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SoxProspects News

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. 

Mayer, 19, is in the midst of his first full professional season after being selected by Boston with the fourth overall pick in last summer's draft. The left-handed hitter was batting .333/.386/.507 with one home run, 13 RBIs, and four stolen bases over 13 games (83 plate appearances) before hitting the 7-day Injured List. It is unclear how long Mayer will be sidelined, but his spot on Salem's roster has been taken by outfielder Kier Meredith.

Hernandez undergoes surgery to repair a torn right meniscus

After tweaking his right knee during a bullpen session earlier this month, Darwinzon Hernandez underwent surgery to repair a torn right meniscus last Thursday. The 25-year-old southpaw was optioned to Triple-A Worcester to begin the season and posted a 5.95 ERA in eight outings (seven starts) and 19 2/3 innings pitched. As of now, the timetable for his potential return has not been revealed.

Brasier optioned, Davis outrighted, Martinez released

In a series of other roster moves involving Worcester, Ryan Brasier was optioned to make room on the major-league roster for Michael Wacha, who was activated from the 15-day injured list on Friday. Brasier has struggled in Boston's bullpen so far this season, producing a 6.28 ERA/6.03 FIP with 16 strikeouts to three walks over 18 appearances spanning 14 1/3 innings of work. Two days prior, outfielder Jaylin Davis was outrighted to Worcester after clearing waivers. The 27-year-old has batted .163/.229/.279 with one home run and three RBIs in 13 games with the WooSox. 

Carlos Martinez, meanwhile, was released from his minor-league contract on May 17 after making just two starts for Worcester. In those two starts, the former Cardinals All-Star allowed 10 earned runs over just 4 1/3 innings pitched. His unofficial second stint with Boston lasted just 11 days.

Other moves

Austin Lambright, one of two pitchers Boston picked up in the minor-league phase of the 2021 Rule 5 Draft, was activated from High-A Greenville's 7-day injured list last Thursday. The left-hander made his organizational debut that very same day and surrendered three earned runs while only recording one out in a 9-4 loss to Hickory at Fluor Field. Greenville also recently reinstated outfielder Nick Decker from the injured list and, in a corresponding move, placed Ricardo Cubillan on the development list. In Salem, outfielder Darel Belen and right-handers Graham Hoffman and Christopher Troye were added to the team's roster from extended spring training. 

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Key Links

On Episode No. 248 of the SoxProspects Podcast, co-hosts Chris Hatfield and Ian Cundall discuss Bello and right-handed reliever AJ Politi earning promotions to Triple-A. The two also react to the news of fellow righty Noah Song (pictured, left) completing flight school and the status of a waiver that would allow him to resume his baseball career. 

Greenville's Nick Northcut currently leads all Boston minor-leaguers in home runs with 15 in 32 games this season. The Boston Globe's Alex Speier recently spoke with minor-league hitting coordinator Reed Gragnani and Greenville hitting coach Nate Spears about what has led to the 23-year-old's power surge.

In his return to Worcester's starting rotation last Thursday, Kutter Crawford allowed just one base runner over four no-hit innings. After struggling to find a role in Boston's bullpen to begin the season, the right-hander spoke with MassLive.com's Katie Morrison about the differences between being used as a starter and reliever.

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Where are they now?
In the wake of the COVID-shortened 2020 draft, Boston signed 16 undrafted free agents, including Fordham University infielder Jake MacKenzie. Known for his speed, MacKenzie made it up to High-A last season before being released in March. The 23-year-old has since latched on with the New York Boulders of the independent Frontier League.

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Players of the Week

Matthew Lugo, SS, Greenville Drive
5 G, 20 AB, 10 H, 3 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 5 R, 8 RBI, 1 SB, 0 BB, 3 K, .500/.524/1.100 

Lugo (pictured, right) continues to impress at the plate in Greenville, as he accounted for four multi-hit games last week. The only time the 21-year-old failed to register more than one hit came on May 19, when he went 1 for 4 with his fifth home run of the season. On the 2022 campaign as a whole, Lugo is slashing .324/.380/.588 with 11 doubles, five triples, five homers, 28 RBIs, 21 runs scored, six stolen bases, nine walks, and 28 strikeouts across 33 games (151 plate appearances). 

Brandon Walter, LHP, Portland Sea Dogs
1 G, 0-0, 7 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 BB, 11 K

It was a bounce-back effort for Walter on Friday against Harrisburg. After surrendering a total of 15 runs (11 earned) in his last two outings, the left-hander yielded only one while scattering four hits and no walks to go along with a season-high 11 strikeouts over seven strong innings of work for Portland. 57 of the 79 pitches he threw went for strikes. Walter has now struck out 60 of the 173 batters he faced this year while posting a 0.88 WHIP. 

Photo Credit: Marcelo Mayer, Noah Song, and Matthew Lugo by Kelly O'Connor