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Lower level week in review

First we'll start with the good news. Curt Schilling made a rehab start for Pawtucket and threw 5 strong innings. He allowed 5 hits and 1 walk for 1 run, but only struck out 3. Compared to his rehab starts at the begining of the season, that line is a beautiful thing. He should be back in Boston soon enough and the Red Sox could use his arm.

Want a little bit more good news? Last week was the high-A level All-Star game so the Wilmington Blue Rocks only played in four games. They lost all four including a 14-1 shalacking yesterday. That is obviously not the good news. The good news is that Anibal Sanchez was given the honor of starting the all star game. He went 1 perfect inning with a strikeout in the game. It's good to see Sanchez being recognized as one of the best at the level. He leads the Carlolina League with a 2.40 ERA and is second in the league with 89 K's. His peripherals of 10.68 K/9, 2.76 BB/9, and .84 HR/9 are all looking great.

The Blue Rocks, however, aren't so great. Like I said they lost all four games they played last week thanks in large part to some very unimpressive starts by their pitching. Jose Vaquedano allowed 5 runs, 4 of them earned, on 6 hits, 2 of them homers, and a walk in 6 innings. He struck out 6. He has been solid for most of the year so a bad outing is forgivable. Tommy Hottovy, a 23 year old who Baseball America calls the 18th best prospect in the Sox system, continued his struggles this year with a 6 inning performance where he was touched for 4 runs on 7 hits, 2 of them home runs. The good news is that only 1 of those runs was earned, he didn't walk anyone, and he struck out 5. The bad news is that he fell to 3-9 on the year with a 6.25 ERA. He strikes out enough with 8.1 k/9 and his control is acceptable allowing 3.3 bb/9, but when he gets hit, he gets hit hard as his 2.1 HR/9 suggests. He's allowed 15 home runs in 63.1 IP, a span of 15 games, 13 of them starts. Luis Mendoza, a 21 year old who has been with the organization since the age of 16, had a 4 inning performance where he allowed 5 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks without striking anyone out. His strikeouts have been down all year, now down to 4.5 K/9, suggesting that he doesn't have the stuff to make it to the majors. If he can't dominate A level hitters once in a while he's going to struggle as he progresses. Andrew Dobies, a 22 year old who ranked 19th in the organization on Baseball America's list, had the worst start of the week allowing 8 runs in only 3.1 innings. He allowed 8 hits and 2 walks, only striking out 1. It was his fifth start as a Blue Rock after spending most of the year in Greenville and so far he's not handling the change of scenery very well. He has a 7.46 ERA in 25.1 IP over 5 starts. His RA is even worse at 9.59.

The offense was just as bad as the pitching scoring 13 runs over those 4 games. Seven of the runs came in one game, an 8-7 defeat. The other six were spread out over the course of the rest of the week. There were no standout batters, as usual, for the Blue Rocks.