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SoxProspects News

August 31, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Fitzgerald, Lugo both homer; Weiss makes Worcester debut


8/31 Cup of Coffee:
Two of the four games scheduled for Wednesday night were postponed due to inclement weather. To make matters worse, both minor-league affiliates that were in action lost. In Worcester, Ryan Fitzgerald homered while Zack Weiss made his organizational debut. In Portland, Matthew Lugo (pictured) went deep for the second time in his last four games.

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Shane Drohan struggled in his 18th start of the season for Worcester. The 24-year-old lefty went just three innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits, four walks, and one hit batsman to go along with four strikeouts. All three of those runs crossed the plate in the top of the third as Drohan finished with 78 pitches (42 strikes). Out of the WooSox bullpen, Rio Gomez and Andrew Politi gave up three runs on five hits themselves. Zack Weiss, who was recently claimed off waivers from the Angels, struck out two of the six batters he faced over 1 1/3 scoreless frames of relief. Nick Robertson also fanned a pair in the process of putting up a zero in the ninth.
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August 30, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Song tosses five shutout innings in Greenville win


8/30 Cup of Coffee
: Noah Song (pictured) was sharp for five innings in Greenville's win over Brooklyn, while Hunter Dobbins pitched well in Portland's loss. Yu Chang stayed hot for Worcester with a home run and Nick Yorke had a great game for the Sea Dogs. 

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Yu Chang got the night started off well for Worcester, belting a three-run homer in the second to give them a 3-0 lead. With the score tied at three in the third, Bradley Zimmer put Worcester back on top with a two-run single. Zimmer added another single to his night as well. Ronaldo Hernandez also hit his 17th home run of the season. Brian Van Belle started for Worcester and allowed four earned runs over four innings on five hits. He struggled with his control, walking five, but he did punch out four. Oddanier Mosqueda was terrific out of the bullpen, tossing 2 1/3 hitless innings with three strikeouts and no walks. Justin Garza and Cam Booser combined to allow four late runs in a tough loss for the Sox. 
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August 29, 2023 at 4:55 PM

Minor Notes: Abreu debuts for Boston; Rafaela called up


September is right around the corner as the minor league season is beginning to wind down. A handful of 2023 draft picks have made their professional debuts, while another prospect made his MLB debut and has already made an impact. On top of that, the SoxProspects.com number four prospect has been called up to the show.


Abreu, Rafaela make MLB debuts
 
Coming off of two consecutive SoxProspects.com Player of the Week nods, Wilyer Abreu made his major league debut for the Red Sox in Houston against the Astros last week. He saw his first action after Alex Verdugo was ejected, entering the game in the fourth inning and going 2 for 3 with a double. He would later add a four-hit game that included his first big league home run. Over 19 plate appearances so far, Abreu is hitting .353/.421/.647 with two walks and three extra-base hits. The early returns on his plate discipline and batted ball data have been impressive as well.
 
SoxProspects.com's fourth ranked prospect Ceddanne Rafaela made his MLB debut last night in Boston. In a blowout, Rafaela was inserted into the game as a defensive replacement. In his first MLB plate appearance, Rafaela swung a the first pitch and dunked a single to right-center field. The 22-year old had been tearing up Triple-A, batting .312/.370/.618 with 13 doubles, three triples, 14 home runs, and six stolen bases in 48 games. 
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August 28, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Dalbec breaks out for four hits; Jimenez crushes grand slam


8/28 Cup of Coffee:
On an afternoon in which former top prospect Mookie Betts hit his first Fenway Park home run in nearly four years, Boston's minor-league affiliates went 3-2 on Sunday. Bobby Dalbec (pictured) and Brandon Walter led Worcester to a commanding victory over Rochester. Phillip Sikes homered in both games of a doubleheader Portland split with Richmond. Gilberto Jimenez hit a grand slam while Kristian Campbell went deep for the first time as a pro in Greenville's win over Hickory. Three young Venezuelan prospects each homered for Salem in its dramatic extra-innings loss to Fredericksburg.

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Every member of Worcester's starting lineup recorded at least one hit in Sunday's series finale. Bobby Dalbec, who had been 2 for his last 35 at the plate, broke out in a big way by going 4 for 4 with a home run (his 31st of the season), a triple, three RBIs, and two runs scored out of the cleanup spot. Yu Chang registered multiple hits as well, going 2 for 4 with a home run, a double, two runs driven in, two runs scored, and a walk. Ceddanne Rafaela, batting leadoff, drew one walk and made his only hit of the day count by clubbing a two-run homer in the top of the fourth inning. It was his fourth big fly for the WooSox and his 20th of the year overall. Niko Kavadas plated three runs on a bases-clearing double while Ronaldo Hernandez drove in two.

Brandon Walter dazzled in his 17th start of the season for Worcester. The 26-year-old lefty allowed just one earned run on five hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts over a season-high seven innings of work. He gave up that one run in the bottom of the second and then retired 15 of the final 18 batters he faced from the middle of the third through the end of the seventh. Of the 97 pitches he threw, 64 went for strikes and nine elicited a swing-and-miss. In relief of Walter, Ryan Fernandez and Joe Jacques combined for five punchouts across two scoreless frames out of the WooSox bullpen. 

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A four-run second inning lifted Portland to a series-clinching win in Game 1 of Sunday's doubleheader at Hadlock Field. Nick Yorke paced the Sea Dogs lineup by going 2 for 4 with a two-run single, a double, and one run scored out of the two-hole. Chase Meidroth and Matthew Lugo each doubled as well while the speedy Phillip Sikes went 1 for 3 with his eighth home run of the season. Despite going hitless, Alex Binelas drew two walks, stole two bases, and scored one run.

Wikelman Gonzalez put forth a solid effort in his seventh start of the season for Portland. The 21-year-old righty went five innings, allowing only one run on two hits and two walks while striking out six of the 19 batters he faced. He finished with 90 pitches (54 strikes) and induced 10 swings-and-misses. Out of the Sea Dogs bullpen, Ryan Zeferjahn and Luis Guerrero combined for two scoreless frames of relief.

A four-run seventh inning for Richmond came back to bite Portland in Game 2 of Sunday's twin bill. Alex Hoppe took the loss out of the bullpen, as he surrendered four runs on four hits (three home runs) while only recording the first two outs in the top of the seventh. Sterling Sharp opened for the Sea Dogs and allowed one run in two innings. Wyatt Olds was then rocked for four runs in the fourth. Brendan Cellucci put up a zero in the fifth and Jacob Webb got taken deep in the sixth. Christopher Troye, who took over for Hoppe with two outs in the seventh, retired the only batter he faced.

As he did earlier in the afternoon, Phillip Sikes homered (nine) yet again as part of a 2-for-4 showing in which he doubled, drove in two runs, and scored a pair. Brainer Bonaci also went yard to lead off the bottom of the first and then added two more RBIs on a pair of sacrifice flies. Matthew Lugo tallied a team-high four hits, going 4 for 4 with an RBI, two runs scored, and a stolen base out of the seven-hole. Tyler Dearden and Tyler Esplin each went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. Unlike Dearden, though, Esplin hit a triple.

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Gilberto Jimenez enjoyed a productive day at the plate out of the nine-hole, going 2 for 5 with a grand slam and two runs scored. Kristian Campbell had a memorable afternoon of his own, as the Georgia Tech product hit the first home run of his professional career as part of a 2-for-3 showing in which he also stole a base and recorded an outfield assist. Tyler Miller, meanwhile, went 2 for 4 with a walk and a three-run double. Cutter Coffey and Ronald Rosario each had RBI singles while Allan Castro and Max Ferguson drew two walks apiece.

On what was a bullpen day for the Greenville pitching staff, Nate Tellier earned the win by scattering one hit and one walk with two strikeouts over 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief from the bottom of the second through the end of the fourth. The Attleboro native now owns a 1.04 ERA in six appearances this month. After Caleb Bolden and Gabriel Jackson were tagged for three total runs in the middle innings, Robert Kwiatkowski and Brock Bell combined for two shutout frames to close it out.

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A 13-inning thriller ended in disappointing fashion for Salem. Hayden Mullins served as the opener and struck out four of the seven batters he faced over 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Nathanael Cruz recorded the final out of the second before making way for bulk reliever Jedixson Paez, who yielded three runs (two earned) on seven hits, zero walks, and one hit batsman with three strikeouts across five innings. Railin Perez then gave up one run in the eighth and Jonathan Brand later allowed the automatic runner to score in the 10th. It was ultimately Luis De La Rosa who took the loss, though, as the righty allowed the automatic runner to score in all three innings (11th, 12th, and 13th) he was on the mound.

Johnfrank Salazar, Marvin Alcantara, and Johanfran Garcia powered the Salem lineup on Sunday. Together, the trio of young Venezuelans went a combined 6 for 16 with one home run a piece. Alcantara and Garcia each hit solo shots for their first homers with the Red Sox while Salazar got his side on the board with a two-run blast for his fourth big fly of the year. Garcia added another RBI on an 11th-inning sacrifice fly.

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Player of the Day: As previously mentioned, Bobby Dalbec was in the midst of a major slump coming into play on Sunday. The power-hitting 28-year-old bounced back in a significant way in Worcester's series finale against Rochester, though, homering for the 31st time in the process of putting together his third four-hit game of the season. With big-league rosters set to expand this Friday, Dalbec could be in consideration for a call-up if the Red Sox intend on adding a right-handed bat to the mix down the stretch.

Photo Credit: Bobby Dalbec by Kelly O'Connor

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August 27, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Dearden, Meidroth lead Portland romp; Rafaela doubles twice


8/27 Cup of Coffee: The organization narrowly missed a sweep on a Saturday marked by strong pitching performances. Isaac Coffey went seven strong for Portland and was backed by a 15-hit attack led by Tyler Dearden (pictured) and Chase Meidroth. Grant Gambrell was excellent in his Worcester debut, helping the WooSox expand their second-half division lead. Three Salem pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout, led by the 4 2/3 hitless frames from Noah Dean. Greenville took the evening's only defeat despite a strong performance by Luis Perales.

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Grant Gambrell made a splash in his Worcester debut with 5 2/3 scoreless innings. He allowed just two hits, striking out five and walking four. The 25-year-old righty, acquired in the Andrew Benintendi deal, leads all Red Sox minor leaguers with 121 2/3 innings pitched. Rochester rallied for three runs in two innings against Justin Hagenman, but Nick Robertson went 1 1/3 scoreless to earn the save. Ceddanne Rafaela led the way at the plate, going 3 for 5 with two doubles and three RBI. Niko Kavadas homered, walked, and scored twice as part of a 2-for-3 night. It was his first round-tripper since July 22, and it snapped a 4-for-36 skid. The win gave Worcester a 1 1/2 game lead in the International League East Division second-half standings.
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August 26, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chang tallies four hits, Campbell shines in Greenville debut


8/26 Cup of Coffee:
With the rookie leagues done for the year and Portland rained out, it was a lighter slate on Friday. Shane Drohan struggled again for Worcester, though Yu Chang did his best to help with four hits. Zach Penrod turned in another dominant start for Greenville, and Kristian Campbell did not slow down after his promotion. Salem lost in extra innings despite a strong performance from Johnfrank Salazar
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The Red Sox had the tying run at third in the ninth but fell just short. Shane Drohan allowed six runs for the second straight start, surrendering nine hits and two home runs in 3 2/3 innings. The bullpen dominated from there, keeping Rochester off the board while allowing just two hits. Chase ShugartJustin Garza, and Cam Booser combined for the final 4 1/3 innings. 
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August 25, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Teel reaches base five times, Asigen speeds Salem to win


8/25 Cup of Coffee:
It was an excellent day in the Red Sox organization, with the major league club mashing its way to a 17-1 win and the minor league affiliates putting together a sweep on the day. First-round pick Kyle Teel has made the transition to professional ball look effortless, delivering a three-hit, two-walk effort to lead Greenville. Albertson Asigen (pictured) had an incredible dash around the bases in Salem's ninth-inning victory, "walking" his team off with a race home on a game-ending wild pitch. The day also saw outstanding starting pitching, led by Yordanny Monegro in Salem. Angel Bastardo was solid in his Portland debut, while Brian Van Belle led the WooSox.

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Brian Van Belle turned in a strong start and Worcester took advantage of a pair of costly Rochester errors in Thursday's matinee. Van Belle allowed two runs on five hits in six innings, striking out seven without issuing a walk. The Red Wings clawed back a seventh-inning run against Ryan Fernandez, but Oddanier Mosqueda and AJ Politi went a scoreless inning apiece to close out the victory. David Hamilton had two of the six Worcester hits before getting ejected in the fifth inning. Ronaldo Hernandez doubled for the team's only extra-base hit, while Bobby Dalbec walked three times, scored a run, and stole a base.
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August 24, 2023 at 11:17 PM

Podcast Ep. 292: The New Normal of the Minor Leagues


In the third season since the end of Short-Season-A as an affiliated level of minor league baseball, it's time for all of us to re-calibrate with regard to the levels of the minor leagues. Chris and Ian discussed what the aggressive promotion approach of the team, the views from scouts, and our own experiences tell us about the levels of talent at each tier of the minor leagues and what, as fans, that means. Plus, a look at the latest promotions, the situation in Boston (before two wins against the Astros, to be clear!), and your emails!
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Barraclough remains unbeaten; Garcia has career night in Salem


8/24 Cup of Coffee:
Wednesday's slate featured plenty of drama, as three of the four games were decided by one run. Kyle Barraclough and Enmanuel Valdez led Worcester to a bounce-back win over Rochester. In Portland, Alex Binelas and Blaze Jordan had big nights at the plate for the Sea Dogs, but it was not enough to knock off Richmond. Noah Song offered signs of encouragement on the mound while Allan Castro put together another multi-hit effort in Greenville's loss to Hickory. And in Salem, Jhostynxon Garcia (pictured) tallied a career-best four hits in a loss to Fredericksburg.

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The WooSox remain unbeaten in games started by Kyle Barraclough. Making his ninth start and 10th appearance of the season for Worcester on Wednesday night, Barraclough allowed two earned runs on five hits and two walks with two strikeouts over a season-high seven innings of work. The journeyman right-hander finished with 91 pitches (62 strikes) and induced 11 swings-and-misses. In relief of Barraclough, Nick Robertson and Joe Jacques combined for two scoreless frames out of the bullpen. Jacques, pitching for the second night in a row, was credited with the save.
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August 23, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Walter, Dobbins deliver solid outings; several debuts for FCL Sox


8/23 Cup of Coffee
: Brandon Walter and Hunter Dobbins had great starts for Worcester and Portland, with the Sea Dogs grabbing a win. David Hamilton went deep for the WooSox and Allan Castro had a big game for Greenville offensively with three hits. There were also four pitchers from the 2023 draft that made their debuts in the FCL. 

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Worcester took a brutal loss last night, taking a 7-1 lead into the ninth inning before surrendering seven runs in the frame. Things started off well with a five-run second inning, headlined by David Hamilton's two-run homer. It was his 15th long ball of the year, and he also drew two walks. Ceddanne Rafaela had a nice game as well going 2 for 4 with a stolen base and three runs scored. Stephen Scott and Niko Kavadas each reached base three times with a single and two walks. Brandon Walter was tremendous, going the first five innings while allowing just one run. He struck out six and only issued one free pass. Justin Hagenman was great in relief of Walter, throwing a pair of scoreless innings. Joe Jacques followed with a shutout frame of his own. Justin Garza and Cam Booser struggled, combining to allow seven runs in the ninth inning. 
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August 22, 2023 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Garcia makes full season debut & Romero lands back on IL


As the minor leagues approach the end of the second half and the playoffs, there has been lots of action up and down the system. Some news is great as exciting young players made their full-season debut. While other news is crushingly sad as one of the top-ranked players in the system returned to the injured list. 

Greenville promotions

Shortstop Mikey Romero (pictured, right) was promoted to the Greenville Drive along with outfielder Gilberto Jimenez and righty Caleb Bolden. Romero was coming off an excellent professional debut in 2022 where he hit .304/.368/.506 split between the Florida Coast Red Sox and Salem. However, this season Romero has been unable to repeat the performance as he has struggled with injuries. Jimenez once ranked as high as fourth on the SoxProspects.com rankings to end 2019 but his performance has failed to live up to that early potential as his performance has declined each of the past three seasons. This year he started in Greenville before going down to the FCL and Salem before returning to Greenville. Bolden was drafted in the seventh round in the 2022 draft out of Texas Christian University. The 24-year-old was finishing games for Salem before the promotion, earning four saves in 49 innings all in relief with a 3.67 ERA and 1.27 WHIP with 75 strikeouts.

Romero returns to the injured list

Despite the promotion, it was not a good week for Romero. On Thursday, after making a routine-looking defensive play at shortstop, Romero grabbed his lower back and was removed from the game. The team added him to the IL the next day. Romero, ranked 10th in the SoxProspects.com rankings missed a significant amount of time to start the year with a similar injury, not making his season debut until June 23rd. Prior to his promotion, the 19-year-old was hitting only .217/.289/.304 for Salem. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: 6-3 is a popular score; Campbell stays hot


8/22 Cup of Coffee:
 It was the final Complex Monday of the year, as the Florida Complex League and Dominican Summer League end on Tuesday. There were five games on the docket, as the FCL squad was making up last week's rainout against the Braves, while DSL Red was completing a suspended game against a Pirates team. However, only three of the five were completed as scheduled and in an interesting coincidence, each finished 6-3, with just DSL Red Sox Red coming out on top. Starlyn Nunez led the organization with three hits, while Kristian Campbell (pictured) kept on hitting and Deybi Salcedo added four shutout innings in relief, but errors abound for the two losing squads, as they had four each. 

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The game was tied 1-1 after three innings, but the Red Sox scored just one in the fourth and fifth, while their opponents grabbed five on the back of four Red Sox errors and came away with the victory. This, combined with the cancellation of the second portion of the twin bill, has eliminated the Red Sox from playoff contention. 
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August 21, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Jordan, Yorke lift Portland; Feliz, Ravelo power Salem


8/21 Cup of Coffee:
As the big-league club finished off a sweep of the Yankees in New York, Boston's minor-league affiliates went 2-2 on Sunday. In Worcester, Shane Drohan was unable to build off the success he had earlier in the week and instead took the loss after a short outing. Sticking with the 2020 draft class, both Nick Yorke (pictured) and Blaze Jordan played pivotal roles in Portland's close win over Binghamton. Roman Anthony, Kyle Teel, and Eddinson Paulino combined for six hits, but Greenville still dropped its sixth straight and was nonetheless swept by Winston-Salem. Finally, Luis Ravelo and Albert Feliz powered Salem to hard-fought victory in Salisbury.

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It was a tough day on the mound for Shane Drohan. After dominating the RailRiders in Tuesday's series opener, the 24-year-old left-hander was tagged for six earned runs on six hits, three walks, and three strikeouts over just three innings in Sunday's finale. Half of the runs Drohan gave up came by way of the long ball as both Wilmer Difo and Jamie Westbrook took him deep. Out of the Worcester bullpen, Oddanier Mosqueda and Andrew Politi combined to surrender seven runs (six earned). Andres Nunez and Cam Booser, on the other hand, combined for three scoreless frames of relief.
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August 20, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Abreu homers again in wild WooSox win


8/20 Cup of Coffee: As the big-league club secured a series win in the Bronx, Boston's minor-league affiliates went 3-5 on Saturday. In Worcester, Wilyer Abreu (pictured) homered yet again as the WooSox held on to win a wild one over the RailRiders. Elsewhere, Chase Meidroth homered on an otherwise quiet offensive night for Portland, Allan Castro stayed hot for Greenville, Luis De La Rosa put together an impressive three-inning start for Salem, and Franklin German made an appearance in Fort Myers. 

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It was another high-scoring affair at Polar Park on Saturday, as the two sides combined for 26 runs on 20 hits. Three of Worcester's nine hits left the yard, as Yu Chang went 1 for 3 with a two-run home run (his first with the WooSox), three runs scored, a walk, and a stolen base. Ronaldo Hernandez went 2 for 4 with a walk and a third-inning grand slam for his 15th homer of the season. Wilyer Abreu, meanwhile, stole two bases, drew three walks, and made his only hit of the day count by crushing a three-run blast in the eighth inning for his 22nd big fly of the year and eighth of the homestand. Out of the leadoff spot, Ceddanne Rafaela went 2 for 5 with a pair of singles and two runs scored. Caleb Hamilton, Worcester's No. 9 hitter, went 2 for 3 with two doubles, a walk, and a run scored.
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August 19, 2023 at 7:30 AM

Cup of Coffee: Barraclough strikes out 11; Valdez homers for Worcester


8/19 Cup of Coffee:
The lower minors dealt with a lot of rain, but the full-season leagues all got their games in. Kyle Barraclough was dominant in Worcester, and Enmanuel Valdez (pictured) gave him all the run support he needed. Isaac Coffey had a rare rough outing for Portland, while Allan Castro tried his best to carry his team the victory. 

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Kyle Barraclough improved to 8-0 by striking out 11 over 6 2/3 innings. He gave up one run on two hits and threw 61 of his 99 pitches for strikes. Joe Jacques added 1 1/3 scoreless innings, and Justin Garza worked around three walks in the ninth to get the save. The WooSox had only three hits, with a two-run shot from Enmanuel Valdez accounting for most of the damage. Valdez also singled, as did Wilyer Abreu
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August 18, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Song shows rust, Romero suffers injury in Greenville loss


8/18 Cup of Coffee:
It was a tough night on the farm, with just one stateside squad emerging victorious. A quartet of Salem hurlers led by starter Yordanny Monegro combined for a five-hitter in the Sox victory. Noah Song struggled in his start for Greenville while Mikey Romero (pictured) exited in the first inning with an injury. Brandon Walter and CJ Liu turned in solid starts in losses for Worcester and Portland, respectively. A contest with playoff implications was rained out in the FCL, while the Dominican squads drew a split.

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The WooSox were limited to three hits by a quartet of Scranton hurlers, but a Ceddanne Rafaela solo home run in the eighth actually knotted the score at 1-1 heading into the ninth. It was the 13th home run in 39 Triple-A games for Rafaela and his 19th overall on the year. Wilyer Abreu continued his smashing August, collecting Worcester's other two base hits. Brandon Walter surrendered a solo homer in the first but was unscored upon again in his start, giving up three hits in five innings. He struck out two against two walks. Andres Nunez went a scoreless frame, followed by two shutout innings from Cam Booser. Scranton reached AJ Politi for a run in the ninth, dropping him to 7-4 on the year.
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August 17, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Dobbins dominates for Portland; Abreu homers again in Worcester


8/17 Cup of Coffee:
Boston's minor-league affiliates went 2-4 as a group on Wednesday. Wilyer Abreu, David Hamilton, and Stephen Scott each homered while Tanner Houck wrapped up his rehab assignment as Worcester bounced back from an ugly loss the night prior. Hunter Dobbins (pictured) struck out eight while Elih Marrero had an all-around solid night as Portland held on for its second straight win in Binghamton. At the lower levels, Mikey Romero recorded his first hit for Greenville while fellow 2022 draftee Connor Butler impressed out of the bullpen in his Salem debut.

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In his third and likely final rehab start for Worcester, Tanner Houck was extremely effective. Over four scoreless innings, the 27-year-old right-hander allowed just one hit and zero walks while striking out four of the 13 batters he faced. He finished with 59 pitches (36 strikes), inducing 11 whiffs and sitting between 90.5 to 93.7 mph with his sinker. In relief of Houck, Oddanier Mosqueda surrendered a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning. Joe Jacques, Justin Garza, and Nick Robertson then combined for three scoreless frames out of the bullpen.
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August 16, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Drohan strikes out 10, Anthony picks up four hits


8/16 Cup of Coffee
: Shane Drohan (pictured) was a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing loss for the WooSox, punching out double-digits. Stephen Scott had a big offensive day for Worcester, while Tyler Dearden drove in four runs for Portland. Roman Anthony stayed hot as well and Johanfran Garcia had a nice Salem debut. 

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Worcester lost a tough one, allowing four runs in the ninth inning. Shane Drohan was absolutely tremendous to start it off, tossing six shutout innings with 10 strikeouts. The lefty only allowed three hits and one walk. It's the first time this season with at least 10 strikeouts in an outing. Justin Hagenman surrendered two runs over two innings, but struck out three and did not issue a free pass. The WooSox scored all five of their runs in the sixth inning, which was highlighted by Stephen Scott's three-run blast. It was the 11th homer since being called up to Worcester for the DH, who also added a single and a walk. His OPS is now over 1.000 in 36 Triple-A games. Ceddanne Rafaela drove in the other two runs with a two-run triple. 
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August 15, 2023 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Major league movements; Bonaci, Coffey, Alcantara promoted


Reinforcements are coming. The Red Sox have started to get healthy, which has caused plenty of movement across the system, coupled with some injuries in the minor leagues as the regular season comes to a close and playoffs begin in a few weeks.

Major league returners

A trio of major leaguers returned from the injured list over the past week, which has created ripple effects across the minor leagues.
 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Errors help FCL Sox; DSL squads battle for last time


8/15 Cup of Coffee:
It's another Complex Monday, with some very Complex Monday results. The FCL Red Sox had just six singles on the offensive ledger but used five errors by their opponents to plate four unearned runs and earn the victory. Down in the Dominican Republic, the two Red Sox squads faced off against each other and the game-winning run came in on a balk in a matchup that featured 11 hits, just one of which went for extra bases. Four DSL players in Franklin Arias, Starlyn Nunez, Frederik Jimenez, and Jesus Prado had multiple hits, while DSL Blue got a strong pitching performance from the combination of Yeferson Vargas and Ruben De La Cruz.
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August 14, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Abreu caps off epic week in Worcester with three-homer game


8/14 Cup of Coffee: Sunday's slate featured two blowout wins and two close, low-scoring losses for Boston's minor-league affiliates. In Worcester, the trio of Wilyer Abreu (pictured), Bobby Dalbec, and Stephen Scott combined to hit six home runs as the WooSox triumphed over Buffalo. In Greenville, Max Ferguson and Bryan Gonzalez each homered, while Noah Song started and tossed two scoreless innings for the Drive in their victory over Greensboro. Elsewhere, Wikelman Gonzalez put together a fine effort in Portland, while Marvin Alcantara and Noah Dean broke out in Salem.

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Wilyer Abreu accounted for half of the six home runs Worcester hit in Sunday's series finale at Polar Park. The three-hole hitter went 3 for 5 with two two-run blasts and a solo shot to bring his home run total on the season to 20. Bobby Dalbec also enjoyed a multi-homer performance, going 2 for 4 with a pair of solo shots for Nos. 29 and 30 on the year. Stephen Scott fittingly closed out the scoring by going back-to-back with Dalbec in the eighth inning for his 10th big fly in a WooSox uniform. Scott had doubled prior to that, so he finished his day having gone 2 for 5 with two extra-base hits, an RBI, and two runs scored. Out of the leadoff spot, David Hamilton went 2 for 4 with a run-scoring single, a run scored, a walk, and his 44th stolen base. Enmanuel Valdez (1 for 3) and Christian Arroyo (2 for 5) each doubled as well.
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August 13, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Abreu grand slam powers Worcester; Teel delivers three hits


8/13 Cup of Coffee:
It has been an August to remember for Wilyer Abreu (pictured) and Ceddanne Rafaela, and the two were key cogs for the WooSox once again in Saturday's win. Kyle Teel had yet another three-hit effort for Greenville, while Roman Anthony capped a thrilling comeback for the Drive. Salem and Portland fell despite strong starts from Cristian Nunez and Isaac Coffey. The FCL Sox clung to the victory and their lead in the wild card spot, while a split for the DSL Blue team officially ended their playoff hopes. 

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Wilyer Abreu continued his dominant series against the Bisons with a third-inning grand slam. It was Abreu's third round-tripper in five games, and his 2-for-4 effort brings him to 10 for 17 in the series. Enmanuel Valdez joined Abreu in the home run column with his two-run shot in the first. Ceddanne Rafaela was 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored. Brian Van Belle turned in a quality start for the win, allowing three runs on six hits in six innings, striking out four against three walks. Justin Hagenman struck out four in two frames, giving up just one run on a solo homer. AJ Politi closed things out with a scoreless ninth. 
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August 12, 2023 at 8:25 PM

Podcast Ep. #291: August at the Ballpark


We've got reports from Salem, Portland, and Worcester. We've got new rankings. We've got thoughts about the latest from Fenway. We've got your emails! Join us!
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Monegro strikes out 11; Rafaela homers again


8/12 Cup of Coffee:
There was a lot of excitement in Worcester, with Tanner Houck making another rehab appearance while Bobby Dalbec, Ceddanne Rafaela, and Wilyer Abreu all homered. The home runs continued in Portland with Nathan Hickey, Brainer Bonaci, and Alex Binelas all adding one each, and Yordanny Monegro (pictured) struck out 11 for Salem. 

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Tanner Houck looked sharp in his second rehab start, striking out three without walking a batter over three shutout innings. He threw 23 of his 34 pitches for strikes, and his velocity was consistent with his season averages. Bobby Dalbec went 1 for 2 with a walk and a steal and drove in the team's lone run with his 28th home run. Wilyer Abreu went 2 for 3, and Ryan Fitzgerald went 2 for 3 with a triple. 

The WooSox blanked the Bisons in game two. Brandon Walter struck out two over the first three innings, and Ryan Fernandez followed with three strikeouts in two innings. Joe Jacques and Nick Robertson each had one clean inning in their first appearance since being optioned. After going 0 for 4 in the first game, Ceddanne Rafaela broke out in the second. He crushed a three-run home run and added a single, while Wilyer Abreu went 1 for 2 with his 16th home run. Rafaela has six home runs in nine games in August as he is slugging .805. Abreu is not far behind, with a .742 slugging percentage so far this month. 
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August 11, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Teel continues hot start; Feliz powers Salem slugfest


8/11 Cup of Coffee:
It has been an impressive introduction to the Red Sox organization by first-round pick Kyle Teel. The backstop delivered yet another three-hit game and nabbed another baserunner trying to steal in the Greenville loss. Salem clubbed 15 hits and needed each one of them to eke out the one-run win. An Albert Feliz (pictured) home run in the eighth was ultimately decisive for the Sox. In the only other completed game, Nathan Hickey joined Teel in the fraternity of slugging catchers, but the Sea Dogs fell as they continue to slide in the playoff chase. Worcester and the FCL Sox were both rained out, while lightning halted both contests in the Dominican. 

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Worcester Red Sox vs. Buffalo Bisons (TOR), postponed
The WooSox contest was rained out, but the meet and greet with Hall of Famer Wade Boggs went on as scheduled. The teams were already scheduled to play a doubleheader on Friday, but the schedule was adjusted slightly -- the makeup during the twinbill will be of this contest. The June rainout in Buffalo that was going to be made up with the Bisons as the "home" team in Polar Park is the one that has been canceled. 
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August 10, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Abreu shines for Worcester: Bonaci, Coffey debut with new affiliates


8/10 Cup of Coffee: Boston's minor-league affiliates went 2-3 on Wednesday. Wilyer Abreu (pictured) and Garrett Whitlock headlined Worcester's close win over Buffalo at Polar Park. In Portland, Sterling Sharp pitched well and Brainer Bonaci made his Double-A debut as the Sea Dogs yet again fell in extras at Hadlock Field. Cutter Coffey and Noah Song both debuted for Greenville as part of a blowout loss at the hands of Greensboro at Fluor Field. In Salem, Luis Ravelo homered as the Red Sox came up short against the GreenJackets.

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A rehabbing Garrett Whitlock got the start for Worcester and did not allow a run over 2 1/3 innings. Working his way back from elbow inflammation, the right-hander allowed three of the nine batters he faced to reach base on two hits and one HBP. He recorded three strikeouts and finished with 46 pitches (33 strikes) while sitting between 92-94.5 mph with his sinker. Cam Booser finished things up in the top of the third before making way for Shane Drohan, who received the lion's share of work out of the bullpen. Drohan went five innings, yielding four earned runs on five hits, four walks, and two strikeouts. Justin Garza then picked up the save, retiring the side in order in the ninth.
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August 9, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Teel shines in Greenville debut


8/9 Cup of Coffee
: Kyle Teel was the star Tuesday night, making an impact on both sides of the ball during his first game with the Drive. Roman Anthony homered yet again for Greenville as well. There was a lot more offense in the system, with Worcester scoring 10 runs, Greenville scoring 14, and Salem scoring nine. Portland saw some good pitching performances, with Wikelman Gonzalez (pictured) continuing to rack up the strikeouts. 

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The Sox broke out with a six-run second inning, led once again by Ceddanne Rafaela, who roped an RBI double in the frame. Wilyer Abreu had a big night as well with a 2-for-4 performance that included a walk and three RBI. David Hamilton reached base four times from the top spot in the order, singling and walking three times. He swiped his 42nd bag and scored three runs. Ronaldo Hernandez and Ryan Fitzgerald each went 2 for 5. The first five innings belonged to Rio Gomez, who allowed just one run on a solo shot. The lefty struck out four and only walked one. Ryan Fernandez was great out of the bullpen with two perfect innings and four strikeouts. Andrew Politi grabbed his 11th save with a two-strikeout ninth inning. 
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August 8, 2023 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Song returns, Teel moves up to Greenville


The trade deadline has come and gone. The Red Sox were rather quiet on deadline day, making just one significant deal with the Brewers. We go over that trade and the fallout from it in this week's notes column. We also cover a pair of veterans getting designated for assignment, a former top pitching prospect returning to the organization that drafted him, a current top catching prospect earning a promotion, injury updates, and much more. 

Trade deadline fallout

Shortly after the 6 p.m. ET deadline passed last Tuesday, the Red Sox announced that they had acquired infielder Luis Urias from the Brewers for minor-league right-hander Bradley Blalock. Urias was initially optioned to Triple-A Worcester before being added to the major-league roster on Friday. In his first four games with Boston, the right-handed hitting 26-year-old has gone 4 for 14 (.286) at the plate with one double, one RBI. two runs scored, two walks, and five strikeouts while making appearances at second and third base.
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at 11:00 AM

July Players of the Month: Ceddanne Rafaela and Jedixson Paez


One well-known prospect in Ceddanne Rafaela (pictured, left) and one lesser-known prospect in Jedixson Paez (pictured, bottom right) took home the awards for July. It is a first-time honor for both Rafaela and Paez, who are currently enjoying productive summers with Worcester and Salem, respectively. 

Rafaela was, of course, promoted from Portland to Worcester in late June. In 22 July games with the WooSox, the right-handed hitter batted a stout .337/.378/.630 (144 wRC+) with eight doubles, two triples, five home runs, 19 RBIs, 14 runs scored, two stolen bases, three walks, and 25 strikeouts across 98 trips to the plate.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Dominican rain washes out DSL; FCL Sox swept despite two home runs for Deundre Jones


8/8 Cup of Coffee: Complex Monday was quiet this week, as the Dominican Summer League teams played a combined four innings due to rain that soaked the island. However, the FCL Red Sox were making up a game against the Orioles and played a doubleheader, but lost both contests, headlined by four errors leading to three unearned runs in the opener of the twin bill, with three more errors and two unearned runs in the second half. It wasn't all bad, as Kristian Campbell and Nazzan Zanetello each got their first professional hits in that first game, while Deundre Jones did his best to lead his team to victory with two home runs.

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The regularly scheduled contest, which occurred first, was all Orioles from the jump. They got two runs off of Eybersson Polanco, who had his string of solid outings snapped, and were up 6-0 by the middle of the fourth. Polanco lasted 2 2/3 innings with two runs on his tab, though only one was earned. He surrendered three hits and walked two more against two strikeouts. The bulk of the runs came in on Cesar Ruiz, though two came in unearned in the Orioles' four-run fourth.

Kyle Teel was held hitless in his third professional game, but reports Monday afternoon indicate that he is jumping Salem and headed to High-A Greenville. Kristian Campbell got a double in his first professional at-bat and scored before being lifted. Just two other teammates, fellow draftee Nazzan Zanetello, who also got his first professional knock, and Bryant Zayas, had singles.

The second half of the doubleheader was arguably more painful, as the Red Sox led 3-2 heading into the seventh inning but a double followed by an error walked it off for the Orioles. The bats weren't terribly active in the second game, as Deundre Jones had 40 percent of his team's hits and delivered all of the offense with a pair of deep flies. The home runs were the first of his professional career.

Despite the anemic offense, the pitching fared better in the second contest. Francis Hernandez contributed four shutout innings as the starter, with just four hits allowed. However, Garrett Ramsey had two unearned runs scored on him, as well as two earned ones, over 2 1/3 innings of work.

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DSL Red Sox Blue vs. DSL Pirates Gold (Suspended, rain)
Blue was playing the stronger Pirates roster, as the Red squad was facing off against Black, which has a weaker record. Despite that, their contest didn't get too far, as it was suspended in the top of the fourth due to rain. The Red Sox had a runner on second with two outs and Yoiber Ruiz will be at the plate when the game resumes. The Pirates scored their run in the third on a single, while the Red Sox had not yet gotten a hit.

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DSL Pirates Black vs. DSL Red Sox Blue (Suspended, rain)
Red and Black didn't make it nearly as deep as their counterparts, not even completing an inning before the game was called off due to the weather. The Red Sox already had a run in and had the bases loaded with two outs and Franyer Noria was coming to the plate.

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Player of the Day: Mr. Jones and me, look into the future. Yeah, we stare out as the ball flies over the fence. It was a big afternoon for Deundre Jones, as he did enough to unseat Eybersson Polanco as the Complex Monday player of the week. Jones hit his first two professional home runs after not playing in 2022 as a 17th-round selection out of high school in Texas. The one-time Kansas State commit has a simple swing that should help him succeed as a professional, though the 2-for-3 day at the plate brought his batting average up above .200 in 54 at-bats this year.

Photo Credit: Deundre Jones by Kelly O'Connor

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August 7, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Rafaela, Rosier stay hot; Sale, Story continue rehab


8/7 Cup of Coffee:
As the big-league club capped off a tough weekend with another loss to Toronto, Boston's minor-league affiliates went 2-2 on Sunday. Despite getting walked off on by Syracuse, Worcester received positive contributions from rehabbing veterans and the red-hot Ceddanne Rafaela. Corey Rosier (pictured) made his impact felt at the plate and on the base paths in Portland's blowout win over Bowie. In Greenville, Eddinson Paulino powered the Drive to a comeback win over Rome. While not much went right for Salem, Mikey Romero did double in two runs.

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His home run streak may have come to an end, but Ceddanne Rafaela still enjoyed a productive day at the plate in Sunday's series finale. Batting third for Worcester, Rafaela went 3 for 5 with a double and two RBIs to extend his hitting streak to eight games. Three other members of the WooSox' starting lineup recorded multiple hits as well. The rehabbing Trevor Story went 2 for 3 with a double, a two-run home run, and two runs scored out of the two-hole. Bobby Dalbec and Ronaldo Hernandez each went 2 for 5 with a solo homer. For Dalbec, the third-inning blast was good for his 27th big fly of the season. Enmanuel Valdez went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts in his return to action after missing the last three weeks with a left hamstring strain.
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August 6, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Teel shines in FCL; Rafaela delivers again


8/6 Cup of Coffee:
There were several big performances Saturday down on the farm, but it was top draftee Kyle Teel who stole the show. In just the second game of his pro career, Teel homered as part of a three-hit day, powering the FCL Sox. Ceddanne Rafaela (pictured) went deep again with a game-tying homer in a contest that Worcester would go on to win in extra innings. Jedixson Paez was masterful for Salem, but the Sox needed extra-inning heroics to come away victorious after a ninth-inning collapse. Greenville couldn't capitalize on a big effort by Tyler Miller, while Portland continued to falter in Bowie. The DSL affiliates combined to go 3-0 on the day, with the Blue squad sweeping a de facto doubleheader. 

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The WooSox faced off against old friend Denyi Reyes, who had the game well in control before giving way to the bullpen. Down 2-1 headed into the ninth, Ceddanne Rafaela cracked a game-tying solo home run, the fifth straight day he has gone deep. A two-run shot by David Hamilton in the 10th inning provided a pair of important insurance runs. Caleb Hamilton also went deep with a sixth-inning blast that was the only blemish on Reyes' line. 

Tanner Houck returned to the mound for the first time since taking a line drive to the face in mid-June. Houck understandably showed some rust, allowing two runs on three hits in 1 2/3, striking out three and issuing three walks. Brandon Walter scattered two hits in 3 1/3 scoreless out of the Worcester bullpen. AJ Politi got credit for the win, firing a hitless ninth that included two walks and two strikeouts. 
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August 5, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Rafaela homers in fourth straight; Yuten powers FCL Sox


8/5 Cup of Coffee:
It was a busy day down on the farm, with two doubleheaders complementing a full slate of scheduled games. Ceddanne Rafaela and Natanael Yuten (pictured) continued to provide power bursts in victories for Worcester and the FCL Sox, respectively. Roman Anthony had a big day as Greenville split one twinbill, while Salem was swept away in the other. Portland fell despite a return to form by Chase Meidroth, while Yoeilin Cespedes continued to dominate in the DSL.

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Ceddanne Rafaela made his promised appearance for Superhero Night at Syracuse's NBT Bank Stadium, as the center fielder has gone deep in each of the first four games of the series. Friday's edition was a two-run shot in the eighth inning that gave Worcester valuable breathing room. Rafaela also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Bobby Dalbec went back-to-back with Rafaela in the eighth inning, number 26 on the year for the slugging veteran. Trevor Story had a pair of hits as he continues his rehab assignment, while David Hamilton was 2 for 4 out of the leadoff slot. It was plenty of support for another quality start by Kyle Barraclough, who allowed one run on three hits in six innings, striking out one and walking three. The 33-year-old right-hander has earned the winning decision in each of his seven starts since joining the WooSox, and he lowered his ERA with the club to 2.57. Ryan Fernandez, Justin Garza, and Brendan Nail went a scoreless inning apiece in relief.
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August 4, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Teel, Zanetello eras begin; Scott powers slugfest


8/4 Cup of Coffee:
One of the biggest annual events of the season came along on Thursday, as the Red Sox saw their two top draftees make their professional debuts. Kyle Teel, selected with the 14th overall pick, and Nazzan Zanetello, the 50th selection, joined the FCL Red Sox lineup. While it was an inauspicious debut, with both players going hitless in a shutout loss, the two immediately become two of the top prospects in a resurgent Boston farm system. Elsewhere in the system, Worcester launched a seven-homer barrage led by Stephen Scott (pictured), while Portland found itself on the other end of a slugfest. Greenville and Salem were both rained out, and the DSL squads split their contests with the Pirates' affiliates.

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The ball was flying out of NBT Bank Park on Thursday evening as the two squads combined for 12 home runs in the slugfest, including six in the third inning alone. Stephen Scott blasted two of Worcester seven round-trippers, delivering three-run shots in the fifth and ninth innings. Scott also doubled, finishing the night 3 for 5 with 10 total bases. There was a stretch where four out of five Worcester hitters went deep, with David Hamilton and Ceddanne Rafaela going back-to-back and then Ronaldo Hernandez and Ryan Fitzgerald doing the same. Bradley Zimmer accounted for the other long ball in the fourth inning. Fitzgerald added a pair of doubles, and every Worcester starter had at least one hit. 
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August 3, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Abreu, Rafaela power Worcester; Anthony, Perales propel Greenville


8/3 Cup of Coffee:
As the big-league club dropped another series in Seattle, Boston's minor-league affiliates went 3-1 on a Wednesday that featured two day games and two night games. Wilyer Abreu (pictured) led a power surge in Worcester's come-from-behind win over Syracuse. Sterling Sharp spun five scoreless innings for Portland in its shutout victory over Bowie. In Greenville, Roman Anthony came up just short of a cycle while Luis Perales recorded double-digit strikeouts for the first time in a Drive uniform. Caleb Bolden provided 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief and Albert Feliz homered in what was an otherwise forgettable night for Salem.

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It was a back-and-forth affair for the WooSox and Mets in Syracuse. Wilyer Abreu paced the Worcester lineup,  going 3 for 5 with a go-ahead two-run home run (14) and two runs scored out of the six-hole. He also added a stolen base and two outfield assists. In a similar fashion, Ceddanne Rafaela made his only hit of the day count, launching a solo home run (his second in as many days). Rafaela also scored two runs and worked a season-high four walks. Like Abreu, Rafaela stole one base and picked up one outfield assist. Stephen Scott left the yard as well, as he went 2 for 5 with a double and a three-run blast for his sixth big fly at the Triple-A level. The rehabbing Trevor Story, meanwhile, went 1 for 5 with an RBI double and three strikeouts while playing seven innings at shortstop.
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August 2, 2023 at 10:24 PM

Podcast Ep. #290: Trade(less) Deadline


It seemed like this could potentially be a busy trade deadline... but then it wasn't. Chris and Ian broke down the relative lack of action, as well as the trades the Red Sox DID make, at this year's deadline. Plus, some minor promotions, your emails, and the penultimate Noah Song update.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Rafaela, Yorke, Anthony all homer; Sale rehabs


8/2 Cup of Coffee
: It was a big night for rehabbing Red Sox, as Chris Sale started on the mound for Worcester, while Trevor Story homered for the WooSox. Top-five prospects Ceddanne Rafaela, Nick Yorke (pictured), and Roman Anthony continued to show off their power with a home run each. Blaze Jordan also went deep for the Sea Dogs. Angel Bastardo and Rio Gomez had good performances on the mound.

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Chris Sale was back on the mound for his first rehab start after he went on the IL with a shoulder injury in early June. The lefty tossed two innings and threw 40 pitches, allowing just one hit and no runs. He walked a pair but struck out three, and his fastball was hitting 95 MPH. Rio Gomez followed Sale and allowed two runs over three innings, but eight of the nine outs he recorded came on strikeouts, matching a career-high. Ryan Fernandez, Brendan Nail, and Cam Booser each threw a scoreless inning with one strikeout. Trevor Story stayed hot on his rehab assignment, blasting his third home run, and second with Worcester. He also swiped a bag and now has a 1.067 OPS across nine rehab games. Ceddanne Rafaela also stayed hot with his seventh WooSox home run. The outfielder also singled and is now batting .324 with a .630 slugging percentage in 26 games with Worcester. Niko Kavadas added a couple of doubles as well. 
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August 1, 2023 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: All eyes on the trade deadline with draft signings finalized


With the trade deadline approaching this evening, fans will wait and see if the Red Sox upgrade their roster or deal from their depth. They made a couple of moves around the edges of the team over the last week and finalized all their 2023 draft signings. There was also a big update on Noah Song, while the SoxProspects.com Donation Drive came to a successful close. 

Trade deadline
With the August 1 deadline closing in, the Red Sox have made a few moves to note. On the 25th, they acquired Nick Robertson and Justin Hagenman from the Dodgers in exchange for Kik√© Hernandez and cash considerations. Robertson got optioned to Worcester as he is on the 40-man roster. Both Robertson and Hagenman are right-handed relievers who are now in the WooSox bullpen. Robertson was up with the Dodgers earlier this year and allowed seven runs over 10 1/3 innings. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Polanco leads FCL; DSL squads split


8/1 Cup of Coffee:
It took extra-inning dramatics in the Dominican Republic, but the minor league teams in action posted a winning record, as the FCL squad joined DSL Blue in the win column. Blue came back from 4-1 down after seven innings to win in the 10th, while the FCL Red Sox held a 6-0 lead after seven and secured the victory. However, DSL Red was unable to get the offense going, with just four hits. Strong pitching performances carried teams to victory, including four innings of shutout ball by Eybersson Polanco (pictured).
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