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SoxProspects News

April 20, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Weekly Notes: Webster, Owens and Workman among hot starters

Here are this week's minor league notes:

  • Three starting pitchers at three different levels are off to hot starts to the 2013 season. In High-A Salem, 6-foot-7 left-hander Henry Owens has pitched well in his first three starts, allowing only nine hits and five walks to go along with 16 strikeouts in his first 15 innings. In Portland, Brandon Workman(pictured) has punched out 25 batters in his first 18 innings of work, while only walking two. In just two starts at Pawtucket, Allen Webster is showing the buzz around his future this spring was the real deal. So far, the 23-year-old right-hander has struck out 12 batters in 10 innings pitched and has helped lead the PawSox to a 10-4 record to start the season. Webster's changeup has proved an effective weapon early this year, writes SoxProspects.com Managing Editor Matt Huegel. 
  • Other hurlers boasting strong starts to the season are Pawtucket's Terry Doyle and Portland's Anthony Ranaudo and Chris Martin. SoxProspects.com Northeast Scout Ian Cundall breaks down the early season successes of Ranaudo, Martin, Webster and others in scouting scratch.
  • While many pitchers have gotten off on the right foot this season, others, including heralded arms Rubby De La Rosa and Matt Barnes, have struggled in the early going. SoxProspects.com staff writer Kevin Pereria reports that De La Rosa, who has given up six earned runs and three home runs in 4 2/3 innings, will shed his 50 limit pitch count at the end of the month. Barnes followed up his abbreviated first start of the season, where he was pulled after throwing 30 pitches in the first inning, with another clunker as he surrendered five earned runs in 2 1/3 innings to New Britain(MIN) on April 14. 
  • At the dish, Salem infielders Garin Cecchini and Deven Marrero continued their hot starts to the season. Cecchini is in the top 10 in the Carolina League in hits and second in steals with four, while Marrero is tied for first in the league in doubles. However, second-baseman Sean Coyle was the most impressive Salem bat this week, bashing two home runs and driving in five in just five games. Coyle, who also has four stolen bases, is second in the league in slugging percentage at .703. 
  • Less than an hour before his 23rd birthday, news broke that Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. would be demoted to Pawtucket after 18 days with the big league club to make room for David Ortiz, who's been rehabbing is heel in Pawtucket.
  • A somewhat surprising choice for the Opening Day roster, Bradley's first taste of major league ball was a bit of a mixed bag. In his first two games in a Red Sox uniform, Bradley contributed in the team's two victories over the New York Yankees by amassing four runs, three walks, one hit and two RBI in his 10 plate appearances. His production dipped in his final days with the club, as he was hitless in his final 17 at-bats with nine strikeouts.
  • Despite his late struggles, Manager John Farrell praised SoxProspects.com's second-rated prospect for this contributions in all three phases of the game, writes Rob Bradford of WEEI.com
  • In other player movement news, knuckleballer Steven Wright was called up to the Red Sox roster to replace closer Joel Hanarahan, who was placed on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. The 28-year-old, who struck out 11 and walked seven in 10 innings at Pawtucket, has yet to see his first taste of big league action.
  • Making his major league debut this week was right-hander Alex Wilson. Wilson, who became the first Saudi Arabian born pitcher to appear in a major league game, pitched a clean inning in his debut against the Baltimore Orioles, writes Tim Britton of The Providence Journal.  Wilson led off the inning with a walk to Manny Machado, then induced a ground ball double play from Nick Markakis before striking out Adam Jones on three pitches. 
  • Mickey Pena and Gerson Bautista were suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball earlier this week for violating the drug policy. Pena, who pitched to a 2.95 ERA in 100 2/3 innings at Greenville last season, allowed one run and four hits in four innings on Tuesday, one day before he got hit with the suspension. The 22-year-old failed a second test for a drug of abuse. Bautista,  who is only 17-years-old, tested positive for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol while preparing to play in the Dominican Summer League.
  • On the SoxProspects.com podcast this week, Chris Hatfield talks to Senior Columnist Jon Meoli about his impressions of Salem's opening series and catches up with Director of Scouting Chris Mellen about the Sea Dogs opener as well as his notes from the spring.
  • Brandon Snyder and Martin took home Player and Pitcher of the Week honors for the first full week of the season. Snyder posted a .467/.600/.867 line from April 8-14. Martin, who was also named Eastern League Player of the Week, punched out five batters in two relief appearances. 

Photo credit: Brandon Workman by Kelly O'Connor.

Luke Lavoie and Kevin Pereira are Staff Writers for SoxProspects.com. Follow them on twitter @LukeALavoie and @KevinrPereira.