Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox pitcher Zach Stewart (48) pitches against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-US PRESSWIRE
Zach Stewart, SP
Stewart came to the Red Sox in Sunday's Kevin Youkilis trade, along with Brent Lillibridge. While the utility man is in the majors, Stewart had options remaining, and one was used to send him off to Pawtucket, where he would return to starting once more.
His first appearance with the PawSox went well enough, with the right-hander striking out four and walking none while keeping Charlotte off of the scoreboard for nearly six innings. Ground outs weren't a thing that happened often -- an oddity, given his repertoire -- but without much in the way of damage against him, it's hard to be too upset about his first go of things wearing the other Sox.
The minors have never been the issue for Stewart, though, especially not as a starter. It's the majors where things start to unravel, but maybe this time around, in an organization that's done well as of late in converting useful projects into useful pitchers, Stewart will be able to make the jump he needs to be a viable, major-league hurler.
Jose Iglesias, SS
Iglesias missed nearly a month with an undisclosed back injury, but the 22-year-old shortstop began to work his way back to Pawtucket earlier in the week, playing with short-season Lowell before coming back to Rhode Island and Triple-A. He's 1-for-10 with a single and a strikeout since returning, but one hopes that he can pick up where he left off before the injury.
Iglesias had finally been hitting at Triple-A, and not in the caveat kind of way he's done in the past. He had a .341/.364/.427 line with just five strikeouts in 82 at-bats, and while there are problems there -- a lack of walks, reliance on average -- the fact he's even in a position where he can have inflated numbers is a step forward. That's a bit sad, but it's true, given his performance at Pawtucket otherwise.
That comes off more negatively than intended, though, as we need to remember that Iglesias is just 22, and in Triple-A -- many of Boston's newest draft picks and signees are the same age as he, and are either in short-season league, the GCL, or not even playing yet. If you haven't already given up on them, there's no reason to do just that with Iglesias, who looks like he might finally be coming around to a degree.
Garrett Mock, RP
Mark Prior isn't the only veteran trying to make it as a reliever in the Boston system. Garrett Mock, who is in his ninth season in the minors, has been filthy for Pawtucket in the last month, pitching 10 games and 15 innings while striking out 21 against just three free passes. He's allowed just four runs in that stretch, too, keeping with the stinginess he's displayed all season.
Mock has thrown just 135 innings in the majors, and none since 2010, when he tossed all of 3-1/3 with the Nationals. He's never produced much there, but should a tidal wave of injuries leave Boston stranded and without relievers, Mock might be an interesting late-season test subject.