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SoxProspects News

May 7, 2018 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.


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.


It was a tough afternoon for the Sea Dogs at Dunkin Donuts Park, as consensus top-20 prospect Brendan Rogers led the assault on Portland's pitching staff with a pair of homers. Matt Kent has been one of the system's most steady pitchers so far, but he struggled on Sunday, allowing a pair of runs in 2 2/3 innings and issuing four walks against just three strikeouts. A bright spot was the performance of Josh Ockimey, whose 2-for-4 day included a three-run homer, his second of the season.


Darwinzon Hernandez got the start, and struggled with his efficiency, needing 35 pitches to get through the first and ultimately exiting with 61 thrown to retire just five batters. He allowed two runs on four hits, striking out four and walking three. SoxProspects.com Executive Editor Chris Hatfield was in attendance, and reported that Hernandez was sitting in the 91-95 range with his fastball but struggled with his command and control.

At the plate, Kyri Washington continues to be scorching hot. His double extended his hitting streak to ten games, going 16 for 38 (.421) with five doubles and four homers during that stretch. Roldani Baldwin added a double of his own for the Sox.


The Drive used a 15-hit barrage and an outstanding effort from Denyi Reyes on the mound to win consecutive games for just the second time this season. Kervin Suarez (pictured, right) was the cornerstone of the offense, going 4 for 5 with three RBI, including a ninth-inning solo home run. The round tripper was the first for Suarez since last August 11. Marino Campana added three hits, and Victor Acosta also went deep, one of his three runs scored on the day. Meanwhile, the offensive outburst was more than enough support for Reyes. The 21-year-old righty allowed just one run on five hits in seven innings of work, striking out three and walking one.


Player of the Day: Given an aggressive placement in Greenville after spending almost all of 2017 in the Gulf Coast League, Kervin Suarez got of to a rough start in the South Atlantic League. The second baseman was hitting just .191 in April, but he has seen a resurgence since the calendar flipped to May. Suarez is 9 for 17 during a modest four-game hitting streak, including popping his first home run of the season on Sunday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Justin Haley, Kervin Suarez by Kelly O'Connor