Pat Light Promoted to Pawtucket

As the Red Sox finish up their draft responsibilities as they look to pick up some future All-Stars in the draft, a pitcher in their minor leagues has been making noise this season, after a move to the bullpen. 2012 draft pick Pat Light has been promoted to AAA Pawtucket after a hot start at AA Portland this season.

The Red Sox chose Light as the 37th pick in the 2012 Draft, a draft that includes current Pat LightPawSox players Deven Marrero and Brian Johnson. Marrero and Johnson were both more known that Light among the fans I feel the past few season as they both progressed much faster than Light. Light was a starter in 2013-2014 where he struggled with getting batters out.

Born in New Jersey, Light attended Monmouth University, Light looks to be another arm PawSox manager Kevin Boles can use out of the bullpen. Boles has not seen Light pitch yet, so his first appearance with the PawSox will hopefully be an eye opener. Light’s switch to the bullpen this season has had a great impact on his stuff as he only has to go through a lineup maybe once a game, so they are not seeing all of his pitches.

Before this season Light had never appeared in a game above AA, and now he is one more step to the big leagues, where the Red Sox bullpen continues to look for reliable arms past Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa. Light excelled in Portland with an ERA 2.43 in 21 games with the Sea Dogs collecting 3 saves. The stat that sticks out is only 8 earned runs in almost 30 innings of work with a WHIP of 0.98. Last year as a starter Light had an ERA of 4.83 in 25 starts.

Many players from the 2012 MLB Draft are already making noise in the big leagues including Carlos Correa and Joey Gallo just in the last week. Michael Wacha was taken in that draft as well and looks to be the next ace of the Cardinals right now with Adam Wainright down for the year. The game Pat Light pitches in will be his first in AAA, and soon could be pitching on the mound at Fenway.

Matt Barnes Stretching His Arm Back Out

Matt Barnes
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Pitching two scoreless innings for the Boston Red Sox in relief on April 25th, the effects of the big league club renting PawSox starting pitcher Matt Barnes still linger.

En route to the big league club’s 5-4 loss against the Baltimore Orioles that Saturday, Barnes allowed two hits and struck out one. Closer Koji Uehara gave up a solo shot in thematt barnes tenth, taking home the loss in a heart breaker.

On Friday, Barnes had his first start since April 19th and gave the PawSox four sharp innings on a strict 75-80 pitch limit.

In the first inning, he gave up a solo home run, but it was the sole blemish on a rather productive outing. He went four innings and gave up one run on four hits while striking out seven. In all, PawSox pitching fanned 13 batters in the loss. Barnes got a no-decision for his efforts.
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“It was fine,” Barnes said of his arm following the outing. “It’s just one of those things where you have to dial it back up a bit, but it feels good.”

So far this season Barnes has not been able to throw a full outing for Pawtucket. Before being called up to Boston, Barnes was working on getting his arm back up to par after fighting for a spot in the bullpen this spring. His efforts were unsuccessful, although he fanned 18 hitters in 13 innings.

Manager Kevin Boles is pleased with the way Barnes is pitching, but he held off in giving a time and date as to when he would be pitching a full outing without any limits.
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“We’ll see about that,” he said. “We shortened up his pitch count since he threw two innings in the big leagues. We’re going to do right and build him up over time. Again, it’s a quality arm and the versatility he shows starting and relieving is impressive.”

Garin Cecchini Not Worried About Surroundings

garin cecchini

When the Boston Red Sox signed Pablo Sandoval to a five-year $95 million deal, Red Sox nation was relieved that the third base spot would be filled for the next few seasons.
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The deal, however, effects third base prospect Garin Cecchini the most, as he looked to compete for a job at the hot corner in the near future. Despite being blocked at the big league level, Cecchini is trying to say positive.

garin cecchini“Well, I mean, honestly, when I first heard that they signed him, I was happy because I get to work with someone who was a World Series champion, an MVP,” Cecchini told MLB.com. “I know how good a player he is and I can learn all aspects of the game from him and obviously you see how good he is. It’s only a plus that I can learn from someone like that.”

Highly-touted in the Minor Leagues, there has been a considerable amount of hype surrounding Cecchini in recent seasons. A lifetime .298 hitter in the farm system, Cecchini got his first taste of the show last season, going eight-for-31 with three walks and a home run.

Even though scouts have high hopes for the Louisiana native, he is apathetic to where he is ranked on prospect lists.

“I don’t really think about that,” said Cecchini. “I’ve always been told that good players don’t get blocked from the Major Leagues. I’ve always believed that. I feel like I’m a good player and I feel like I can help the Red Sox win, so any way I can help them win, I’m capable of doing it. You just wait for your opportunity and produce at Triple-A and have patience.”
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Last year for the Paw Sox, Cecchini experimented by playing left field while Will Middlebrooks was on a rehab assignment. Manager Kevin Boles said that the organization tried to create versatility in the organization to try to help out the big league club so that players have a way to make the team.

Despite what Boles made clear last season, Cecchini has not been getting much work in the outfield this season.
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“They told me to strictly work at third base until told otherwise,” Cecchini said. “That’s what I’m going to do and I’m excited about the opportunity to get to show what I can do at Triple-A. It’s going to be good.”

Garin Cecchini Thriving In Left Field

garin cecchini left field

Photo credit: Ken Jancef photography

After a spectacular performance in 2013 split between high-A Salem and AA Portland, Garin Cecchini became an important puzzle piece for the future of the Boston Red Sox. There was only one problem with the contact hitting third baseman: his position. Blocked by Xander Bogaerts at the big league level and by Will Middlebrooks who has been in AAA on rehab for quite some time now, the third baseman needed to find a way to keep getting at-bats. In June, Cecchini started taking fly-balls in practice in the outfield and made his pro debut at the position late that month.
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Although Cecchini never played a position other than third in the pros, this is not his first time playing the outfield. Back in 2009, Garin Cecchini was a top prospect at shortstop, so much so that he was selected to play for team USA on their U-18 team. On a team highlighted by Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, players had to do some moving around and Cecchini found himself playing left field. This had little to do with his performance on defense, but more to do with the number of guys on the team who played the same position.

In 17 games for the Paw Sox playing left field, Cecchini has yet to boot a ball and looks good for someone who lacks experience. Manager Kevin Boles agrees that Cecchini, or Cheech as he likes to call him, looks good.

“He’s showing improvement, we’re seeing cleaner routes… he’s been impressive though, he’s a good athlete.”

The skip also goes on and talks about how important versatility is for a player.

“We create versatility in this organization. I think the best example so far to date this year is Brock Holt. We’re seeing some good versatility moving pieces around. It’s something you see throughout the industry and it’s starting to be more valuable”
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Cecchini seems to be handling the switch well and has nothing but positive things to say.

“It’s good, it’s comfortable for me,” said Cecchini, who enjoys getting out there on a regular basis.

Even though he is playing a different position, it does not phase him one bit.

“It’s the same game, same side of the field, just in the outfield.”

A career .500 hitter in the big leagues collecting a hit in a pair of at-bats, he is still hungry for more. With this in mind, he is still the same guy with the goals. His mentality has not changed one bit except in one small way.

“Just wanting to get back up there makes me work harder.”
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His hard work payed off that game when he hit arguably the best ball he hit all year, his 5th home run of the year. On the year, Cecchini’s hitting a slash line of .244/.320/.334 which for him is a down year, but there really is nothing to worry about. Clubbing five home runs this year, he seems to be on par in that department while going 10-for-11 on stolen base attempts. He is still young, has a great approach at the plate, and fares better against right-handed pitching.

Regardless of where he plays in the field, his bat will lead the way and fans should be more than confident that Garin Cecchini will not disappoint. Whether or not he sticks at third base or in left field is up for debate, but it is good to see young guys moving around, adding to their versatility as Kevin Boles went into great detail explaining.