March 18, 2015 at 2:22 PM
The Red Sox announced their first six cuts from major league camp on Wednesday, optioning infielders Sean Coyle (pictured) and Travis Shaw to Triple-A Pawtucket and reassigning right-handed pitchers Miguel Celestino, Noe Ramirez, and Keith Couch and first baseman Bryan LaHair to minor league camp.
Coyle, the 13th-ranked prospect at SoxProspects.com, appeared in eight games this spring, seeing time at both second and third base, and went 2 for 7 with a double and three walks. Coyle, 23, may have seen more playing time, but missed four days after getting hit in the lip with a ground ball during morning drills, requiring stitches. The 2010 third-round draft pick hit .295/.371/.512 with 16 long balls in 97 games for Portland last season before participating in the Arizona Fall League.
Shaw, who turns 25 in April, was having a nice spring with the big club, picking up seven hits in 20 at bats, including two doubles and a home run. The 2011 ninth-round pick out of Kent State earned praise from manager John Farrell for his performance with the major leaguers, especially after taking former Sox reliever Andrew Miller deep. He had a nice bounce-back season in 2014, hitting .278/.353/.473 with a system-leading 21 home runs between Portland and Pawtucket. Shaw is currently ranked 18th on the SoxProspects.com rankings.
Ramirez pitched just 1 1/3 innings for the Red Sox this spring, allowing one run on two hits. The deceptive, 25-year-old right-hander spent all of the 2014 regular season in Portland, posting a 2.14 ERA with 18 saves before being added to the PawSox roster during their playoff run. He is ranked 30th on the SoxProspects.com rankings.
The 25-year old Couch threw 2 1/3 innings this spring, allowing no runs on two hits and striking out two. A 2010 13th-round pick out of Division II Adelphi, Couch posting a 2.96 ERA in 17 starts and one relief appearance for Portland in 2014, and participated in the Arizona Fall League for a second consecutive season. He presently is 44th on the SoxProspects rankings.
Celestino also got little run with the big club this spring, throwing 1 1/3 scoreless innings over two appearances, allowing a hit and striking out one. The 25-year-old has been with the Red Sox organization since 2010, when he was acquired from Seattle as the player to be named later in the Bill Hall-for-Casey Kotchman trade. The Dominican righty had success in Portland in 2014, posting a 3.07 ERA, but struggled to the tune of a 5.16 ERA when he was called up to Pawtucket. He is 54th in the SoxProspects rankings.
LaHair, who has just under 600 major league plate appearances to his name tallied in 2008, 2011, and 2012 with the Seattle Mariners and Chicago Cubs, struggled this spring, collecting just one hit and two walks in 19 plate appearances while striking out seven times. The 32-year-old played both first base and left field in camp, and had been signed as a minor league free agent this offseason after spending 2014 in the Cleveland Indians organization, mostly with Double-A Akron.
All six players will now compete for spots on Pawtucket's roster, with assignments to Portland a possibility for the pitchers and LaHair depending on the depth at that level entering the season. The Red Sox now have 51 players in major league camp, including 38 from the 40-man roster and 13 non-roster invitees.
Photo credit: Sean Coyle by Kelly O'Connor