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June 7, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Minor Notes: Bleis hits injured list, Alfaro, Tapia depart organization


The calendar has flipped to June, which always brings plenty of news. The complex leagues, both in Florida and the Dominican Republic, got started on Monday, while some top players, both in the minor and major leagues hit the injured list. Meanwhile, a few players departed the organization, as one opted out of his deal and another was designated for assignment.

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Several Red Sox hit injured list
A few different players have been placed on the shelf in the past week. This list is co-headlined by No. 2 prospect Miguel Bleis and Chris Sale. Both injured their left shoulders, as Bleis strained his on a swing, while Sale was removed from a start on June 1 after just 3 2/3 innings with inflammation.
 
Bleis is off to a slow start in Salem, with a .230/.282/.325 slash line in 142 plate appearances in his full-season debut, but is one of the most exciting prospects in the system. As for Sale, it's another injury setback in a career that's been full of them. He had been on a hot streak, with five straight solid outings, and was on the way to a sixth before departing prematurely.
 
Elsewhere, Portland catcher Nathan Hickey was placed on the injured list, while right-handed reliever Joely Rodriguez joined Sale with left shoulder inflammation.

Corey Kluber returned from the paternity leave list as the countermove for Sale and Jhostynxon Garcia was promoted from extended Spring Training to take Bleis' spot on the roster.

Major league tinkering continues
The Mass Pike has been well-traveled with ballplayers this week, as Chaim Bloom has continued to shift the construction of the 26-man roster as players get healthy and others get hurt.

Christian Arroyo returned from the injured list after missing a month with a hamstring strain, as he was activated on Monday. In a surprise to some, Raimel Tapia was the countermove, as he was designated for assignment. Tapia has strong platoon splits and isn't well-regarded by defensive metrics, while he's also left-handed. Many of the other outfield options (Jarren Duran, Alex Verdugo, Masataka Yoshida) are also left-handed, which limits his utility.

Kaleb Ort and Brennan Bernardino also returned to the big leagues on Sunday as the countermove for Rodriguez' IL stint. Ryan Sherriff also moved down to Worcester. Ort spent May in Worcester after surrendering four earned runs in one-third of an inning April 25 and Bernardino is on his third stint in Boston since being claimed off waivers from Seattle in April.

Old-school draft-and-follow
After a change in the collective bargaining agreement, draft-and-follows are back. Junior college players selected after the 10th round that attend a junior college in the following fall and spring semesters can be signed until the following July 2 for up to $225,000. Austin Ehrlicher, who was selected in the 18th round in 2022 out of Santa Rosa for a bonus of $200,000. He was committed to Arizona State and has a three-pitch mix as a right-handed pitcher.

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Player and pitcher of the month were announced on Monday. Congratulations to Bobby Dalbec and Grant Gambrell!

Players of the Week

Bobby Dalbec, 1B, Worcester Red Sox
6 G, 21 AB, 8 H, 1 2B, 4 HR, 9 R, 5 RBI, .381/.536/1.000
Dalbec (pictured, top), who just earned May Player of the Month honors, closed out the month and started June on a high note, leading the organization in home runs, runs and slugging percentage. The Arizona product has been great in Triple-A, with a .279/.367/.575 career line in 357 plate appearances, including .306/.431/.653 in 181 plate appearances this year. However, that drops to .232/.299/.452 in 911 plate appearances in the big leagues, including .182/.308/.182 in a limited sample in Boston in 2023, as he has been unable to work out the swing-and-miss in his game.

Isaac Coffey, RHP, Greenville Drive
1 G, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K
Coffey (pictured, bottom) was one of five starters to not permit a run and was tied for the most innings of those five, along with Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz. He also was tied for the organization's lead in strikeouts with Shane Drohan, but he did so over 11 innings. Coffey, who is in the middle of his first full professional season, is a strike-thrower with a four-pitch mix, as evidenced by a a 69:8 strikeouts to walk ratio in 49 2/3 innings of work.

Photo Credit: Bobby Dalbec and Isaac Coffey by Kelly O'Connor