Bobby Dalbec Among 11 Players Reassigned to Minor League Camp in Second Round of #RedSox Roster Cuts

Six days after making their first round of roster cuts last Tuesday, the Red Sox announced on Monday that the following 11 players have been reassigned to minor league camp.

Among the position players reassigned was infielder Bobby Dalbec. Boston’s sixth-ranked prospect outlasted top prospect Michael Chavis at Red Sox major league camp, but not by much.

Dalbec, 23, slashed .200/.333/.234 with no home runs and a pair of RBI in 36 spring plate appearances.

The Washington native made some noise by launching a monster shot of a home run in his first at-bat against the Northeastern University baseball team back in February, but really has not been able to showcase that legitimate power of his so far in Grapefruit League play.

Given the fact that names such as Chavis, Josh Ockimey, and Sam Travis are all projected to start the 2019 season in Triple-A Pawtucket, I would guess that Dalbec will begin his year with Double-A Portland, where he hit six homers and drove in 24 runs over the course of 29 games in 2018.

As things currently stand, the Red Sox have 36 players in their big league camp, and the most surprising of those who still remain might just be Darwinzon Hernandez.

The club’s top pitching prospect has impressed so far this spring, allowing just one run on seven hits, five walks, and three HBPs over five appearances (two starts) and 10 innings of work.

If he doesn’t crack Boston’s Opening Day roster, it would not be much of a shock to see Hernandez make his major league debut at some point this season. The 22-year-old left-hander is capable of both starting and coming out of the bullpen.

With Opening Day just over 10 days away, expect the team to announce their next round of roster cuts fairly soon.

 

 

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David Price Fans Four in Spring Debut as #RedSox Drop Sixth Straight

After an off day on Monday, the Red Sox fell to 6-11 in Grapefruit League play on Tuesday following a 4-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers at JetBlue Park, marking their sixth straight defeat.

Like Rick Porcello did on Sunday, 2018 postseason hero David Price made his 2019 debut in this one, getting the start against one of his former teams.

Working the first three innings, the left-hander surrendered two runs on a pair of hits and walks to go along with four strikeouts in his first in-game action of the spring.

Both of those Detroit runs came in the top of the third, when with two outs and a runner on first, ex-Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer blasted his second home run of the spring to give his new club a two-run advantage.

Other than that one blunder, it was relatively smooth sailing for Price, as he faced three over the minimum nine hitters.

In relief of Price, Matt Barnes, Bobby Poyner, Darwinzon Hernandez, Marcus Walden, Erasmo Ramirez, and Jenrry Mejia combined to give up an additional two runs on three hits, six walks, one HBP, and six strikeouts over the final six frames.

Barnes, who looks poised to be Boston’s closer to start out the 2019 campaign, bounced back from a rough spring debut Saturday and escaped a fourth inning bases loaded jam while holding Detroit scoreless on Tuesday.

Hernandez, meanwhile, had his scoreless appearances streak come to an end in this one, as he allowed Daz Cameron to score on a Kody Eaves two out RBI double in the sixth.

Finally, to close things out, Mejia sat down all but one of the four Detroit hitters he faced in a shutout ninth inning to keep Boston’s deficit at three.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup, which featured the likes of Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers, JD Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, Mitch Moreland, Dustin Pedroia, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Christian Vazquez was held in check yet again.

Matched up against Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris to start things off, Boston was limited to just three runs on the day, which is actually the most they have scored in a game since last Tuesday.

In fact, all three of those runs were plated in the Red Sox’ half of the ninth.

CJ Chatham got the late rally started by drawing a leadoff walk against Tigers reliever Kyle Funkhouser, who then proceeded to hit Sam Travis with a pitch to put runners on first and second.

Mike Miller followed that up by driving in Chatham on an RBI single up the middle, which in turn led to a Detroit pitching change.

With Jose Manuel Fernandez now on the mound for Detroit and one out in the inning, Blake Swihart pulled his club one run closer by lacing an RBI double left to score Travis and advance Miller to third, who would then come around to plate the third run of the frame on a Gorkys Hernandez RBI groundout.

Unfortunately, a Bryce Brentz strikeout would put an end to any potential comeback effort, and 4-3 would be your final score on Tuesday in favor of Detroit.

Some notes from this loss:

When asked about Price’s outing, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said, “David looked excellent. Velocity. Command. Presence on the mound.”

When asked about it himself, Price responded with a bit of self-criticism.

“To be honest, that homer is not what bothers me the most,” the southpaw said following his start. “It’s the two two-out walks that I had. Gave up that homer and then went 2-0 on the next hitter and then was able to bounce back and throw quality strikes and get that third out. First time back out there in however many months, I’m okay with it.”

On the field, Dustin Pedroia went 1/2 with a single in his second game back, while Blake Swihart accounted for Boston’s lone extra-base hit on Tuesday with that ninth inning RBI two-bagger.

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll host the Minnesota Twins at JetBlue Park on Wednesday in the fifth installment of the 2019 Chairman’s Cup.

Right-hander Jose Berrios will be getting the ball for Minnesota, while fellow righty Nathan Eovaldi will be making his 2019 debut as well as his first ever Grapefruit League start for Boston.

Looking to put an end to this six-game skid, first pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 1:05 ET at JetBlue. This game will not be televised.

 

Top Prospect Michael Chavis Homers as #RedSox Open up Grapefruit League Play with 8-5 Win over Yankees

The Red Sox opened up Grapefruit League play with an 8-5 win over the New York Yankees on Saturday afternoon.

Non-roster invitee Josh Smith got the starting nod for Boston in this contest. The 31-year-old right-hander surrendered three earned runs on six hits, including a solo home run off the bat of Gleyber Torres, in less than two innings of work.

Trevor Kelley came in relief for Smith and retired the lone batter he faced to escape the top half of the second.

From there, Marcus Walden, 15th-ranked prospect Travis Lakins, and former Mariners hurler Erasmo Ramirez combined for five frames of scoreless work heading into the middle of seventh.

New York tacked on an additional pair of runs off of Kyle Hart in the eighth, but former 2015 37th round selection Adam Lau was able to record the needed out to end the inning and preserve Boston’s slim one-run lead at the time.

Brian Ellington, who the Red Sox signed to a minor league deal at the beginning of the month, worked his way around two walks in the ninth to preserve the save and the win.

On the other side of things, Tzu-Wei Lin got the scoring started for the Red Sox with a one out RBI single in the second that plated Bryce Brentz from first and cut the Yankees deficit to two.

An inning later, three straight one out hits, capped off by a Rafael Devers RBI single in his first start of the spring, saw Boston pull to within one run.

Following a Rusney Castillo strikeout and a pitching change that saw veteran right-hander Drew Hutchinson take over for starter Nestor Cortes, the Red Sox bats picked up right where they left off.

Another RBI single, this one coming off the bat of Bryce Brentz, allowed Sandy Leon to score from second and knot this contest at three runs a piece.

That stalemate did not last long though, as top Red Sox prospect Michael Chavis unloaded on a 3-2 pitch from Hutchinson and blasted an opposite field three-run shot to put the Red Sox ahead 6-3.

Chavis, 23, slashed .298/.381/.538 with nine home runs and 27 RBI in 46 games between Low A Lowell, Double A Portland, and Triple A Pawtucket. He was handed an 80-game suspension for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program last April.

Fast forward to the bottom half of the eighth, and non-roster invitee Juan Centeno provided some much-needed insurance with a one out two-run single off of Yankees reliever Joe Harvey.

That saw Boston’s advantage inflate from 6-5 to 8-5, which would go on to be the final score in this Grapefruit League opener.

Next up for the Red Sox is a Sunday afternoon contest against the Minnesota Twins. It will be the club’s first chance to see new first-year Twins manager Rocco Baldelli in person.

Baldelli, 37, is a native of Woonsocket, RI. and spent the 2009 season with Boston. He had been on Kevin Cash’s staff with the Tampa Bay Rays for the last four years.

First pitch on Sunday is scheduled for 1:05 PM ET.

RHP Ryan Weber is expected to start for the Red Sox.

 

#RedSox Reportedly Sign Former Chicago White Sox Reliever Zach Putnam to Minor League Contract.

On the same day they signed RHP Erasmo Ramirez to a minor league deal, the Red Sox made another minor move on Tuesday, as they signed former White Sox reliever Zach Putnam to a minor league contract as well, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo. It is not clear if this deal includes a Major League invitation to spring training at the time this is being written.

Putnam, 31, missed the entire 2018 season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery while with Chicago in early 2017.

A former fifth round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians back in 2008, Putnam provided the White Sox with stability out of the bullpen over the course of his four-year tenure with the club.

In 139.1 innings of relief from 2014 to 2017, the right-hander posted a 2.71 ERA and 1.18 WHIP to go along with a solid 9.6 K/9 ratio.

A native of Michigan, Putnam also, “posted a gaudy 16.1 percent swinging-strike rate,” and limited hard contact to the tune of an 27.2 opponents’ hard-hit rate in his time on the South Side, according to MLBTradeRumors.com

Given the circumstances, I would say this move has the makings to be a low risk-high reward signing for Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox.

According to FanGraphs, Putnam was the 48th best reliever in the American League  in terms of fWAR (1.6) from 2014 to 2017.

I understand that he is older now than he was in that span and is coming off major shoulder surgery, but it would not be a surprise to me at all that come June or July, Putnam is up and contributing to the Red Sox’ cause out of the bullpen.

#RedSox Reportedly Agree to Terms on a Minor League Deal with RHP Erasmo Ramirez.

On Tuesday afternoon, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reported that the Boston Red Sox and free agent RHP Erasmo Ramirez were ”nearing’ an agreement on a minor league contract for the 2019 season.

A few hours later, SoxProspects.com updated their transactions log with the news that the two sides had agreed to a contract. Although nothing has been confirmed by the Red Sox themselves, I’m going to go ahead and run with this deal being official.

Ramirez, 28, had spent the last season and a half with the Seattle Mariners, the team that originally signed him as an international free agent out of El Salvador back in 2007.

A native of Nicaragua, Ramirez posted a 6.50 ERA and 1.40 WHIP over 10 games started and 45.2 innings pitched with Seattle in 2018.

Those numbers may not look promising, but one positive from the right-hander’s 2018 campaign was a three-start stretch in August where he surrendered just three total earned runs in 16 innings of work. The Mariners went unbeaten in those three games.

Electing free agency after being outrighted from Seattle’s 40-man roster in November, Ramirez is capable of providing the Red Sox with both rotation and bullpen depth in the minors. He also received an invitation to Major League spring training.

I can’t imagine the chances of seeing Ramirez up with Boston in 2019 are all that high, but I do believe that this is a solid depth signing nonetheless.

It also looks like the veteran hurler got married on Tuesday, so congratulations to him on that.

Rough translation: Congratulations were married || to Erasmus Ramirez, who just the day he reached an agreement with the Boston Red Sox, also marries. An interesting coincidence. Greetings and blessings.