April 26, 2013 at 1:10 PM
Here are this week's minor league notes:
- A pair of players acquired last season made their major league debuts this week. Allen Webster (pictured), ranked third on SoxProspects.com, was called upon to pitch game two of Sunday's doubleheader. He impressed, delivering a quality start. Steven Wright, recalled a week earlier, made his debut in miserable conditions on Tuesday night. Both were optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket after their appearances.
- Reaction to Webster was very positive, both in terms of his results and his stuff. John Tomase of The Boston Herald was impressed by the way Webster maintained his poise following Alex Gordon ripping his first pitch off the Green Monster and scoring on an error. At WEEI.com, Annie Maroon also praised Webster's poise.
- Webster also appeared several times on SoxProspects.com Editor-in-Chief Mike Andrews' list of the top tools in the Red Sox system on ESPNBoston.
- Beyond Webster and Wright, the Red Sox somewhat unexpectedly called upon a pair of post-prospects this week. Daniel Bard, sent to Double-A Portland to begin the season, was recalled to take Wright's place on the roster before Wednesday's game. Tim Britton of The Providence Journal writes that the coming roster crunch may make Bard's stay a short one, Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports Bard has a chance to win a long-term opportunity with the club.
- Catcher Ryan Lavarnway was recalled the day after Bard. At Over The Monster Marc Normandin looks at how the current roster construction made Lavarnway the clear option when the Red Sox needed an extra bat off the bench. Lavarnway's stay is likely to be a short one, with John Lackey expected return for Sunday's game against Houston.
- Lackey is in position to rejoin the major league club after a solid start with Portland on Monday. Lackey tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings in the Sea Dogs victory.
- Top 2012 draft pick Deven Marrero left Monday's game with a pulled hamstring, and was placed on the 7-day disabled list. Marrero was off to a strong start, with a .294/.400/.451 and eight doubles in 14 games. Salem radio broadcaster Evan Lepler reports that it is not considered a major injury.
- Other injury notes:
- Closer Joel Hanrahan is expected to make a rehab appearance on Friday for Pawtucket, reports Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Hanrahan has not pitched since April 13.
- In the same report, Abraham says that Craig Breslow will pitch Saturday and Sunday for Pawtucket, and will evaluate how he feels after the consecutive appearances. Breslow was ineffective in his first rehab outing Tuesday in Portland, allowing three hits and a walk while not recording an out against the four batters he faced.
- Franklin Morales was scheduled to make his second rehab start on Wednesday with Portland, but it was pushed back due to pectoral soreness, reports Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal.
- Sean Coyle was off to a scorching hot start with Salem until a jammed thumb knocked him out of action for a week. He returned this week to no ill effects, reports Speier - he homered in his first at-bat back on Wednesday night, and once again on Thursday. The second baseman has nine extra-base hits in 46 at-bats, including five home runs, tying him for most in the system. He is currently sporting a Ruthian .761 slugging percentage.
- It was a rough introductions to the majors for spring training phenom Jackie Bradley, Jr., SoxProspects.com's second-ranked player. Optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket last Friday, the center fielder is quickly getting back on track, writes Sam Dykstra at MLB.com. Bradley reached base four times apiece on Monday and Tuesday, and is 7 for 22 with the PawSox.
- JD Sussman at Fangraphs warned on Monday not to get too worried about the slow start for top prospect Xander Bogaerts (pictured). As if on cue, Bogaerts went 7 for 14 with three triples since Sussman's article.
- Lacking organizational depth at third base, Justin Henry has been seeing significant time there for Pawtucket. The utility man, acquired in the offseason for Rule 5 pick Jeff Kobernus, has played in six games at the hot corner. While he has some experience, with 60 games there in his six seasons, Henry has primarily been a second baseman and outfielder. The move has not hurt his bat -- Henry is off to a .354/.441/.438 start for the PawSox.
- The signing, struggles, and resurgence of Michael Almanzar are chronicled by Kevin Thomas of the Portland Press-Herald. Almanzar, trying to re-establish himself as a legitimate prospect, has enjoyed a big April for Portland.
- Matt Eddy of Baseball America had notes on a trio of Red Sox this week:
- Lefty Manny Rivera will come back throwing from a lower arm slot. Rivera has struggled over the past two seasons at High A Salem, with a 5.97 ERA in 104 innings, and the Red Sox are hoping they can duplicate the success of other left-handers, such as Tommy Hottovy, who broke out after changing their delivery.
- Oscar Perez, signed as a catcher to a $712,500 bonus out of Venezuela in 2008, will attempt to convert to the mound. Perez possessed plus defensive skills and a strong arm behind the plate, but he did not develop as a hitter, bottoming out with a .148/.186/.200 line with Lowell last season.
- Mike Meyers, a 12th round pick in the 2012 draft who impressed with the bat in the Gulf Coast League, will move to the outfield after playing exclusively the middle infield last season.
- Former Red Sox prospect Stephen Fife was recalled by the Dodgers on Sunday to take the place of the injured Chad Billingsley in the Los Angeles rotation. Fife was one of the many moving parts in the 2011 deal that brought Erik Bedard to the Red Sox.
- SoxProspects.com congratulates Bob Socci, the current play-by-play man for the Pawtucket Red Sox, on being named to the same position with the New England Patriots for the 2013 NFL season. Socci will join Scott Zolak in the booth, and replaces the legendary Gil Santos.
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Photo Credit: Allen Webster and Xander Bogaerts by Kelly O'Connor
John Gray and James Dunne are Staff Writers for SoxProspects.com. Follow John on Twitter @JohnRGray and James @JamesMDunne.