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SoxProspects News

May 28, 2019 at 2:00 PM

Minor Notes: Roster moves and Ward/Hernandez win POTW

Here are Tuesday's minor league notes:

  • According to the team, righty Chase Shugart (pictured, right) has been activated by the Greenville Drive after serving out his 50-game  suspension. This was Shugart's second positive test in his short professional career after being drafted in the 12th round out of the University of Texas last year. During his short time as a pro, the Red Sox have seen his tick up and it has landed him at 25th on the SoxProspects.com rankings to start his year.
  • SoxProspects.com Executive Editor pointed out on Twitter that Pawtucket utility player Tony Renda has an upward utility clause in his contract that must offer him to any team willing to put him on their 40-man roster this Friday with the first right of refusal. He had the same clause on March 24th and since then he has only gone 4-for-20 with two doubles and a home run. He has only had one pinch at-bat in the majors since 2016.
  • According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, the Red Sox have signed lefty Konner Wade out of the Independent League and assigned him to Double-A. Wade's last minor league assignment was in 2017 when he played for the Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies affiliate). Wade did not exactly dominate Independent ball this year with a 4.39 ERA and 1.39 WHIP and hasn't fared much better in Portland, giving up two runs on three hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings in his season debut on Sunday.
  • It is sad to relay the passing of Bill Buckner, a member of the Red Sox from 1984-1987 and 1990, after battling dementia. Remembered almost exclusively in Boston for one bad defensive play in 1986 but he had an impressive 22-year career. Steve Buckley writes for The Athletic that even though he was "once a punchline, Buckner became a treasured part of Boston’s story".
  • Former MVP and Red Sox prospect, Dustin Pedroia, isn't sure he will ever be able to get healthy enough to play regularly anymore. Chris Mason writes for the Eagle-Tribune about his cruel career crossroads. Pedroia peaked at #3 at several different points on the SoxProspects.com rankings, often falling just behind other familiar names like Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, and Hanley Ramirez.
  • The #2 ranked prospect on the SoxProspects.com rankings, Darwinzon Hernandez, was called up on Sunday but it was short lived when the Red Sox activated Brock Holt from the injured list. Hernandez had a solid major league debut throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings on April 23rd. After that appearance, he was sent back to Portland and since that date he has struggled, making fie starts with a 6.00 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. He is still missing bats with 29 strikeouts over those 21 innings, but he is also walking hitters at a high clip with 18. Glenn Jordan of the Portland Press Herald wrote about Hernandez future just before his latest call up.
Players of the Week (May 20 through May 26)

Marco Hernandez, INF, Pawtucket
7 G, 27 AB, 13 H, 4 2B, 2 HR, 8 R, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 SB, .481/.464/.852

After appearing at the major league level in both 2016 and 2017, Hernandez had not played a game since May 3rd, 2017 when he injured his shoulder. Three surgeries later, he is now working his way back to the show, first rehabbing with Salem and now assigned to Pawtucket. Coming into the week, he had put up a .294/.374/.385 line over 78 at-bats for Salem and had gone 0-for-8 in his first two games for Pawtucket.

This week he showed the type of performance that earned him his major league call-ups. He had a hit in every game except on Wednesday where he went 0-for-2 pinch hitting while playing primarily second base but also seeing some time at shortstop. His best game came on Tuesday where he went 4-for-5 with a home run, RBI, three runs, and a stolen base. Since he is assigned to Pawtucket (rather than rehabbing) and with the major league roster getting back to full health, there is currently no place for Hernandez with the big league team. He will have to continue to put up weeks like this to capitalize on an opportunity when and if one presents itself.

Thaddeus Ward, RHP, Greenville
2 G, 2-0, 14 IP, 0.00 ERA, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 13 K, 0.44 WHIP

Facing a two-start week, Ward (pictured, left) not only met the challenge but rose to another level both days. On Monday facing the West Virginia Power, the 22-year-old went seven innings allowing four hits and no walks while striking out seven and earning the win. He returned on Saturday to face the Augusta Green Jackets and was even more impressive, allowing only one hit and a walk over seven innings with six strikeouts.

Ward has done well since being drafted in the fifth round in 2018 out of the University of Central Florida. While his 3.77 ERA and 1.45 WHIP over 31 innings last year at Salem were solid, he has really excelled over his 57 1/3 innings this year, allowing only a 2.20 ERA and 0.99 WHIP while striking out 64 batters, currently in the top 10 in the South Atlantic League in each category. Ward has been a riser on the SoxProspects.com rankings and is now up to #30.

Photo Credit: Chase Shugart and Thaddeus Ward by Kelly O'Connor.

Will Woodward is a Co-Owner and Senior Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @SPWill.