign winter leagues.