SoxProspects News

April 10, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Dahlstrand, Chavis kick off 2015 with a bang


4/10 Cup of Coffee: SoxProspects.com's Cup of Coffee returns for the 2015 season and with it comes the second Opening Day, rain-shortened no-hitter in as many years for a Red Sox minor league pitcher. A year after Henry Owens opened the Portland season with six innings of no-hit ball, Jacob Dahlstrand (pictured, left) went six innings without allowing a hit in Salem's opener. Not to be outdone, Michael Chavis made a splash in his Greenville Drive debut, blasting a solo home run and hitting a walk-off double. Only Mother Nature prevented a perfect night for Red Sox affiliates with a snow out in Portland.

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Brian Johnson tossed five solid innings of scoreless ball as the PawSox took advantage of five Lehigh Valley errors en route to the Opening Night victory. The big lefty struck out six, allowed four hits and walked just one before yielding to Noe Ramirez and then Heath Hembree, who earned the save in 1 2/3 innings of work. Though PawSox pitchers gave up seven hits, they were all singles. Rusney Castillo went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and a stolen base. He was also caught stealing. Jackie Bradley Jr. stroked a double on a 1-for-5 night and scored a run. Blake Swihart and Travis Shaw collected the only credited RBIs on the night for Pawtucket, with the other two runs coming on errors.

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Portland Sea Dogs vs. Reading Fightin Phils (PHI) - PPD.
Opening the season at home for Portland is always a risk and the gamble did not pay off as the snow that coated much of northern New England on Thursday forced a postponement of the Sea Dogs opener. Ironically, Weather Channel meteorologist Keith Carson was scheduled to throw out the first pitch, according to a team release. The weather is forecast to warm up on Friday for Portland's second try at an opener. Right-hander Luis Diaz is slated to get the start.

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As mentioned above, 23-year-old, 2010 10th round draft pick Jacob Dahlstrand went six innings without allowing a hit against the Mudcats in Salem's rain-shortened victory. Dahlstrand struck out four and walked two, while inducing a pretty even mix of groundouts and fly outs in his outing. Joe Gunkel came on in relief of Dahlstrand in the seventh, but the game was called after Gunkel threw just one pitch. Manuel Margot got off to a hot start in 2015, going 3 for 3 on the night with three singles. Wendell Rijo provided all the offense Salem would need, drilling a line-drive, two-run home run to left in the top of the second. Sam Travis and Oscar Tejeda were each held hitless in the opener.

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Michael Chavis (pictured, right) wasted no time making an impact in his first game in the South Atlantic League. The Red Sox's first overall draft pick in 2014 crushed a game-tying solo home run to left-center in the seventh and drove in Nick Longhi on a walk-off double. Greenville pitching racked up 15 strikeouts on the night between three pitchers. Ty Buttrey lasted just four innings, but struck out eight of the 18 batters he faced and did not allow a walk. He gave up just four hits and one earned run. Aaron Wilkerson struck out five in three innings of relief. Mario Alcantara earned the win in relief, allowing just one hit and striking out a pair in two innings of work. Rafael Devers went hitless in his Greenville Debut, going 0 for 3, but he did pick up his first RBI on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning. Mauricio Dubon left with an apparent injury after attempting to make a play in the top of the third. He was replaced by Deiner Lopez.

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Player of the Day: While Michael Chavis certainly earns the offensive player of the day honor with his heroics, it's hard to argue against a no-hitter - even an abbreviated one. Jacob Dahlstrand is the player of the day. Ranked 45th on SoxProspects.com, the Houston native appeared in 22 games out of the bullpen for Greenville in 2014, posting a 2.93 ERA in 73 2/3 innings pitched before being called up to Salem. Dahlstrand was moved back into the rotation upon his call-up, going 3-0 in five starts with 2.81 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 32 innings pitched for Salem last year.

Photo Credit: Jacob Dahlstrand and Michael Chavis by Kelly O'Connor

 
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