Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Bradley Jr. will be up in September eventually, though, with the PawSox likely headed for the minor-league postseason, it might not happen immediately. He certainly deserves a call-up and more given his strong season at the plate, though, and you have to think that, regardless of what happens with Jacoby Ellsbury this off-season, this is likely the last stretch in the minors Bradley will see.
He didn't do so well with the steals at Triple-A, but Bradley's not a stolen base guy. He's fast going first to third or second to home -- his baserunning isn't problematic -- but he's not a stolen base threat or a base-to-base burner like the center fielder he might replace. Everything else was in working order, with strikeouts at 20 percent, his walk rate in a positive place, and plenty of power for a guy with his glove.
Matt Barnes, RHP
Barnes' season at Double-A Portland might not look like much, but he dominated after the all-star break with a 2.68 ERA over eight starts, a stretch that included 11.6 strikeouts per nine and loads of ground outs, giving him a countermeasure for the 4.7 walks per nine. His debut start for Triple-A Pawtucket went splendidly, with Barnes going just 5-1/3 innings, but holding Syracuse scoreless with seven strikeouts against a pair of walks, with just three hits allowed.
He'll likely spend all of 2014 with the PawSox, as there are plenty of starters ahead of him on the depth chart who are already -- or will already -- be on the 40-man roster. Barnes' doesn't need to be protected from the Rule 5 until November of next year, so he won't have to deal with the same pressures of being ready as soon as possible that the likes of Allen Webster and Anthony Ranaudo will contend with.
Ryan Rowland-Smith, LHP
Rowland-Smith scuffled initially after returning from his appendectomy, but seems to have turned things back around. He's been very limited in his usage, though, with just 6-2/3 innings over his last 10 appearances, but he's given up just one run, homer, and walk in that stretch. It's hard to say he's going to join the Red Sox in 2013, as 40-man spots are at a premium, but there is at least some potentially good news. If another club works out a deal with Rowland-Smith, allowing him to leave the Sox, but doesn't get it in before September 1, then he won't be eligible to join their playoff roster. Small miracles and all that.
Read more Red Sox:
- Jackie Bradley Jr. key for the stretch-run and offseason
- Mike Napoli, like clockwork, heating up
- Breaking down Red Sox prospect Xander Bogaerts
- GIF: Xander Bogaerts' first MLB RBI and extra-base hit
- Is Jacoby Ellsbury another Carl Crawford waiting to happen?