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May 5, 2015 at 5:02 PM

Red Sox to field two DSL teams for first time since 2003

With the release of the 2015 Dominican Summer League schedule earlier this week, it is now official that the Red Sox will field two teams in the circuit this season for the first time since 2003.

Given how active the organization had been in the most recent international signing period, going over its bonus allotment and signing 26 international amateurs since July 2, 2014, we at SoxProspects.com had projected that the plan was to field two teams. Red Sox Director of International Scouting Eddie Romero confirmed that the team foresaw last summer that an additional affiliate would be needed. "When the decision to surpass our spending allotment was made," he wrote in an email, "we knew it was likely we were going to need to field a second team to get everyone enough playing time. As the number of players signed grew, we registered the second team and continued to add players that we liked."

The  two teams will be referred to internally as "Red" and "Blue" squads, although MiLB.com will apparently refer to the teams as "Red Sox 1" and "Red Sox 2" in keeping with their protocol for other organizations with two teams in the league, which include the Mariners, Mets, Orioles, Rangers, and Yankees. Romero said the organization has not decided whether to make it a permanent setup. "Going forward, I think we’ll assess where we stand after this year of development, and make a decision whether to field two teams for 2016. It will obviously depend also on who we think is ready to go to the GCL," he wrote.

Romero also confirmed the coaching staffs for the two teams:

DSL Red Sox "Blue"
Manager: Jose Zapata
Pitching Coach: Randor Bierd
Hitting Coach: Ozzie Chavez
Trainer: Guillermo Hinojosa

DSL Red Sox "Red"
Manager: Aly Gonzalez
Pitching Coach: Oscar Lira
Hitting Coach: Wilton Veras
Trainer: Mario Anguizola

This will be the first managerial experience for the 24-year-old Gonzalez. He originally joined the organization when he was signed as a player in 2008. Gonazlez played in 112 games from 2009 to 2011 before transitioning to a coaching role in 2012.

Chavez and Anguizola are both new to the staff. They had not been previously announced when the organization released its coaching staff assignments in January.

While there is no word yet on the rosters of the two squads, which will be treated as separate entities designed to be equally competitive. "The teams were split evenly after consulting with our staff," Romero wrote. He added that the organization "will try to limit the shuffling of players as much as we can." Both teams will begin play on May 30. 

Readily available statistics and information for international rookie leagues prior to 2004 are spotty, but according to Baseball-Reference.com, the Red Sox fielded two full DSL affiliates in 2003, and shared a second affiliate in the league with the Diamondbacks in 2000 and with the Indians in 2001. Around that time, the Red Sox had also dabbled with having one team in the Dominican and another in the Venezuelan Summer League. From 1999-2002, the Red Sox shared affiliates in the VSL with other clubs, including the 2002 Ciudad Alianza team that featured Anibal Sanchez. In 2004, they exclusively were affiliated with Ciudad Alianza, which featured future major leaguers Argenis Diaz and Miguel Socolovich. In 2005, the most recent season in which the organization sent players to a second international affiliate, Boston and the San Diego Padres shared an affiliate that played in Los Guayos, Carabobo, Venezuela. That team included future major leaguers Diaz, Felix Doubront and Luis Durango

SoxProspects.com Senior Correspondent Jonathan Singer contributed additional reporting to this story. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @Jonathan_Singer