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SoxProspects News

April 23, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Poyner optioned to Pawtucket, Wright leaves start due to injury

Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • In one of our latest Notes from the Field entries, SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall featured two Greenville relievers in Brendan Nail and Devon Fisher.
  • Bobby Poyner  (pictured) was activated from the major league disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday. He pitched seven innings with the Red Sox this season, sporting a 2.57 ERA with eight hits and eight strikeouts. Poyner pitched a scoreless inning of relief on Saturday for the PawSox in his second rehab assignment for a left hamstring strain before his activation. 
  • The PawSox had quite the come-from-behind win in extra innings on Sunday, plating four runs in the bottom of the 11th inning to claim a 10-9 walk-off win over the Gwinett Stripers. Mike Miller's RBI single scored Aneury Tavarez in a wild contest.
  • In the 10-9 victory in 11 innings, the PawSox also recorded a triple play in the second inning. Monday's Cup of Coffee goes over an incredible game and also has a video of the rare triple play.
  • The Portland Sea Dogs announced Jordan Betts, who plays both first and third base, is being called up to Pawtucket. The PawSox already have a very crowded infield with Sam TravisIvan De JesusMike OltChad De La GuerraJantzen Witte and Miller, but with Monday's doubleheader, the team decided to make some moves. UPDATE: Witte headed to the DL with back stiffness as a countermove to adding Betts.
  • Sam Travis was also named to MLB Pipeline's Team of the Week with a .417/.500/.625 batting line with five RBI in six games this week.
  • Steven Wright left his first rehab assignment with the PawSox early due to stiffness in his back on April 20. Bill Koch of The Providence Journal noted that Wright was making his first start for the PawSox since July 12, 2015 but may find himself making more appearances with the Triple-A club due to the current logjam in the Red Sox starting rotation. 
  • The Red Sox have been making some noise by hitting grand slams, five of them so far in the month of April, this season and Josh Ockimey joined in on the fun with a grand slam of his own in the Sea Dogs' 5-0 win over the Hartford Yard Goats on April 19. Ockimey's 411-foot grand slam was his first homer of the season as the left-handed hitting slugger missed the first 10 games of the year with a hamstring injury. 
  • Jalen Beeks hasn't allowed an earned run in 13-consecutive innings and picked up his first win of the season with the PawSox in a 6-0 victory over the Stripers on Saturday. The 12th round draft pick in 2014 lowered his ERA to 0.64. The 24-year-old is currently the No. 13 ranked prospect on our list and is the third-ranked left-hander behind Jay Groome (Greenville) and Darwinzon Hernandez (Salem). 
  • Former SoxProspect Ryan Kalish retired from baseball on April 20 after getting a single in his final at-bat for the New Britain Bees, in the independent Atlantic League. Kalish last played in the big leagues in 2016 with the Chicago Cubs, appearing in seven games before an injury ended his season. Peter Gammons had a nice sendoff tweet for Kalish.
  • Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports wrote an interesting column on the strikeout era in baseball and how for the 11th consecutive season, Major League Baseball is going to set a record for strikeouts. 

Players of the Week
6 G, 26 AB, 11 H, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 10 R, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K, .423/.483/.692

Espinal, a 10th-round selection in 2016, rode his first triple and home run of the season to a Player of the Week selection. The strong week brought the 23-year-old's line up to .310/.379/.466 on the season. Espinal, currently ranked at 29th, swiped 20 bases last year in his full-season debut and has already stolen two bags thus far in 2018, including this torrid week.

Jalen Beeks, LHP, Pawtucket
1 GS, 6 IP, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 H, 2 BB, 10 K, 0.67 WHIP

Beeks continues to ride a hot hand for the PawSox, notching his first win in three starts this season. The 24-year-old is sporting a minuscule 0.64 ERA across 14 innings pitched for Pawtucket thus far. Beeks has punched out 26 batters, and has issued just five walks this season, good for an average of 16.71 strikeouts per nine innnings.

Photo Credit: Bobby Poyner by Kelly O'Connor