SoxProspects News

July 8, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Espinoza and Moncada keep rolling

7/8 Cup of Coffee: The two pitching prospects with arguably the highest ceilings in the system were on the mound on Tuesday, with Anderson Espinoza firing four more shutout innings, while Michael Kopech did not allow a hit over four innings, though he did struggle with his control.

Steven Wright was hit hard in his start for the PawSox, though Garin Cecchini (pictured) and Jackie Bradley Jr. did their best to bail him out. Ty Buttrey turned in another quality start, while Yoan Moncada was on base four times for the Drive.


Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI) 9, Pawtucket Red Sox 6
After a brief stint with Boston during which he did not appear in a game, Steven Wright was back in the Pawtucket rotation, as he picked up the loss in a high-scoring affair. Wright went the first six innings, allowing six runs, five earned, on eight hits with only one walk and two strikeouts. He did settle down after the IronPigs posted a five-spot in the first, but the damage had already been done. The IronPigs extended their lead against Pat Light, who gave up three runs on four hits in his lone inning of work.

A strikeout in the ninth inning was all that kept Garin Cecchini from getting his average up to .200, as he went 4 for 5 with four singles. He also went 4 for 5 on June 18, but he followed that performance up by going 8 for his next 54. Jackie Bradley Jr. went 2 for 5 with his fifth home run of the year, and Carlos Peguero added a double and two walks.


Reading Fightin Phils (PHI) 8, Portland Sea Dogs 6
While the Sea Dogs got to Jerome Williams in his rehab appearance, the Fightin Phils ultimately came out on top. Mike Augliera dropped to 2-12 on the year after conceding six runs in only 3 1/3 innings. Kyle Kraus and Miguel Celestino combined to allow two runs over the final 4 2/3 innings, with Kraus returning to Portland after a brief stint in Salem.

The star offensively was Marco Hernandez, who went 3 for 5 with a home run out of the leadoff spot. Sam Travis went 2 for 4 with a double and a triple as he raised his average to .265, and Keury De La Cruz singled and walked twice. Despite being caught stealing for the second time as a Sea Dog, Manuel Margot had a good day, contributing with an RBI single and driving in Travis on a force out.


Salem Red Sox 7, Carolina Mudcats (CLE) 2
Behind another strong start from Ty Buttrey, Salem won the opener of a three-game set with the Mudcats. Buttrey did what fans have come to expect from him, allowing two runs over six innings, walking one and striking out four. It was the third time in his last four starts that he went at least six innings while allowing two runs or fewer. Making his Salem debut, Brandon Show allowed two hits over two innings, and Mike Adams closed things out with a clean ninth inning.

Yoilan Cerse provided all the offense Salem would need, blasting a three-run home run in the fifth inning. The home run was his second of the year. Recording his first multi-hit game since June 14, Forrestt Allday went 3 for 5 with two RBI, while Wendell Rijo went 2 for 3 with a walk after being 0 for his last 8 entering the game.


Greenville Drive 7, Savannah Sand Gnats (NYM) 5
It was a wild but effective start for Michael Kopech, while Yoan Moncada continued his recent hot streak. Kopech did not allow a hit over his four innings, but he did walk five and strike out four while allowing two runs. This was the first time he walked more than three batters in a start this season. Jamie Callahan gave up three runs over his three innings, while Kuehl McEachern picked up the save with two shutout innings.

Led by Moncada's three hits, including a double and a walk, the Drive were able to score three unanswered runs to win the game. The double by Moncada tied the game in the sixth, and he scored the go-ahead run on a Michael Chavis double. Javier Guerra added a sacrifice fly in the seventh for an insurance run. Chavis went 2 for 5, though he did strike out three times, and Cisco Tellez went 1 for 1 with three walks. 


Quickly proving he is too good for Gulf Coast League batters, Anderson Espinoza fired four more shutout innings yesterday in a win over the Rays. He struck out four and allowed only two hits without surrendering a walk, and he has still not allowed a run in his 12 innings since coming stateside. On the season, he has thrown 27 innings, with an ERA of 0.67 and a 31-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Kyle Martin picked up the win with a clean inning of relief in his first rehab appearance since going on the disabled list for Portland on May 25. 

The game was close until the ninth, when the Red Sox broke it open with seven runs as they sent 12 men to the plate. Luis Alejandro Basabe broke out of an 0 for 11 slump with a 3 for 5 performance that included a double and a walk, and Roldani Baldwin and Chris Madera each had a double and a single. Danny Mars was on base twice via a double and a walk, while Nicholos Hamilton’s rough start to the season continued as he went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.


DSL Rojos (CIN) 9, DSL Red Sox1 4
The defense collapsed over the final three innings, with the Rojos scoring nine times on eight unearned runs, wasting a magnificent start from Junior Espinoza. Espinoza struck out nine over five scoreless innings, surrendering only three hits without walking a batter. Espinoza lowered his ERA by a full run in this start, and he had allowed 12 runs over his last 14 1/3 innings before dominating on Tuesday. Edilson Batista followed, but four errors by the Red Sox led to him allowing seven unearned runs over 2 1/3 innings.

The club had four players record multi-hit games, including Samuel Miranda, who has now hit safely in six of his last seven games. Eddy Reynoso and Pablo Urena each had solo home runs in the losing effort, their first of the season.

DSL Red Sox2 8, DSL Braves (ATL) 4
The second DSL squad had another great game, getting good pitching and timely hitting as they continued to roll. Victor Garcia improved to 2-2 by allowing only two baserunners over five innings, striking out five. His ERA lowered to 0.36, and after a recent bout with wildness that saw him walk six batters in his last outing, Garcia did not walk a batter yesterday. Jeison Medrano allowed two unearned runs over his three innings of work, striking out four.

Gerardo Carrizalez drove in three runs, including two on his first triple of the year. Lorenzo Cedrola continued to hit the ball well, going 2 for 5 with a double, and Ramfis Berroa went 2 for 3 while scoring two runs.


Player of the Night: As the youngest pitcher in the Gulf Coast League, what Anderson Espinoza is doing to batters who are over three years older than him is completely absurd. With four more shutout innings yesterday, he has now thrown 12 innings in the GCL, allowing eight hits and two walks while striking out 10. All the hits off him have been singles, and of the 10 baserunners he has allowed, one was erased on a double play and two were caught stealing. Nobody has successfully stolen a base on him since he came stateside, and yesterday was the first time a runner reached scoring position against him without the benefit of an error.

Photo Credit: Garin Cecchini by Kelly O'Connor

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