March 14, 2016 at 1:00 PM
Here are this week's minor league notes:
- Jim Callis of MLB.com chatted with SoxProspects.com on the latest episode of the podcast. He discussed his recently released list of top 30 prospects in the Red Sox system.
- Just as he was starting to move past his 50-game drug suspension from last year, fifth-ranked prospect Michael Kopech is in hot water again. The right-hander broke his throwing hand after an altercation with a teammate, which was confirmed by General Manager Mike Hazen.
- Top-overall prospect Yoan Moncada started in a pair of major league games this week, a rare instance for a player not officially invited to big league camp. The 20-year-old Cuban went 0 for 2 against the Pirates on March 9 and 1 for 3 with a run scored against the Rays on March 13. According to the notes of SoxProspects.com Executive Editor Chris Hatfield, who has monitored lineups from the past two years of spring training, no player from minor league camp has started more than one major league game in a single spring during that time. The last minor league player not invited to big league camp to make a start for the parent club was outfielder Henry Ramos, who did so once in both 2014 and 2015. However, bus rides, split-squad games, and injuries to major league players were involved in both instances. Several members of the Red Sox roster and staff said they were impressed with Moncada's size, speed and defense. Joe Kelly was especially effusive about Moncada, telling members of the media he looks like an "inside linebacker for the San Diego Chargers."
- Moncada didn't just grab attention on the field. Like his countryman, former Red Sox and current New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, Moncada has been driving some pretty sweet wheels to work, according to WEEI.com. He also appears to have created his own logo from his initials that is branded on each of his cars.
- There is still no timetable for Eduardo Rodriguez to throw a bullpen session coming off of his knee injury and it is becoming more and more likely he will not be ready for Opening Day, according to Comcast SportsNet.
- As a result, Henry Owens is hoping to take advantage of the situation and possibly break camp with the big league club, according to ESPN.com.
- Christian Vazquez declared, "I'm back," to reporters after returning to game action on March 8. Vazquez is recovering from Tommy John surgery, which caused him to miss all of 2015 when he was poised to be Boston's starting catcher. Tim Britton of the Providence Journal detailed his recovery.
- Speaking of injured catchers, Blake Swihart gave everyone a scare on Sunday after taking a foul ball hard off the bottom of his mask. He was diagnosed with a bruised jaw, but did not suffer a concussion as was first thought. According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, he is listed as day-to-day.
- Before getting injured, Swihart chatted with Bradford about his expectations for 2016, saying he expects to be better than last year.
- After a scorching start to spring training, infielder Travis Shaw could branch out to left field to increase his versatility for the big league club, according to the Boston Herald's Michael Silverman. With Shaw hitting a heady .522/.560/1.430 so far this spring, manager John Farrell said the lefty's situation is "no different than what Brock Holt has done the last couple of years."
- Baseball America posted the rosters for the World Baseball Classic qualifiers to be played this week, with just two current Red Sox named on the teams. Right-handed pitcher William Cuevas will play for Colombia and minor league-Rule 5 pick Jhonny Polanco will pitch for Nicaragua. The most interesting news might be on the coaching side with former Red Sox outfielder Trot Nixon serving as a bench coach for the Czech Republic.
- The Red Sox made the first couple of cuts from big league camp this week, reassigning left-hander Danny Rosenbaum and right-hander Cuevas to minor league camp. The Red Sox now have 55 players in big league camp, including all 40 players on the 40-man roster and 15 non-roster invitees.
- The following minor league players saw action in major league games this past week: Forrestt Allday, Mike Augliera, Jorge Marban, Mike McCarthy, Henry Ramos, Tim Roberson, Chandler Shepherd, Cole Sturgeon
Photo Credit: Yoan Moncada by Kelly O'Connor