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May 31, 2022 at 8:00 AM

Minor Notes: Walter and German promoted; Winckowski makes debut


The Red Sox alternated wins and loses this past week while Worcester went 4-2, Portland, Greenville, and Salem all went 3-3 with all four affiliates hovering around the middle of their respective divisions. 

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Walter, German promoted to Worcester

Two of Portland's top pitchers in the first two months of the season were promoted to Worcester over the past week. As first reported by SoxProspects.com Executive Editor Chris Hatfield, left-handed starter Brandon Walter (pictured, right) will be officially promoted to Worcester today. Walter was our Pitcher of the Month for April and, as you'll see below, finished his time in Double-A with his second straight Pitcher of the Week award. In 50 innings, Walter boasts a 2.88 ERA and 0.78 WHIP to go with a sterling 68 to 3 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

And last week, right-handed reliever Frank German got the call to Triple-A. German continues to impress after his move to the bullpen in September 2021. Since then he has seen success that has coincided with an increase in velocity in the shorter stints. In 2021, he posted a 5.54 ERA as a starter but allowed just one run in his eight innings out of the bullpen. This year, he has a 2.51 ERA over 14 1/3 innings with three of those innings coming in the six days since his promotion on Tuesday.

Josh Winckowski makes MLB debut

On Saturday, the Red Sox called up 24-year-old Josh Winckowski to start the second game of a doubleheader against the Orioles. Winckowski managed to escape both the first and the second despite allowing baserunners. However, things got away from him in the third, allowing four runs on four hits including a three-run home run by Rougned Odor. His final line was three innings, four earned runs on six hits, three walks, and four strikeouts.

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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Jordan powers Salem as Mayer doubles in return


5/31 Cup of Coffee:
Salem was the lone affiliate in action on Memorial Day, as Marcelo Mayer and Blaze Jordan (pictured) helped welcome Columbia into town. The action serves as a gentle transition into Monday baseball, with the complex leagues beginning in a week.

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Salem celebrated the holiday by welcoming Marcelo Mayer back to the lineup after a quick stint on the injured list. The fourth overall pick in the 2021 draft got the start at shortstop and was slotted into the third spot in the order. Mayer ripped a double along with a walk and a pair of runs scored. It was his 11th double of the year in just 78 plate appearances. Blaze Jordan starred at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a double, triple, walk, run scored, and three RBI. Eddinson Paulino was 1 for 3 with a walk and a pair of stolen bases out of the leadoff spot.
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May 30, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bello improves to 3-0; Strasburg stifles Salem


5/30 Cup of Coffee: Brayan Bello received plenty of run support, with Christin Stewart (pictured), Ronaldo Hernández, and Rob Refsnyder all launching home runs. Jay Groome served up four home runs in just two innings, Brian Van Belle and Gilberto Jimenez led the way for Greenville, and Salem could not find any offense against a rehabbing Stephen Strasburg. 

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He struggled with his control a bit, but Brayan Bello pitched well enough to improve to 3-0 with the WooSox. Bello walked four and struck out six over five innings of two-run ball. He finishes May with a tidy 1.80 ERA over 30 innings. Michael FelizDurbin Feltman, and Frank German combined to strike out eight and allow just three hits over the final four innings. 

All the production the pitching staff needed came from two players, with Christin Stewart going 4 for 5 with a home run, and Ronaldo Hernández going 3 for 5 with a home run and four RBI. It was a massive week for Hernández who saw his OPS climb 260 points to .627. Rob Refsnyder also homered, Connor Wong went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk, and Jarren Duran tripled but also struck out five times. 

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Jay Groome was bit by the long ball on Sunday, as he served up four home runs in only two innings. Groome gave up eight runs, which is the most he has allowed in a start since April of 2017. Jake Thompson kept the Patriots off the board with three shutout innings, striking out five. Thompson now has three straight scoreless appearances. Home runs from Nick Sogard and Pedro Castellanos got things off to a hot start in the first inning, but Portland could only score one run the rest of the way. Christian Koss went 2 for 3 with an RBI, and David Hamilton went 1 for 5 with a triple. 

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The Drive pitching staff was dominant, allowing just two unearned runs in a win over the BlueClaws. Brendan Cellucci allowed one of the unearned runs over two innings, striking out four. The win went to Brian Van Belle, who tossed five innings and struck out two. Ryan Zeferjahn closed things out with two spotless innings, striking out four. The star offensively was Gilberto Jimenez, who went 3 for 5 with a three-run double. Alex Erro went 2 for 2 with two walks, and Tyler McDonough went 1 for 4 with a walk. 

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Once again squaring off against Stephen Strasburg, the Red Sox came up short. Strasburg did not allow a hit over five innings, striking out six. Gabriel Jackson got the start and allowed five runs over 5 1/3 innings. Blake Loubier was the only pitcher to keep the Nationals off the board with a scoreless eighth inning. The Salem offense woke up once Strasburg left the game, with Tyler Miller launching a two-run home run, and Phillip Sikes going 2 for 3 with a walk.

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Player of the Day: After spending the last seven years in the Detroit Tigers system, Christin Stewart had his best game as a member of the WooSox. The 28-year-old is now tied for second on the team with seven home runs, and he also added six stolen bases. He has been racking up too many strikeouts with a strikeout percentage of about 33 percent, and he will need to cut that down to be considered a depth option at the major league level. 

Photo Credit: Christin Stewart by Kelly O'Connor

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May 29, 2022 at 9:55 AM

Cup of Coffee: Wong's late-game heroics lead WooSox; Salem salvages split after walk-off loss



5/29 Cup of Coffee: Worcester and Salem were the two affiliates to grab a win last night, and they did it by piecing together terrific performances on the mound from a combined nine pitchers, plus a clutch hit from Connor Wong (pictured). That included another great outing from Angel Bastardo. Salem did drop game one of their doubleheader despite scoring six runs, including a three-run shot from Niko Kavadas. Christian Koss also had a great showing at the plate for Portland with three hits and a home run.

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It was a pitcher's duel between Worcester and Lehigh Valley on Saturday that Worcester claimed in extras after a 0-0 deadlock through 9 innings. The WooSox managed just 6 hits, but clutch 10th-inning work by Worcester helped scrape across two runs, while the bullpen slammed the door to claim the victory.
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May 28, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Davis, Refsnyder power WooSox rout


5/28 Cup of Coffee: It was a wet Friday down on the farm, as only two of the four affiliates were able to get in their scheduled games. Greenville and Salem were both called off due to the rainy weather. Worcester provided enough offense for the entire system, as Rob Refsnyder (pictured) and Jaylin Davis combined for eight hits to lead a blowout win. Portland dropped a late lead, seeing its winning streak snapped at five games.

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The WooSox offense erupted Friday, ripping 15 hits, drawing 10 walks, and scoring three runs in an inning five times. Several veteran players led the effort, with Jaylin Davis playing a key role. The recently-outrighted outfielder was 4 for 5 with a double, four runs scored, and four RBI. Rob Refsnyder homered and doubled as part of a 4-for-5 day, scoring two runs and driving in a pair. Jarren Duran was on base four times, ripping a single and working three walks. Yolmer Sanchez blasted a three-run homer in the fourth inning in addition to his three free passes.
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May 27, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Jimenez collects 3 hits, Walter fans 8 in another stellar outing


5/27 Cup of Coffee: It was another 2-2 day for Boston affiliates on Thursday. Thomas Pannone was solid but could not do enough to lead Worcester to a win, Brandon Walter shined yet again while leading Portland to a victory in less than than two hours, Gilberto Jimenez (pictured) enjoyed a productive day at the plate for Greenville, and the Salem bats fell silent in Fredericksburg. 

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Despite a strong outing from Thomas Pannone, Worcester dropped another one-run game to Lehigh Valley on Thursday. Pannone, making his eighth start of the season, allowed just two runs on six hits, one walk, and five strikeouts over five innings of work. One of the runs the left-hander gave up came by way of a solo homer off the bat of old friend Yairo Munoz. Out of the bullpen, Phillips Valdez and Zack Kelly combined for three scoreless, frames. The Worcester lineup, however, mustered just one run on a fourth-inning RBI single from Ronaldo Hernandez. Hernandez, Jonathan Arauz, and Ryan Fitzgerald each had two hits on an otherwise quiet night offensively.

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May 26, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Sikes leaved the yard twice, drives in 4 runs as Salem wins fourth straight


5/26 Cup of Coffee: It was a 2-2 day for Boston's affiliates on Tuesday. Ryan Fitzgerald hit his 10th home run of the season while Connor Wong collected three hits in a Worcester loss, Wil Dalton and Pedro Castellanos both went deep in Portland, Greenville was limited to just one run on four hits, and Phillip Sikes (pictured, left) homered twice to extend Salem's winning streak. 

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After tossing four no-hit innings in his first start of the season, things did not go as well for Kutter Crawford on Wednesday. The right-hander surrendered three runs on four hits, two walks, and three strikeouts across three innings. Silvino Bracho did not fare much better, as he gave up three runs of his own. From the middle of the sixth inning on, though, Michael Feliz and Durbin Feltman each tossed a scoreless frame while Kaleb Ort allowed one unearned run to cross the plate in the eighth.
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May 25, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bello, Duran shine in Worcester romp; Jackson leads Salem one-hitter


5/25 Cup of Coffee:
It was a day of outstanding pitching down on the farm, with the four affiliates combining to allow just five runs on their way to a Tuesday sweep. Brayan Bello, one of the minors' hottest arms, turned in another impressive outing. He was supported by a surplus of offense for the Jarren Duran-led WooSox. Jay Groome turned in another strong start for the Sea Dogs, Brian Van Belle halted Greenville's losing streak, and Gabriel Jackson (pictured) outpitched a rehabbing All-Star for Salem as part of a combined one-hitter. 

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Brayan Bello has been the story of the system so far in 2022, and that run continued on Tuesday. Making his second-Triple-A appearance, Bello went six innings, allowing two runs on three hits, striking out 10 and walking three. He has allowed two or fewer runs in all eight of his starts this year, and it was the second straight game reaching the 10-strikeout mark. Taylor Cole pitched a scoreless seventh inning, striking out one. He was followed by a hitless eighth inning for Ryan Brasier, making his first outing since being optioned from the major club over the weekend. A few hours after his promotion from Portland, Frank German got the ninth in his Triple-A debut. The 24-year-old righty walked one and struck out one in a hitless ninth inning.
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May 24, 2022 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Bello shines in Worcester debut, Mayer placed on injured list


The month of May is winding down and two of the top prospects in Boston's farm system have been in the headlines for completely different reasons. Brayan Bello earned the win while striking out 11 in his Triple-A debut at Polar Park last Wednesday. Marcelo Mayer (pictured, right), on the other hand, has been placed on Salem's 7-day injured list due to lingering right wrist soreness. Triston Casas twisted his right ankle on Tuesday and has not suited up for Worcester since. At the big-league level, Boston is coming off a 6-1 homestand at Fenway Park in which Trevor Story earned American League Player of the Week honors. 

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Transactions

Mayer hits the Injured List, travels to Boston to undergo testing

As first reported by SoxProspects.com's Chris Hatfield, Marcelo Mayer was placed on the minor-league injured list last Friday because of a sore right wrist that has limited him to just four games with Salem this month. According to The Boston Globe's Alex Speier, Mayer is not experiencing more soreness in his wrist than he had previously, but the club is being cautious and brought the shortstop to Boston to undergo further testing. 
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May 23, 2022 at 7:30 AM

Cup of Coffee: Miller hits walk-off home run; Murphy picks up a victory


5/23 Cup of Coffee: A walk-off home run from Tyler Miller (pictured) in Salem and a strong outing from Chris Murphy led the affiliates to two victories on Sunday. Josh Winckowski started off strong before tiring late, and Jarren Duran and Alex Binelas both went deep. 

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Josh Winckowski was cruising through the first six innings before the wheels fell off in the seventh. Winckowski had allowed just one run over six innings, striking out six without walking a batter. He let the first four batters reach in the seventh before being pulled, and all of them would come around to score. On offense, the two runs came on solo home runs from Jarren Duran and Rob Refsnyder. Duran also struck out three times, and the WooSox struck out 13 times as a team. Ryan Fitzgerald went 1 for 4 with two strikeouts while playing first base. 
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May 22, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Lugo goes off, Salem hits three home runs in win


5/22 Cup of Coffee: It was a big offensive night in the system, led by Greenville shortstop Matthew Lugo (pictured), who roped three extra-base hits. Nick Northcut hit another home run, and Salem had three players go deep. Dylan Spacke started off a great pitching performance for Portland, as they shut out Harrisburg. Worcester led a big comeback but ultimately fell short.

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Worcester rallied late with four in the seventh and two in the eighth to tie it after being down 6-0, but the WooSox couldn't finish it. Yolmer Sanchez had the big blow in the seventh, a one-out grand slam. Jonathan Arauz and Connor Wong also had big nights at the plate, each going 3 for 5 with three singles. Brian Keller only lasted three innings, giving up two runs on six hits, but he did punch out five without issuing a free pass. Geoff Hartlieb struggled, surrendering four runs in two innings. Eduard Bazardo, Philips Valdez, and Michael Feliz were all great out of the bullpen, each tossing a hitless inning without allowing a run. Valdez struck out a pair. 

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May 21, 2022 at 7:07 AM

Cup of Coffee: Walter Ks 11, but Portland drops a doubleheader


5/21 Cup of Coffee: Worcester managed the only win among Sox affiliates on Friday, with Portland dropping two following Thursday night's rainout. Offense wasn't prevalent to close the week, but some strong pitching performances could be found despite the losing efforts, including a strong effort by top lefty prospect Brandon Walter.

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Thomas Pannone took the bump for the WooSox and was effective, throwing five innings and scattering six hits with two earned runs. But it was the bullpen in this one that showed its mettle, following up his effort by completely shutting down the RailRiders. Taylor Cole, Andrew Politi, and Kaleb Ort combined for four innings of no-hit ball to slam the door.
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May 20, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Crawford tosses 4 no-hit innings in first AAA start, Binelas and Lugo both homer


5/20 Cup of Coffee: Because of a rainout in Portland, Boston affiliates went 1-2 on Thursday night. Kutter Crawford (pictured) tossed four scoreless innings in his first start of the season, while Roberto Ramos played hero in Worcester, Matthew Lugo and Alex Binelas both went deep in Greenville, and Phillip Sikes drove in three runs for Salem. 

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Kutter Crawford made his first start of the season for Worcester after being optioned last Saturday. The right-hander did not allow a run, hit, or walk while striking out a pair over four efficient innings. Twenty-five of the 35 pitches he threw went for strikes. Out of the bullpen, Silvino Bracho, Michael Feliz, and Durbin Feltman combined for four scoreless frames before Zack Kelly ran into some trouble in the ninth. Attempting to protect a 1-0 lead, Kelly allowed the tying run to score on two hits and the go-ahead run to score on a wild pitch.
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May 19, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bello strikes out 10 in Triple-A debut, Castellanos homers twice


5/19 Cup of Coffee: Highlighted by the Triple-A debut of the organization's top pitching prospect, the affiliates went 2-2 on Wednesday night. Powered by six strong innings from Brayan Bello (pictured, left) and home runs from Jarren Duran and Ryan Fitzgerald, Worcester prevailed over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for a second straight win. Jay Groome also twirled four scoreless innings while Pedro Castellanos homered twice and accounted for all four of Portland's runs in a walk-off victory. Ceddanne Rafaela once again went yard in Greenville and Blaze Jordan stayed hot in Salem. 

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After turning 23 on Tuesday, Brayan Bello celebrated by impressing in his Triple-A debut. Over six innings of work, the right-hander allowed just two runs on six hits and one walk to go along with 10 strikeouts on 94 pitches (64 strikes). Out of the Worcester bullpen, Eduard Bazardo, Phillips Valdez, Zack Kelly, and Kaleb Ort combined for three scoreless frames. Ort earned his fifth save of the season.
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May 18, 2022 at 10:17 PM

Podcast Ep. #248: Bello, on to Triple-A-oh


We have our first big promotion of the season, as Brayan Bello, the system's top pitching prospect, got the call to Triple-A Worcester (following consecutive SoxProspects Pitcher of the Week honors). Chris and Ian broke down the decision to move Bello up along with fellow ranked righty AJ Politi. Oh, and by the way... we've got Noah Song news! Might Red Sox fans' favorite Naval Academy grad find his way back to a baseball field after all? Plus, how John Schreiber became a thing, and your emails!
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Rafaela hits for cycle; Winckowski cruises


5/18 Cup of Coffee:
The bats were out in full force across the system, with Ceddanne Rafaela (pictured) the mightiest of the group. The versatile outfielder hit for the cycle to lead a 14-hit, 11-run rout for the Drive. Worcester also churned out 14 hits in support of Josh Winckowski to earn its first win in nearly two weeks. Chris Murphy continued to impress in the Sea Dogs win, while Salem took the organization's only loss despite yet another Marcelo Mayer double.

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A 14-hit barrage supported a masterful Josh Winckowski as Worcester snapped its 10-game losing streak. Winckowski gave up just two hits over six shutout innings, striking out nine and walking one. He made efficient work of the Yankees' farmhands, needing only 78 pitches to get through the six frames. AJ Politi got credit for the victory in his Triple-A debut as he struck out two batters in a perfect eighth inning. Kaleb Ort threw a scoreless ninth for the save.
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May 17, 2022 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Bello reportedly promoted to Worcester


It is the middle of May and promotion season has started to begin. Brayan Bello (pictured, right) and AJ Politi have reportedly been promoted from Portland to Triple-A Worcester, while the big league team has started to get healthy, as Rich Hill and Jonathan Arauz have both returned from the COVID-19 IL.

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Brayan Bello reportedly promoted to Triple-A Worcester

While it has not been officially announced by the organization, right-handed pitcher Brayan Bello is moving on up. First reported by @BostonStrong_34 on Twitter on Monday afternoon, Bello seemingly confirmed the reports with a litany of Instagram stories through the early evening, including his new locker and jersey.

Bello is the organization's highest-ranked pitching prospect, slotted at No. 4 on the SoxProspects rankings. The Dominican Republic native has three pitches that can flash plus at times and has a bright future at the major league level, whether as a starter or a high-leverage bullpen arm, with a fastball that can reach 99 mph. Much of the organization's talent is concentrated among hitters, as Bello is the only arm of the top five prospects, but the 23-year-old shoved in Portland and was ready to move on to Triple-A.

In 97 1/3 innings across 21 starts at Double-A Portland, Bello struck out 129 hitters against 36 walks and earned a 1.21 WHIP and a 3.79 ERA. His best start came on May 5, when he pitched a seven-inning no-hitter against Reading. He was clearly ready to move to Worcester, with a WHIP below 0.90 in 33 2/3 innings this season and will reportedly make his debut on Tuesday.

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at 8:00 AM

Notes from the Field: Ceddanne Rafaela, Alex Binelas, Nick Yorke and more from Greenville


The first month of the minor league season is wrapping up, and SoxProspects.com Scouting Correspondent Chris Clegg has checked out five Greenville Drive home games to get live looks at some of the talent on display. The Drive have a stacked lineup, and that’s where our focus will be today. There is plenty to discuss with the emergence of Ceddanne Rafaela, Matthew Lugo, and others. Let’s dive into the players. 

Ceddanne Rafaela has been everyone’s favorite breakout prospect this year. Rafaela has seen a power outburst to the tune of 7 home runs in 145 plate appearances after hitting just 10 all of last season, and he is showcasing a good feel to hit. One of the biggest reasons for Rafaela’s power outbreak is not because he is hitting the ball significantly harder, but rather, he is pulling fly balls more effectively, leading to more home runs. His pull rate is up six percentage points from last season, and his fly ball rate is up more than 13 percentage points. I do not think we are looking at a colossal power outbreak from Rafaela, but he may have seasons where he hits 20 home runs.

Rafaela is extremely quick. I clocked him at 4.1 seconds from home to first, which is borderline 70 grade. He has stolen seven bases in nine attempts this season and shows good jumps and improved instinct to steal bases. 

While Rafaela’s bat has been fun to watch progress, there is an argument he is the best fielder in the Red Sox system. He is likely to play center field and has focused exclusively on that position and shortstop so far this season, but his versatility makes him a plus fielder at all three outfield positions, shortstop, second and third base. Rafaela has an easy plus arm as well. He made one of the best throws I’ve seen this year, throwing out Trey Sweeney at third by six steps.

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May 16, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Seabold strikes out 11, Mayer returns with three doubles


5/16 Cup of Coffee:
While the affiliates were winless on Sunday, there were several great performances from some of the system's top prospects. Connor Seabold (pictured) cruised through six innings, Marcelo Mayer laced three doubles, and Brainer Bonaci reached base five more times to raise his on-base percentage to .467. Brandon Walter struggled again against the Yard Goats, while Wikelman Gonzalez had better control but still allowed four runs over six innings. 

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A dominant start from Connor Seabold was not enough, as the WooSox bullpen let the victory slip away. Seabold made a strong case for a look in Boston as he struck out 11 and allowed just two baserunners over six shutout innings. After struggling in his last start, Seabold set a career-high in strikeouts. Durbin Feltman gave up a game-tying two-run home run, and the Red Wings broke the game open against Zack Kelly. Kelly gave up two hits and two walks in the ninth and 10th innings. 
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May 15, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Northcut's 14th home run sparks Greenville comeback


5/15 Cup of Coffee: There were some exciting wins down on the farm last night, as Salem won in extra innings and Greenville erased a six-run deficit on their way to a win. Nick Northcut (pictured) went deep yet again for Grenville and Eddinson Paulino drove in the winning run for Salem. Worcester nearly had a six-run comeback of their own, as Ryan Fitzgerald and Jonathan Arauz had big offensive nights. 

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A late rally came up short for the Sox after Worcester battled back from a 6-0 deficit. Ryan Fitzgerald and Jonathan Arauz each singled and doubled, with Fitzgerald knocking in a pair of runs. Triston Casas reached twice with a walk and his eighth double to go along with his 22nd RBI. Christin Stewart also had a productive night with three singles in five trips to the plate. The newly acquired Carlos Martinez struggled again on the mound, allowing five earned runs over 3 2/3 frames. He did strike out four and walk just one. Michael Feliz struck out three in his 1 1/3 innings of work, while Geoff Hartlieb punched out a pair in two scoreless innings of his own. Taylor Cole also struck out two but gave up a run. 
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May 14, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Paulino, Jordan keep rolling in Salem win


5/14 Cup of Coffee:
Salem picked up its fifth straight win, the only affiliate to come away victorious on Friday. Brainer Bonaci joined the streaking Eddinson Paulino (pictured) and Blaze Jordan to lead the way at the plate. The other squads continued their recent swoons: Worcester dropped its eighth straight, Portland fell for the sixth time in seven games, and Greenville has now lost four in a row. 

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The WooSox fell despite the strongest start of the season from Darwinzon Hernandez. The veteran lefty has struggled with his control in 2022 but pounded the strike zone on Friday, throwing 33 of 43 pitches for strikes and walking just one batter in three innings. He allowed one unearned run on three hits and struck out three batters. Rochester reached Brian Keller for a five-run fifth inning. Silvino Bracho and Phillips Valdez each spun two hitless innings, but the Worcester rally fell short. Yolmer Sanchez led the way at the plate, blasting a solo homer in the ninth as part of a 2-for-3 night that included a walk and two runs scored. Jarren Duran was 2 for 4 with a double and stolen base, and Christin Stewart went deep in the fifth.
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May 13, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Yorke homers for second straight game, Jordan and Paulino combine for four hits


5/13 Cup of Coffee: Boston affiliates went a collective 1-3 on Thursday. Jaylin Davis hit his first home run of the season for Worcester, Pedro Castellanos and Jay Groome impressed on opposite sides of the spectrum for Portland, Nick Yorke (pictured) homered once again for Greenville, and Gabriel Jackson put together a solid outing for Salem. 

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Worcester dropped its seventh straight game following Thursday's loss to Rochester at Polar Park. Rhode Island native Thomas Pannone made his sixth start and seventh overall appearance of the season and allowed two runs on five hits, no walks, and three strikeouts over five innings. Darin Gillies took over for Pannone in the sixth and surrendered four runs while recording four outs. Eduard Bazardo and Durbin Feltman combined for 2 2/3 scoreless frames to close things out. 
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May 12, 2022 at 10:07 PM

Podcast Ep. #247: Back to Hadlock


In this week's episode, Ian relays some more reports from his second set of games with the Sea Dogs, finishing his look at the club's stacked rotation, impressive bullpen, and ... also the lineup. Plus Chris and Ian discuss the improving 40-man depth with Connor Seabold, Josh Winckowski, and Jeter Downs, the super-brief call-up of Jarren Duran, Nick Northcut turning into the king of homers and strikeouts, the emergence of Eduardo Lopez, and much more! 

(NOTE: This episode was recorded before Thursday night's news that Noah Song had graduated flight school and applied for another service waiver - we'll discuss that on the next episode!)
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bello dominates again, Jordan and Yorke homer


5/12 Cup of Coffee: On a night where the big-league club got walked off on yet again, Boston affiliates went an even 2-2 on Wednesday. Josh Winckowski went just two innings in his start for Worcester, Brayan Bello twirled another gem for Portland, Nick Yorke (pictured, left) and Tyler McDonough both went yard for Greenville, while Blaze Jordan enjoyed a productive day at the plate for Salem.

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Worcester was one out away from putting an end to its losing streak but instead suffered its sixth consecutive defeat at the hands of Rochester at Polar Park on Wednesday afternoon. In a planned two-inning start, Josh Winckowski did not allow a run while scattering one hit and one walk to go along with two strikeouts. In relief of the right-hander, Taylor Cole, Geoff Hartlieb, and Zack Kelly combined for six scoreless frames. Kaleb Ort entered in the ninth with a 2-0 lead, surrendered three earned runs, and was charged with his first blown save of the season. 
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May 11, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Salem hurlers combine for two-hitter; Mayer returns to lineup


5/11 Cup of Coffee:
It was an appealing slate of pitchers scheduled to throw on Tuesday, with three arms ranked among the top 13 prospects in the system on the docket. However, it was Wyatt Olds, the 2021 seventh-round pick currently ranked 42nd, who was the best of the lot. Olds was excellent in a Greenville loss in which neither team scored until the starters were long since removed. Wikelman Gonzalez was hard to hit but struggled with his control during his part of a Salem two-hit shutout. Salem, with help from a returning Marcelo Mayer (pictured), picked up the only win down on the farm. Worcester and Portland both fell on nights when Connor Seabold and Brandon Walter were uncharacteristically not sharp.

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The game got off to a good start at Polar Park when Jeter Downs lined a two-run homer over the left field wall in the first inning. It was the seventh homer of the season for Downs, and fourth in his last eight games. It was all Rochester from that point on, as the Red Wings exploded for five second-inning runs off of Connor Seabold. It was the first loss of the season for the right-hander, who allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits in three innings, striking out and walking three apiece. Silvio Bracho, Phillips Valdez, and Michael Feliz combined for five scoreless innings out of the pen, but Rochester added a pair of insurance runs in the ninth on back-to-back homers off of Durbin Feltman.
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May 10, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: A great week of pitching highlighted by Bello's no-hitter


With the major league team struggling, the farm system has offered some great performances for fans to follow. The pitching last week was dominant throughout the system, highlighted by a no-hitter from the top pitching prospect. 

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Transactions

Duran gets a brief call-up after COVID scare

With Kiké Hernandez displaying symptoms, the Red Sox recalled Jarren Duran from Worcester. Duran went 1 for 4 with a triple on Friday, and fans were curious if Duran would be up for good. With the offense struggling, it could certainly use a spark. Duran got sent down the next day when Hernandez cleared the protocols, but with Jackie Bradley Jr. hitting .202, it would not be surprising to see Duran again with the big club soon. 
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May 9, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Home runs from Casas, Fitzgerald, and Yorke; Martinez struggles in debut


5/9 Cup of Coffee: Home runs from Triston Casas and Ryan Fitzgerald and a stolen base from Jarren Duran can keep Boston fans hopeful while the major league club's woes continue. Carlos Martínez made his system debut, but it was one he would like to quickly put behind him. Home runs from Nick Yorke and Alex Erro and three steals from Tyler McDonough led Greenville, while Eduardo Lopez (pictured) continued his torrid run in Salem. 

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Carlos Martínez's debut was shaky, as he was chased in the first inning. The 30-year-old former All-Star was tagged for five runs on four hits with two walks. This was his first appearance of the year after being released by the Giants on April 28. Eduard Bazardo followed with 2 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out three. Darwinzon Hernandez did not allow a hit but still gave up a run after walking three batters in three innings. He did strike out four, but his control issues have his ERA sitting at 7.02 despite holding batters to a .130 average. 
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May 8, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Hart fires six no-hit innings, Northcut homers again


5/8 Cup of Coffee: Pitching was the story for Sox affiliates last night, as Kyle Hart (pictured) and Chris Murphy each delivered a gem. Greenville also pieced together a dominant night on the mound to win their third straight game. Nick Northcut added to his league-leading home run total, while Hudson Potts and Eduardo Vaughan stayed hot at the plate. 

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A couple days after Brayan Bello's no-hitter, Kyle Hart tossed six no-hit innings of his own. The left-hander struck out eight in the best outing of his season. The bullpen struggled however, as Darin Gillies and Durbin Feltman gave up a combined five runs in their two innings of work. At the plate, Worcester scored three runs in the third but was silenced outside of that. Jonathan Arauz doubled and scored a run, while Triston Casas reached twice with a single and a walk. 

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May 7, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Groshans goes deep twice, Northcut homers again for Drive


5/7 Cup of Coffee:
All four affiliates were scheduled to be in action, but a rainy night pushed Salem's contest out to the weekend. Greenville took the only win in the system on Friday, powered by a monster night by catcher Jaxx Groshans (pictured) and another home run for Nick Northcut. Worcester fell despite the continued efforts of Ryan Fitzgerald, while Jay Groome and company came up short in Portland.

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There were few highlights for the WooSox in Friday night's loss. All of the run scoring for Worcester came on a two-run homer in the second off the bat of Ryan Fitzgerald. It was the seventh round-tripper of the season for Fitzgerald, who also walked twice on the night. Jeter Downs was on base twice, going 1 for 4 with a walk, and Triston Casas also recorded a hit. Starting pitcher Brian Keller took the loss, allowing five runs (three earned) on five hits in 3 1/3 innings. Phillips Valdez made his first appearance for Worcester since being optioned earlier in the week. He went one inning, allowing one run on one hit, walking two, and striking out one. 
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May 6, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bello tosses no-no, Walter strikes out 10 in same doubleheader


4/6 Cup of Coffee: A pair of doubleheaders, a couple of dominating pitching performances and some home runs. That is what a busy Thursday entailed for Boston affiliates, which went 4-2 thanks to the two extra games. Jarren Duran went deep as Worcester split its doubleheader against Toledeo, Brandon Walter and Brayan Bello (pictured) combined for 13 quality innings in Portland's twin bill sweep of Reading. Ceddanne Rafaela was one of four Greenville hitters who went yard in its win over Rome and Eduardo Lopez clubbed his second homer in as many days for Salem. 

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After a rainout on Tuesday, Worcester played two against Toledo on Thursday. Triston Casas kicked off the scoring with a first-inning sacrifice fly that was followed by a run-scoring single off the bat of Rob Refsnyder. Three innings later, Jarren Duran crushed a three-run home run to right field that gave Worcester a 5-2 lead. Duran went 3 for 4 with his second homer of the season, three RBIs, and two runs scored out of the leadoff spot. The only other hits belonged to Refsnyder and Ryan Fitzgerald
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May 5, 2022 at 11:39 PM

Podcast Ep. #246: Rankings... in context


It's a new month and that means a rankings update. Chris and Ian discussed the movement in the May 1 update and went into why, a month in, the context of player performance is especially important in evaluation. Plus, things are bad in Boston - what can be done? We close, as always, with your emails.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Downs homers in third straight game, Seabold dominates again


5/5 Cup of Coffee: Happy Cinco de Mayo! Boston affiliates went 1-2 on Wednesday as Portland's game was rained out. Jarren Duran, Triston Casas, and Jeter Downs (pictured) drove in a total of six runs while Connor Seabold provided seven, one-run innings in Worcester's win over Toledo. In Greenville, Nick Northcut, Nick Decker, and Matthew Lugo all went yard at Fluor Field, while Salem, on the other hand, got blown out by Myrtle Beach.

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After their game on Tuesday was rained out, Worcester and Toledo played as they were originally scheduled to on Wednesday afternoon. Connor Seabold was impressive yet again in his fifth start of the season, allowing just one earned run on two hits, one walk, and one hit batsman to go along with eight strikeouts over seven innings of work. The right-hander needed 70 pitches (50 strikes) to improve to 3-0 and lower his ERA to 1.63. In relief of Seabold, Zack Kelly struck out the side in the eighth before John Schreiber closed things out with a scoreless ninth inning. 
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May 4, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Paulino leads Salem's morning romp; Yorke blasts first homer


5/4 Cup of Coffee:
It was a winning day all the way up the organizational ladder, featuring excellent pitching from Salem all the way to Fenway. Victor Santos turned in a quality start before Portland came back twice in the opener of its homestand. Nick Yorke went deep in support of a strong Shane Drohan effort for Greenville. In Salem, Eddinson Paulino (pictured) and crew got off to a fast start, allowing Tyler Uberstine to cruise through five excellent innings. Only a rainout in Toledo that postponed its matchup with Worcester dampened an otherwise dazzling Tuesday. 

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Worcester Red Sox @ Toledo Mud Hens (DET), PPD (Weather)
The WooSox continued their new tradition of starting out each series with a rainout. A doubleheader is scheduled for Thursday.

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It was a thriller at Hadlock Field, as the Sea Dogs staged game-tying comebacks in both the ninth and 10th innings before walking off in the 11th. Devlin Granberg led the way at the plate, going 3 for 4 with a double, walk, stolen base and run scored. Christian Koss drove in the first and last runs of the night. He got the scoring started with a first-inning sacrifice fly and his 11th-inning single plated automatic runner Elih Marrero. David Hamilton doubled and scored twice as part of his two-hit evening.
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May 3, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Sox DFA Shaw, call up Cordero


It was a bit of a rough week for Boston's affiliates, as Worcester was the only team to finish .500 or better this past week, going 3-3. Greenville and Portland each won just one game. Things at the MLB level weren't much better, as they went 2-5. 

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Transactions

Sox add Davis to outfield mix

Outfielder Jaylin Davis came up to the big club for the Baltimore series after being claimed off waivers from San Francisco, where he filled in nicely by making a start in left field and going 2 for 4 with a pair of singles. He was immediately optioned to Worcester after the game, along with right-hander Phillips Valdez. Davis had been playing in Triple-A for the Giants, where he was hitting .296/.340/.500 with five extra-base hits in 10 games. The 27-year-old had previously had a few cups of coffee with the Giants.
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May 2, 2022 at 1:00 PM

April Players of the Month: Ryan Fitzgerald and Brandon Walter


It was a great month for hitters in the system, with Ryan Fitzgerald (pictured) edging out players like Yolmer SanchezCeddanne Rafaela, and Alex Binelas for the award. A 29-0 strikeout-to-walk ratio left Brandon Walter with little competition on the pitching side, though his fellow Portland rotation-mates did keep him honest. 

After hitting .313/.450/1.063 with four home runs in 16 at-bats in spring training, Fitzgerald started out just as hot in Triple-A. He hit four home runs in his first four games for the WooSox and finished the month with a line of .306/.370/.694. He had six home runs and drove in 19 runs, though he also struck out in 32 percent of his plate appearances. He played all over the field defensively, including starting at second, third, and all three outfield positions. He even started to get some reps at first base in practice, which shows that the Red Sox are thinking about ways that Fitzgerald can help the major league squad. Currently ranked 23rd in the system, the 27-year-old will look to keep the good times going and prove he deserves a look as a utility player in Boston. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Casas and Downs go back-to-back; Binelas and Northcut go deep again


5/2 Cup of Coffee: Offensive fireworks in Worcester and Greenville were flanked by poor performances from Portland and Salem. Triston Casas (pictured), went deep for Worcester, while Jeter Downs also homered. Juan Daniel Encarnacion led a tremendous pitching effort for Salem, while Greenville got contributions from multiple players. 

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The WooSox went deep four times as they split the series with Buffalo. Jeter Downs and Triston Casas went back-to-back in the fifth inning as both players went 2 for 4 with a walk. Christin Stewart hit a two-run home run in the second inning, and Rob Refsnyder hit a three-run shot in the third. Refsnyder went 2 for 3 with a walk and also added a double. 

Starter Darwinzon Hernandez walked three batters and allowed three runs in 1 1/3 innings as his ERA rose to 7.90 on the season. The win went to Kyle Hart, who allowed one run over 2 2/3. Darin GilliesEduard BazardoJohn Schreiber, and Kaleb Ort all tossed scoreless innings to keep the Bisons at bay. 
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May 1, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Groome fans 10 for Portland


5/1 Cup of Coffee: It was a very sluggish night offensively for the four Sox affiliates, as each team took a loss. Jay Groome (pictured) was the bright spot of the night, striking out 10 batters without a walk in his outing for the Sea Dogs. Worcester saw some good performances at the plate with home runs from Ronaldo Hernandez and Jeter Downs as well as big nights for Jaren Duran and Triston Casas. Joe Davis also went yard for Portland. 

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Jaren Duran and Triston Casas led the Worcester offense to seven runs, but it wasn't enough. Duran roped a double, a triple, and drew a walk with three runs scored from the top of the order. Casas broke out of a little funk at the plate with three singles and two RBI. Ronaldo Hernandez and Jeter Downs each parked home runs. It was the fourth of the year for Downs. Brian Keller had a bit of a rocky outing, surrendering four runs (three earned) over 4 2/3 innings. The right-hander did strike out five and walked just one. In his first outing back with Worcester, Tyler Danish tossed an inning and a third of scoreless ball without allowing a hit. 

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