SoxProspects News

August 25, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chavis a hit in Triple-A intro; Decker debuts


8/25 Cup of Coffee: Michael Chavis (pictured) stormed into Buffalo to join the PawSox, homering and doubling twice in his Triple-A debut to brighten what was otherwise a dreary day down on the far. The affiliates went 0-8, with five of the losses by a deficit of at least six runs. Other than Chavis, there were some individual highlights worth noting. Second-round pick Nick Decker made his long-awaited pro debut in the Gulf Coast League, veteran Brandon Phillips continues to rake for Pawtucket, and Alex Scherff turned in a solid outing in Greenville.

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Hours after his promotion from Double-A Portland was announced, Michel Chavis drew the start at third base and the sixth slot in the batting order. Things got off to an inauspicious start with a called strike three in his first plate appearance, but he followed that up with a two-run homer in the fourth and a pair of doubles. Brandon Phillips, 15 years Chavis's senior, ripped four more hits to continue his rampage through the International League. On August 2, Phillips was batting a meager .191 in his attempt to make it back to the majors. Since then, he is 30 for 72 (.417) with eight doubles.


Mike Shawaryn had a tough evening on the mound. He allowed six runs on 10 hits, including three home runs in 3 1/3 innings. Austin Maddox also struggled in his first outing since restarting his rehab. Maddox faced five batters, surrendering a single, double, triple, and pair of walks. Travis Lakins bucked the trend, firing two scoreless innings, striking out one without issuing a walk.

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It was a heartbreaker for the Sea Dogs, who lead 3-0 in the seventh but dropped the contest in 10 innings. Kyle Hart had cruised through six shutout innings but surrendered a pair of runs in the seventh. The Phils then reached Jordan Weems for two runs (one earned) and plated their automatic runner to walk off in the 10th. Jeremy Rivera reached base four times, going 2 for 3 with a pair of walks and a double out of the leadoff spot. Esteban Quiroz made his return after suffering a sports hernia in early May, picking up a base hit and driving in a pair.

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It was a difficult night for the normally-reliable Kutter Crawford. The 2017 16th-rounder failed to finish four innings for the first time this year, giving up five runs on seven hits in 3 2/3. He struck out four and walked two, but saw his Carolina League ERA jump from 3.86 to 5.40 through four outings. Offensively, Tyler Hill was 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI, with Nick Lovullo driving home the other Salem run.

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The Drive notched only two hits, wasting some strong pitching by the class of 2017. Alex Scherff got the start, going four scoreless innings. He allowed three hits and struck out three while walking a pair. Zach Schellenger added two more scoreless frames, striking out three. Garrett Benge and Pedro Castellanos had a double apiece for the two Greenville hits.

With the loss, Greenville fell three games behind Lexington in the South Atlantic League Southern Division race, with 10 to play.

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A three-game losing streak in Burlington has taken its toll on the Spinners' postseason hopes. Lowell was 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position, failing to take advantage of opportunities in a contest that remained close until the final innings. Devlin Granberg was 2 for 3 with a walk while also halting his streak of nine straight games with a strikeout. A two-run homer in the first inning was all of the damage against starter Yorvin Pantoja who allowed four hits in five innings, striking out four and walking one.

In the race for the Stedler Division, Lowell remains four games behind Tri-City. More damaging was dropping to fifth place in the wild-card standings. While the Spinners train Brooklyn and Staten Island by only two games, eclipsing so many teams in only nine games is a challenge.

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Eleven weeks after making Nick Decker the 64th overall pick in the draft, the Red Sox were finally able to get a glimpse of him in game action. Sidelined with a left wrist injury since signing, Decker made his long-awaited pro debut on Friday, starting at designated hitter and batting second. He ripped a double in his first plate appearance, followed by a ground out and a walk before being pinch hit for in the eighth by Nick Northcut. Fellow 2018 draftee Chase Shugart got the starting nod, allowing three runs (one earned) in two innings. Of the six pitchers used by the Sox, only 31st-round pick Connor Berry was unscored upon. The righty out of Oklahoma went two scoreless frames, giving up one hit, walking one, and striking out one.

The Gulf Coast League regular season ends on Saturday, with the GCL Red Sox best-of-three series against the GCL Tigers West opening in Lakeland on Sunday.

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Both DSL affiliates fell on the second-to-last day of the regular season, with the Red Sox1 losing in a much more competitive matchup. Yoelvis Guedez allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits in five innings, as Wilker Vargas and Breiner Licona had two hits apiece. The Dominican Summer League completes its regular season on Sunday.

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Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time

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Player of the Day: After getting off to a tepid start following his return from an injury and an 80-game suspension, Michael Chavis forced his way out of the Eastern League with an August slash line of .395/.465/.618. The top prospect in the Red Sox system did not skip a beat in his introduction to Triple-A, blasting a two-run homer as part of a three-hit, eight-total base greeting.

Photo Credit: Michael Chavis by Kelly O'Connor

 
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