Patience Is Key With Red Sox Young Players

The final month of the Red Sox season is upon us and if the Red Sox go 27-0 down the stretch they would finish with 92 wins, good enough for a Wild Card right? Well no one expects that to happen so for the final month the Red Sox will be looking to two things. How their younger players continue to play and the chase of David Ortiz’s 500th home run.

With the young outfield of Rusney Castillo, Mookie Betts, and Jackie Bradley Jr. continuing to show what they are capable of the Red Sox have to be happy with what theyYoung Players are seeing. Down the stretch all three expect to get time in all three outfield positions to help figure out what is the best alignment for the BBC. Castillo has been playing left field for about a week now and has not had any Hanley Ramirez moments yet and likely will not. Betts has played center field for every appearance so far this season, but has been working in left and right the last few weeks and will likely appear in a game on the corners soon. Bradley Jr.’s defense is something that will keep him in the big leagues, but his hitting of late has kept him in the lineup after an extended stay in Pawtucket early on this season. His arm I believe is something that has him fit for right field in Fenway Park. Shane Victorino who was a center fielder for most of his career, excelled in moving to the spacious right field in Fenway.

The pitching staff is something that has handcuffed the Red Sox all season long. Eduardo Rodriguez has looked like someone who will be at the top of the rotation for the Red Sox rotation next season, of course likely below an ace they expect to acquire this off-season. Henry Owens has looked good at times, kept down his walks that he struggled with in minors this year but has had some stinkers against teams with good offenses. Both are players who started the year in Pawtucket and will be likely skipped a few times down the stretch because of an innings limit the Red Sox are looking to adhere to, but not quite a Mets Matt Harvey situation because obviously the Red Sox are not in playoff contention.

The slumps and forgetfulness of young players is something that is all over the game. Patience is something the Red Sox have not had with young players as of late as they tried to win at all costs and not allow players battle through adjusting to the big leagues. The Royals and Astros are examples of players coming up together through the system and go through the slumps together and learn how to win together with a core.

Veterans are important to every team and the Red Sox have David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia but the next great Red Sox team will likely come together and learn some lessons this September.

Kyle Snyder Flourishing in Second Career

Kyle Snyder

Former Boston Red Sox reliever Kyle Snyder’s playing days are long gone, but that does not mean he is shying away from the game.
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Joining the Durham Bulls staff as a pitching coach this season, from a coaching standpoint he might just bekyle snyder on the fast track to the majors— his ultimate goal. After all, he only started coaching in 2012.

Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash and Snyder were teammates back in 2007 on the Red Sox World Series championship team, but in the near future, seeing them coach together is a definite possibility.
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Reflecting back on that World Series run which resulted in Jordan’s Furniture giving away a large array of inventory, there is no doubt that it was Snyder’s favorite year as a ballplayer.

“2007 was a great experience throughout the year, being the best team in baseball from start to finish,” he told Yawkey Way Report. “Being able to contribute to that team meant a lot to me.”
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The World Series championship run marked the first time he spent a full year in the big leagues, after winning the final spot in the bullpen late in Spring Training over Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarmen. Snyder went 2-3 with a 3.81 ERA in 46 outings.

A year prior, Snyder struggled a bit in his starting role for Boston, but a scoreless 4 2/3 inning relief outing helped Boston in deciding whether he should start or relieve.

“It was something I looked forward to when it started,” Snyder said. “Prior to that, I was a starter for most of my career. It was something I was called upon to do and something I relished. I really enjoyed the relief role throughout the year.”
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En route to a 96-win season, the Red Sox won 16 of their first 24 ballgames, putting themselves in position for a successful season.

“I think winning builds chemistry. We hit the ground running and it was that hot start we got in April that built the foundation in terms of the chemistry itself.”

“We played very, very well together.”

Zeke Spruill Ready to Help the Red Sox

Zeke Spruill

Pitching may be among the Boston Red Sox top priorities—and they might not have to look much further than their own system to find quality talent.

Guys like Brian Johnson, Henry Owens, Matt Barnes and Eddie Rodriguez may highlight the system as top prospects, but reliever Zeke Spruill, among others, could be zeke spruillinteresting options for the big league club. Once a starter now working in relief, Spruill gives the PawSox flexibility as a multi-inning reliever.

For the past two seasons, he logged big league time with the Arizona Diamondbacks— 32 innings in 12 appearances (three starts). His 4.24 ERA in the big leagues might not stand out, but as far as relievers go, he is an innings eater.
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Coming over to Boston from an Arizona Diamondbacks club who lost 98 games last year, it is fair to say he is glad he has a chance to contribute to a winning organization.

“I thought it was a great opportunity for me,” he said of the trade prior to Friday’s game.

The Red Sox have yet to call Spruill up, but it is only a matter of time before they need his services at the next level. After all, most of the relievers they call up only pitch in long relief.

“I don’t know about it giving me an edge or anything like that,” says Spruill. “But it does give me more availability to pitch more if necessary.”
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Without a say in the matter, Spruill is not a full-time reliever; a role he is still getting adjusted to. This past off season, he worked to tune things up a little bit in order to have a more successful season.

“My delivery,” he said was what he worked on the most. “Being able to throw all of my pitches from the same arm slot and making sure I’m staying calm and collective on the mound. You’ve got to make sure you’re even-keeled.”
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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.”

Red Sox Struggling Defensively Thus Far

RED SOX DEFENSE

Defense has always been an important part of the game and on St. Patrick’s Day, the Boston Red Sox reminded fans why that is.

En route to an 11-3 beating against the Atlanta Braves, the Red Sox red soxcommitted four errors in what could be best described as a rather sloppy game. Balls were dropped in the outfield, throws sailed all over the place and resulted in free runs for the Braves.
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So far this spring, the Red Sox are a respectable 8-6, not that Spring Training records matter. What does stand out is their performance, or lack thereof, in the field. So far this spring, the Red Sox have committed 15 errors in 14 games— a number which should cause a slight bit of concern.

People do take excellent defenders for granted because many of them struggle so much at the plate. Take Jackie Bradley Jr. for example. He might be the best defensive center fielder in the league, but the team does not feel comfortable with him as the Opening Day center fielder because they have Mookie Betts.
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As time goes on, the Red Sox should be able to improve on defense as guys play where they are most comfortable. Spring Training is about trying new people and new things so it is safe to say, not everyone can play everywhere on the diamond and in the outfield.

Both in the Minors and in the Majors, players will have the opportunity to play where they play best which will help everyone out. Certainly, Minor League baseball is a much different case because it is a low pressure environment.
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It does not help the fielders when their pitchers are getting lit up on a daily basis either. Some guys have trouble just taking the ball an inning at a time at random— they are what we like to call starting pitchers.

Red Sox Sign Moncada Friend Carlos Mesa

CARLOS MESA

In order to sign Yoan Moncada not only did the Boston Red Sox need to shell out $62 million, but they also did Moncada a small favor. As part of the deal, the Red Sox agreed to sign a friend and mentor of his—Carlos Mesa—to a Minor League deal.
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Landing the ninth best prospect in organized baseball, the Red Sox were willing to spare a Carlos Mesaminor league spot for a roster filler if it meant they would land Moncada. After all, that is all Mesa is—a roster filler.

Since the 19-year-old Moncada is slated to start off the 2015 season in low-A Greenville, it is safe to assume Mesa will be tagging along and playing for the Drive in a limited role this season. The 27-year-old played in the Can-Am League last year but struggled. Previously, he was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization where he struggled with plate discipline, walking nine times less than struck out. It is fair to say he will not be in the organization past this year, but he could ease Moncada’s transition to the pros.
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While the Drive should have a number of latino players, there will only be two of Cuban descent. It will help Moncada to have someone who has gone through the same experiences as him on the team instead of being isolated by himself. The transition might not be as severe as a Japanese player to the states, but the game is played differently and teams are run differently on Castro’s island.

No matter what numbers Mesa puts up this season, it is fair to say that they will keep him around for quite some time. It will be interesting to see whether or not he progresses through the system as Yoan Moncada does to ease the process. It is fair to say however that Mesa will not follow him to the big leagues, let alone the upper minors.
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