SoxProspects News

May 31, 2018 at 3:00 PM

2018 Draft Preview


It’s that time of year again! The MLB Draft gets underway in a few days on the evening of Monday, June 4. Day One will include the first, supplemental, second, and competitive balance rounds. Day Two will be Tuesday, June 5, covering rounds three through 10, and Day Three will be Wednesday, June 6, covering rounds 11 through 40.

In this year's draft—as well as the upcoming international signing period—the Red Sox practically have a mandate to try to replenish a farm system that has been thoroughly depleted over the last few years due to trades, injuries, and prospect graduations.

Red Sox Vice President, Amateur Scouting Mike Rikard noted on Thursday that this year's draft class "is a pretty balanced group", stating that "we measure the depth in each demographic, and there is not one particular group that we really feel is much stronger than another."

Rikard also noted "a little bit of uncertainty" at the top of this draft class compared to past years. He acknowledged that the rumor mill is churning, and that the organization is "kind of hopeful that by Sunday or Monday morning, things will start to fall into place."

At SoxProspects, we’ve been covering the draft in depth since 2005. During that time, the team’s best selections have included Jacoby Ellsbury (2005, 1st round), Justin Masterson (2006, 2nd), Josh Reddick (2006, 17th), Anthony Rizzo (2007, 6th), Christian Vazquez (2008, 9th), Alex Wilson (2009, 2nd), Jackie Bradley (2011, supplemental 1st), Mookie Betts (2011, 5th), Travis Shaw (2011, 9th) and Andrew Benintendi (2015, 1st). They have also successfully grabbed some relievers, replacement-level players, and trade chips over that period. 

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at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Weems performing well in Portland; draft season continues


Here are Thursday's Minor Notes:

  • Jordan Weems (pictured) was selected by the Red Sox in 2011 as a catcher, but has transitioned to pitcher and has done well in Portland, writes the Portland Press-Herald's Kevin Thomas.
  • The Hanley Ramirez era in Boston is officially over, as he was released on Wednesday after being designated for assignment last week to make room for Dustin Pedroia, who was rehabbing from knee surgery.
  • Adam Lind will join Triple-A Pawtucket, as the Red Sox signed him to a minor league deal on Tuesday. Lind was released by the Yankees last week and after hitting over .300 with the Nationals in 2017, had not appeared in a major league game for New York.
  • ESPN's Dave Schoenfield wrote about the best first-round pick, the best late-round pick and a player that was drafted that got away for each of the 30 teams. Roger Clemens was the best first-rounder, while 22nd rounder Bill Lee was the late-round gem. Boston drafted Mark Teixeira in 1998 but elected to attend Georgia Tech instead.
  • His co-worker, Keith Law, published his Mock Draft 3.0 on Thursday and has the Red Sox as selected Seth Beer from Clemson.
  • The PawSox stadium saga continues and Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said on Wednesday that the latest proposal to keep the team in Pawtucket risks no taxpayer money, according to the Associated Press.
Photo Credit: Jordan Weems by Kelly O'Connor

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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Shawaryn's start wasted; Betts tallies three hits


5/31 Cup of Coffee: Salem's doubleheader with Potomac never happened, as the twin bill's first game was suspended in the third inning due to rain and both Portland and Greenville blew late leads. Pawtucket was the only affiliate to take home a win as Mike Ohlman (pictured) helped score an insurance run with one of his two RBI in the ninth.

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Pawtucket took its fourth straight game on Wednesday behind an 11-hit effort, including three from Jordan Betts and two more from Mike Ohlman and Rusney Castillo. Ohlman added a pair of RBI, including plating an insurance run in the ninth. Marcus Walden allowed an earned run on four hits in two innings of work to begin the contest, while a combination of Fernando Rodriguez, Ty Buttrey, Bobby Poyner and Ryan Brasier surrendered three hits and an unearned run in seven innings. Buttrey was the only one to allow a hit and gave up the run.
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May 30, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Lin provides spark for Haley in PawSox win


5/30 Cup of Coffee: Only two of the six scheduled contests on Tuesday's docket ended up going forward, with doubleheaders in Salem and Greenville both getting rained out. Power from Tzu-Wei Lin (pictured) and Rusney Castillo supported the reliably solid Justin Haley in the Pawtucket win.

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Pawtucket Red Sox 5, Norfolk Tides (BAL) 1
The PawSox wasted no time jumping out front when Tzu-Wei Lin led off the game with a solo home run. Three batters later, Rusney Castillo blasted a two-run shot, his first of the season. That outburst would be all the run support that Justin Haley would need, as the righty allowed one run on five hits over seven innings. Haley struck out six without issuing a walk, continuing his run as one of Pawtucket's most reliable starters. He has allowed two or fewer runs in eight of his 10 starts on the season.
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May 29, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Cosart sent to Salem, Thornburg's rehab to continue


Here are Tuesday's minor league notes:
  • There were several moves on the pitching front this week, with one of the more notable moves being Jake Cosart (pictured, right) getting sent from Portland to Salem. After starting the year with 11 scoreless innings, Cosart was 0-2 over his last six appearances, with an ERA of 18.32 over 9 1/3 innings while allowing 20 hits and six home runs. Expectations were high last year for Cosart after winning the 2016 SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Year award, but his control took a step back in 2017 in Portland and his performance has fallen off significantly this season. 
  • Tyler Thornburg appears close to returning to the big leagues, but the Red Sox want him to make a few more rehab starts before that happens. The Red Sox recalled Thornburg from his rehab assignment without activating him last Friday, so the earliest he will appear in a major league game would be this Friday. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Shepherd guides Pawtucket to win


5/29 Cup of Coffee: It was an impressive performance from Chandler Shepherd (pictured) after a hiccup in his last start as the right-hander led the PawSox to a win. The Sea Dogs and Red Sox both lost, with the latter falling in extra innings on Monday.

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Despite a rocky performance in his last start, Chandler Shepherd continued his impressive run in May by tossing seven innings of one-run ball in the PawSox' win over the IronPigs. The tall right-hander allowed one run on four hits and struck out six while Robbie Scott and Ryan Brasier each pitched in for one inning of scoreless relief.

Sam Travis blasted a solo shot in the fifth inning as part of a two-hit performance while Tzu-Wei Lin, Cole Sturgeon, and Ivan De Jesus Jr. also added two hits apiece in the win.
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May 28, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Reyes hurls three-hit shutout


5/28 Cup of Coffee: Outstanding pitching was the story on Sunday, with four affiliates combining to allow only four runs while sweeping the slate. Denyi Reyes (pictured) delivered a three-hit complete game shutout to lead Greenville. Kyle Hart, William Cuevas, and Bryan Mata all turned in strong outings as well, with only Mata failing to complete seven innings. 

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William Cuevas and Brandon Workman combined for a three hitter at McCoy Stadium. Cuevas went the first seven, striking out six and walking two, surrendering just two hits. Workman went two frames notching his first save of the season. It was the fifth time in his last six outings that Workman hadn't allowed a run. Tzu-Wei Lin collected the only two hits for the PawSox. He singled in the first and came around to score on a Sam Travis sacrifice fly, and added the game's only extra-base hit with an eighth-inning double.
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May 27, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Acosta and De Jesus homer; System swept again


5/27 Cup of Coffee: The affiliates were swept for the second straight day on Saturday, losing all six contests, including two sets of doubleheaders. The farm combined for 13 runs scored while allowing a total of 36. Ivan De Jesus Jr. and Victor Acosta (pictured, below) were the two lone players to hit homers.

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Fernando Rodriguez Jr. was hit hard for six hits, four earned runs, and two long balls in just 2 2/3 innings of work as the PawSox dropped Game 1 of a doubleheader in seven innings. It was Rodriguez' first start in a PawSox uniform as the 33-year-old right-hander saw his ERA balloon to 7.36 in 7 1/3 innings with Pawtucket.

Cole Sturgeon was the lone batter to record multiple hits, a single and a triple to go along with two RBI. It marked his second multi-hit performance in 10 games since joining the PawSox on May 14.
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May 26, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Travis and Dalbec go deep, Ockimey collects three hits


5/26 Cup of Coffee: The affiliates were swept on Friday night, but there were some notable performances for each affiliate. Sam Travis and Bobby Dalbec hit home runs, Josh Ockimey (pictured) had three hits, and Mike Shawaryn, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Alex Scherff had some highs and lows. 

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The slide for the PawSox continued as they fell to the IronPigs in the first game of a five-game series. Marcus Walden was hit hard as his ERA ballooned to 7.50 after allowing four runs over 2 2/3 innings. Robby Scott was able to keep Pawtucket in the game with two scoreless innings while striking out three. Sam Travis and Rusney Castillo each had strong nights, with Travis launching his third home run while Castillo added two doubles and an RBI. Mike Olt had two hits and a walk as he raised his OPS over .900 with the PawSox.
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May 25, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ockimey powers Sea Dogs in morning rout


5/25 Cup of Coffee: Baseball was a brunch menu item on Thursday, with Pawtucket, Portland, and Salem all featured in 11:00 a.m. contests. The Sea Dogs took kindly to the early start, getting on base an outstanding 26 times. Josh Ockimey (pictured) provided the pop, leading the charge as one of four Portland players to reach base four times. Salem and Pawtucket were both more groggy, scoring one run apiece in losing efforts.

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The PawSox fell short in their attempt to complete the sweep at McCoy Stadium. Ivan DeJesus and Jordan Betts had two hits apiece, with Betts providing the lone Pawtucket RBI. Justin Haley allowed two runs on five hits in 4 2/3 innings, dropping to 1-6 on the season. The bullpen was again a strong suit for the PawSox. Kyle Martin struck out five without walking a batter over 2 1/3 innings, surrendering one run. Ty Buttrey pitched two scoreless, striking out a pair. Dustin Pedroia made his final rehab appearance, starting at second base and going 0 for 3. The veteran second baseman will be activated on Friday. 
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May 24, 2018 at 2:30 PM

Minor Notes: De Jesus promoted & draft approaches


Here are Thursday's minor league notes:
  • Enmanuel De Jesus was promoted to the Salem Red Sox the team announced yesterday. The 6-foot-3 lefty had dominated for Greenville over 23 innings to start the year with a 2.35 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, and an impressive 31 strikeouts to only 5 walks. In his last appearance for Greenville, he was excellent allowing only 1 earned run over 6 innings with 10 strikeouts. However, his first start for Salem last night did not go quite as well, giving up 8 runs, 12 hits, and 2 walks over 4 1/3 innings. 
  • The 2018 draft is approaching quickly, taking place June 4th to 6th. Over the Monster took a look back to the Red Sox 2014 draft which looks very solid in retrospect, landing them Michael Chavis, Michael Kopech, and Sam Travis among others. Over the Monster also recapped the far less successful 2013 draft, 2015 draft highlighted by Andrew Benintendi, and 2016 draft which features three players currently ranked in the top 10 on the SoxProspects.com rankings.
  • The latest mock draft from Bleacher Report has the Red Sox selecting Canadian catcher Noah Naylor with the 26th pick. They note he has plus power and should stay behind the plate defensively (far from the industry consensus), but he has been rumored to go anywhere from the middle of the first round to out of the first round altogether.
  • ESPN's Keith Law updated his 2018 MLB Draft Big Board today and he has Naylor as the 14th best prospect. If you really want to know who the Red Sox are likely to pick, you should be eagerly awaiting SoxProspects.com Editor-in-Chief Mike Andrew's draft preview. There he will detail potential picks for the Red Sox throughout all three days of the draft.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Campana, Rios deliver three hits; Crawford strikes out nine for Greenville



5/24 Cup of Coffee: It was another tough night down on the farm as Greenville was the only affiliate to pull off a win. They did it in style, as Marino Campana (pictured) and Frankie Rios each had three hits and Kutter Crawford threw another gem. Portland kept it close, but Pawtucket and Salem were each taken to the woodshed.

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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY) 7, Pawtucket Red Sox 1
Tzu-Wei Lin and Dan Butler each had a trio of hits, but they had six of Pawtucket's eight knocks as the PawSox fell to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Dustin Pedroia hit 0 for 3 with a walk and a strikeout in another rehab appearance, which was emblematic of how things went on the mound, despite Brandon Workman's 2 2/3 no-hit innings in relief. Chandler Shepherd allowed four runs in 3 1/3 innings on seven hits with a walk and four strikeouts. 
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May 23, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chatham returns to shortstop, blasts grand slam


5/23 Cup of Coffee: As has often been the case this year, the story of the night was the excellent play of the Salem shortstop. But this time, rather than Santiago Espinal, it was CJ Chatham (pictured) who powered the Sox in a wild victory. Chatham and company's 13-run outburst supported a strong effort from top active prospect Bryan Mata. Elsewhere, the Pawtucket bullpen stifled Scranton, while Portland and Greenville squandered good starts from Kyle Hart and Denyi Reyes

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The PawSox put together consecutive wins for the first time since May 6th – incidentally, the last time they were hosting Scranton. Ramon Flores delivered a three-run homer in the second, and a two-run shot by Aneury Tavarez put Pawtucket on top in the third. Rusney Castillo was 2 for 4 with a run and stolen base, ticking his batting average back above .300. The bullpen turned in excellent work, allowing just one run in five innings. Tyler Thornburg struck out two in a perfect seventh inning as he nears his return to the Boston bullpen. Dustin Pedroia was scheduled to start at second base, but was held back due to rain in the area affecting the field conditions.
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May 22, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Espinal has three hits, Houck deals


5/22 Cup of Coffee: Portland had a scheduled night off, but the system had a successful night as Pawtucket and Salem each recorded wins. Tanner Houck pitched effectively, and Santiago Espinal (pictured) led the way offensively for Salem, while Mike Olt and Anuery Tavarez led a Pawtucket comeback. On the back of Everlouis Lozada's double, Greenville scored two in the ninth before falling in extras.


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Pawtucket Red Sox 5, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY) 4
With a run each in the seventh and eighth, the PawSox took a 4-3 deficit and made it a 5-4 lead on their way to snapping their four-game losing streak. Mike Olt and Aneury Tavarez each hit solo home runs in the victory, with Tavarez' tying the game in the seventh. Cole Sturgeon added a pair of RBI with a 2-for-4 night and two doubles, and despite Austin Maddox walking four batters in his inning of work, he combined with Hector Velazquez and Ryan Brasier to throw three no-hit innings of relief to end the contest.

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May 21, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Many on the mend; MLB draft creeping closer


Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • Dustin Pedroia nearly talked his way into the lineup on Sunday, after originally planning on taking the day off, but due to slick conditions in Rochester, the rehabbing second basemen was eventually pulled from the lineup. After going 0 for 3 on Saturday for the PawSox, Pedroia asked if he could get a few more at-bats as designated hitter. He was granted that request before the Red Sox decided field conditions weren't ideal in his return from surgery on his left knee.  
  • Speaking of rehabs, Tyler Thornburg is with Pedroia at Triple-A, as the right-handed reliever is inching his way closer to being called up to finally pitch for the Red Sox. He missed all of 2017 with thoracic outlet syndrome after being acquired by Boston on Dec. 6 of 2016 in exchange for Travis Shaw, Mauricio Dubon, Josh Pennington (pictured, right) and Yeison Coca
  • Pennington, a 29th-round selection in the 2014 draft for the Red Sox, just announced his retirement after sustaining an arm injury. Pennington would've required his second Tommy John surgery. Dubon is also on the mend after tearing his left ACL earlier this month. As SoxProspects.com executive editor Chris Hatfield tongue-and-cheek suggested, the Brewers "might want to put Yeison Coca in bubble wrap for a bit."   
  • The Major League Baseball draft starts on June 4 and lasts until June 6. SoxProspects.com will have you covered each of those days as Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com gives us a Mock Draft, where he has the Red Sox selecting Steele Walker, an outfielder out of the University of Oklahoma. When it comes to New England talent projected to be selected near the top of the upcoming draft, BC High's Matt Vasil, a University of Virginia commit, is someone that could be selected in the top-50 picks.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chatham, Netzer key Salem sweep


5/21 Cup of Coffee: After enduring an eight-game losing streak and then four consecutive days of rainouts, things were going pretty rough for Salem headed into the weekend. But after getting back into the win column on Saturday, the Sox exploded for 21 hits to sweep Sunday's doubleheader in Wilmington. Brett Netzer (pictured) and CJ Chatham played major roles in both ends of the twinbill. 

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The PawSox offense sputtered during their three-game sweep in Rochester, managing just one run in the series. Ivan DeJesus collected three of Pawtucket's six hits, including a double. Dustin Pedroia, who has been on rehab assignment, got the day off due to slick conditions after appearing in consecutive games for the first time. The offensive struggles overshadowed a solid day by the pitching staff. Marcus Walden drew the starting assignment, giving up one run on five hits in 3 1/3. Williams Jerez was particularly impressive out of the bullpen, striking out five across his two scoreless innings of work. 
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May 20, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Dalbec delivers decisive dinger; Pedroia and Thornburg quiet in rehab


5/20 Cup of Coffee: Despite just one win on the farm, all four starting pitchers, especially Jhonathan Diaz, pitched well while four different sluggers hit home runs on Saturday. Bobby Dalbec (pictured) had the loudest homer, hitting an eighth-inning shot that proved to be the game-winner for Salem. Dustin Pedroia and Tyler Thornburg were quiet in their rehab appearances at Pawtucket. 

Rochester Red Wings (MIN) 2, Pawtucket Red Sox 1
Mike Olt hit a solo home run in the fifth inning in what was just one of three hits for the PawSox in a loss to the Red Wings. Dustin Pedroia went 0 for 3 in his third game at Triple-A Pawtucket. In eight at-bats, Pedroia has one hit. Also rehabbing, Tyler Thornburg delivered just 1/3 of an inning of relief, allowing two walks. He threw just three of his 11 pitches for strikes. 

Justin Haley suffered his fifth loss of the season, giving up five hits, two earned runs and one walk with six strikeouts. 
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May 19, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Stankiewicz slams door on Altoona; Cedrola knocks three hits


5/19 Cup of Coffee: Including a scheduled off day on Monday, Salem has not gotten a game in since Sunday, as rain continued to pound Virginia, with the Red Sox getting rained out for the fourth consecutive day. Thanks to Teddy Stankiewicz (pictured), Portland was the only squad to win out of those that played, despite Lorenzo Cedrola's three hits for Greenville in a close loss.

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Rochester Red Wings (MIN) 2, Pawtucket Red Sox 0

Dustin Pedroia was 0 for 2 with a pair of walks in his relief appearance and that was the type of offensive night the rest of the Pawtucket lineup had, as they were four-hit as part of a shutout in its series opener with Rochester. Also in rehab, Tyler Thornburg and Austin Maddox pitched a scoreless inning each. Anuery Tavarez was the only bright spot offensively, working a walk as part of a 2-for-3 evening, wasting Chandler Shepherd's strong outing. He gave the PawSox six innings, allowing two runs to come across (one earned) on seven hits. He walked one and struck out three.

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May 18, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Tendler's 10th-inning homer caps wild Portland comeback


5/18 Cup of Coffee: With the relentless rain in Virginia and the PawSox getting a day off of the scheduled variety, only two affiliates were in action Thursday. Fortunately, the Portland contest contained enough action for a full system worth of games. The Sea Dogs capped an epic comeback after trailing by seven runs with a three-run tenth-inning home run off the bat of Luke Tendler (pictured). 

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The Sea Dogs pulled off an improbable comeback on Thursday, coming out on top in a contest that they were trailing 7-0 headed into the seventh inning. It was a frustrating start, as the Sea Dogs squandered several opportunities, stranding at least one batter in each of the first six innings. The floodgates then opened, with Portland plating two, three, four, and three runs over the final four innings. Altoona actually had a comeback of its own, evening the score at nine with a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth, but Luke Tendler blasted a three-run homer in the tenth to give Portland the series-opening win.
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May 17, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Rei has a day; PawSox cough it up


5/18 Cup of Coffee: Portland won big in Game 1 of a doubleheader with Reading before losing in extra innings in Game 2 of the twin-bill while Pawtucket coughed up an unearned run in what proved to be the game-winner for Buffalo on Wednesday. There was no shortage of power on the farm, however, as Austin Rei (pictured) and Jantzen Witte both homered for the Sea Dogs while Sam Travis added a home run for himself with the PawSox.  

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Ryan Brasier was the tough-luck loser, giving up an unearned run in the top of the ninth as Pawtucket lost to Buffalo.

After a leadoff walk to Roemon Fields in the top of the ninth, Fields stole second and moved to third on a throwing error from catcher Mike Ohlman. Fields then scored on a sacrifice fly to center field. William Cuevas pitch six innings, allowing six hits and four earned runs while striking out four in the no-decision. Sam Travis blasted his second home run of the season as the PawSox mustered only two extra-base hits.    
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May 16, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Crawford in control; Renda powers Sea Dogs


5/16 Cup of Coffee: Portland's veterans, an emerging Greenville righty, and wet weather were the stories on Tuesday. Recently signed minor league free agent Tony Renda had a five-hit day between two Portland contests, the second of which was suspended due to rain. He got help from Jantzen Witte and Chad De La Guerra, who rejoined Portland from Pawtucket in the last week, and 2017 minor league Rule 5 pick Luke Tendler. Meanwhile, Kutter Crawford (pictured) continued to solidify himself as one of the top performers in the organization in 2018. Pawtucket and Salem were washed out, and will try again tomorrow. 

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Pawtucket Red Sox vs. Buffalo Bisons (TOR), PPD rain
Rain and wet field conditions made McCoy Field unplayable Tuesday evening. The teams are set to play their regularly scheduled contest on Wednesday, and will make up the rain out when Buffalo returns in mid-June. 
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May 15, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Lin leads walk-off win while Thornburg serves up homer


5/15 Cup of Coffee: It was an offensive day for the farm as Tzu-Wei Lin hit his first homer of the season and led the PawSox to a wild walk-off win after Tyler Thornburg struggled in relief. The pitching wasn't much better for Portland in a loss while the Drive busted out 19 hits in a narrow victory over the Legends. 

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In a wild back-and-forth affair, Tzu-Wei Lin hit a single in the bottom of the tenth to plate the game-winning run in a walk-off victory for the PawSox.

Dan Butler doubled home Cole Sturgeon, who started the inning on second base, before Mike Miller, who pinch ran for Butler, scored on Lin's single to center field. The Bisons held three separate leads in the contests, including a 5-4 advantage after scoring one run in the top of the 10th, but Buffalo couldn't hold on.

Lin also smacked his first home run of the season while Rusney Castillo went 2 for 4 from the cleanup spot with a run, while raising his batting average to .317. Tyler Thornburg, in what was planned to be one of his final rehab stints at Triple-A, allowed a leadoff home run in the top of the eighth and then another run, while recording just one out, and issued a walk and another hit. Thornburg threw just eight of 19 pitches for strikes. Williams Jerez picked up the win despite allowing a run in relief.   
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May 14, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: The system struggles; major league reinforcements soon to arrive


Here are Monday's minor notes:
  • Tyler Thornburg, who has yet to pitch for Boston since being acquired in Dec. 2016, is almost ready to don a Red Sox uniform after a long recovery from thoracic outlet syndrome. The Providence Journal's Bill Koch has the rundown on what the right-hander's timeline is.
  • Earning an aggressive placement at Double-A Portland in his second full season, Mike Shawaryn (pictured, right) has been pitching well. Kevin Thomas of the Portland Press Herald profiled the 23-year-old on Sunday.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Jhonathan Diaz shines as affiliates falter again


5/14 Cup of Coffee: On a day when Alex Speier wrote in The Boston Globe discussing the travails of the Red Sox system so far in 2018, the affiliates were outscored 32-10, getting swept for a second straight day. Some individual performance provided encouragement as Jhonathan Diaz (pictured) turned in an excellent start for Greenville, while Roniel Raudes provided another quality start for the Salem Red Sox to keep them close the day following Salem's worst loss in franchise history. 

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Little went right for the PawSox as they closed out a 1-6 road trip. Ivan De Jesus was the bright spot, reaching three times on a single, double, and walk. Starter Marcus Walden allowed one run in 2 1/3 innings. Brandon Workman allowed two runs in his two innings of relief, but continues to pound the strike zone. He threw 22 of 33 pitches for strikes, and has 22 strikeouts without issuing a walk over his last nine outings.
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May 13, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: De La Guerra hits first homer on winless night



5/13 Cup of Coffee: Tough sledding on the farm on Saturday as all four teams lost. The PawSox and Sea Dogs combined for 20 total hits in losses. Pawtucket and Salem both failed to get to the .500 mark or better as all four teams now possess losing records.   

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Ryan Brasier walked a batter with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to give the Chiefs a walk-off win over the PawSox. An inning earlier, Brasier induced a 4-6-3 double play to get Pawtucket out of a jam but couldn't repeat his luck in the bottom of the ninth.
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May 12, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chatham and Dalbec stand out for Salem


5/12 Cup of Coffee: It was a mixed bag on the farm last night, with solid outings from Chandler Shepherd and Denyi Reyes being offset by the struggles of Trey Ball and Darwinzon Hernandez. The Pawtucket offense erupted in support of Shepherd and Steven Wright, and C.J. Chatham and Bobby Dalbec did their best to carry Salem but it was not enough.

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The PawSox pummeled the Chiefs, scoring eight runs before recording their second out. Two-run doubles from Ivan De Jesus Jr. and Tzu-Wei Lin led the way in the first, and Rusney Castillo later added two sacrifice flies and an RBI single as part of his 2-for-4 night. Lin ended the night with two doubles, while Ramon Flores went 3 for 3 with a walk. Every starter had a hit and the 12 runs were a season-high for the PawSox.
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May 11, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Tendler, Sturgeon power Sea Dogs sweep; Workman in control


5/11 Cup of Coffee: Portland returned home to sweep its doubleheader with identical 7-2 scores. Luke Tendler (pictured) and Cole Sturgeon were the prime players at the plate, leading the only affiliate to win on the day. Bryan Mata couldn't get settled in for Salem, while Kutter Crawford did not get offensive support. Depsite a loss, the Pawtucket bullpen continues to impress, with Brandon Workman submitting a particularly notable effort. 

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Pawtucket dropped the opener of its four-game set at NBT Bank Stadium. William Cuevas was outpitched by fellow veteran Tommy Milone taking the loss. Cuevas surrendered five runs (four earned) on eight hits in his four innings of work. The bullpen did excellent work keeping the PawSox hopes alive, highlighted by two scoreless innings with four strikeouts from Brandon Workman.  Over his last eight outings, Workman has 20 strikouts without walking a batter. Bobby Poyner tossed a scoreless seventh before the Chiefs notched an insurance run off Williams Jerez. Aneury Tavarez was 2 for 4 with a triple, and Jantzen Witte also tripled and walked twice.
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May 10, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Shawaryn shoves; Ockimey homers


5/10 Cup of Coffee: Portland was the only team on the day to get the win, as Mike Shawaryn (pictured) threw seven shutout innings. Greenville got blown away despite registering 10 hits, and Salem came back from three down twice, but could not do so for a third time in extra innings. Shawaryn was helped by home runs from Josh Ockimey and Cole Sturgeon.

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The Iron Pigs completed the sweep, handing the PawSox their third consecutive loss. Pawtucket earned just two hits, one from Anuery Tavarez and the other from Jordan Betts. On the mound, Jalen Beeks took the loss, despite allowing one run on four hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked one. Kyle Martin allowed a run in his lone inning of work, partly due to three walks, while Ryan Brasier coughed up Lehigh Valley's third run in the eighth.
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at 12:00 AM

Minor Notes: Top prospect Groome to get Tommy John surgery


Here are Thursday's minor league notes:
  • Top-ranked prospect Jason Groome (pictured, right) will undergo Tommy John surgery and will miss the rest of the season. Sean McAdam of Boston Sports Journal had the news first. It's been a tough past two years for the prized left-hander, as Groome started the season on the disabled list with an elbow strain after an impressive spring training. The 19-year-old spent most of last season on the DL with an intercostal strain and flexor strain, throwing only 55 innings in 2017. He's started just 15 games in the Sox system after being selected with the 12th overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. 
  • Steve Adams of mlbtraderumors.com says the injury "saps some of Groome's trade value, lessening the possibility that he could be used to acquire a key piece in trades hit summer" if the Red Sox were open to dealing their top-pitching prospect.
  • It has been a rough go of things for SoxProspects.com's top-two prospects with Groome now having season-ending surgery and Portland third baseman Michael Chavis currently serving an 80-game suspension following a failed PED test. As SoxProspects.com's Director of Scouting Ian Cundall said on Twitter, with Groome and Chavis out of action, Salem right-handed pitcher Bryan Mata is now the top-ranked prospect in uniform in the Sox system.
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May 9, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Lakins impresses for Portland; Wright rehabs


5/9 Cup of Coffee: Pitching was the story on Tuesday, with two starters and a six-inning reliever all turning in strong outings. Travis Lakins (pictured) turned in another stretch of three scoreless innings against a very-tough lineup in Manchester, while Roniel Raudes was solid once again for Salem. Steven Wright got his first work of 2018, pitching six strong innings out of the bullpen as he tunes up for a return to the major league squad. 

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With his 30-day suspension set to expire next week, Steven Wright made his first rehab appearance for Pawtucket. The knuckleballer may be in a relief role when he rejoins the major league squad, and that was how he was used on Tuesday, entering the start of the third inning. The IronPigs reached Wright for a run in his first inning of work, but he quickly settled in, closing with five consecutive scoreless frames. In all, Wright gave up one run on eight hits in six innings, striking out one without issuing a walk. Marcus Walden got the start and struggled with his control, walking three and allowing three runs in 1 2/3, throwing just 21 of 43 pitches for strikes. Jordan Betts ripped a double for the PawSox only extra base hit, while a single by Rusney Castillo gives him at least one hit in 17 of his last 19 games.
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May 8, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: De Jesus saves farm from sweep


5/8 Cup of Coffee: It took two errors and two unearned runs in the top of the seventh inning in the Drive's 3-2 victory over the Grasshoppers to help the farm avoid a full case of the Monday's on Monday. Cole Sturgeon, Jerry Downs, and CJ Chatham all got hits to keep their averages well above .300 to start the season while Enmanuel De Jesus (pictured) picked up the lone win of the night.

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The PawSox couldn't muster much against Lehigh starter Cole Irvin as Mike Ohlman (2 for 3) was the only player with multiple hits for Pawtucket while Jordan Betts drove in the lone run with a solo home run in the seventh inning. Josh Smith picked up the loss for the PawSox, pitching four innings while allowing 8 hits, 3 runs and striking out 3. It was Smith's first decision of the season in his three starts.

Betts continues to hit well since his promotion to Pawtucket on April 23. In 13 games with the Triple-A club, Betts has 13 hits and 3 home runs to go along with 11 RBI. 
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May 7, 2018 at 3:00 PM

Minor Notes: Washington and Scherff nab players of the week


Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • SoxProspects.com's Director of Scouting Ian Cundall joined the Over the Monster podcast, The Red Seat, this week to take a deep dive on the state of the farm system
  • Portland first baseman Josh Ockimey (pictured, right) has always shown the consistent ability to work the count and get on-base, with a .364 on-base percentage as a professional. He has also flashed some power as well, and Kevin Thomas of the Portland Press Herald writes about his "ridiculous raw power".
  • Coming off the April that won him Pitcher of the Month honors, lefty Jalen Beeks continued to dominate Triple-A hitters, throwing 6 2/3 innings while allowing 5 hits, 2 earned runs, 1 walk, and 9 more strikeouts. Amazingly that impressive start actually caused his ERA to rise, now sitting at 1.71 while striking out an incredible 15.7 batters per 9 innings. The PawSox twitter account even featured a video of his final pitch of the night. It is no surprise that his strong 2018 performance has led to him rising from 13th in the start of the season SoxProspects.com rankings, up to 8th where he sits currently.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Castillo, Haley spoil Sheffield's Scranton debut


5/7 Cup of Coffee: The affiliates split their contests on Sunday, as each continued a weekend series on the road. Justin Haley (pictured, left) and a pair of relievers outpitched a top Yankee prospect making his Triple-A debut, while the bat of Kevin Suarez and arm of Denyi Reyes helped the Drive cruise to its second straight.

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It was a big day in Scranton, with the RailRiders debut of Yankee top prospect Justus Sheffield. He immediately found a nemesis in Pawtucket leadoff hitter Rusney Castillo, who singled in each of his three plate appearances against the lefty. The two runs Pawtucket reached him for were plenty for the trio of Justin Haley, Brandon Workman, and Bobby Poyner. Haley scattered three hits in his five innings, striking out five. Workman was outstanding in three perfect innings of relief, striking out three and needing only 33 pitches to retire nine batters. Poyner, back from a very short excursion with the major league team, pitched a scoreless ninth for the save.
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May 6, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Shepherd herds RailRiders, Campana comes up clutch



5/6 Cup of Coffee: The Sea Dogs tried all they could to make Saturday a clean sweep for the farm but ended up falling to the Yard Goats in the affiliates' only loss. Chandler Shepherd had his first impressive performance of the season in a shutout victory for the PawSox while both Salem and Greenville held on for narrow one-run victories.

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Chandler Shepherd tamed the RailRiders over seven innings of work, allowing just four hits and no runs in an economical 87-pitch performance. Shepherd threw 62 of those pitches for strikes and struck out five in his first win of the season. Tyler Thornburg and Robby Scott both pitched an inning of scoreless relief to preserve the shutout, with Scott picking up his first save of the year.
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May 5, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Washington blasts three homers as Salem wins slugfest


5/5 Cup of Coffee: The pitching has impressed far more than the hitting down on the farm in 2018, but the force was with the bats on Friday. Standing out from a bevy of strong offensive performances on the night was a monster three-home-run showing by Salem outfielder Kyri Washington. Washington (pictured) is the first Red Sox minor leaguer to go deep three times in a game since Michael Chavis did so last year, leading Salem in a slugfest. Pawtucket staved off a Scranton rally with a big night from Mike Ohlman, while neither a Marino Campana grand slam nor continued production from Cole Sturgeon was enough to get Greenville or Portland back into the win column. 

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The PawSox were led by catcher Mike Ohlman, who blasted a solo home run in the first inning and another in the sixth. Jeremy Barfield broke out of a deep 3-for-47 skid, going 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. Mike Olt failed to record a hit, but his three walks raised his on-base percentage to an excellent .432 since his promotion from Portland. 
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May 4, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Beeks keeps rolling; Scherff steps up


5/4 Cup of Coffee: Despite having a quartet of top-20 prospects on the mound--and despite three of them pitching quite well--the affiliates were swept in Thursday's slate full of road games. Jalen Beeks continued striking out International League hitters at an absurd rate, re-taking the minor league lead in that category. Travis Lakins pitched three scoreless following a lengthy rain delay. Salem and Greenville both had morning games on tap, with Alex Scherff (pictured) turning in an excellent five shutout innings.

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Thursday evening featured yet another outstanding performance by the scorching-hot Jalen Beeks. The 24-year-old lefty allowed two runs on five hits in 6 2/3, striking out nine against only one walk. In 26 1/3 innings, Beeks has totaled 46 strikeouts, leading all affiliated minor leaguers in 2018. At the plate, Mike Miller had a three-hit night that included a solo home run and a pair of runs scored. Rusney Castillo was 2 for 5, raising his average to .327 and extending his hitting streak to seven games. 
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May 3, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Thornburg gets back on the hill, Beeks rises up


Here are Thursday's minor league notes:
  • SoxProspects.com Assistant Director of Scouting Chaz Fiorino posted the final scouting notes from Spring Training earlier in the week, covering pitchers Darwinzon Hernandez, Zach Schellenger, and Jared Oliver. Hernandez has gotten off to a good start this year, but some of the command issues that Chaz notes in the report have shown up in the Carolina League. 
  • The SoxProspects.com Pitcher and Player of the Month awards for April were announced on Tuesday, with Jalen Beeks (pictured, right) and Cole Sturgeon being recognized for their great starts to the season. Staff Writer Tommy Cassell went in-depth on their performance, and for Beeks his performance combined with some good scouting notes moved him up five spots to eighth in the updated SoxProspects.com rankings
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Tavarez, Sturgeon have four-hit games, Ball struggles


5/3 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket was the only team to win as Portland and Greenville both blew late leads and Salem was shut out. Aneury Tavarez (pictured) and Cole Sturgeon each had four hits, while Josh Smith performed admirably in a spot start for Marcus Walden, who was called up to Boston to replace Eduardo Rodriguez, who was placed on the Family Medical Leave list.

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Anuery Tavarez led the way with a 4-for-4 night as Pawtucket snapped a three-game losing streak in their series finale with Rochester. The Red Wings had a three-run top of the fifth to take a 3-1 lead but the PawSox countered with four runs in their own in the bottom half to take the lead for good thanks to a three-run homer by Jordan Betts followed by a deep drive by Tavarez, who also drove in three. Josh Smith, who replaced call-up Marcus Walden as starting pitcher, allowed just two hits in four shutout innings to go along with a strikeout. Tyler Thornburg walked two and allowed an unearned run in his second rehab appearance. Kyle Martin pitched 1 1/3 perfect innings for his first save of 2018.
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May 2, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Notes from the Field: Darwinzon Hernandez, Zach Schellenger and Jared Oliver


At the end of March, the SoxProspects Staff made their annual trip to Minor League Spring Training. Over the next few weeks their notes and observations will be featured on SoxProspects News. Here is the eight feature from Spring Training highlighting three final Red Sox pitching prospects.

21-year old left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez has filled out considerably after signing for just $7,500 out of Venezuela back in 2013. Now listed at 6-foot-2, 245 pounds, Hernandez has a thick, strong lower half and mature frame. The second-ranked left-handed pitching prospect in the system, he opened 2018 in the High A Salem rotation.

During this Spring Training outing, Hernandez threw four innings at the Twins complex in the High A game, striking out six. His fastball sat 92-94 mph in the first, topping out at 95 mph with late life and appearing to get on hitters quick. He later settled into the 89-92 mph range. His command wavered throughout, which will continue to be a focus in his development going forward. Hernandez’s arm slot and the drop-and-drive in his delivery make it difficult to command consistently, and he projects to have only a fringe-average command profile into the future.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Baldwin powers Salem; Sturgeon helps Sea Dogs to split


5/2 Cup of Coffee: The calendar turning to May was a welcome change for Portland, who saw six of its 12 home games postponed in April. The Sea Dogs had a tough task in their return to the field for the first time since last Wednesday with a doubleheader that included facing a top-100 starter. Pawtucket also faced off against a top opponent, while Roldani Baldwin (pictured) and a dominant bullpen propelled Salem.

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It was a tough night for the PawSox against top-100 prospect Stephen Gonsalves and the Red Wings. Pawtucket managed only one hit in 7 2/3 off the lefty, a second-inning single by Jordan Betts. Justin Haley was solid opposite Gonsalves, giving up two runs on seven hits in five innings, striking out five without walking a batter. Williams Jerez had another strong outing out of the bullpen, striking out three in two scoreless frames. 
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May 1, 2018 at 4:01 PM

April Players of the Month: Jalen Beeks and Cole Sturgeon


With the top-two prospects in the Sox system in Jason Groome (injury) and Michael Chavis (suspension) sidelined for the month of April, the farm was in dire need of good news from some of its other prospects in the opening month. 

Two such minor leaguers raised their level of play in earning SoxProspects.com's player of the month honors. One highly-touted arm in Jalen Beeks (pictured) turned heads with gaudy strikeout numbers, while one lesser-known farmhand in Cole Sturgeon made a splash at the plate in a wet month of April. 

In four starts for Triple-A Pawtucket, Beeks has been nothing short of spectacular. The left-hander is 2-1 with a 1.37 ERA. He has 37 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings and in his last two starts, both wins, Beeks has 21 strikeouts while giving up a total of just five hits.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Thornburg terrific, Castillo continues to mash


5/1 Cup of Coffee: Tyler Thornburg struck out the side in the top of seventh, giving those at McCoy Stadium something to cheer about in the PawSox' 5-1 loss to the Red Wings. Rusney Castillo (pictured) picked up two hits in the loss. For the sixth time this season, the Sea Dogs weren't able to play due to field conditions and both the Red Sox and Drive had off days. 

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A three-strikeout performance from Tyler Thornburg was the highlight of the night in the PawSox second-straight loss. The right-handed reliever made his first rehab appearance in his return from right-shoulder surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome. Thornburg gave up a lead-off single and issued a wild pitch, but was otherwise sharp. He struck out the side in the top of the seventh inning, throwing 11 of his 16 pitches for strikes.

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