Tanner Houck surrenders 8 runs as Red Sox get shut out by Twins, 11-0

The Red Sox were shut out by the Twins on Wednesday night for their third straight loss. Boston fell to Minnesota by a final score of 11-0 at JetBlue Park to drop to 12-10-4 in Grapefruit League play.

Tanner Houck, making his fifth start of the spring, endured his fair share of struggles. The right-hander got rocked for eight runs (all earned) on 10 hits, zero walks, and three hit batsman to go along with six strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings of work.

Surprisingly, Houck looked sharp out of the gate. He quickly retired the first two batters he faced in the first inning, but then gave up a solo home run to Trevor Larnach. Houck allowed the next three Twins hitters he faced to reach base on a single and two HBPs before yielding a bases-clearing, three-run double to Michael A. Taylor to give Minnesota an early 4-0 lead.

Having already thrown 29 pitches to that point, Houck was temporarily removed from the game so that Chase Shugart could record the final out of the first. He then came back out for the second and sat down the side in order before putting up another zero in the third. The fourth inning, though, is where things started to get away.

Again, Houck quickly recorded the first two outs of the frame before giving up a two-out single to Joey Gallo. Jose Miranda then crushed a two-run homer over the faux Green Monster. After Larnach reached on a two-out single of his own, Houck served up another two-run shot to Kyle Farmer to put the Twins up, 8-0.

If there was any consolation for Houck, it would be that he retired three of the last four batters he faced through the middle of the fifth. Still, it was a discouraging outing for the 26-year-old, who finished with 89 pitches and now owns an ERA of 8.31 across 17 1/3 innings this spring. He will make one more Grapefruit League start before taking the ball against the Orioles at Fenway Park on April 2.

In relief of Houck, Chris Martin received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen from manager Alex Cora and got tagged for two runs on three hits (all doubles) in the sixth. He also struck out three batters. Kaleb Ort then worked his way around a two-out walk in a scoreless seventh inning before giving up a leadoff single to DaShawn Keirsey Jr. and a one-out RBI double to Mikey Perez in the eighth.

Following a 1-2-3 top of the ninth from Ryan Miller, the Red Sox were suddenly down to their final three outs and staring an 11-run deficit in the face. To that point, the Boston bats had been completely held in check by Joe Ryan and the rest of Minnesota’s pitching staff.

Ryan, who made his fourth start of the spring for the Twins, gave up just two hits and walked one over five scoreless frames. Those two hits came in the form of an Enrique Hernandez infield single in the second and a bloop single from Rob Refsnyder in the fifth. Neither Hernandez nor Refsnyder advanced past first base.

In the bottom of the sixth, with Ryan out and reliever Emilio Pagan in for Minnesota, Justin Turner reached on a two-out walk (his second of the night) and promptly went from first to third on an Adam Duvall double. But the threat was extinguished when Raimel Tapia flew out to the third baseman in foul territory.

Fast forward to the eighth, Chase Meidroth led off with a single and found himself at third base with two outs before Cole Sands ended the inning by retiring Narciso Crook. And in the ninth, Caleb Hamilton ripped a one-out double off Sands before Marcus Wilson and Bobby Dalbec each struck out to end it.

With the loss, the race for the 2023 Chairman’s Cup is now tied at two games apiece. The decisive rubber match will take place on Sunday afternoon back at JetBlue Park.

Next up: Winckowski starts in Bradenton

The Red Sox will travel to Bradenton to take on the Pirates on Thursday afternoon. Josh Winckowski will get the start for Boston opposite fellow right-hander Johan Oviedo for Pittsburgh.

First pitch from LECOM Park is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN360.

(Picture of Tanner Houck: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)


Triston Casas scratched from Red Sox lineup with ‘left fifth finger pain’

Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas was scratched from Tuesday’s starting lineup with “left fifth finger pain,” the club announced. He is considered day-to-day, per manager Alex Cora.

Casas was originally starting at first base and batting cleanup for the Red Sox in their Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles in Sarasota on Tuesday afternoon. Non-roster invitee Daniel Palka will now get the start in his place behind left-hander Chris Sale.

When speaking with reporters (including The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier) on Tuesday, Casas did not seem all too concerned about his injury. The 23-year-old said he jammed his left pinky while catching a medicine ball and was left with some slight swelling as a result. Like Cora, he does not expect to miss too much time.

Casas, who made his major-league debut last September, is having himself a solid spring. The left-handed hitting rookie has gone 14-for-41 (.341) at the plate with three doubles, two home runs, seven RBIs, nine runs scored, four walks, and 11 strikeouts in 15 Grapefruit League games. He is slated to take over as Boston’s everyday first baseman this season.

With just nine days to go until Opening Day, the Red Sox have been dealing with their fair share of injuries as of late. As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, seven players — Connor Wong, Trevor Story, Adalberto Mondesi, Brayan Bello, James Paxton, Joely Rodriguez, and Garrett Whitlock — are expected to start the 2023 campaign on the injured list.

(Picture of Triston Casas: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox reliever Joely Rodríguez has Grade 2 right oblique strain

Red Sox reliever Joely Rodriguez has a Grade 2 right oblique strain, manager Alex Cora announced Monday.

Rodriguez suffered a right side injury in the eighth inning of Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles at JetBlue Park. After throwing his 13th pitch, the left-hander grabbed at his side and was immediately taken out of the game.

While heading back to the clubhouse with a member of the the Red Sox’ training staff, Rodriguez could be heard groaning in discomfort. The club initially described the issue as right torso pain, but the southpaw underwent further imaging in the form of an MRI and received a more concrete diagnosis as a result.

When speaking with reporters (including The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier) following Monday’s 7-5 loss to the Pirates in Fort Myers, Cora could not provide a specific timetable for when Rodriguez could return to action.

“Timetable is whenever he’s ready,” Cora said. “We’ve just got to attack it and get him healthy.”

As noted by Speier, a Grade 2 — or moderate — oblique strain typically comes with a six-to-eight week shutdown period, meaning Rodriguez would not be ready to pitch in big-league games for another two-plus months. If that winds up being the case, that would be a tough blow for the 31-year-old after signing one-year deal with the Red Sox in November that guarantees $2 million and comes with a $4.25 million club option for 2024.

Rodriguez, who spent the 2022 season with the Mets, underwent minor shoulder surgery before signing with Boston in the fall. The Dominican-born hurler was expected to be ready for Opening Day and was being ramped up slowly this spring, but Monday’s news obviously changes that trajectory.

Now, the Red Sox will be tasked with identifying another lefty to pair with Richard Bleier out of the bullpen. Cora has already named Oddanier Mosqueda and Ryan Sherriff as two possible candidates, but he also ruled out using top pitching prospects such as Chris Murphy and Brandon Walter, who are slated to begin the year in Triple-A Worcester’s starting rotation.

Both Mosqueda and Sherriff were in camp as non-roster invitees earlier this spring. The former, who does not turn 24 until May, has allowed one earned run in 5 1/3 innings of Grapefruit League play but has yet to pitch above the Double-A level.

Sherriff, meanwhile, made his sixth appearance of the spring on Monday and struck out in a scoreless eighth inning. The 32-year-old has yet to a surrender an earned run across 5 2/3 frames and, unlike Mosqueda, has prior major-league experience.

The Red Sox, of course, could also look to the trade market or waiver wire if they want to add to their bullpen externally. Regardless of which route they take, placing Rodriguez on the 60-day injured list before Opening Day would clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

(Picture of Joely Rodriguez: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox reliever Joely Rodríguez likely to start season on injured list

Red Sox reliever Joely Rodriguez will likely start the season on the injured list, manager Alex Cora said Sunday.

Rodriguez suffered a right side injury in the eighth inning of Saturday’s 9-6 win over the Orioles at JetBlue Park. After throwing his 13th pitch, the left-hander grabbed at his side and left the game with a trainer. He was “groaning in pain as he went to the clubhouse,” according to Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe.

When speaking with reporters (including MLB.com’s Ian Browne) ahead of Sunday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Phillies in Clearwater, Red Sox manager Alex Cora indicated that Rodriguez was dealing with some sort of oblique injury after initially being diagnosed with right torso pain.

“Sore this morning,” Cora said of Rodriguez. “We feel it’s the oblique area, but he’s going to get imaging tomorrow so we’ll know more. It looks like it’s going to be an IL kind of thing. How long? We’ll know more tomorrow.”

Rodriguez, 31, signed a one-year deal with the Red Sox in November that guarantees $2 million and comes with a $4.25 million club option for 2024. The Dominican-born southpaw was expected to be one of Boston’s top left-handed relief options alongside Richard Bleier.

Now that Rodriguez is slated to miss time, the Red Sox will have to look elsewhere if they intend on adding a second lefty to the bullpen mix. On Sunday, Cora identified 32-year-old Ryan Sherriff and 23-year-old Oddanier Mosqueda, who were both at camp as non-roster invitees, as potential internal candidates.

Sherriff, who has allowed one unearned run in 4 2/3 innings of work this spring, has made 44 career relief appearances at the big-league level between the Cardinals (2017-2018) and Rays (2020-2022). Mosqueda, who has allowed one earned run in 5 1/3 innings, has yet to make his major-league debut, though he is coming off a strong 2022 season with Double-A Portland.

“He throws strikes and has deception,” Cora said of Mosqueda. “Analytics-wise, his stuff is really good. He can go multiple innings, too.”

Additionally, Cora ruled out the possibility of using pitching prospects like Brandon Walter and Chris Murphy out of the bullpen, per The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. The two talented lefties are instead expected to begin the year in Triple-A Worcester’s starting rotation.

If the Red Sox were to look externally for left-handed relief options, then one would have to assume that chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. are closely monitoring the trade market and waiver wire as Opening Day approaches.

As noted by Browne, though, the club will have a better idea of where things stand with Rodriguez and his injury timeline in the coming days. That, too, will be worth monitoring.

(Picture of Joely Rodriguez: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Greg Allen hits grand slam, Brayan Bello fans 3 in spring debut as Red Sox come back to defeat Phillies, 9-5

The Red Sox closed out the weekend by mounting a comeback victory over the Phillies in Clearwater, Fla. on Sunday. Boston defeated Philadelphia by a final score of 9-5 at BayCare Ballpark to improve to 12-7-4 in Grapefruit League play.

Nick Pivetta, making his fourth start of the spring for Boston, allowed four earned runs on four hits and two walks to go along with five strikeouts over four-plus innings of work. The right-hander ran into trouble right away in the bottom of the first, as he gave up a one-out solo shot to former teammate Rhys Hoskins.

Despite facing an early deficit, though, the Red Sox quickly got that run back in the second. Christian Koss led off the inning by ripping a double to left field. He then moved up to third base on a Ryan Fitzgerald grounder before Nick Sogard plated him with an RBI single off Phillies starter Luis Ortiz.

With things tied back up at one run apiece, Pivetta appeared to settle down by striking out two in a scoreless bottom of the second. But he yielded a leadoff double to Max McDowell in the third and followed that by serving up a two-run home run to Cody Roberts that gave Philadelphia a 3-1 lead.

Again, Boston responded in the fourth by trimming that two-run deficit in half. With new reliever Ben Bowden now in the game for the Phillies, Fitzgerald greeted the left-hander by belting a 419-foot leadoff home run to deep right field for his first big fly of the spring.

Pivetta worked his way around a leadoff single in the fourth and came back out for the fifth. But he began the inning by issuing a leadoff walk to McDowell. With his pitch count already sitting at 84 (50 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler was given the hook in favor of minor-league left-hander Brendan Cellucci.

Cellucci, a Philadelphia-area native, allowed the lone runner he inherited to move up to third on a pair of walks, thus loading the bases for the Phillies. Nick Castellanos promptly drove in two of those runners by lacing a wind-aided, two-run double to center field. Cellucci gave up his third free pass of the inning and was relieved by the flame-throwing Luis Guerrero, who topped out at 98.3 mph with his fastball in the process of fanning the only two batters he faced.

Having just seen a one-run deficit increase to three, the Red Sox wasted no time in rallying in the sixth. After Jakob Hernandez filled the bases with only one out in the inning, Greg Allen came through with a go-ahead grand slam that cleared the right-center field fence in just 4.5 seconds. Allen’s first home run of the spring gave Boston its first lead of the afternoon at 6-5.

Given that brand-new one-run lead to protect, Brayan Bello came on for his spring debut in the latter half of the sixth. After being slowed by right forearm tightness last month, the 23-year-old rookie punched out three of the six Phillies batters he faced over two perfect frames of relief. Of the 25 pitches he threw, 18 went for strikes.

Following a 1-2-3 eighth inning from Ryan Brasier, the Red Sox tacked on three more runs in the top of the ninth. Blaze Jordan brought in one of those runs with a broken-bat single while Nick Decker drew a bases-loaded walk and Matthew Lugo drove in Stephen Scott with a sacrifice fly to left field.

Rio Gomez, fresh off representing Colombia in the World Baseball Classic, needed just 14 pitches (9 strikes) to strike out the side in the bottom of the ninth and secure a 9-5 win for the Red Sox.

Ravelo exits with knee contusion

During Boston’s ninth-inning rally, minor-leaguer Luis Ravelo suffered a left knee contusion. It happened after Ravelo had reached base on a fielding error and moved up to second on a walk.

On Jordan’s single, part of the first baseman’s shattered bat wound up hitting Ravelo in the knee as he ran towards third. The 19-year-old was immediately removed from the game after a brief visit from Red Sox manager Alex Cora and a member of the team’s training staff.

Next up: Whitlock makes first start of spring

The Red Sox will return to Fort Myers on Monday afternoon to host the Pirates. Garrett Whitlock is slated to make his first start of the spring for Boston while fellow right-hander Luis Ortiz will take the mound for Pittsburgh.

First pitch from JetBlue Park is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Greg Allen: Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Red Sox reliever Joely Rodríguez leaves game with right side injury

Red Sox reliever Joely Rodriguez suffered a right side injury in the eighth inning of Saturday’s Grapefruit League game against the Orioles at JetBlue Park.

Rodriguez had allowed one run on two hits before facing Colton Cowser with one out in the eighth inning. On his fourth pitch to the Orioles center fielder (and 13th of the appearance), the left-hander threw a ball and immediately grabbed at his right side.

After receiving a visit from Red Sox manager Alex Cora and a team trainer, Rodriguez was immediately taken out of the game. According to Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe, the 31-year-old southpaw was “was groaning in pain as he went to the clubhouse and was holding onto his side.”

Following Boston’s 9-6 win over Baltimore, Cora indicated that Rodriguez — who was initially diagnosed with right torso pain — will undergo further testing to determine the severity of the injury.

“Sore,” Cora said, via MLB.com’s Ian Browne. “We’ll know more tomorrow how he comes back and probably do some imaging to see where we’re at. He’s in pain, in the right torso area.”

The Red Sox signed Rodriguez to a one-year, $2 million deal that comes with a $4.25 million club option for 2024 back in November. Coming into the year, the Dominican-born hurler was expected to be one of Boston’s primary left-handed relief options this season alongside Richard Bleier.

Saturday marked Rodriguez’s fourth appearance of the spring for the Red Sox. As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the club has taken things slowly with Rodriguez after he underwent offseason shoulder surgery. Prior to Saturday’s incident, Rodriguez was expected to be ready for Opening Day. It now appears as though he could start the season on the injured list.

If Rodriguez is sidelined to begin the year, the Red Sox could very well look to add another lefty reliever to pair with Bleier before the regular season begins. Internally, non-roster invitees like Matt Dermody, Ryan Sherriff, and Oddanier Mosqueda — who have all been reassigned to minor-league camp — represent a few possibilities.

On the 40-man roster, the Red Sox have a pair of intriguing lefties in Chris Murphy and Brandon Walter, though neither prospect has yet to pitch at the major-league level. They are both slated to begin the year in Triple-A Worcester’s starting rotation.

(Picture of Joely Rodriguez: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox prospect Christian Koss turning heads with his defense this spring: ‘He’s a good one,’ Alex Cora says

Red Sox infield prospect Christian Koss picked up his first hit of the spring in Wednesday’s Grapefruit League win over the Rays at JetBlue Park.

After replacing Bobby Dalbec at shortstop in the top half of the seventh, Koss made his one and only plate appearance of the afternoon count in the latter half of the seventh.

With one out and the bases loaded, Koss worked a 2-2 count against Rays reliever Anthony Molina before ripping a groundball single through the right side of the infield. Both Daniel Palka and Matthew Lugo scored on the play to give the Red Sox a 9-1 lead, which would go on to be Wednesday’s final score.

Koss broke out of an 0-for-10 rut to begin his spring and is now batting .091 in eight Grapefruit League games. More importantly, however, is the defense the 25-year-old has provided around the spring.

On Wednesday, for instance, Koss showed off his athleticism by robbing Gavin Collins of a potential base hit in the eighth inning. The 6-foot-1, 182-pounder laid out to his right to corral a sharply-hit grounder. He then quickly got back to his feet and made an accurate throw across the diamond in plenty of time to record the out at first base.

As was recently highlighted by The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams, Koss has been turning heads at Red Sox camp thanks to his defensive prowess at short. Though he was a late arrival in Fort Myers due to the birth of his first child, Koss has impressed with his range and arm strength.

“He loves to play the game,” manager Alex Cora said of Koss last week. “He’s made some great plays at shortstop, very athletic, versatile. He’s a good one.”

Koss is entering his third season in the Red Sox organization after originally being acquired from the Rockies in December 2020. The right-handed hitter is coming off a 2022 campaign in which he batted .260/.309/.430 with 22 doubles, five triples, 17 home runs, 84 RBIs, 69 runs scored, 16 stolen bases, 25 walks, and 137 strikeouts in 125 games (532 plate appearances) for Double-A Portland. He also saw playing time at five different positions (second base, third base, shortstop, left field, and right field) and was named the Sea Dogs’ Most Valuable Player.

The Red Sox could have added Koss to their 40-man roster in November to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft but they elected not to. Koss, in turn, spent part of his winter in Puerto Rico playing for the Criollos de Caguas, where he logged innings at first base, second base, third base, shortstop, and left field over the course of 29 games.

According to Cora, the Red Sox view Koss as one of the best defenders in not only their system, but the entire minor-leagues as a whole. That can be attributed to Koss’ baseball IQ, which he first developed as an undersized high schooler and continued to work on during his three years at UC Irvine.

“A lot of my stuff goes into the mental side of it,” Koss told McWilliams. “So a lot of anticipation, a lot of game prep, stuff like that. As far as the defensive aspect, I think a lot of it has to do with positioning, where coaches put me. But it’s a lot of anticipation and just getting good jumps on balls.

“Being that small kind of player, that’s where I had to stand out,” he added. “I had to know more about the game, about the situation.”

Koss, who just turned 25 in January, is currently regarded by SoxProspects.com as the No. 33 prospect in Boston’s farm system. He is projected to start the 2023 season with Triple-A Worcester and, as things stand now, is one of just 12 non-roster invitees remaining at big-league camp.

As he prepares to make the jump to Double-A to Triple-A, Koss is looking to refine his plate discipline after watching his walk rate (6.6 to 4.7 percent) drop and his strikeout rate (21.4 to 25.8 percent) last year.

“I think last year I just caught myself edging on the shadow with the pitcher more, and it gave them more power to get me to chase off the plate,” said Koss. “A lot of the spring is just trying to dial it back in over the plate and get good swings off.”

Corey Kluber named Red Sox’ Opening Day starter

The Red Sox have named Corey Kluber as their Opening Day starter, manager Alex Cora announced on Wednesday. The two-time Cy Young Award winner will get the ball against the Orioles at Fenway Park on March 30.

Kluber, who turns 37 next month, signed a one-year, $10 million deal with the Red Sox in January that comes with a club option for 2024. Shortly after putting pen to paper, Cora informed the veteran right-hander that he would be starting on Opening Day.

“I talked to him right after orientation meetings — Winter Weekend,” Cora told reporters (including MLB.com’s CJ Haddad). “I gave him a call the next week and said, ‘Hey, you’re going to be my Opening Day starter. So whatever you have to do family-wise, structure-wise, be ready, you’re pitching that day.’ He appreciated that.”

Kluber is coming off a 2022 campaign with the Rays in which he posted a 4.34 ERA and 3.57 FIP with 139 strikeouts to 21 walks over 31 starts spanning 164 innings of work. Prior to that, the three-time All-Star made five consecutive Opening Day starts while with Cleveland from 2015-2019.

Over the weekend, Cora revealed that Chris Sale would not be getting the nod on Opening Day after the left-hander has been mired by injuries in each of the last three seasons. Instead, Sale will get the chance to enjoy the festivities on March 30 (his 34th birthday) as a spectator before making his first start in Boston’s second game against Baltimore on April 1.

“I want him to enjoy Thursday (March 30, Opening Day) as a regular baseball player,” Cora said Sunday. “Just the whole Opening Day thing. Whenever he pitches in the rotation, he’ll pitch in the rotation. But I decided that like a month and a half ago.”

Kluber made his fourth start of the spring against the Rays at JetBlue Park on Wednesday. He will likely make two additional Grapefruit League starts before the Red Sox head north and the 2023 regular season begins.

Beyond Kluber and Sale, how the rest of the Red Sox’ starting rotation will shake out to begin the year is still somewhat of a mystery. With James Paxton (hamstring strain), Brayan Bello (forearm tightness), and Garrett Whitlock (slow buildup after September hip surgery) all candidates to start the season on the injured list, Boston could break camp with Kluber, Sale, Nick Pivetta, Tanner Houck, and Kutter Crawford as its five starters.

“It’s one start,” said Cora. “Obviously, it’s a special one because it’s Opening Day, but after that, I think at one point nobody remembers who was the Opening Day starter. Everybody has to do their part regardless. The five guys are going to start, and then guys are going to join them later on.”

Kluber has often said that Fenway Park is one of his favorite ballparks to pitch in. The Alabama native makes his offseason home in Winchester, Mass. (where his wife, Amanda is from) and will now have the chance to make some lifelong memories later this month.

“I’m excited about [Kluber],” Cora said. ” I know it’s special for his family, and it should be a fun one.”

(Picture of Corey Kluber: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox option prospect Enmanuel Valdez to Triple-A Worcester as spring training roster cuts continue

Following a 6-2 loss to the Tigers on Tuesday, the Red Sox made their fifth round of spring training roster cuts.

After previously sending down pitching prospect Chris Murphy, Boston also optioned infielder/outfielder Enmanuel Valdez to Triple-A Worcester and reassigned left-hander Oddanier Mosqueda and right-hander Chase Shugart to minor-league camp.

Valdez, 24, has appeared in 14 Grapefruit League games for the Red Sox this spring. The left-handed hitter has gone 5-for-25 (.200) at the plate with one home run, two RBIs, four runs scored, seven walks, and eight strikeouts in that span.

The Red Sox acquired Valdez (and Wilyer Abreu) from the Astros in last August’s Christian Vazquez trade. They then added the native Dominican to the 40-man roster in November in order to prevent him from reaching minor-league free agency.

In 44 games with the WooSox down the stretch last season, Valdez batted ..237/.309/.422 with nine doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 30 RBIs, 26 runs scored, three stolen bases, 19 walks, and 48 strikeouts over 195 plate appearances. On the other side of the ball, the 5-foot-9, 191-pounder saw playing time at second base, third base, and in left field.

Valdez is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 19 prospect in Boston’s farm system. He could very well make his major-league debut at some point this season, but he will first return to Worcester to continue with his development.

“Valdez still needs some seasoning, quote-unquote, to get better defensively and offensively,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters (including The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier). “But you can’t rule him out.”

Mosqueda, 23, has appeared in four Grapefruit League games for the Red Sox this spring. The Venezuelan-born southpaw has allowed just one earned run on five hits, one walk, and six strikeouts over five innings of relief. He needed just 12 pitches (10 strikes) to punch out a pair and toss a scoreless seventh inning against the Tigers on Tuesday.

A member of Boston’s 2015 international signing class, Mosqueda re-signed with the organization he began his professional career with over the winter after posting a 4.30 ERA and and 4.05 FIP with 76 strikeouts to 20 walks across 45 relief appearances (58 2/3 innings) for Double-A Portland last year.

Back in February, The Athletic’s Chad Jennings identified Mosqueda as a potential dark-horse out of the bullpen for Boston in 2023, noting that he “has been singled out by one Red Sox evaluator as a legitimate big-league possibility this season.”

Shugart, meanwhile, was roughed up by the Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium. The 26-year-old righty was tagged for five runs (four earned) on three hits and two walks. He only managed to record the first out of the eighth inning and was ultimately charged with the losing decision.

Coming into Tuesday’s Grapefruit League action, Shugart had yet to surrender a run in his first four appearances (three innings) of the spring. The University of Texas product split the 2022 campaign between Portland and Worcester. He will more than likely join Mosqueda in the WooSox bullpen to begin the 2023 season.

With these three subtractions made, the Red Sox now have 47 players remaining at major-league camp in Fort Myers. Of those 47 players, 13 are in camp as non-roster invitees. They will have to get down to 26 players before Opening Day on March 30.

(Picture of Enmanuel Valdez: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox outfield prospect Miguel Bleis shows flashes of his potential in first Grapefruit League start

Red Sox outfield prospect Miguel Bleis made his impact felt on both sides of the ball in what was his first career Grapefruit League start on Monday afternoon.

Though the Red Sox were trounced by the Blue Jays by a final score of 16-3 in Dunedin, Bleis made the most of his opportunity while serving as Boston’s starting right fielder.

Right out of the gate, Bleis was put on the spot with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning. Red Sox starter Chris Murphy had just given up an RBI single to Addison Barger. Alejandro Kirk easily scored from third on the play, but Brandon Belt was also trying to come in from second to triple his side’s lead.

Bleis, who was playing in deep right field, quickly charged at Barger’s 104.4 mph base hit. With his momentum carrying him towards the infield, Bleis collected himself and unleashed an accurate dart to catcher Stephen Scott that arrived in plenty of time to snuff out Belt at home plate and the end inning.

In the top of the second, Bleis found himself coming to the plate with two outs, the bases loaded, and All-Star starter Alek Manoah on the mound for Toronto. Unfazed by the moment, the right-handed hitter took a 1-2 sinker that was in by his hands and promptly slapped it to the opposite field for what was then a game-tying two-run single.

Bleis was able to put his speed on display by going from first to third on an Enmanuel Valdez RBI single. In the latter half of the second, he made a running grab to rob Whit Merrifield of a hit. But the 19-year-old also showed his lack of experience when he allowed another single off the bat of Barger to get under his glove in the third, which led to three more Toronto runs crossing the plate. He then struck out swinging against Manoah in the fourth.

“That’s why I don’t get too excited, especially in the market where we play,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Bleis when speaking with reporters (including MLB.com’s Joey Johnston). “He has a lot of great tools, no doubt. It seems like everybody knows everybody … and there’s a passion about the kids. But at the same time, I played with guys who were the second coming of whoever — and they never panned out.

“In my mind, I have to be the one who stays calm and keeps it neutral instead of getting too excited,” he added. “When they become big leaguers, they’re big leaguers. But there’s a process. … Just be patient. You’re going to go through ups and downs. When you’re up high, how will you act? When you’re down [low], how will you act? Be patient.”

Bleis, who just turned 19 earlier this month, originally signed with the Red Sox for $1.05 million as a highly-touted international free agent coming out of the Dominican Republic in January 2021. The San Pedro de Macoris native has been tabbed by outlets such as MLB Pipeline as Boston’s top international prospect since Rafael Devers.

Though he certainly possesses five-tool potential, Bleis has yet to play above the rookie-ball level. He is coming off a 2022 campaign in which he slashed .301/.353/.543 with 14 doubles, four triples, five home runs, 27 RBIs, 28 runs scored, 18 stolen bases, 10 walks, and 45 strikeouts in 40 games (167 plate appearances) for the Florida Complex League Red Sox in Fort Myers. The 6-foot-3, 170-pounder also registered a team-high five outfield assists while seeing the majority of his playing time come in center.

As noted by The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Bleis will break minor-league camp in April with Low-A Salem, where he will get his first taste of full-season ball. There could be a transition period of sorts as Bleis refines his approach while going up more advanced competition, but his ongoing development will nevertheless be something to monitor moving forward.

Because he is still just 19 years old, Bleis is obviously a ways away from the big-leagues. However, when speaking with Speier on Monday, he indicated that he would like to make his major-league debut by the end of his age-21 season, which is not until 2025.

“I have a goal,” Bleis said through translator Carlos Villoria-Benitez. “In my mind, at the end of my 21­-year old season, that will be a nice thing to do if I make my debut in the big-leagues. “I’m going to play hard and show the team I’m getting ready in all the aspects they want me to.”

(Picture of Miguel Bleis: Bryan Green/Flickr)