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May 5, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Rosario and Casas notch two hits; WooSox falter in debut

5/5 Cup of Coffee:
The Cup of Coffee returns for the first time in 602 days as Tuesday marked the start of the much-anticipated 2021 minor league season. Rain spoiled the party as Greenville was rained out and Salem was suspended in the second inning after an exciting start. Both Worcester and Portland struggled offensively, though a few top prospects had solid opening performances. 


The first game in WooSox history ended in a loss as the offense could not get much going against Nate Pearson and the Bisons. Pearson recorded eight of his 11 outs via strikeout. Tanner Houck did not have the same success, as Buffalo got to him for three runs on eight hits over three innings. On a positive note, he did strike out four without walking a batter. Ryan Weber was near-perfect in relief as he fired three hitless innings, but Buffalo put the game out of reach with three runs off of Kevin McCarthy in the seventh. 

The WooSox scored their lone run on a Jonathan Araúz infield single as the team combined to strike out 12 times. Jarren Duran went 0 for 4 with a strikeout and Jeter Downs went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts at the top of the order. Yairo Muñoz went 2 for 4 with the first hit in the team's history, and Michael Chavis went 1 for 3 with a double and a run scored. 


Not much went right for the Sea Dogs on Tuesday, as New Hampshire scored early and often in a blowout victory. Andrew Politi tossed the first four innings, allowing four runs on seven hits as he took the loss. He walked two and struck out four. For the first time since April of 2018, Denyi Reyes came out of the bullpen, allowing one run on three hits in his lone inning of work. The Fisher Cats got to Zach Schellenger for four runs in the seventh, but Durbin Feltman was able to have some success as he struck out three and allowed one hit in the ninth inning.

Jeisson Rosario (pictured, above) and Triston Casas combined to record four of Portland's seven hits. Rosario had a strong all-around game going 2 for 3 with a walk, run scored, RBI, and a stolen base, though he was caught stealing on his first attempt. Casas went 2 for 4 with two singles and two strikeouts. In his system debut, Ronaldo Hernández went 1 for 3 with a hard-hit single but allowed a passed ball and committed a throwing error that caused a run to score. 


Bowling Green Hot Rods (TBR) @ Greenville Drive (PPD), rain
Opening Day was rained out, and the game will be made up on Thursday as part of a doubleheader. 


Salem Red Sox 3, Delmarva Shorebirds (BAL) 2 (Suspended in second inn.)
The Salem Red Sox had the lead in their first game as Boston's Low-A affiliate, but it was suspended after the top of the second inning due to rain. Nicholas Northcut launched a three-run home run in the first inning, scoring Gilberto Jimenez and Nick Decker. Jimenez reached after beating out a groundball to the second baseman. Both Nick Yorke and Matthew Lugo struck out in their first plate appearances in full-season ball.

Also making his full-season debut was Aldo Ramirez, who allowed two runs in the first inning on an infield single and a home run. He walked a batter and struck out two. 

The game is scheduled to be completed on Wednesday, May 5.


Player of the Day: Northcut was on his way to running away with this award, but with the game getting suspended the honors will go to Jeisson Rosario. Rosario was acquired in August 2020 from San Diego in exchange for Mitch Moreland, and on Tuesday he flashed some of the tools that make him a prospect to keep an eye on. Currently ranked 20th in the SoxProspects rankings, Rosario has the potential to move up the list if he shows an improved hit tool in the upper minors this year. His speed, defense, and arm already make him a potential contributor at the major league level. 

Photo Credit: Jeisson Rosario by Kelly O'Connor